Review by Anna
Bottom Line: I would buy this jacket at outlet, possibly sale pricing
Manufacturer's intended purpose: Rock Climbing, Hiking, Backpacking, Backcountry Skiing, Ice Climbing, Alpine Climbing
Actual Weight: 9.0 oz / 254 g
Mfg Retail: $185
This jacket received a lot of hype from OR and from various reviewers, including Backpacker Magazine and Runner's world. Of course, I wanted to try it. While it has its place and is a great jacket, it is not nearly as versatile as I hoped it would be.
My first gripe is the fit. I am consistently a medium in OR women’s tops. I ordered my size accordingly. I am thinking I should have gone with a large. This jacket is supposed to be a little more form fitting than the average jacket. However, it is really tight on my arms and chest. I don’t have huge arms. They aren’t tiny, maybe on the larger size of medium. But really, if I wear anything other than a tank top or non-wool long sleeve under it, whatever shirt I am wearing ends up bunched up in my armpits until I fix the situation. Ain’t nobody got time for that! It is annoying.
Also, it is just a half inch to an inch too short for me to really be happy with the length. If you read this review and decide to purchase this jacket, I would order a size up than your normal size. Unless you have tiny arms and small boobs, then go with your regular size.
So far, this jacket has survived unscathed. I wore it on my week long trip to Utah so that is something. It has been a faithful ski mid layer (until I tore my ACL and stopped skiing last winter). I also went bushwhacking in it. Overall, my impression in the 7 months I have owned this is that it will be a tough one to destroy. If I get over my issues with it so I wear it enough to get to that point.
This jacket does well at providing a lot of breathable warmth in a non-bulky, lightweight package. It is not going to keep you warm if you are standing around. It did keep me warm while I was skinning up a mountain in near 0 degree weather though.
This jacket isn’t going to compress much. However, as there is not a lot to it to begin with. It does not zip into a pocket (in fact there are no zippers on the pockets at all) or come with a stuff sack. Realistically, you probably won’t take this off much if conditions are such that you are wearing it.
This jacket won’t do much for you in a wind and/or rain storm. However, it offers excellent breathability.
Ok, here it comes. The complaining. I absolutely cannot stand the fabric OR used on the sleeves of this jacket. It statics itself to everything. Especially wool. Because no one that spends time outdoors would ever wear wool. I cannot wear this with any of my wool base layers unless I want to spend time trying to unbunch my sleeves. And after that, have fun taking it off as it clings to your base layer for dear life. It is also very uncomfortable over a t shirt. As mentioned before, ain’t nobody got time for pulling your t shirt sleeves out of your arm pits. That said, if I am wearing a synthetic base layer or tank top, then no problem. It makes it hard for me to choose to take this on a trip over another jacket. What if I want to wear both wool and synthetic base layers in the 2 weeks I am gone? I want one jacket that plays nice with all of my materials. If I am going for a day trip, and dress accordingly, then it is great.
Also, there are no zippers on the pockets. Stuff falls out of them. It is annoying.
On the positive side, the hood is super cozy, even though it is the same fabric as the sleeves. Fortunately, it has not made my hair static-ie yet. Also, if you can get over the frustrating fabric long enough to actually get the jacket on, the thumb holes are very well constructed.
Manufacturer Warranty (9)
I have not felt compelled to submit this jacket to OR for any repairs. However, considering my past experiences with this company, I would imagine that they would take care of any problems I may have.
Lindsay really liked the grey version of this jacket. We wear the same size so I gave her my purple one to try on first. She then elected not to buy it after hearing my complaining about the sleeves and trying it for herself. I would not purchase this jacket over any competitor’s model out there, though I am not sad that I own it and will continue to use it. This jacket received a fair bit of hype from outdoor reviewers and magazines, including the Editor’s choice Award from backpacker. I feel that it did not live up to the expectations set for it, mostly due to its lack of versatility when layering over certain fabrics and slightly odd fit.