Now that spring is here it’s the perfect time to test out some shells. Shells are great this time of year because they are often less insulated and breathe really well. This is important when the weather warms up a bit and you still find yourself out on the slopes. I had the chance to test out the Outdoor Research White Room on a spring day at Arapahoe Basin in conditions that ranged from heavy wet snow to warm late day sun. We took the lift ride up Lenawee and by the time we reached the top we were covered with snow. It was the kind that liked to melt as soon as it landed on you, and soon we could see the droplets of water bead up on the surface of the jacket. I was glad to have a jacket with a 3L Gor-Tex membrane. As the day continued everything started to get saturated, and jackets with less waterproofing were starting to soak through, but the white room did what it was supposed to do and kept me dry. Soon the sun came out and we decided to hike to the North Pole on the East Wall. While not too difficult of a climb it’s enough to get your body temperature up and again I was glad I had the Outdoor Research White Room on. Its Gore-Tex membrane is quite breathable and I never felt much moisture build up on the inside of the jacket. When I got a bit too warm, I unzipped the CrossFlo vents and was able to dump heat quite quickly. On the ski down the North Pole we were treated to some deep snow and face shots, and the jacket kept snow out like a champ. I can easily say I was happy with the waterproofing and breathability of the Outdoor Research White Room, but the jacket also has some other nice features. First off, all of the Outdoor Research jackets I have worn feel durable without being too heavy or bulky. I also love that the material of the Outdoor Research White Room moves with your body, and I never felt restricted (although I was wearing a medium and would probably have been more happy with a small). I really like the Outdoor Research White Room, but I do want to point out a few things I didn’t like as well. First, the jacket tends to ride up a little bit while skiing. This isn’t a big issue, but I don’t like having to also readjust myself before every run. The Second thing is the difficulty in unzipping the pit zips. I love the location of the zips because you don’t have to remove your backpack to unzip, but it’s hard to do with one hand. So what’s the bottom line? Well, I really love OR jackets, and the Outdoor Research White Room is no exception. It’s a fantastic jacket for wet heavy spring snow, or for warm and sunny spring ascents. Waterproofing is top of the line, and breathability is really good. I’m not the biggest fan of relaxed fit jackets (although they are nice for layering), but the jacket felt true to size, and the stretch fabric allow unrestricted movement. I would recommend the Outdoor Research White Room to any skier who spends a lot of time spring skiing in wet or heavy snow, or for the backcountry skier that does a lot of hiking and skinning.
Jacket Size – M
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.
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. Pants that fit too tight in the thigh, and I can’t use my pockets.