The Outdoor Research Axiom Jacket is a multi award winning, year-round, do-it-all, Gore-Tex Active 3L storm jacket.  I have had the pleasure of testing this jacket out over the past year on all of my trips and other active pursuits and have absolutely fell in love with this jacket. When looking for a waterproof jacket you’ll find that there are many options on the market to choose from with loads of different features and claims of what the jacket is best suited for and in what environments.  Narrowing down all of the options and trying to find the most suitable jacket for your needs can become a long and drawn out process, that hopefully will land you on a jacket that truly does fit your needs.  This is why I really loved using the Axiom Jacket.  It was not so sport specific, I found that it worked beautifully across the board.

Over the past year I have used the Axiom jacket while backpacking, rock climbing, paddling, and mountain biking.  I have trouble, for some reason, concentrating on one particular activity for long periods of time, mostly because I enjoy all of them and I find it hard to completely leave one sport behind for another.  They’re also the seasonal changes we see here in the Ozarks that are well suited to certain activities.  In all cases I stayed comfortable and felt well protected from the elements, no matter what season it was.

First is the fit and I must say that I pretty much fell in love with this jacket the moment that I put it on.  The fit and feel of the Axiom jacket alone puts it miles ahead of any other rain jacket I have tried.  For starters it drops lower than most to give you added coverage when needed.  It has a good amount of stretch for added ease of mobility and extra fabric in key areas so that the jacket won’t ride up when reaching up for the next hold on a climb.  These features combined to give me a fit that worked perfectly for all of my different activities, making it a very versatile jacket for all of my needs.

Second is the Axiom’s featured fabric, a Gore-Tex Active 3L shell, that for one has a much better feel when compared to standard 2.5 layer shell. I didn’t get that weird plastic trash bag feel, I got a jacket that feels far more comfortable on the skin, which is excellent when wearing a short sleeved shirt on warm rainy days.  This jacket does not have pit-zips, but you really don’t need them.  I found the fabric to be very breathable and frankly beyond my expectations.  Even on warmer rainy days, where my typical 2.5 layer shell would have me feeling damp and hot, I was able to stay dry and comfortable.  The breathable fabric is one of many great aspects of the Active shell.  No need to worry about body oils that can ruin the laminate of 2.5 layers shells or a fabric that wets out after a couple of uses.  Gore-Tex has made the Active fabric to withstand the deteriorating effects of your natural oils and shed water like an otter.  In the time I have used this jacket, I have had zero problems with it wetting out, even after very heavy rain fall.  My previous 2.5 layer jackets seem to start having problems after the first couple outings, thus reducing the overall breathability even more.  On top of this is the durability of the jacket.  It is something that I have not had in other the jackets I have used.  Trees, limbs, brush, and rocks stand no chance against the Axiom jacket.  I was able to push past them without a rip, tear or scratch.  Now I will say that I didn’t go running through any thorn patches, but I try and avoid those at all cost, they’re just no fun.  These reasons make for an exceptionally long lasting jacket that will keep you dry, comfortable and protected for years and years to come.   

Beyond the amazing abilities of the Gore-Tex Active 3L fabric are the features that set this jacket apart form others.  The Axiom Jacket has a sturdy wire brimmed halo hood that will accommodate a helmet if needed.  If not using a helmet then no worries, just cinch up the cord that comfortably rests around your head for a nice snug fit.  This is what I loved about the hood on this jacket.  When wearing it without a helmet, I didn’t feel like I would be swallowed up by excessively large hood.  The wire brim is easily adjusted and can withstand some serious downpours and as someone who wears glasses this was something that I really appreciated.  I have had so much trouble with jackets in the past that just couldn’t keep my glasses dry in a light rain let alone a downpour.  On top of the super comfortable hood is the pockets that add to the overall versatility of this jacket.  They sit higher on the jacket to give you easy access while wearing a climbing harness or backpack.  From hood to hem the Axiom has made me a believer in a jacket that truly works in all conditions and across many disciplines.

Overall the Axiom jacket from Outdoor Research is a lightweight, protective, and durable option for those looking to do it all or focus on one activity.  It is one that I look forward to having in my arsenal for years to come. 

Reviewed by:  Aaron