Outdoor Research Ferrosi Jacket ReviewJuly 22, 2012
- Very lightweight.
- Exceptional packability for a softshell.
- Available in hoody and pullover configurations.
- Clean, understated styling.
- Thin fabric is more prone to picking than most softshell textiles.
- Relatively poor weather protection for the category.
A summer-weight softy that can hold its own in the alpine realm, the Ferrosi is a great choice for all-around warm weather wear.
A featherweight softshell designed to be a packable wind- and abrasion-resistant layer for warm weather mountain recreation.
The Ferrosi was the first softshell I’ve worn that was light and packable enough to consider taking on a warm weather backpacking trip, and I was tempted to award it a couple of bonus points for being my favorite urban jacket as well. In fair weather above 50F, the Ferrosi was nearly perfect. But while a DWR treatment and thoughtful seam-placement made for decent light rain-repellency, showers lasting more than a few minutes overwhelmed its thin defenses.
The Ferrosi’s thin, stretchy ripstop nylon had a crepe-papery appearance and feel that belied its sound functionality. While this is the lightest fabric I’d consider “softshell,” it provided just enough armor for full-contact rock climbing, and resisted weather surprisingly well for its apparent wispiness. Still, many users will appreciate the burlier Cordura reinforcements on high-wear areas of the Ferrosi Hoody.
With well-appointed YKK zippers throughout, OR balanced light weight and solid functionality. Conspicuously absent were fobbed zipper pulls and zipper garages on pockets, and a windflap under the main zipper, though these were all acceptable omissions that did not compromise the jacket’s performance.
Finish and Initial Quality
I tore two stitches the first time I stuffed the jacket into its packing pocket, but I felt that intelligent fabric cuts and solid overall design made up for this minor construction flaw.
The OR Ferrosi Jacket has more in common with Active/Aerobic softshells than with the more Protective jackets we’ve tested previously. We have therefore re-scored the Ferrosi’s test results to reflect a refined testing system that will more accurately rate the pieces in this sub-category.