Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, durable, breathable, affordable, premium features, quick drying
Cons: Below average water resistance, baggy fit, hand pockets inaccessible with harness
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie - Women's
|Price||$90.27 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$123.75 at Backcountry|
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Check Price at REI
|$178 List||$149 List|
$111.69 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, durable, breathable, affordable, premium features, quick drying||Very flexible, flattering fit, long torso, comfortable cuff||Inexpensive, stellar mobility and breathability, stow-away pocket, harness-friendly pockets, excellent fit||Stylish, warm, cozy hood, very wind resistant, lots of size options||Affordable, durable, soft fleece on chin guard and sleeve cuffs, windproof, very water resistant|
|Cons||Below average water resistance, baggy fit, hand pockets inaccessible with harness||Gets wet very easily, thicker fabric is heavier||Not very warm, below average water resistance||Tight across the back and arms, not very breathable, back ventilation panel restricts mobility||Stiff, boxy-fit, heavy, no hood, chin-guard can feel restrictive on neck, not very feature-rich|
|Bottom Line||This lightweight and breathable jacket has an arsenal of premium features for an affordable price||This comfortable jacket will keep you protected and stylish, from climbing with friends to hanging at the coffee shop||This wicked light softshell has great mobility, is highly breathable and well-tailored - a perfect layer for fair-weather climbing or hiking||An urban-styled, casual hybrid softshell that pairs synthetic insulation with plush fleece panels, though is not the most breathable or mobile||A weather-resistant casual softshell for urban adventures or staying warm around the campfire|
|Rating Categories||Outdoor Research Fe...||Black Diamond Alpin...||Rab Borealis - Women's||Athleta Rock Ridge...||The North Face Apex...|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Specs||Outdoor Research Fe...||Black Diamond Alpin...||Rab Borealis - Women's||Athleta Rock Ridge...||The North Face Apex...|
|Measured Weight||12.5 oz (size S)||6.5 oz (size S)||9 oz (size S)||17 oz (size S)||22.5 oz (size S)|
|Material||Body/hood: 86% nylon 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Shoulders/forearms: dordura 91% nylon, 9% spandex 120D stretch woven
|Schoeller w/Eco-Repel Bio (93% nylon, 7% elastane)||Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR||Shell, Lining: 100% recyled nylon; Side Panels: 95% polyester, 5% spandex; Back Yoke: 90% polyester, 10% spandex; Filler: Primaloft ,100% polyester||86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane with non-PFC DWR|
|Lined/Insulated?||No||No||No||Yes, Primaloft and fleece||Yes, fleece backer|
|Hood?||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, stretchy but not adjustable||Yes, 1-way adjustable||No|
|Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted)||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)||1 chest||2 hand||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)|
|Adjustable Cuffs?||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs|
|Available Sizes||XS - 2XL||XS - XL||XS - XL||XXS - 3X||XS - XXL|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ferrosi Hoodie delivered solid performance across all metrics. On variable weather days while doing aerobic activities, it offers excellent breathability to keep you warm without overheating. The highly stretchy fabric moves well regardless of what you're doing, and the abrasion-resistant shoulders and elbows lend excellent durability, especially when up against scratchy granite. It has below-average water resistance, but it dries quickly and offers great sun protection, proving to be a nimble fair weather jacket for any adventures you plan to get after.
While the Ferrosi provides excellent wind resistance and great sun protection with UPF 50+ fabric, don't expect this lightweight layer to be a reliable barrier against heavy rain or the coldest days.
One way we evaluate our tested jackets for water resistance is by taking them in the shower. In this test, the Ferrosi soaked through pretty quickly — it leaked and had noticeable drips of moisture inside the jacket within less than 10 seconds. At the one-minute mark, it reached total failure, becoming wet around the shoulders even with the hood up. While the shower test does communicate how effectively a jacket resists moisture in an all-out deluge, it tells us very little about how a jacket will perform in gentle rain or dry snow. In real-world applications, the Ferrosi does have a decent amount of resistance for light sprinkles and spray owing to its DWR coating. It is also among the quickest to dry, which means you won't have to wait too long to warm up if you're dealing with summer monsoons on a sunny day in the mountains. You will have little problem staying warm in cooler weather if your heart rate is up as long as you don't depend on this jacket to keep a heavy rainstorm at bay.
