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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Outdoor Research Transcendent Vest > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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Transcendent Vest

Test Series by
Ryan Christensen

Last Update - December 23, 2013

Transcendent Pewter Transcendent Lemongrass Transcendent Glacier Transcendent Black Transcendent Earth
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December 23, 2013
February 2014
April 2014

December 23, 2013

Reviewer Information Backpacking Background
Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  49
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below came from the Outdoor Research website and product tags.

Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Manufacturer website:
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2013
Materials: Shell: 100% polyester
Lining: 100% nylon
Insulation: 650-fill down: 80% Goose Down 20% Feathers
Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large, XL, and XXL
Colors Available: Pewter\Lemongrass, Lemongrass\Evergreen, Glacier (blue), Black, Earth\Caf (brown)

Outdoor Research Infinite Guarantee

OR Guarantee
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"We believe so strongly in the quality of the apparel and gear we make that if our product fails to meet your needs at any time, we are happy to replace it. Our products are guaranteed forever, and your total satisfaction with our product is our goal."
$149 US

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Weight: Listed Average Weight: 9.4 oz (267 g) [Large]
Tester's Actual Measurements
Weight: 11.4 oz (322 g) [Men's XXL]

Product Description:

The Transcendent vest, hereafter referred to as the "Transcendent" or "vest," is a lightweight, down-filled vest. I received the pewter\lemongrass color. The pewter is a medium gray color whereas the lemongrass is a bright yellow green color. The exterior shell is pewter. The accent trim and interior lining are lemongrass. On the front of the vest, there is an Outdoor Research logo (OR) embroidered in lemongrass-colored thread on the left breast. On the back, the words Outdoor Research are embroidered in lemongrass-colored thread on the right shoulder.

The vest has a full-length front zipper, which includes a zipper garage at the top and a storm flap behind the zipper. There is grosgrain ("a heavy, corded ribbon or cloth of silk or rayon") sewn on the exterior of the storm flap alongside the zipper. It is my belief this is to help mitigate zipper snags. Additional features include a nearly hidden zippered Napoleon pocket on the left breast and two zippered hand-warmer pockets on the outside. Inside, there are two pockets. The vest can be stuffed in one of these pockets for greater packability. The armholes and the top of both interior pockets have an elasticized trim. Inside the standup collar, there is a strip of brushed material for added comfort. This strip is approximately 2 inches (5 cm) wide. What a nice touch of quality. The hem has a drawstring with two captive cord locks, one on each side. Using the cordlocks, the wearer can cinch the bottom of the waist tighter to prevent drafts, etc.

Inside the vest, there are five tags. In the center of the collar, there are two. One is a hangtag with the manufacturer's name and the other tag has the size and place of manufacture listed. The other three product tags are located on the left side, near the hem, in the side seam. One of these three tags lists materials and care instructions in several languages.


  • Machine wash cold separately, rinse thoroughly
  • Do not bleach
  • Do not use fabric softener
  • Tumble dry low or line dry in shade
  • Do not iron
  • Do not dry clean

Initial Impression:

The first thing about the vest that caught my attention was its bright accent and lining color, lemongrass; it was as expected. Next, the lightness of the vest caught my attention. This 650-fill down vest is a puffy that is not over-the-top puffy. This means I do not look like a marshmallow man. The Transcendent is a basic lightweight insulative vest with all the necessities.

Initial Testing:

After removing the vest from the box it arrived in, I examined it for noticeable flaws. The vest appears to be well constructed of high quality materials and workmanship. I did not find any loose seams, fraying material or other noticeable defects in materials or workmanship. Next, I donned the vest to check sizing--it fit quite nicely. Finally, I checked all zippers and drawcords; they worked smoothly. I wore the vest under a softshell jacket one day to work and it worked great as a mid layer. There is no durable waterproof treatment listed. I'll be curious to see whether the vest will shed moisture. I can't wait to get the Transcendent out into the Idaho winter for some real testing.

Initial Pros:

Initial Potential Cons:

  • stylish look
  • lightweight
  • brushed material inside collar
  • number of pockets
  • size of pockets
  • nothing at this time

This concludes my Initial Report on the Outdoor Research Transcendent vest. Thanks to Outdoor Research and for allowing me to participate in this test series.
Please check back in approximately two months for some real test results.

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