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Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated Review

This synthetic down is comfortable and stretchy but has a heavier weight and isn't as breathable as others in our fleet
Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated
Credit: Outdoor Research
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Price:  $200 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good wind resistance, stretchy, range of motion
Cons:  Heavy, runs large
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Buck Yedor ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 28, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 7.0
  • Weight and Compressibility - 20% 4.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 5.0
  • Breathability - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The OR Shadow Insulated Hoodie is a stretchy and comfortable insulating layer. It's ideal for wearing during cold-weather activities where you plan to be moving your entire body. Whether you need a breathable layer for hiking, biking to work, or rock climbing, the outer shell is made from 10% spandex, which gives the wearer an incredible range of motion and unimpeded movement. The Shadow has excellent wind resistance but boasts a heavier weight than many in our fleet. However, if weight is not a limiting factor in your purchasing decision, this stretchy, midweight insulation layer may be just what you're after.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award  
Price Check Price at REI
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$259.00 at REI
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$98.98 at Backcountry
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$200 List
$199.95 at Amazon
$200 List
$199.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good wind resistance, stretchy, range of motionVery comfortable, great fit, breathable, impressively warm, great mobilityVery warm, great features set, packs away easilyWind resistant, excellent breathabilityVery comfortable, warm, many features
Cons Heavy, runs largePricey, not as warm as thicker layers, doesn’t stuff into itselfNot the lightestPoor water resistance, minimal featuresHeavy, uses an external stuff sack
Bottom Line This synthetic down is comfortable and stretchy but has a heavier weight and isn't as breathable as others in our fleetThe ideal active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility and great breathability, yet still wards off the chill during cold weatherWith high loft, water-resistant insulation, this jacket is a great option for staying warm on cold, damp days, and doesn't break the bankBreathable and lightweight, this jacket is the perfect companion for cold weather high-output activitiesThis medium-weight jacket spares no attention to detail when it comes to keeping you comfortable
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Sh... Arc'teryx Atom LT H... Rab Nebula Pro Rab Xenair Insulated Rab Cirrus Alpine I...
Warmth (25%)
7.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
8.0
Weight and Compressibility (20%)
4.0
7.0
3.0
8.0
4.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
5.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
6.0
9.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
Specs Outdoor Research Sh... Arc'teryx Atom LT H... Rab Nebula Pro Rab Xenair Insulated Rab Cirrus Alpine I...
Measured Weight (size) 17.2 oz (M) 13.20 oz (M) 22.9 oz (M) 11.8 oz (M) 17.6 oz (M)
Insulation VerticalX ECO Insulation 60 g/m2 Coreloft Compact w/ Stretch Fleece panels on sides Cirrus HL PrimaLoft Gold Active+ PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Luxe
Outer Fabric 90% Nylon / 10% Spandex 20D Stretch Woven 20D Nylon Tyono Pertex Quantum Pro (30D recycled nylon) Pertex Quantum Air 30D recycled Pertex Quantum
Stuffs Into Itself? No No Includes stuff sack Yes No
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Number of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 2 internal drop pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest

Our Analysis and Test Results

Designed for high output activity, the OR Shadow is marketed as breathable and stretchy. While it is indeed stretchy and comfortable to wear, our testing did not indicate that its breathability lives up to the hype. Others in our fleet offer more breathability and a lighter weight. While it's warm and comfy, it isn't our first choice for a wide range of adventures.

Performance Comparison


Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated insulated jacket - the long cut of the or shadow gives you plenty of coverage.
The long cut of the OR Shadow gives you plenty of coverage.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Warmth


The Shadow Insulated Hoodie is a midweight insulation layer. It’s great as a standalone piece in moderate climates and can be used as part of a layering system in colder weather. When paired with a warm base layer, a synthetic or wool midlayer, and a shell over top, this jacket is capable of keeping you warm even in the depths of winter.

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated insulated jacket - the internal drop pockets on the or shadow are the perfect place to...
The internal drop pockets on the OR Shadow are the perfect place to keep a pair of gloves.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Weight and Compressibility


This jacket is heavy. Our size medium weighed in at 17.2 ounces, making it one of the heaviest models in the review. The Shadow is comfortable and stretchy but it isn't our first choice for adventures that take you too far from the car.

Comfort


The Shadow is comfortable to wear and is made from a comfortable material that isn't a typical rustly plastic bag-esque material. The fabric has a soft and supple hand feel that makes the jacket quiet when you’re in motion.

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated insulated jacket - the comfy fit of the or shadow makes it perfect for casual hiking.
The comfy fit of the OR Shadow makes it perfect for casual hiking.
Credit: Buck Yedor

We found this model runs large. The roominess in the shoulders combined with the stretchiness of the material makes it very comfortable to move around in but more difficult to layer a shell over top.

Weather Resistance


As you might expect, the Shadow isn’t a waterproof jacket. The outer shell will bead off light precipitation but a more thorough drenching will soak through. The synthetic insulation will keep insulating you if it does happen to get wet, but is still not an ideal situation.

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated insulated jacket - the or shadow has no trouble keeping out moisture from snow or light...
The OR Shadow has no trouble keeping out moisture from snow or light rain.
Credit: Buck Yedor

The thick layer of insulation and unique shell fabric makes this jacket quite windproof. The Shadow is perfect for cold blustery days where you might encounter a few drips here and there.

Breathability


While billed as a highly breathable option, our testing indicates that it is average. We found this jacket is thick and heavy and is simply not as breathable as other lightweight options in our lineup. When you consider the weight and amount of warmth it provides, it can be considered more breathable in comparison to other models with similar specs.

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated insulated jacket - the stretchy shell on the or shadow gives you an excellent range of...
The stretchy shell on the OR Shadow gives you an excellent range of motion.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Value


As an around-the-town jacket, it provides excellent value. If you like the fit, material, and brand, this could be a worthy purchase. That being said, for a similar price, you can purchase another model that is just as warm but is also lighter and more versatile.

Conclusion


The comfort and weight of this jacket make it an ideal choice for daily activities. Whether you’re commuting to work, going for a walk, or skiing at the resort, this stretchy jacket offers great warmth and wind protection. It isn't our first choice to take deep into the backcountry but is more than capable for most applications.

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated insulated jacket - the or shadow is warm and comfortable but a little on the heavy side.
The OR shadow is warm and comfortable but a little on the heavy side.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Buck Yedor
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