Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest

8.4 score
[Editors rating (8.4)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.4)/10

Editor rating: 8.4 / 10
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The Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest is a versatile vest that can function as both an outer layer and an inner layer. During the winter months, people that are partaking in activities outdoors can consider using this vest as an additional layer to keep warm. This vest can also be a great outer layer for when spring days get a little breezy. This product was specifically created to work as an inner shell for people doing cross country skiing.

The heat retention abilities on the Outdoor Vest is unparalleled. It uses PolarTec Alpha technology to help insulate this vest, making it very warm and comfortable to wear. The retained heat will cycle throughout the vest, ensuring that there is even dispersal of the heat.

The Outdoor Vest also has patented technology which is designed to make it incredibly durable. It uses rip stop material and also specially created polyester fibers to prevent wear and tear. This ensures that you will be able to enjoy this vest for longer periods without worrying that it will break down out you. The material is enough to withstand even the toughest of elements.

Editor's Pros & Cons

PolarTech Alpha Technology

Waterproof and Windproof

Special Polyester Fibers

Rip stop material

Lightweight and Comfortable


Slim fitting

Tapered hem

Elastic binding on arms

Armhole Binding

One of the most important things a vest needs to be able to do is keep you warm. This is especially important if your product is meant to be used during outdoor activities. In adverse weather, the wind, snow, and rain will try it’s best to penetrate your vest. This will make for a very uncomfortable and bone-chilling experience.

A way that the Vest helps prevent the outdoors from seeping in is by having binding on the vest. Because you need to be able to move around, armholes are often designed to be larger so that you can still have a full range of motion. The Outdoor Vest uses elastic binding so that the armholes fit perfectly around your arm.

This is a great way to keep your body in and elements out, however, the elastic may be uncomfortable throughout use. If the binding is a little tight on your arm, it may affect your circulation after wearing it for a while. This can cause discomfort while you are doing your outdoor activities.


Your body generates a lot of heat when you move around. This can be something as simple as walking about or partaking in an extreme sport. Regardless, your body will start to sweat and the moisture must have a way out of your vest. When you are picking a vest, you must find something that is breathable.

The Vest has good ventilation properties because it is not made of many layers. When your body starts to sweat, the fabric material of your vest will absorb it. The moisture particles then have to try and find a way to exit your vest. This is usually done by pushing the moisture up to the outer layers of the vest.

At that point, the moisture can evaporate and be removed from your Ascendant Vest. Having a vest that is made up of a few layers will help to expedite this entire process as there is less fabric for the moisture to maneuver around. This will ensure that you stay comfortable and dry for longer periods.

Heat Retention

In the ideal world, your vest should be able to function as both an outer layer and inner layer. Wearing a vest as an extra layer during the winter months will keep you warm while wearing it during the summer will work as an outer layer. The point of wearing a vest is to keep yourself warm and comfortable during all your activities.

The Outdoor Vest can do this because it has great heat retention properties. The heat that your body generates tries to escape once it is developed. Without proper insulation, this heat can dissipate very quickly. This will leave you feeling cold all the time and eventually you will become fatigued from simply trying to stay warm.

Wearing a vest like the Outdoor Vest will keep you warm for a longer period. The heat that tries to leave the vest is reflected in your body. This allows you to reabsorb the escaping heat, thus reducing the demands on your body. This will allow you to retain your energy and focus on doing what you enjoy.


Most people can attest to the fact that they enjoy wearing products that are on the lighter side. Wearing clothing that is heavy can be quite uncomfortable as it drags and sags. This can become an even bigger burden when your clothes are wet. The Research Vest is made with patented technology known as Pertex Microlight Shell Fabric.

Wearing heavy clothing has a direct effect on the amount of energy that you have in a day. Heavier clothing works as an additional weight your body has to carry around. This will cause fatigue to set in sooner rather than if you were wearing something lightweight like the Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest.

The Pertex Microlight Shell Fabric is designed to feel almost nonexistent. This layer is light and made of very thin material so that it does not weigh more on your body. Despite being lightweight, the materials have great insulation properties that will ensure you do not get cold over time. Choosing a lightweight product will allow you to maintain higher energy levels throughout your day.

Moisture Wicking

Most people that are purchasing vests have the intention of wearing them outside. This means that it will be important for them to purchase something that can provide them protection from the elements. Wearing a vest that is not windproof or waterproof can greatly increase the risks of catching a cold and getting sick.

The Outdoor Vest has great moisture-wicking properties. This means that when raindrops end up on the vest, it is not absorbed right away. Instead, these droplets stay on the outermost layer of the vest until they are brushed off or shaken off when walking. This will ensure that your body stays warm and dry at the same time.

