Gear Review: How Outdoor Research Changed My Mind (and My Wardrobe)

man in blue jacket standing on cliff and facing river in between rock mountain during daytime

Up until recently, I had not heard of Outdoor Research. Now, I cannot stop telling people about how comfortable their products are. When I’m given the opportunity to test out something new, I almost always say yes. Sometimes I regret it. Sometimes I don’t. I do not regret the decision to try out three products from Outdoor Research. As I got my skeptical hands on a few Outdoor Research products, I didn’t know my brand loyalty was about to change big time. Below I reveal why the Astroman Air Sun Hoodie and Air Short Sleeve are perfect for a day in the outdoors. I also explain why the Swift Lite Tech Cap is my new favorite hat – spoiler it’s the item I was least excited for.

Astroman Air Short Sleeve

Outdoor Research sent me the Astroman Air Short Sleeve because they were out of stock with the Astroman Air Sun Hoodie. That should immediately tell you how nice the Sun Hoodie is but more on that in a moment. My aforementioned skepticism immediately turned to awe as I put this shirt on for the first time. First off, the shirt fit without any question. This let me know I can be confident when ordering from Outdoor Research that I don’t have to fuss with returns etc. due to sizing issues. To give context, I’m 5’8″ and about 175lbs. and a Medium was perfect for me.

My first test involved a day of being out in the glorious sunshine simply playing some football with my kids. The Astroman Air Short Sleeve allows me to have a smooth non-restricted range of motion in my throwing and reaching due to its durable, lightweight, and stretchy material (recycled nylon). It wasn’t too long until my kids started making fun of me for wearing it too often. Then again, I pretty much did that with all the items they sent. I guess I’m kind of like a cartoon character. I just wear the same outfit whenever you see me now. This sucker is perfect for hikes and enjoying the sunshine. It also offers UV protection featuring UPF 30+(50+ in darker color options).

Astroman Air Sun Hoodie

I didn’t expect it, but Outdoor Research still sent me the Sun Hoodie a few weeks ago. On a golf course in Iowa, I realized how awesome this Hoodie is. The Iowa wind was whipping that beautiful day, and the Astroman Air Sun Hoodie was the perfect match for the weather. Not only is the Air Sun Hoodie stylish and breathable, but it also protected my skin from the 72-degree sun that would have otherwise guaranteed a burn on my fresh out of winter skin.

I only wish I would have had this clothing option for my treks in Colorado last summer. It is quick drying and features a 3-panel hood that is “strategically positioned laser perforated holes for breathability”. The hood stays in place well when in use too. It doesn’t just blow off my head which surprises me as there are no strings for adjustment.

This article of clothing is the ultimate option for those seeking long treks deep in the mountains, but it is also perfect for days where you can’t decide if you need a hoodie or not while out on the lake fishing. I can tell you this, I will have it with me all summer while I repeatedly cast hoping for the next big Muskie to hit.

Swift Lite Tech Cap

Finally, we get to the Swift Lite Tech Cap. This is the most surprising item on the list for me because I am VERY stingy about what hats grace my head. I tend to stick with certain brands, and lately my kick has been low sitting net style hats from Legacy. So, imagine when I try on the Swift Lite Tech Cap thinking there is no possible way I’m going to like this to “Where is my Outdoor Research hat?” because I just have to wear it. The thing I love about this cap is it just gives me a different style. This will be a golf mainstay for me this summer, and I’ve even worn it working out.

This hat is so ridiculously lightweight that I sometimes practically forget I’m wearing it. My wife gives me new looks while it’s on too, but I’ll keep that to myself. The Swift Lite Tech Cap pairs well with both the Astroman shirts listed above and they make a great combo. I’ll admit when I first saw it, I thought it looked like a women’s running cap, but no. Trust me on this one. It’s a really great hat whether just enjoying the outdoors or swinging away on the golf course. Plus, it offers phenomenal breathability, UPF30, and the perfect amount of stretch.


There you have it. It didn’t take long for my initial skepticism of Outdoor Research to turn into fanboyism if I can make up that word. I’m looking forward to some great workouts, expeditions, and chill time with this new gear. If you are on the fence about it, give them a shot. I can guarantee you’ll love the product.

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