APPLICATION TO TEST OUTDOOR RESEARCH WOMENS PARADOX JACKET - Jo Ann Moffi
- APPLICATION TO TEST OUTDOOR RESEARCH WOMEN'S PARADOX JACKET
Date: November 1, 2006
I have read and understand the requirements for testing as outlined in
The BackpackerGear.org Bylaws v 0609, including Chapters 4 & 5. I
agree to comply with the testing and report requirements. I have
signed and submitted my tester agreement to the address indicated on
the agreement, but I have yet to receive confirmation of its arrival.
If chosen to test this product, I would prefer the jacket in a Women's
size XL. My color choices are Coffee, Delphi, and finally Fireweed.
Name: Jo Ann Moffi
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Email address: jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, and Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my
husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking,
and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We
live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both
countries for our outdoor excursions. My most recent foray has been
into Adventure Racing. When making a decision on gear, I like to go
lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around extraneous
bits and pieces.
Proposed Gear Testing Locations: Northern Ontario and Michigan
Description of Locations:
Sault Ste Marie area:
Much of my planned hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures
for this winter will occur in the Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding
area. This area contains a range of forest types including red and
white pine old-growth forests and dense boreal stands of jack pine and
spruce linked by a network of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Some of the
areas I frequent include: Algoma Highlands, Hiawatha Highlands, the
Voyager Hiking Trail, Lake Superior Provincial Park Coastal Trail, and
Searchmont Ski Resort. Elevations range from 61 m (200 ft) to 549 m
It is also possible I would spend some time in the State Parks and
National Forests of Northern Michigan. The terrain in these areas
consists of rolling hills forested with northern hardwoods, white pine
and hemlock; flatland covered by red pine, jack pine and aspen, and
large open and tree covered wetlands. Areas I frequent in Michigan
include: Lake Superior State Forest, Hiawatha National Forest, and
Taquamenon Falls State Park. Elevations range from 183 m (600 ft) to
396 m (1300 ft).
The winter weather in Northern Ontario can range from cold sunny days,
blustery overcast days with snow squalls, to the magical, quiet snow
dump days where we get 15.24-30.48 cm (6-12 in) within a couple of
hours, and just about everything in between (no hurricanes or tornados
here though!). We average 15 days of snowfall per month from December
to March. January and February bring bitter cold temperatures. As
spring approaches, the snow turns to rain and nature's `spring
clean-up' begins to wash away the inevitably dirty snow. We get an
average of 10 days a month of rain from March to May. From mid
November to mid April, the temperature does not usually creep above 0 C.
Wind direction from October to March comes from the East with average
speeds of about 15 km/h (9.32 mi/h). In April, the direction changes
to coming from the Northwest and averages 13 km/h (8.07 mi/h). We
have days where the wind coming off of Lake Superior is exceptionally
strong, especially in the spring and fall. Just last week we had 90
km/h (56 mi/h) winds for two days!
The relative humidity hovers between 70 and 80% for this area, with
the spring being at the lower end of the scale and late fall/early
winter being at the higher end of the scale. Our hours of sunshine
range from the lowest of about 60 hours a month during December to
closer to 300 hours a month in July.
Climate normals for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and area:
MONTH AVG MIN TEMP AVG MAX TEMP
January -14 C (15.8 F) -5 C (23 F)
February - 15 C (5 F) -4 C (24.8 F)
March -9 C (15.8 F) 1 C (33.8 F)
April -1 C (30.2 F) 9 C (48.2 F)
May 3 C (37.4 F) 16 C (61 F)
June 8 C (46.4 F) 21 C (70 F)
July 11 C (52 F) 24 C (75 F)
August 11 C (52 F) 23 C (73 F)
September 8 C (46.4 F) 18 C (64 F)
October 3 C (46.4 F) 12 C (54 F)
November -2 C (28.4 F) 4 C (39.2 F)
December -10 C (14 F) -2 C (28.4 F)
MONTH RAIN SNOW
January 6 mm (0.24 in) 85 cm (33.46 in)
February 5 mm (0.2 in) 54 cm (21.26 in)
March 29 mm (1.14 in) 34 cm (13.39 in)
April 49 mm (1.93 in) 15 cm (5.91 in)
May 69 mm (2.72 in) 1 cm (0.39 in)
June 83 mm (3.27 in) 0
July 66 mm (2.6 in) 0
August 85 mm (3.35 in) 0
September 95 mm (3.74 in) 0
October 77 mm (3.03 in) 6 cm (2.36 in)
November 52 mm (2.05 in) 41 cm (16.14 in)
December 17 mm (0.67 in) 81 cm (31.89 in)
The average annual snowfall for the Algoma district exceeds 3 m (10
ft). In addition, both the Michigan and Ontario shores of Lake
Superior are subject to lake effect snow. Frequent and unexpected
large volume snowfall is common over and above the average snowfall
for the area. This trend occurs to about 12.42 km (20 mi) inland from
I have several different strategies for hiking/backpacking:
* Fast adventure race training treks
* Slower day hikes
* Overnight backpack trip with a daypack
* 2-4 day trip with a weekender backpack
I also run 3-4 times per week and bike 1-2 times per week as part of
my regular fitness regime.