As far as wind, the Ferrosi provides great protection, taking the edge off of most breezes. While it is not the most wind-resistant, nor is it the warmest jacket in our review, we found it to be a wonderful layer on cool morning approaches and mountain hikes.
Breathability is one of the metrics where the Ferrosi truly shines.
On days when the temperature vacillates between warm and cool, you want a layer that allows sweat to escape while protecting your skin from a cold breeze. This is critical when you're on a long hike and need a layer to keep you warm without trapping sweat against your skin. The Ferrosi does this surprisingly well. When everyone else was putting on and taking off layers to manage temperature fluctuations, our reviewer could keep hiking without stopping to change layers.
Mobility is a category where we expect softshells to perform well, as they are supposed to be stretchy and allow you to move without slowing you down. The Ferrosi exceeded expectations, outperforming a competitive array of jackets.
The stretchy cuffs and four-way stretch on the Ferrosi lend to excellent mobility. The jacket moves well without lifting up while climbing or raising your hands over your head. For this reason, it is an excellent jacket for climbing, hiking, running, or scrambling. Some softshells have abrasion-resistant fabric that feels like sandpaper against bare skin, not so with the Ferrosi. The genius designers at Outdoor Research somehow found a durable fabric that feels comfortable to the touch. An impressive feat, for sure!
With a weight of 12.5 ounces in size small, the latest iteration of the Ferrosi scores favorably in this category as well.
Part of why our reviews love the Ferrosi is that it is among the lightest weight options in our review. This matters a ton when you have to stash a jacket in your pack or if you need to tuck it into its stuff sack and clip it onto your harness. The lightweight jackets in our review also feel light when you wear them, something that matters if you don't want to be weighed down by your jacket, whether in your pack or on your back.
This metric is where we consider the various uses ideal for each jacket, as well as the features that distinguish the jackets from one another. The Ferrosi scores favorably in terms of versatility for having top-shelf features and excellent performance in myriad activities. With this generation of Ferrosi, Outdoor Research has increased their size offerings to include XS-2XL size options, improving over previous iterations.
We consider the Ferrosi an active softshell, meaning that it is best used for aerobic activities when you need an extra layer for the wind or cool temps. Owing to the stretchy, durable, and breathable fabric, this is a great wind layer while climbing or running. We appreciate how well it kept us warm without stewing in sweat on long hikes. However, given that it isn't terribly warm or water-resistant, it is not our first choice for most winter activities. For ice climbing, backcountry skiing, or winter mountaineering, we would recommend you check out one of the technical softshells in our review.
Despite its low price tag and light weight, the Ferrosi has a few outstanding features that distinguish it from other budget-minded jackets. For starters, it folds into one of its pockets so you can easily stash the jacket in your pack or on your climbing harness when you aren't wearing it. We think this should be standard on active softshells, but some companies still haven't adopted this feature. It has three zippered pockets — two hand and one chest. One downside is that the hand pockets are inaccessible while wearing a harness or the waist belt of a backpack. On the inside of the jacket, there are two additional vertical slots behind the baffles of the hand pockets that can be used as a stash spot for your gloves or beanie. Brilliant! The hood sits close to the skin, so it is meant to be worn under a helmet, which can be a bummer given where the hood adjustment toggle sits. Caveats aside, this jacket has many premium features and is an excellent option for fair-weather aerobic activities, making it a very versatile jacket.
The Ferrosi is an exceptional value. The folks at Outdoor Research designed an affordable yet durable jacket with premium features. It is impressively breathable, offers great mobility, and is quite comfortable to wear despite being abrasion-resistant. It protects your skin from wind and sun, and while not very water-resistant, it dries quite quickly. This jacket is also durable enough to withstand scratchy granite and pokey willows, so you hopefully won't have to replace it year after year. If you're looking for an active softshell that folds into its own pocket and is light enough you won't notice it on your harness or in your pack, then we think this is a great option to consider. All without breaking the bank!
Breathable? Check. Great mobility? Check. Versatile? Check. Wind and sun protection? Check and check. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie checks a lot of boxes, which is why it is an easy jacket to recommend. It does exactly what an active softshell should do — keep you warm but not swampy, and allow you to move, unimpeded by poor design or stiff fabrics. We also appreciate how Outdoor Research has begun making this jacket with 46% recycled fabric. Couple this with the durable abrasion-resistant fabric, and you'll be wearing this jacket for years to come.
— Mary Witlacil
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