Softshell jackets are great for warmer days on the mountain because they tend to breathe better than other jackets, but often softshells are not as water-resistant as hard shells. The Outdoor Research Trickshot is an exception to the rule. Although it’s not quite on par with a 3L Gore-Tex jacket, the waterproofing is better than most soft shells on the market and able to handle some pretty wet conditions. I’ve used the Outdoor Research Trickshot a lot this spring, from 30 degree days to 50 degree days, and from dry bluebird, to wet spring rain/snow mixes. Overall I was pretty impressed with how versatile the jacket is. It has a nice soft fleece backer that seems to add a bit of warmth to the jacket. Again, I wouldn’t put it on par with a heavily insulated jacket, but for a light-weight softshell I felt it did a good job keeping me warm on the colder days. On the plus side the Outdoor Research Trickshot offers plenty of room for layering, so for those who naturally run a bit colder, you can add layers for warmth. It still wouldn’t be my jacket for single digits, or sub-zero days, but for a sunny 20 degree day I found it plenty warm with just a long sleeve base layer and t-shirt. For those of you that run warmer, or do a lot more hiking, you’ll appreciate the jackets breathability. The Pertex Shield material seems to breathe really well, and even when hiking on warmer days I felt pretty comfortable. The other nice feature of the Outdoor Research Trickshot is the well positioned pit/chest zips. Unlike traditional zips that extend under the armpit, these zips are more oriented chest to back. It helps allow them to open up a bit more, and vent heat quicker. Although positioned nicely, I will say that they are not the easiest to open with one hand. I’ve often had to ask for help with it, so I hope you’re comfortable with your skiing partner. The pockets on the Outdoor Research Trickshot are pretty decent. The two vertical chest pockets are nicely positioned, but could be a bit deeper. The hand warming pockets are nice and deep, but the openings are a bit small. Neither f these things really bugged me, but it’s worth pointing out. The hood has plenty of room for a helmet, but it doesn’t cover the cheeks when close, so you’ll need a facemask if it’s really cold and windy…but then again, the Outdoor Research Trickshot isn’t intended to be worn in really cold weather. The fit is decent, and the length good. I went with a medium for a little extra layering room, but the small fit fine. The sleeve length is a bit on the longer side, while the torso is a bit more conforming. The jacket material is stretchy, so I never felt restricted, and I could have went with the small if I didn’t want the extra room for layering. Overall the Outdoor Research Trickshot is a pretty solid jacket. It has bombproof construction (it feels quite rugged, and I have not had any issues with durability), decent waterproofing (don’t expect Gore-Tex), and very solid breathability. It has some nice features without being too over the top. It’s a great jacket for those who want better waterproofing out of their soft shell, and you don’t require any extra warmth. It’s great for backcountry travel or in-bounds hiking. The Outdoor Research Trickshot offers all the benefits of a soft-shell while still being somewhat waterproof, and still quite rugged.
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. 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. Crowds in the mountains, and not being able to find a place to park in at the trailhead or ski resort.