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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody Jacket > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

OUTDOOR RESEARCH FERROSI HOODY JACKET
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - November 08, 2009
FIELD REPORT - February 12, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - April 15, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 43
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Ferrosi Hoody
Photo courtesy of Outdoor Research

Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.outdoorresearch.com
MSRP: Not Listed
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 11.8 oz (335 g)
Size Tested: Women's Medium
Other Sizes: S, L, XL
Color Tested: Black
Other Colors Available: Espresso/Black (shown on left)
Made in China

Material Contents:
Shoulders & Arms: 88% Cordura®/12% Lycra® with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
Body & Cuff Panels: nylon/Spandex®






Front ViewRear ViewSide View
















PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Cuff Elastic
Cuffs
Sleeve Pocket
Sleeve Pocket
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody is a soft shell jacket which is water-repellent, abrasion-resistant and breathable with stretchable material to accommodate movement. There is no lining and no insulation layer in this jacket. The shoulders and arms have a DWR finish. The body and cuff panel is abrasion resistant stretch-woven ripstop nylon.

The hood is not removable nor can it be tucked away. It is a compact style of hood that doesn't have much extra room in it. It can be adjusted around the face with dual-pull cord lock.

The front zipper has an offset internal chin guard to keep the zipper from touching my face. It is not only on the inside of the zipper but also wraps over the top of the zipper end.

The hem has a drawcord adjustment. The cuffs do not have any adjustments. There is elastic on the bottom side of the cuff. There is a zippered sleeve pocket on the left sleeve.

Glove Pocket
Inside Pocket

There are two zippered hand pockets which have a mesh lining. This lining shares a wall with a large internal pocket.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT OUT

The first thing that I noticed is how light this jacket is. It reminds me of a windbreaker except made from a stretchy material. Since there is no lining or insulation, the jacket can be rolled up and stuffed easily in a pack. The material does not seem to wrinkle easily.

I tried it on and really like the fit. It fits more like a fitted shirt than a loose-fitting jacket although there is still room for me to layer some warmer clothing underneath. I wore it on a short hike with a bulky sweatshirt underneath and it still fit fine. I tried the hood which also has a 'fitted' feel to it without extra room and bulk. I found the fit of the jacket and hood to be quite comfortable. The material is comfortable because of the stretchy characteristic and also because it is soft and does not have that slick/stiff feel of my other shells. In fact, I wore it outside one evening while we had a campfire on our property and never bothered to take it off when I got inside. I was relaxing on the couch before I realized that I still had my jacket on.

The jacket seems just right for taking off the evening chill. It keeps in my body heat and provides a barrier against the cool air. I notice that when I take it off, it is cool to the touch on the outside although my layers underneath are warm.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Washing instructions:
Machine wash cold.
Do not bleach.
Tumble dry low.
Do not iron.
Do not dry clean.

SUMMARY

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody so far seems to be a lightweight comfortable shell jacket.

Likes So far:
Comfort
Fit


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I wore the Ferrosi jacket nearly every day during the test period. I wore it for a 3-day car camping trip, a 3-day backpacking trip, 7 pre-dawn runs, 5 mountain bike rides, 6 hikes and 9 snowshoe hikes. I wore it as my primary jacket for going to work, walking at lunch and general casual wear.

Locations/conditions of some trips:
Camping:
Bagby Recreation Area, Central California: 3 days; 1,000 ft (300 m); 30 to 55 F (-1 to 13 C); rainy to cloudy; Wore with base layer and at times a light fleece.

Backpacking:
Point Reyes National Seashore, California: 3 days; 0 to 1,407 ft (429 m); 40 to 55 F (4 to 13 C); partly cloudy to heavy rainstorm conditions. Wore with base layer and at times a light down jacket.

Snowshoeing:
Loon Lake, Orion Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 5 mi (8 km); 6,327 to 6,800 ft (1,928 to 2,073 m); 35 F (2 C); Cloudy to breezy conditions; Wore with base layer.

Loon Lake, Van Vleck Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 6 mi (10 km); 6,327 to 7,000 ft (1,928 to 2,134 m); 28 to 35 F (-2 to 2 C); Cloudy to snowy conditions; Wore with base layer and 1/2 time also with inner down jacket.

Loon Lake, Bert's Lake & Chipmunk Bluff Trails, Sierra Nevada, California; 5 mi (8 km); 6,327 to 6,700 ft (1,928 to 2,042 m); 23 to 43 F (-5 to 6 C); Sunny conditions; Took off and only wore base layer after getting too hot.

Becker Peak, Sierra Nevada, California; 3.5 mi (5.6 km); 7,320 to 8,325 ft (2,231 to 2,537 m); 29 F (-2 C); Variable conditions from clear sunny patches to snow with windy conditions at times; Wore with down vest and base layer.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Ferrosi jacket is great for blocking that cool chill. It has no insulation, so it isn't cozy at all. But it is a wonderful outer layer. I especially like the fabric which allows it to move with me. It is comfortable and also looks much more stylish than other shells with a stiffer fabric.

snagDurability:
Mid-way through the test period I noticed a pull in the left sleeve. At the time I saw it, I could not remember any specific recent event that would have caused this. In fact there had been a lot of opportunity for this several weeks earlier on a mountain bike ride. The trail went through multiple long stretches of overhanging trees and bushes. I often had to lead with my helmet to avoid getting slashed in the face. So, I know that the jacket took some abuse on the arms. I examined it closely after this and didn't see any problems. So, I was a bit surprised to see the snag later. I noticed it a few days after a snowshoe hike where it was a particularly nice day and I ended up strapping the jacket to my day pack. The terrain was primarily open, but it may have snagged on a tree as we stopped for a snack.

