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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody Jacket > Test Report by Hollis Easter
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody - Jacket
Test Series by Hollis Easter
|35 F (2 C)||up to 15 mph (24 kph)||3,820 ft (1,164 m) and 3,168 ft (966 m)|
Two friends and I set out for an early-winter hike on two northern peaks in the Adirondacks. We did a loop climb of the new and old trails on Lyon Mountain, for a total distance of approximately 9 miles (15 km). We then proceeded to Catamount, a smaller peak that blends hiking and scrambling. We made it through the rock chimney and over some exposed rock, but we were stymied by verglas on the upper summit. We decided that discretion was the better part of valor and, tails between our legs, retreated. We'll be back. Total distance on Catamount was approximately 4 miles (6 km).
|10 F (-12 C)||up to 21 mph (34 kph)||2,545 ft (776 m) and ~3,200 ft (~975 m)|
We ran up Mount Arab to warm up for the day's exploration of the disused ski slopes on the flanks of Mount Morris, one of the higher peaks in the northwestern Adirondacks. Standing on the summit, I looked out at Santanoni Peak and remembered the life of my friend, Dan Wills, who had died in a plane crash on Santanoni a few weeks before. It felt right to honor his memory from a mountaintop. Total distance was about 8 miles (13 km).
|5 F (-15 C) to -19 F (-29 C)||up to 22 mph (35 kph)||4,098 ft (1,249 m) and 4,059 ft (1,237 m)|
We celebrated the last weekend before official winter climbing season with a trip up some of the easier High Peaks. The temperature on the summit was amply cold to furnish icicles in my new beard. We saw lots of people and had some gorgeous views! Total distance was around 7 miles (11 km).
|0 F (-18 C)||up to 15 mph (24 kph)||not relevant|
A friend and I went to scope out the early-season ice on the south flanks of Azure Mountain, our favorite local ice-climbing venue. Conditions were thin but climbable; we had a great time. Total distance was about 2 miles (3 km).
|32 F (0 C)||none||not relevant|
My first day of cross-country skiing in 15 years was a blast, if a trifle awkward. We did some moonlit skiing, with headlamps to light the way when the trees were too thick for moonlight. We skied about 2 miles (3 km).
|32 F (0 C)||none||not relevant|
Every year, our local outdoors club has a New Year's Gathering to ski or snowshoe the trails at Clarkson University. Emboldened by the previous evening's skiing, we decided to venture off-trail into the woods around the campus. Lots of fun, although some of the terrain was a bit too advanced for me.
|5 F (-15 C)||up to 20 mph (32 kph)||4,420 ft (1,347 m) and 4,627 ft (1,411 m)|
We ascended two gorgeous High Peaks on one of the first clear days this winter. Both peaks are steep, and we ascended them via the steep Zander Scott trail. Ice bulges in the deep col between the peaks made us glad for the ice axes we brought. On the summits, we had clear views of hundreds of peaks in New York, Vermont, Ontario, and Quebec. What a stunning day!
The Ferrosi Hoody is my new favorite winter hiking jacket. It's thin enough that I don't overheat, but it keeps the snow off and provides a little bit of insulation and protection from windburn. I wore it all day on most of my trips, and it was usually still dry at the end of the day (so I wore it at night, too).
I do not find the Ferrosi to be particularly windproof, so I usually don a different jacket when the wind begins to bite. Since I am always carrying extra layers in the winter, this has not posed any problems for me. The jacket seems adequately water-resistant; I usually brush snow off my sleeves and shoulders, but I stay dry inside the jacket.
I adore the Ferrosi's breathability! It's the first soft-shell garment I've ever owned, and I'm hooked on it. I like the fact that it seals out the snow while allowing my sweat to evaporate. I would never have suspected that a jacket this thin would become my winter favorite, but I love it.
Durability has been good so far. Despite some rough treatment hiking through trees, the jacket shows no signs of wear. I wish I could say the same about my knees.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody is a versatile, durable, comfortable jacket. I wear it indoors and outdoors, and it looks appropriate in the mountains and in town. It's very thin, which makes layering easy; it stretches to allow freedom of movement even in intense activities like ice climbing. Although it isn't really an insulating garment, it helps prevent heat loss due to convection, and that provides just the right amount of insulation for me.
Shortly before the publication of my Field Report, I sustained a major overuse injury to my right knee. The resulting trifecta of patellofemoral syndrome and injury to my quadriceps and patellar tendons has kept me out of the mountains and in the physical therapists' office for the last few months, which means I have nothing that I would call "field use" to report during this period. I have worn the jacket frequently around town and at work when temperatures allowed, and have worn it on brief walks in the woods when my knee was... well, capable of bearing weight.
As temperatures have warmed in northern New York, I've been reminded of the versatility the Ferrosi offers. When I'm outside, the jacket keeps me comfortably warm as long as I'm moving; when I come inside, I often forget to take it off. Given how much time I've spent wearing it, I am impressed by the fact that it doesn't smell, either—score one for Outdoor Research's fibers! The fabric moves with me comfortably, and it never seems to get in the way. I still enjoy the close-but-stretchy fit of the Ferrosi.
I've grown a beard in the last few months, and I have noticed that the zipper of the Ferrosi sometimes eats my beard, causing a brief yelp. It doesn't happen often, but it certainly draws my attention when it occurs! I think the troublesome beard/zipper interaction comes from the fact that the Ferrosi's zipper curves around to the side, rather than running straight up my torso. This makes it hard to keep the zipper away from my face while closing it. It isn't a huge problem, but it's worthy of note if you're a facially-furred Ferrosi fancier as I (now) am.
I haven't had any durability concerns at all, despite the many days I've worn the Ferrosi. I'm impressed—I expected a soft-shell jacket to be less tough. Back when my knee was working, I wore the Ferrosi through some fairly vicious underbrush, and it shows no signs of wear.
Basically, I love the Ferrosi. It fills a very important niche in my gear closet: a lightweight shell that's breathable and not particularly insulated. It isn't the most windproof jacket I've worn, but I typically carry a hard shell or windproof insulating layer for that. I can wear the Ferrosi comfortably in a wide range of temperatures, and it keeps the snow off. It's reasonably good in quick rain storms, too. On the whole, I think it's a great jacket, and I plan to continue wearing it.
I thank BackpackGearTest.org and Outdoor Research for allowing me to test the Ferrosi Hoody.