Outdoor Research Credo Jacket
April 10, 2007
Seattle, Wa, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
210 lb (95.30 kg)
I've been hiking and camping since I was four, in most of the United States. I've been backpacking for five years, particularly in Northwest Washington, United States. I spend most of my time in North Cascades National Park or Olympic National Park. My average trip length is three days, averaging 10 miles per day (16 km). My average pack load without food and water is 25 to 32 lb (11.3 kg to 14.5 kg).
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
|Courtesy of Outdoor Research|
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.orgear.com
Listed Weight: 18.2 oz (515 g)
Measured Weight: 18.5 oz (524 g)
Warranty: Lifetime against manufacturer's defects
The Outdoor Research Credo is a soft shell jacket designed for three-season conditions. It is marketed toward all outdoor activities.
The external material is nylon treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. The internal material is a soft lightweight fleece. The inside of the collar is a tricot fabric, which is quite soft on the neck. The majority of the seams are taped for water resistance. The seams are taped either externally or internally. There is no tape on the seam attaching the collar to the body of the jacket. However, this does not seem to affect the water resistance.
There are four pockets in the jacket. There are two external waist pockets, one external Napoleon pocket and one internal pocket. The internal pocket is sewn into the Napoleon pocket and separated by a layer of mesh. The exterior pockets are accessed through small, weather resistant, YKK zippers. When zipped up, the zippers are covered by overlapping pieces of smooth rubber, which keeps water off the zipper itself. The area surrounding the zippers is a bumpy rubber which covers the seams and adds texture. It also makes the zipper easy to find and operate. The inside of the pockets are made of mesh. There is a large gauge mesh covered by a thin gauge mesh. This keeps small objects in the pockets from poking through. The pockets are sewn to the body of the jacket and reinforced at the corners with small, circular, rubber patches. The pockets also act as ventilation, which is good in this jacket, as I find it warm.
The full body zipper is a large two-way YKK zipper. The zipper is covered by a storm flap. The zippers have abrasive fabric tabs attached to them, making them easy to operate with gloves or mittens on. The storm flap is secured at the top and bottom with small oval hook and loop fastener patches. The two-way zipper and storm flap design allows for opening in the middle for ventilation with moderate weather protection.
The waist and collar are adjustable via drawcords. The waist drawcords have cord locks on the left and right sides of the jacket. The neck drawcord has one lock, located on the back of the neck. The cord locks are sewn to the body with small nylon straps, which makes it easy to grab the cord and tighten with one hand. The drawcord holes are reinforced with rubber patches, making the construction strong. The neck drawcord and lock are hidden under a small patch of fabric, which keeps rain water from seeping in the holes. The waist draw cords are internal, so there is no risk of water getting in.
The cuffs have hook and loop fasteners and are the only thing I do not like about the jacket. They are long patches, allowing for a moderately secure hold. However, when the cuffs are cinched down against the wrist the fabric bunches, which allows water to get in. The jacket isn't meant to be worn in heavy rain, so this is only a minor problem.
I have used this jacket for six months, on numerous day hikes, and one impromptu overnight in a snow storm. The trips took place in Snoqualmie Pass, Mount Rainier National Park, and on various walks around Seattle. The temperatures ranged from sub-freezing to around 60 F (15 C) with elevations at sea level to around 3500' (1067 m). It was subjected to heavy rainfall and moderate snow. The jacket held up well in all conditions.
The jacket was used as an outer layer during a cave hike with heavy waterfall from the cave ceiling. It repelled water for nearly two hours. I did find that when the cuff was cinched, enough water would drip into the cuff that it would soak my forearm. After leaving the cave, it was subjected to moderate snow fall with heavy winds. It was then used under a hard shell for an insulating layer, over my mid-weight base layer, and under my hard shell. It transferred moisture well while keeping heat in. Due to weather conditions, I was forced to spend the night in the car with no heat, in below freezing temperatures. This jacket was the only upper-body clothing piece that had dried out so that I could wear it. Which means, it dries remarkably fast, even in cold damp conditions. The jacket probably kept me from getting hypothermia. In the end, the jacket showed no signs of wear after the trip, even after being dragged against rough cave walls and glissading down snowy slopes.
I've also used the jacket in moderately warm weather. This was done on trails with little elevation gain and clear skies. The jacket seems to be too warm above 60 F (15 C) while wearing a mid-weight base layer. This leads me to believe that in cool to warm weather while hiking trails with high elevation gain, the jacket and a mid-weight base layer would be too warm. Unzipping the pockets does help with ventilation, but not enough for me to want to wear it in those situations.
The wind stopping power and breathability of this jacket are excellent. It transferred moisture well from my base layer to the outside of the jacket. I was never soaked in sweat during a hike. During heavy winds, it held up well, as I never felt the wind through the jacket.
As far as durability is concerned, I did have a problem after three months of use. The seam taping started peeling off one of the back seams. This was not caused by a snag or any maltreatment on my part, but rather, it seemed to be a manufacturer defect. I took it to Outdoor Research and they said they had seen it happen on a few jackets. It was repaired for me, free of charge, in 10 days. I haven't had a problem since.
Lastly, the fit is excellent. Right off the shelf, it fit me like a glove. Being a tall person, I find that most jackets are too short in the body and sleeve for me. This is not the case with this jacket. I am able to lift my arms above my head without the waist coming up too far and the sleeves coming down too low. The jacket moves well with my body, and doesn't inhibit motion.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
-Hook and loop fasteners on cuffs
-Warm for summer use
I would definitely recommend the Outdoor Research Credo jacket. As a three season soft shell, it is an excellent value.
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