Outdoor Research’s Deviator is a super lightweight hooded jacket which is highly technical, using a combination of cutting edge lightweight softshell and insulation fabrics in tandem with plenty of stretch. It is a garment that aims to give the wearer reliable warmth and wind resistance without sacrificing weight and breathability. The sleek super stretchy fit is technical too, but not over tight, with the high level of stretch giving excellent mobility and the jacket lends itself to high energy activities where breathability and freedom of movement are key.

Lara Dunn’s Best in Test

This is a highly technical and warm midlayer that also works well as a stand alone jacket and doesn’t come with a weight penalty.
  • Stretchy
  • Lightweight
  • Very breathable
  • Could use a drawcord of some sort
Quick specs
Price: £200
Weight: 341g (women’s large)
Materials: stretch shell 90% nylon/10% elastane, wind resistant shell 95% polyester/5% elastane, lining 100% polyester – VerticalX Octa, ActiveTemp fabrics
Hood: same fabrics as body with soft peak
Cuffs: soft stretch, same fabrics as body
Hem: same stretch fabrics as body
Pockets: 2 x handwarmer, 1 x chest
Sizes: XS-XXL
Women’s/Men’s version: both

The fabrics are zoned – a stretch knit fluffy fleece lining backs the wind resistant ultralight softshell panels at the front, hood, shoulders and tops of sleeves, giving high levels of warmth for the weight. In contrast to these warmer panels are the highly breathable and moisture wicking stretch waffle knit panels of the rest of the jacket.

In wear, the Outdoor Research Deviator is light and superbly stretchy, giving a surprising level of warmth for its weight, although it is definitely a jacket best suited to cool or warmer temperatures on its own, rather than overly cold, but does layer up beautifully under a waterproof shell thanks to its low bulk fit. Runners and fast hikers will appreciate the levels of breathability and moisture transport, and it’s a super light and compact option for popping into a rucksack for changeable days.

The wind resistant panels do a great job and the inclusion of these panels on the shoulders does give the jacket a bit more protection from rucksack straps too, although the breathability of the back panel is inherently compromised by a pack. It’s a highly technical and warm midlayer that also works well as a stand alone jacket and doesn’t come with a weight penalty.