My hiking and backpacking plans are for the most part 'on a whim'. I
frequently decide on a Thursday or Friday while at work to take off
for the weekend into the outdoors. (The joys of being self employed
with no children!) My family also has a cottage on Lake Superior, so a
lot of day hikes occur from that location.
As the winter season approaches, plans for winter camping are firming
up. We have four trips in the works so far:
1. Mabel Lake Backcountry. An overnight trip to get our feet wet
(hopefully not literally!) for the winter camping season. We are
building a pulk this year and this will be the first try out of our
2. Lake Mijinemungshing. 2 nights either snowshoeing or cross-country
skiing, depending on the snow conditions.
3. Lake Superior Coastal Trail. 2 or 3 nights, most likely snowshoeing.
4. Lake Mijinemungshing. Second trip to this lake to satisfy the
husband's need for ice fishing in February, most likely 2 nights here
We are planning for these trips to occur between mid to late December
2006 and March 2007. It is entirely possible for me to make sure
there are enough trips to adequately test the jacket if it does not
arrive in time to coincide with these trips. My husband has rubber
arms that are very easy to twist when it comes to any outdoor
Activities that I will be doing this winter include hiking,
snowshoeing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and cross country skiing.
I have one planned 5-8 hour winter adventure race in January 2007 at
the Mansfield Outdoor Center in Bark Lake, Ontario. I will endeavor to
wear the jacket at all possible opportunities involving outdoor
activities throughout the test period. The activities I participate
in would give it a good workout in more than just backpacking and
hiking. I play soccer on occasion, toss around balls for my dogs on
our daily walks, and play outdoors with my nephews.
I currently have two jackets that I alternate between for my outdoor
activities requiring wind resistance. I am unhappy to say that
neither functions to my complete satisfaction. I would love the
opportunity to test this jacket's suitability for its intended
purpose. The weather conditions in my area would put the majority of
the testing for this jacket at the extreme end of its function, often
Some questions I would like to answer for the Outdoor Research Women's
Paradox Jacket (herein after called the jacket):
How does the jacket fit?
Is it consistent with the sizing indicated on the manufacturer's website?
Does it allow for me to lift my arms above my head without creeping up
my torso and exposing my back?
Are the sleeves of adequate length, or do they creep up when my arms
are extended in front of me?
How comfortable is the jacket when it is zipped up all the way? Do I
get chaffing on my chin from the zipper?
How does the fabric hold up when wearing a backpack?
Are there rub marks from shoulder and waist straps on the jacket?
How are the seams and stitching, do they hold up as I would expect?
What happens if the fabric is accidentally caught on a branch or other
How does the zipper hold up?
This jacket is quite light at 298 g (10.5 oz). (The recently posted
test call for the GoLite Xirtam jacket is 370 g (13 oz)). Has
anything been sacrificed to get this jacket to be so light?
Waterproof and windproof features:
How much rain can I expose this jacket to rain and still remain dry?
(I realize it's not advertised as a waterproof jacket, but I'd still
like to know if it could function in this manner.)
Is it as windproof when wet as it is when dry?
Does the zipper keep the rain out?
How does the jacket function after cleaning/washing (following the
manufacturer's recommendations of course), is it still as effective in
keeping out the wind?
Does the 40D ripstop nylon breathe as advertised?
When I sweat, does it allow for some drying of the sweat?
Does it get stinky like some fabrics can after sweating in them?
Just how warm is it?
Can it be worn as an outer shell in snowy conditions, or is this
pushing the envelope for its function and warmth?
What are the temperature ranges it can be worn without a mid layer?
Can it easily be incorporated into my layering system?
Other features of the jacket:
A big beef of mine is the 'catchy' feeling that some soft fabrics can
have when chapped or dry skin rubs up against it. Does the brushed
tricot lining of the jacket catch on dry spots of my skin?
I don't like a loud jacket that distracts from the sounds of nature
around me. Does the 40D ripstop nylon mean I am going to be quiet
when wearing it, or am I going to sound like a pair of corduroy pants
in the 90s?
Does the fabric in the tricot-lined handwarmer pockets catch on
Can the laminated hook/loop tabs on the cuffs be operated with cold
fingers? What about gloved fingers?
Can the dual drawcords at the hem be operated with cold and/or gloved
How complicated is it to care for the jacket?
Does the jacket pack up small when I don't need to be wearing it?
I'm sure more questions will arise if I get the opportunity to test
Previously Written Reports:
Reviews Written by Jo Ann Moffi
Gear I'm Currently Testing and It's Progress:
Red Ledge Covert Fleece Vest (awaiting delivery)
Wigwam INgenius Hiker Socks
Wigwam Merino Wool/Silk Hiker Socks
DeFeet Classico Socks
DeFeet Blaze Socks
Outdoor Research Snowline Mitts
Valandre 700 Sleeping Bag
I have sufficient time to test and report on the Outdoor Research
Women's Paradox Jacket, as outlined above. I spend enough time in the
outdoors to test these items at different times in a variety of
Thank you to BackpackGearTest for considering my application to test
the Outdoor Research Women's Paradox Jacket.