An additional benefit from having a rainproof Outdoor Vest is that the moisture-wicking properties will protect the vest from damage. People may accidentally spill coffee or other foods onto the vest. The protective spray will delay the time at which the spilled food is absorbed. This will give you ample time to wipe and clean the area off, thus preventing damage to your vest.

Polyester Fibers

One of the most important things for people when they purchase a product is whether they are getting good value out of it. No one likes to purchase a vest only for it to be damaged or destroyed in a few wears. This gives people the feeling that they are not getting the most bang for their buck, directly translating to a waste of money. This is why knowing what material the vest is made of is very important.

Specifically, the Outdoor Vest is made with polyester fibers. These are not your average fibers and are patented and known as PolarTec Alpha Direct Polyester Fibers. They have been tested and proven to be one of the stronger materials that are available on the market. These fibers were woven in a fashion where they are not easily ripped or torn.

This helps delay early signs of wear and tear on the Vest. The polyester fibers have slightly elastic properties, thus giving you leeway when you move around. This flexibility also ensures the durability of the vest.

Rip Stop Material

For many consumers, purchasing a product that will not break quickly is very important. People do not want to spend extra time and money shopping to replace their vests every few months. This becomes a costly investment over time, leading people to look at alternative options. Manufacturers spend a lot of time trying to create products that are long-lasting and worthy of people's praises.

One of the ways that the Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest protects against damage is by using ripstop material. As the name implies, this is material that does not rip easily. Nylon is a ripstop material that has been woven in a crosshatch pattern throughout the vest. This greatly helps decrease the opportunity for your Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest to rip.

Ripstop is a way of protecting further ripping and tearing when they are detected. Vests without ripstop material will simply tear along the direction of which the vest is sewn. The crosshatch pattern on the ripstop material does not give the rip or tear a direction to follow, hence stopping the rip where it is.

Slim Fit

When people purchase vests, they look at different things before purchasing the product. Most of the time, it is things such as pricing, brand, and how it fits. Wearing an ill-fitting product does not look nice and usually makes the user feel unconfident about themselves. This is why a lot of people prefer to be able to try on their clothes before purchasing.

The Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest uses a slim-fit design. This means that the vest is tapered against the body and accentuates your figure. This is great if the vest is meant for casual wear as the product will look much more fitted than other vests. However, this may not be something that you want when you are trying to partake in exercises.

The hem of the Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest is tapered in to be much closer to your waist. While this design helps keep the wind out of your vest, it may slightly restrict your movement. Overreaching or big movements may be more likely to rip the vest simply because of is its design.

Storm flap

When people decide to purchase a vest, most of them do not consider the seams or the zippers. These are frequent causes of your product breaking down. Most of the time, the manufacturers do a good job on the fabric so that it is already durable. Unfortunately, there is only so much that one can do to protect the zipper.

The zipper is one of the things people most often forget to check. Over time the teeth misalign and are no longer able to zip up your vest. The Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest has a storm flap that is designed to keep the integrity of the zipper. This flap is simply a piece of fabric that can be pulled over the zipper to protect it.

This is ideal for people who are going to be out in the elements. The storm flap can protect the zipper from the wind and other outside elements. This will prevent early signs of aging and rusting on the zipper, ensuring that your Outdoor Research Ascendant vest can last a very long time.

Zippered Chest Pocket

Every time people need to leave the house, they have to bring quite a few things with them. Most people do not carry bags or purses if they are only bringing their wallet, keys, and phone. Having pockets in your vest and other clothing will come in handy so you can place your items into your pockets. This will free your hands up without worrying that you have left something behind.

The Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest has multiple pockets where you can place your items. There is a pocket on each side that functions also have hand warmers. These pockets are designed to be deep enough to fit your entire hand. There is also an additional pocket located on the chest of the Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest.

This pocket was designed to give you quick access to your smartphone. This is ideal for people who are not wearing watches as they can quickly pull it out to check the time or answer a phone call. This particular pocket also has a zipper on it, ensuring that your valuables won’t drop out as you move.

Bottom Line

The Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest is going to protect you wherever you may go. The waterproof capabilities of this vest are going to help prevent water from entering your inner layers. This will help prevent you from becoming damp and chilled through. The insulating layer of this vest will also ensure that you maintain a level of warmth during your activities.

The zippered pockets will ensure that valuables do not drop out. This is especially important if you plan on exercising or doing activities that may require a lot of movement. Using the zippered chest pocket will ensure you do not lose valuable items. While the vest warms your body up, the materials have breathable layers to ensure that you do not overheat.

There are multiple colors and sizes for the Outdoor Research Ascendant Vest. This will allow you to pick and choose something you like. It is important to remember that this product fits on the slimmer side, so you may need to purchase one side up if you plan on moving around in it.