The forecast called for sunshine, but we woke to overcast skies that threatened rain. A leisurely morning in camp gave it time to clear, and some friends that came down from Moab reported it was pouring up there. Around noon, it didn’t look much better, but certainly seemed climbable, so we headed up to the Cat Wall to chase as much warmth as we could find. Knowing the skies could surprise us at any time, I packed my new Outdoor Research Havoc jacket, which turned out to be just the ticket for what the day would bring.
With temps in the 40′s, and an overcast sky, the climbing was perfect but belaying certainly got a little chilly. Enter the Havoc. I popped this thing on between routes and stayed as toasty as I needed. The synthetic Primaloft ECO insulation doesn’t look like much, but it packs a powerful punch, providing a plethora of heat. (It’s also made from 50% recycled materials, which is nice.) The Gore Windstopper fabric adds to the warmth, effectively cutting the wind chill to zero inside the jacket. And when the sky started dropping water bombs on us, despite the weatherman’s empty promise of no precipitation that day, the jacket shed the moisture without effort.
I’ve since worn it on colder days, as well as skiing, and it’s a true all arounder, though the hood wont fit over a ski helmet (climbing helmets are fine.) While not as toasty as some of the warmer down jackets I have, this thing holds its own, especially given its weight and low bulk. And for those days when the weather looks unsure, you can rest assured that you’ll have the protection you need should the skies decide to give you a little surprise. If you’re looking for a new synthetic jacket, you should give the Havoc a look, as it’s a solid performer ideal for anyone who spends time in wet and cool climates.
Retail is $225. For full specs check out the Outdoor Research site.
Disclaimer: This product was provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!