The Outdoor Research Maximus is a burly technical hardshell designed for alpine climbers and ski mountaineers. It’s one of OR’s most technical shells, and is built with the bomber quality you’d expect in a high end shell.
Warmth: The Outdoor Research Maximus is a relatively heavy hardshell jacket with a 70D face fabric, but it doesn’t offer a lot in the way of warmth. This is pretty typical of hardshells, especially those without any type of flannel or fleece liners. The Outdoor Research Maximus is a good jacket for milder days on the mountain, or for colder days when you’re really working hard for your turns.
Waterproofing: The Outdoor Research Maximus is made with a heavy denier 3 layer Gore-Tex Pro fabric. Our experience with Gore-Tex Pro has been extremely positive in the past, and we have no reason to doubt that the Outdoor Research Maximus could hold up in a driving snow or rain. The Outdoor Research Maximus also has fully taped seams, and water resistant zippers, making it even better on really wet days.
Breathability: The Outdoor Research Maximus is designed with alpine climbers, mountaineers, and big mountain skiers in mind. Its Gore-Tex Pro fabric is one of the most breathable on the market, and when you’re working hard for your turns, you’ll stay nice and dry on the inside. Although Gore-Tex Pro is very breathable, it does take a little bit of heat and moisture for it to start working its best. If breathability is absolutely crucial to you, there are several other materials that may have a slight advantage (eVent, Dry Q. Elite, Neoshell). It’s not that these fabrics are better than Gore Pro, but they are slightly more air permeable from the start. This helps to keep you dry from the moment you put it on. Gore Pro is also great, but works in a slightly different way. That being said, most people will not notice a huge difference between most high end materials, and will find the Outdoor Research Maximus to be plenty breathable for most situations. In addition, the OR Maximus has dual sliding TorsoFlo hem-to-pit zip ventilation system that provides an awesome amount of air flow to cool you down in a hurry.
Fit: The Outdoor Research Maximus is listed as a trim fit, but it’s not quite as form fitting as I’d expect. The torso seems to fit really well, but the shoulders and arms are slightly roomy. It’s still pretty true to size, and those with a bit wider shoulders may find it a little better fitting. It’s not bad by any means, just not entirely what I expected from a trim fit jacket. The articulating arms also feel quite roomy, but allow for a bit range of motion. This is important when alpine climbing, and slightly less while skiing, but still nice to have. The Outdoor Research Maximus is also made with elastane stretch panels that help with mobility and fit. I really have come to like stretch panels even if they are slightly less durable. I just like feeling unrestricted.
Features: The Outdoor Research Maximus is a pretty bomber technical shell, but it is missing several key features you’d want in a ski jacket. Unfortunately the Maximus does not have a large inside pocket for skins or goggles. We’d also like to see an attached powder skirt, but if you cinch down the hem tight enough it will help to keep snow out of the jacket. Of course the Maximus has a bomber hood that fits well over a helmet. It’s easy to cinch down and covers a pretty good portion of the face. The Maximus also has a lot of great pockets that include two napoleon pockets, two internal (one media), and two zippered hand pockets. The hand pockets are set high on the waist to make them compatible with a pack. Both napoleon pockets are roomy, and make it even easier to access gear when you’re wearing your pack.
The Outdoor Research Maximus is a great alpine climbing jacket, but it’s not our favorite for skiing. It’s not a bad option for ski mountaineers, but the lack of a powder skirt and any sort of liner might keep this from being a great ski jacket. It’s definitely built with bomber construction and offers great breathability and waterproofing. However, it seems that it is better suited to climbers than skiers.
Jacket Size – S
Normal Specs– 5’10”, 160 lbs,
Upper Body– 34.5” Chest, Torso Length 23” (collar bone to pant button), Shoulder Width Approx 22”, Arm Length 18.5” (pit to wrist)
Lower Body– 30” Waist, 38” Hips, 30” Inseam, 22” Thigh
Turn On’s: Active fit jackets that fit well around my chest and torso, but don’t restrict movement. Size S Pants that have a bit more room in my thighs, that way I can actually use my pockets. And of course getting first chair with 12” of fresh powder on the mountain.
Turn Off’s: Size S Jackets that are too tight, and Size M jackets that are too loose in the waist. I really don’t like a loose waist that can allow cold air in, and I don’t like having to cinch down the waist. I also don’t like jackets that ride up when I’m skiing, The jacket should stay in place. Pants that fit too tight in the thigh, and I can’t use my pockets.