Gen reviews the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody, one of the best all-purpose jackets made.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody is a year round companion; at the crag, on the slopes, and on high summer objectives. Its abrasion resistance, lightness, and breathability make it a no-nonsense fair weather outer layer.
It keeps the wind chill off while still allowing excess heat to escape. I also find it ideal worn over a base layer during high output cold weather ventures such as skinning up on backcountry ski tours.
I initially acquired the Ferrosi as an abrasion resistant layer to wear while rock climbing on cooler summer days. The fabric has a lot of stretch which never hinders movement. The cut is normal, which allows layering, but is never to bulky. The hood fits comfortably over a climbing helmet without tugging or blocking peripheral vision, but is also thin enough to be worn underneath it.
When summer turned into winter I realized that this versatile jacket also works great as a wicking and quick-drying outer layer. It is extremely breathable, blocks wind, and is great at regulating body temperature during high output activities. It has become my go-to jacket to wear over a base layer for the skin up, and on long ski traverses on milder days of -12C or warmer with mild to moderate winds.
The Ferrosi is light and packs very small, which means I never leave for the hills without it. And when I come home, it washes easily in gentle cycle and hangs to dry for the next adventure!
What this jacket is not is a rain coat or a stand alone warm layer! The DWR finish is adequate to keep mist or drizzle out, but wonʼt protect you from the rain. And the thin soft shell offers zero loft for warmth. Great to dry quickly and to not hold on to body moisture, but once you stop moving, get your insulating layer out!
What this jacket is, is a highly durable layer that will stand up to abuse from scrambling and rock climbing. Pull it over your micro down layer! Prickly limestone slab is no match for the Cordura fabric.
- DWR finish
- Fast drying
- Wind resistant
- Abrasion resistant
- Two hand pockets
- One chest pocket
- Light weight
- Regular fit allows a bit of layering
- Long enough to stay put under harness while climbing
- Good radial arm cut allows full range of movement without the jacket pulling out of harness
- Zipper comes up high enough to cover the neck fully
- Enough room around the chest, shoulders, and armpits for more muscular body types
The hood and hem have adjustments, but the cuffs donʼt; they have elastic part way around. The two hand pockets are roomy enough for your hands, sunglasses, snacks, and even a touque or gloves. They do end up being covered by your climbing harness or pack hip belt. The chest pocket is on the small side, good for a phone or very small camera.
The zipper pulls are textured and rubberized, making them easy to grab with gloves or mitts.
After having worn the OR Ferrosi over a base layer (usually the Arcʼteryx Phase SV zip neck) for 18 months in all seasons while rock climbing, ice climbing, ski touring, scambling, and mountaineering, hereʼs what I can say;
I find it ideal for rock climbing and scrambling since it stands up to abrasion abuse and keeps the wind off. Itʼs a great companion outer layer for skiing and mountaineering since it allows moisture transport for fast drying, keeping me dry even as I sweat. By wearing this layer during high output periods, Iʼm keeping my insulating layers dry.
Since it's not actually waterproof it is not ideal as a general purpose shell for ice climbing, but on dry and mild days it's great. Especially when moving quickly over long easy multipitch routes like "This House of Skye" or "Cascade Falls".
In spite of its girly color, Iʼve worn this piece more than any other, except my base layer! Itʼs super versatile, and for that reason I would recommend it to pretty much anyone that spends any time playing in the mountains!