OR Aspire Super Stretch Jacket

A Guide’s Review of the OR Aspire Super Stretch Jacket

Gore-Tex is not known for its flexibility. On the contrary, it’s known to be stiff and crinkly. Enter the Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch jacket. Lightweight and waterproof, its four way stretch panel and Torso Flow make this simple looking jacket into a surprise performer. 

Staying Dry in the OR Aspire Super Stretch Jacket


  • Material: Gore-Tex Paclite. 
  • Weight: 411 grams
  • Size Tested: XL 
  • Country of Origin: Vietnam 

What is the OR Aspire Super Stretch?

The Outdoor Research, hereafter OR, Aspire Super Stretch jacket is a simple looking lightweight rain jacket with some very surprising features. Functional on the trail and good looking in town, the proven Gore-Tex Paclite keeps you dry on large downpours, even if the DWR wets out.

A 4 way stretch panel on the back allows for some extra movement in dynamic situations. Velcro cuffs, adjustable hem and hood drawcords, and OR’s fantastic Torso Flow allow customization of fit.  

This is a full featured rain jacket for hikers and trekkers on the wet weather go.

The OR Aspire Super Stretch Jacket masquerading as a poncho

What is Gore-Tex Paclite?

Gore-Tex Paclite is a lightweight 2 layer membrane with a DWR repellent. IT is designed for lighter duty activities, in this case, hiking. It’s meant to balance lightweight with durability so if you find yourself bushwhacking in the rain a lot, not only do you need to question your trip planning, but you may want to look into a heavier duty Gore. For regular trekking and hiking, it is an exceptionally good material. 

For more on Paclite, head on over to Gore-Tex themselves. 

4 Way Stretch Panel

On the back resting between the shoulder blades is a 4 way stretch panel made of 37% Nylon, 44% Polyester, 19% Elastane.

The material is designed in something of a waffle pattern. Just like the Gore-Tex Paclite found throughout the rest of the jacket, the 4 way stretch panel keeps dry after repeated soaks. It allows for some extra movement, most noticeable when reaching high with trekking poles and when worn under a pack. It is not a massive difference, but it is there. I feel the Torso Flow is the real star of the show.

Torso Flow or a Gore-Tex Poncho

The OR Aspire Super Stretch features Torso Flow. Torso Flow is a two way zipper that runs from the elbow all the way to the hem. You can open the pit zips into monster vents, but where I found they shone the best, was making the jacket into a semi-poncho.

Zip up from the bottom all the way to the elbow on both arms. This turns the bottom of the jacket into a pseudo-poncho. You can put your backpack waist strap under, and even easily put your hands in your pocket. There’s no wrinkles, bumps, or anything to keep water from beading right off the jacket. It may sound silly, but works exceptionally well. 


The OR Aspire Super Stretch jacket punches well above its weight. That said, it isn’t the lightest on the market, but jackets with these kinds of features never are. They often eschew simple things like pockets, and that’s a no go for me. 

OR not only includes the hand pockets, but they also have Torso Flow. At first, I thought it was a gimmick. After a solid week of guiding in the rain, I found it indispensable. My hands are often cold so I like to hike with them in my pocket. Arms close to my body, waist belt done up tight all mean that there are a lot of pressure points on a rain jacket to allow for leaks. The Torso Flow allows the jacket to sit above everything, doing its job, and not allowing water through via pressure. 

The Stretch panel is a nice addition and adds a little extra comfort on those big reaches where steps are high or your trail gets rugged and your have to climb a ladder. 

The OR Aspire Stretch Jacket is a fantastic rain shell for those looking for new to stay dry with proven materials.

Who is the OR Aspire Super Stretch jacket for?

Hikers and trekkers that need an unconventional rain jacket to keep them dry with a modest weight. 

Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free OR Aspire Super Stretch jacket to review. This in no way affected our opinion nor the review.