Outdoor Research Linchpin Hooded Jacket

This versatile softshell is optimized for ice climbing, but adaptable to most cold-weather adventures.

Brand: Outdoor Research

Model: Linchpin Hooded Jacket


Pockets are big enough for skins or bulky gloves, which allowed testers to climb using thin gloves and easily grab extra insulation during belays. An unusually large chest pocket keeps a sandwich where it won’t freeze. And the two-way front zipper accommodates a harness and belay device.


Made entirely with Gore Windstopper, the Linchpin seals out the strongest gusts and proved impressively water-resistant; seams aren’t taped, but the DWR treatment kept the fabric from wetting out in all-day snow. An inset collar seals out wind even when the helmet-compatible hood isn’t deployed. A wire brim blocks spindrift.


The weather-thwarting fabric isn’t especially breathable, so zippered hem-to-biceps vents provide moisture management. “That huge opening let me dump heat while climbing, then zip up for belay,” says our tester, who wore it while climbing Mt. Rainier and at New Hampshire’s Frankenstein Cliffs. Tradeoff: It’s bulky when packed (about football size).

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