Outdoor Research Chaos Jacket
Fabric: Windstopper Ripstop exterior
Price Paid: $169.83
After picking up and loving the REI, quantum, zip sleeve, lightweight, primaloft jacket; I became interested in the potential for the swiss army knife of all jackets. The hooded version of a primaloft jacket, with possibly more fill.
Researched for a while and the Outdoor Research Chaos came into focus. Got my hands on one at the local REI and decided to try it. It appears (one night walk in 41 degrees, 10 mph breeze) to be the perfect jacket. Wore my usual base (R.5 Patagonia Grid Fleece) and a light pair of pants. Never overheated (my primary concern) and felt like it was actually breathing.
The shell feels substantial (not an ultralight) and gives confidence it will take some abuse. The very high collar combined with a large hood (excellent adjustments) is like wearing a balaclava. With factory DWR this jacket should do well in anything short of extended downpour.
I've had less than stellar experience with laminates in the past, but whatever they are doing with the ripstop windstopper seems to work for me. This jacket and one or two layers should serve me from 50 degrees on down to anything I'd be interested in. (Sub zero is for sitting by the fire with appropriate wine :)
The materials and craftsmanship seem quite good. Time will tell if I remain as excited, but I can't conceive a better combination.