Besides the snag, there are no other areas that show any sign of deterioration despite a lot of use. The zippers still move smoothly and work as new. There are no abrasions or other damage to the fabric.

Water Resistance:
On the Point Reyes trip, we had a long downpour one evening at which time I was wearing the Ferrosi hoody with a down inner jacket beneath it. We spent a lot of time underneath a huge sycamore tree which kept most of the rain off. When we walked back from the tree to the tent, the jacket did a great job in keeping me dry. It beaded up the water quite nicely which made it easy to shake off as I hurried into the tent.

I wore the jacket for running errands after work. One day when I came out of the grocery store it was a complete downpour. I put my hood up, zipped up completely and quickly pushed my cart to the car. By the time I got there, the paper grocery bags were soaked on one side and very difficult to get into the car without the contents spilling through. I hopped in the car and headed to my next stop. Upon arrival there, I went into the restroom to take off the Ferrosi and see if my cotton turtleneck underneath showed any signs of being wet. There were multiple spots along my shoulders and both forearms where water had gotten through the jacket. I had washed the jacket in HE (high-efficiency) detergent between this event and the Point Reyes trip, so I'm not sure if that one washing caused the DWR finish to deteriorate. I have technical wash solution for clothing with DWR finishes, but I hadn't used it to wash the Ferrosi since I wanted to strictly follow the washing instructions on the jacket. It says to machine wash cold which I did. For mountain biking, snowshoeing and hiking, I have worn the jacket with a day pack. This may also have contributed to the DWR finish wearing off quickly on my shoulders since I have seen my other jackets do this. However, I'm not sure why the forearms allowed water to get through.

Functionality:
I used the small pocket on the left sleeve for holding my iPod during my pre-dawn runs. It fits nicely and is a good location for easy access and routing the earbuds. The zipper is easy to operate with my right hand unlike other arm pockets that I swear can only be used by another person since they require two hands to operate.

The hand-warmer pockets are perfectly positioned and comfortable for me such that I used them often. I used the two inner pockets for large items like gloves. They have an open top, so I can't use them for anything that could easily be lost.

I don't really use hoods much, but I did use it several times in the rain. It was pretty comfortable and didn't seem to obscure my vision very much.

SUMMARY

The OR Ferrosi hoody is a stylish yet very functional outer shell. It provided very good wind resistance and reasonable water resistance.

GREAT:
Style
Fit
Wind resistance
Stretchy fabric

Not as Great:
Water resistance was limited after just one washing.
Managed to get a snag without noticing any treacherous conditions.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

palmsOver the Long-Term Testing period, I wore the hoody jacket for 8 nights of car camping, one overnight backpacking trip, 3 snowshoe hikes, 2 day hikes, 4 morning runs and 2 mountain bike rides. I washed it one additional time.

Some examples of usage conditions:
Camping/Hiking:
Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California: 4 nights and multiple hikes; 1,800 to 3,800 ft (549 to 1,158 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with one night of high winds

Pinnacles National Monument, Central California: 1 night; 1,260 ft (384 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with heavy dew

Montana de Oro State Park, Central California Coast: 1 night; 180 ft (55 m); 45 F (7 C); dry conditions

Backpacking:
Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California: 1 night; 4,500 ft (1,372 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with light wind

Snowshoeing:
Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park, California; 8 mi (12.6 km); 7,250 to 7,385 ft (2,210 to 2,251 m); 29 to 43 F (-2 to 6 C); Clear conditions; Wore with a base layer, and half of the time with a down vest.

Strawberry Ridge, Sierra Nevada, Northern California; 4.2 mi (6.8 km); 5,600 to 6,500 ft (1,700 to 1,980 m); 30 to 40 F (-1 to 4 C); Clear conditions; Wore with a base layer, and half of the time with a down vest.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Wind Resistance:
On one hike in Joshua Tree there was a strong sustained wind all day and I was happy to have my hoody. I used the hood almost all day and it really blocked the wind. On another trip we were fishing in a small boat on a large lake and strong winds came up while the temperature was in the mid 40s (7 C). I didn't have enough layers and was quite cold, but with the hood up on my jacket it really helped to cut the biting wind.

Water Resistance:
On two of my morning runs it was raining and I wore the hoody with the hood up. When I got back I could see that water had penetrated through the jacket at my shoulders and forearms. I found the DWR finish to not be very effective after just one washing. I am no expert on DWR finishes but have heard that they can be seriously degraded by using standard detergent. I did wash it in standard detergent. If this is not recommended, I believe that the instructions should mention this and recommended using a detergent specifically made for DWR finishes.

Durability:
The snag on the left sleeve has not progressed any further and there have been no other issues with durability. The zippers still work as they did when new. Other than the snag, the jacket appears to be in great condition.

The Fabric:
The stretch of the fabric is a great feature since it is able to accommodate all of my movements. When snowshoeing and using my hiking poles to climb steep grades, I never felt the fabric cause any restriction in my arms or shoulders.

SUMMARY

The OR Ferrosi Hoody is a stylish yet very functional outer shell. It provided very good wind resistance and reasonable water resistance. I particularly like the way the fabric stretches.

GREAT:
Style
Fit
Wind resistance
Stretchy fabric

Not as Great:
Water resistance was limited after just one washing.
Managed to get a snag without noticing any treacherous conditions.

This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Outdoor Research and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Outdoor Research gear
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