Review: Outdoor Research 2019 Climbing Apparel

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Sonora Hoodie

By James Lucas

The Outdoor Research Sonora Hoodie.

The Outdoor Research Sonora Hoodie.

Nothing beats the comfort of a hoodie. Outdoor Research’s Sonora hoodie blended the lifestyle comfort look with a bit of performance with their Sonora Hoodie. The hooded sweater features a relaxed fit that allows for cool weather bouldering or sport climbing. The 52% hemp, 43% organic cotton, and 5% spandex blend of the hoodie gives it warm feel while still maintain breatability. The front pouch pocket acts as an ample storage place for keys or a wallet or as a hand warmer in between burns on the bouldering proj. The ribs on the exterior of the pouch keep items from falling out. The ribbed hem and cuffs also act to keep the sleeves from rolling off and the sweater from moving up too much. While bouldering, I could make long spans between holds without the hoodie moving. Then when afternoon showers rolled in, the draw string around the hood allowed me to tighten things up and stay a little drier while I packed my pads and headed back to the car. 

$89, outdoorresearch.com

Axis T-Shirt

By Bennett Slavsky

The Outdoor Research Axis T-Shirt.

The Outdoor Research Axis T-Shirt.

Outdoor Research’s Axis Tee-Shirt is an awesome cross between crag-wear and everyday-life-wear. The blend of organic cotton, hemp, and spandex make it equally stretchy, durable, and breathable, and the hemp fibers are naturally odor resistant—an ideal blend of characteristics to make a really great climbing shirt. But it’s also just a cool, normal-looking shirt with a two-tone color palette and front pocket for looking extra hip. When I’ve got a shift at the Boulder Sports Recycler in the afternoon but want to get out for Eldorado Canyon routes in the morning, I don the Axis Tee. By the time I get to work, our customers have no idea that I spent the morning sweating, wheezing, and dragging my body up classic Eldo routes. Available in men’s and women’s, tee-shirt and tank-top.

$29-39, outdoorresearch.com

Quarry Pants and Shorts

By Bennett Slavsky

The Outdoor Research Quarry Pants and Shorts.

The Outdoor Research Quarry Pants and Shorts.

Once you own a pair of climbing pants with an internal drawstring at the waist, you will ask yourself why this evolution in climbing attire has not been realized much sooner. Before the Outdoor Research Quarry Pants, I was using a piece of webbing as a belt when I climbed—one of my greatest annoyances while climbing is a stiff belt digging into my sides, hanging up on my harness, and inhibiting high-steps. The drawstring feature alone is enough to make the Quarry Pants a great addition to your climbing wardrobe, but other climbing specific features like the brush pocket, the stretchy blend of cotton and spandex, and the gusseted crotch for high-stepping and spread-eagle-wide-stepping make this a seriously awesome climbing pant. The zippered thigh pocket is another great feature; the mouth of the zipper sits just below the leg loop of my harness making it easily accessible even when racked up. I’ve always been wary of bringing my cell phone with me on climbs for fear that it will fall out of my unzippered pocket, but that worry is no more. Now I confidently bring my phone along to check Mountain Project mid-route to find out that—just as I suspected—I am drastically off route. In testing the Quarry Pants, I dragged them through some really nasty and abrasive granite off-widths in South Platte, Colorado. I managed to tear a hole in the knee, but OR is a company that believes in their products—the damage is covered by their warranty and OR will replace the damaged article or give a credit of equal value. The Quarry Pants and Shorts are pretty stylish as well, with a nice slim fit to show off your thigh muscles in bodacious colors like pumpkin and peacock. Available in pants and shorts.

$89-69, outdoorresearch.com