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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Grid Review

The OR Ferrosi Grid is a durable softshell that excels at blocking wind and performing in colder weather.
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Price:  $159 List | $119.25 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good value, warm
Cons:  Diminished breathability, limited features
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 13, 2019
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Weather Protection - 30% 6
  • Breathability - 30% 5
  • Mobility - 20% 6
  • Weight - 10% 4
  • Features - 5% 3
  • Style - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Grid hooded jacket is an excellent choice for cool weather activities like fall and winter hiking, climbing, and skiing when the layer is most likely going to be worn rather than carried in your pack. It maintains good, but not amazing performance in breathability and mobility due to its weight, and scored only moderately well when features and weight were considered, but the additional weight comes with much better wind protection than many others.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good value, warmDurable fabric, great fit, all-around usefulnessGreat for general use, lightweight, weather resistantInexpensive, great breathability, stretchyTrim fit, abrasion resistant material, harness and helmet friendly
Cons Diminished breathability, limited featuresLimited water resistance, fitted cuffsCuffs not adjustable, no hood drawstringsLimited weather protectionNot as wet weather resistant, UK zippers can be awkward to use
Bottom Line The OR Ferrosi Grid is a durable softshell that excels at blocking wind and performing in colder weather.This is a great medium weight softshell jacket that will hold up to rugged use thanks to its durable fabric.A lightweight and weather resistant softshell that offers top performance for a wide range of applications.For summertime rock climbing where cool winds and rough surfaces are expected.The Torque easily wins our Top Pick Award for Climbing with its well thought out designs that appeal to both summer and winter climbers and mountaineers.
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Ferrosi Grid Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody Arc'teryx Tenquille Hoody Ferrosi Hooded Rab Torque
Weather Protection (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
3
10
0
4
Breathability (30%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
Mobility (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
Weight (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Features (5%)
10
0
3
10
0
6
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
6
Style (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
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7
Specs Outdoor Research... Arc'teryx Gamma LT... Arc'teryx... Ferrosi Hooded Rab Torque
Type Stretch Woven Stretch woven Stretch woven Stretch Woven Stretch woven
Weight (size medium) 1.3 1.06 lbs 0.65 lbs 0.8 lbs 1.03 lbs
Material 86% nylon/14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop, 100% polyester grid fleece backer body and hood, 86% nylon/14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop side panels Wee Burly (56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane) Kauss polyester Body and hood: 86% nylon, 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Shoulders and lower sleeves: Cordura® 91% nylon, 9% spandex 120D stretch weave
Ripstop Matrix
Number of Pockets 3 3 2 3 3
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjustable Cuffs No Stretch cuffs Stretch cuffs Stretch cuffs Yes, Velcro

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


We tested the OR Ferrosi Grid over a number of different trips, on local scrambles and day hikes, as well as into the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada during the cool days of fall. It performed admirably and was a review favorite.

The OR Ferrosi Grid is a great jacket for those cold days up high in the mountains
The OR Ferrosi Grid is a great jacket for those cold days up high in the mountains

Weather Protection


The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Grid features the same tried and true Ferrosi fabric we have come to know and love in this venerable line of softshell garments, with a new twist in the form of a soft knit backing. The jacket does a little better than its lighter weight counterpart when repelling heavy rain, as it is not treated with a robust DWR treatment like some heavier jackets we reviewed but can withstand light drizzle without wetting out immediately. There is a hood that can fit over a climbing helmet, but you'd be hard-pressed to get a ski helmet underneath, and the hood does not have any extra closures other than an elastic band.

Where the Ferrosi Grid impressed us most was in cooler weather when the extra warmth and wind protection provided by the fleece backing was helpful in blocking alpine winds. The longer cut hem stayed put and did not ride high, aiding in weather protection. The wrists are simple elastic cuffs without a Velcro closure that fit well around thin gloves but are challenging to get over gauntlet style ski gloves.

The shell fabric shed water pretty well  and this jacket does a good job of blocking wind
The shell fabric shed water pretty well, and this jacket does a good job of blocking wind

Breathability


The Ferrosi line has been a favorite amongst the active and adventurous thanks to its breathable and lightweight fabric, and we continue to sing its praises with this new addition to the lineup. Our testers hiked and climbed all over the Sierra Nevada while wearing this jacket and found that with proper layering, this jacket effectively allowed moisture to pass through the grid fleece fabric. To be sure, this is a less breathable jacket than the lightest weight models featured in this review, and is not suited to running, mountain biking or other high-output activities. If you are keeping the RPMs in check, like on a hike, climb, or ski tour, then this jacket will breathe appropriately.

We found that the best layering combination to wear with the Ferrosi Grid was a lighter weight sun shirt or base layer rather than a mid-weight fleece underneath. If it is cold enough to require wearing a thick fleece base, then you can get away with an unlined, lighter weight softshell outer that will help you save weight.

Out on a hike  the Ferrosi Grid breathes well
Out on a hike, the Ferrosi Grid breathes well

Mobility


This jacket is made for an active lifestyle, and will not hold you back when you are in the skin track or scrambling an alpine ridge route. The Ferrosi fabric is notoriously stretchy, and even with the added fleece moves well thanks to its unlined underarm panels that promote more range of motion. It is notably heavier than the lighter weight version, so it may feel a bit bulky if the conditions do not require the extra warmth or wind protection, so it may be better suited for cooler temps.

The hem is cut appropriately long so that it will stay tucked in underneath a climbing harness, and can cover the back when out on wintertime adventures like ice climbing or skiing.

This softshell does a nice job blocking winds wall scrambling in the Sierra.
This softshell does a nice job blocking winds wall scrambling in the Sierra.

Weight


This jacket weighs in at 1.3 pounds, making it one of the heavier jackets in this review. While the lighter Ferrosi jacket is one of the lightest, the addition of the grid fleece certainly takes this model out of the running for scoring high in this metric. It is much more noticeable when it is being carried in your pack, but does not seem all that cumbersome when the breeze is blowing and you desire more wind and weather protection than the lighter options.

Features


Keeping in line with the rest of the Ferrosi jackets, the Ferrosi Grid Hooded jacket is rather simple and does not have many features. The hood has no closures, only relying on an elastic brim to keep it secure around the head, and the wrist cuffs are also elastic. There are two handwarmer pockets and a single chest pocket, but no internal pockets. For the weight increase, we would prefer to see more features — Spartan design is more acceptable when the jackets weigh half as much as this one does.

Simple handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket are about the extent of this jacket's features
Simple handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket are about the extent of this jacket's features

Style


The Ferrosi Grid has a simple, elegant style that looks good on the trail or on the way to work or school, featuring clean lines and a relaxed aesthetic. It is available in four colors ranging from black to sapphire (tested here) and looks as good paired with blue jeans as it does on top of convertible hiking pants.

This is a nice looking  casual jacket that looks good on or off the trail
This is a nice looking, casual jacket that looks good on or off the trail

Value


The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Grid Hooded Jacket is a good value. Offering a similar performance as some of the much higher-end jackets despite not having some of their features, we think the fabric alone is worth the price.

Conclusion


The OR Ferrosi Grid Hooded jacket is a solid choice for those looking for a softshell that will keep them moving on the hard pitches while allowing them to dump heat along the way as any good softshell layer should do.

Climbing up an exposed ridge in the backcountry is where the OR Ferrosi Grid jacket feels most comfortable.
Climbing up an exposed ridge in the backcountry is where the OR Ferrosi Grid jacket feels most comfortable.


Ryan Huetter