Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket

Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket

The Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket is a great budget choice for anyone looking for a versatile, breathable mid-layer for hiking, skiing, and around town.

Its hybrid mapped construction puts rigid, stretchy, breathable polyester Schoeller panels under the arms, across the back, and in the hood to optimize movement and breathability. At the same time, water-resistant 60g PrimaLoft One synthetic insulation provides adequate warmth for brisk predawn starts and breezy afternoons.


The Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket is a warm and breathable mid-layer that can be used for multiple activities in various weather conditions. It’s also lightweight and compressible, making it ideal for traveling or a day on the trail.

The Cathode uses 60 g/m2 of PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation paired with a Pertex Quantum shell material. This combination of premier insulation and a super-light shell makes it one of our review’s lightest and most versatile jackets.

The outer shell is also highly durable and abrasion resistant, with no significant zipper wear after extensive field use. The Pertex Quantum is the industry leader in synthetic shell fabric, and it deftly fends off precipitation without a DWR coating.


The Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket balances the needs of a versatile mid-layer with wind-resistant shell fabric and breathable panels that optimize mobility and breathability while keeping you warm. It is an excellent choice for chilly belays, climbing, and even light skiing or snowshoeing.

The Pertex Quantum shell is a high-quality synthetic with abrasion resistance and a lightweight feel. It also resists water, but the lining will get wet if heavy rain or your movements are strenuous.

Another advantage of the Pertex Quantum is its incredibly breathable, with a standard DWR treatment (which will eventually wear out). The stretchy side panels cut weight and let heat escape, but they aren’t designed to prevent dripping when you move, so you can expect some warmth loss while active in cooler weather.

This hybrid construction makes the Men’s Cathode Hoody ideal for activities in cold, wet alpine environments. The Schoeller underarm side panels are stretchy and breathable. At the same time, 60g PrimaLoft One insulation throughout the rest of the jacket insulates without bulk or overheating, and a close-fitting hood conserves heat on high-mountain ascents and descents.


The Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket is designed for cold, wet alpine environments where breathable warmth is essential. A hybrid-mapped construction puts suitable fabrics in the right places to optimize movement and breathability. Hybrid-mapped Schoeller underarm side panels stretch and breathe through crux moves, while water-resistant PrimaLoft Gold insulation insulates without bulk.

The jacket’s Pertex Quantum outer is a durable, lightweight synthetic shell fabric highly resistant to wind and moderate precipitation. A standard DWR treatment protects the jacket against light rain and snow but must be reapplied after many uses or washings.

It has all the features you want for a versatile, warm, and comfortable mid-layer. The hood is climbing helmet-compatible with a single toggle for fit dialing and pockets on the shoulders, cuffs, and chest. The jacket packs well into a small bag with a clip-in loop for easy clipping to a harness or backpack.


The Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket is comfortable, lightweight equipment for climbing or belaying in cold weather. The combination of PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation, a Pertex Quantum shell material, and breathable side panels means you can stay warm without a sweat.

This isn’t the lightest insulated jacket on the market, but it comes in at 11.4 oz, better than some competitors, such as the Patagonia Nano Puff and Arc’teryx Atom LT. It also compresses to a compact size, and its left-hand pocket can be used as a stuff sack or clipped to your pack when you don’t need it on the go.

The jacket’s hood is insulated, and a toggle and single adjustable hem let you synch it down to your neck, so you don’t lose too much heat when climbing or belaying. The sleeves have stretchy side panels to help with breathability, and a zippered chest pocket makes it easy to stash your keys or other essentials.