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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie Review

This budget-friendly softshell is one of our favorites for summertime rock climbing
outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review
Credit: Outdoor Research
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $129 List | $129.00 at REI
Pros:  Super breathable, durable, inexpensive
Cons:  Poor wet weather protection
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 24, 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
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 13
  • Weather Protection - 30% 4.0
  • Breathability - 30% 10.0
  • Mobility - 25% 10.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.0
  • Versatility - 5% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie has seen minor changes over the years but has remained a staple of the softshell jacket world. With stretchy fabric, wind and mild weather protection, abrasion resistance, and a lightweight and breathable shell, the Ferrosi has become everything that we hope for in a light softshell jacket. Meant for aerobic activities, we treat the Ferrosi like a heavyweight windshirt or a lightweight softshell. Either way, for summertime rock climbing, cycling, running, or any other sport where you want impressive breathability and mobility while maintaining some protection from the weather, this jacket is tried and true and impeccably priced.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $129 List
$129.00 at REI
$249 List$115 List
Check Price at REI
$165.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$169 List
$169.00 at REI
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Pros Super breathable, durable, inexpensiveDurable fabric, great fit, all-around usefulnessIncredibly light, very mobileSoftshell fit and feel, oversized storm hood, designed for freedom of motionBudget-friendly, warm, windproof
Cons Poor wet weather protectionLimited water resistance, fitted cuffsLimited weather protection, few featuresExpensive, relatively heavy, odor retentionHeavy, bulky, stiff fabric
Bottom Line This budget-friendly softshell is one of our favorites for summertime rock climbingThis is a great medium weight softshell jacket that will hold up to rugged use thanks to its durable fabricThis is one of the lightest softshells out there, perfect for cool windy days at the cragAn ultra-lightweight alternative to your normal softshell, this jacket is warmer and more comfortable than many without sacrificing breathabilityPerfect for casual and urban outings where cold wind or light rain might be expected
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Fe... Arc'teryx Gamma LT... Rab Borealis Black Diamond Alpin... The North Face Apex...
Weather Protection (30%)
4.0
8.0
5.0
3.0
9.0
Breathability (30%)
10.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
Mobility (25%)
10.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
Weight (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
Versatility (5%)
4.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Outdoor Research Fe... Arc'teryx Gamma LT... Rab Borealis Black Diamond Alpin... The North Face Apex...
Measured Weight (size medium) 13.4 oz 17 oz 10.5 oz 7.4 oz 27.4 oz
Material 86% nylon (46% recycled), 14% spandex Wee Burly (56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane) Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR Schoeller stretch-woven: 93% nylon, 7% Elastane, Schoeller Eco-Repel Bio DWR 100% polyester
Type Active Active Technical Technical Casual
Lined/Insulated? Yes, lining 91% nylon, 9% spandex No No No Fleece backer
Hood? Yes, climbing helmet compatible, adjustable, stowable Yes, helmet compatible, adjustable StormHood Yes, under helmet with lycra binding Yes, adjustable Yes, adjustable
Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted) 3 (2 hand, 1 chest) 3 (2 handwarmer, 1 internal) 2 (external chest) 1 chest 3 (2 hand, 1 chest)
Adjustable Cuffs? Elastic cuffs Stretch cuffs Lycra cuffs Elastic cuffs No
Available Sizes S - XXXL XS - XXL S - XXL S-XL XS - XXL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ferrosi delivers proven performance for a budget-friendly price. Known for its breathability and stretchy fit, it excels in aerobic sports where breathability is key. Its wet weather protection is marginal due to the thin and porous fabric, but it serves up enough wind protection to make it useful high on a windswept alpine ridge.

Performance Comparison


outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - oh yeah! the ferrosi hooded jacket is in its element. get ready for...
Oh yeah! The Ferrosi Hooded jacket is in its element. Get ready for big long days, this jacket won't hold you back.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Weather Protection


Lightweight softshell jackets that tend to excel in breathability often have diminished performance when it comes to protecting from weather. The Ferrosi Hoodie is no exception. Tried and true, the Ferrosi fabric has long withstood the abuse of coarse-grained granite, gusty mountain winds, and light virga when descending from summertime alpine rock routes. But when the heavy stuff comes in, this fabric wets out quicker than most even though it has been treated with a water-resistant DWR conditioning.


This tight woven nylon/spandex combination blocks wind well, especially when paired with a thin fleece underneath, as it has no additional backing, sheds light rain, and dries out quickly. But for anticipated prolonged wet conditions, we find ourselves throwing on a lightweight hardshell jacket. An adjustable hood fits comfortably over a climbing helmet, although ski helmets feel a bit cramped. Wrist cuffs are fitted rather than adjustable, so those wearing gloves will have to decide whether they can fit them under and get added weather protection or go over the cuffs and deal with the downsides of having them exposed.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - with plenty of room to fit over a regular climbing helmet, this...
With plenty of room to fit over a regular climbing helmet, this jacket allows for protection from the wind and light precipitation.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Breathability


The Ferrosi is one of the most breathable jackets we tested. This is a great example of how beneficial it can be to have a jacket that is not entirely windproof. By using a woven fabric with no fleece backing, winds are adequately blocked, but the warmth and sweat you generate while engaging in aerobic, high-output activities like cross-country skiing, running, or biking can still find their way through the fabric and not get trapped. Arriving to the top of a big climb dry and not sweaty makes a big difference, and it is one of the main reasons we continue to appreciate jackets like the Ferrosi.


It's worth noting that after wetting out the shoulders in our waterfall test, the stretchy body and hood fabric of the Ferrosi still breathed like a champ. Our tester was perfectly dry in less than 30 minutes of moderate activity. If, on the other hand, you don't need lots of breathability, and prefer top-quality weather protection in a softshell, then a slightly heavier jacket with a liner may be worth the added weight for the extra weather resistance it provides.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - trail running is another favorite pastime of the ferrosi, it is so...
Trail running is another favorite pastime of the Ferrosi, it is so breathable we can run uphill in the high desert without a sweat!
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Mobility


We tend to see a positive correlation between breathability and mobility — the lighter and stretchier the fabric, the better it breathes, and surprise, surprise, the better it moves. The Ferrosi is no exception and arrives again at the top of the podium for mobility. The super-stretchy material, which blends spandex into the nylon, allows for full range of motion without constriction, and even during the richest of climbing maneuvers, the sleeves barely move.


One thing that Outdoor Research changed with the new Ferrosi is the thumb loops and the arm patterning. In previous iterations, we found that the arms were either too short or too long, and the sewn-in thump loops helped keep the cuffs from sliding back when reaching. The new model gets rid of the thumb loops altogether (but the arm length seems spot on!). Some may be ecstatic about this change, while other folks with longer arms might wish for a return of the thumb loop. Time will tell.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - being stretchy is key, and this softshell is highly mobile where it...
Being stretchy is key, and this softshell is highly mobile where it counts.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Weight


Once one of the lightest jackets in our softshell jacket roundup, the Ferrosi has had some new contenders enter the arena that have shifted the definition of what it means to be lightweight. We put the Ferrosi on the scale and are still impressed at its 13.4-ounce weight, although the lightest jacket in this review is now half that weight!


The biggest benefit we see to jumping past the ultralight offerings and checking this one out is the added durability that the Ferosi fabric offers. Sure, it is a little heavier, but rubbing up against rock or taking a spill at speed on the local MTB trail is going to tear through those other fabrics like tissue paper, whereas we find this jacket to be pretty abrasion-resistant.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - verifying the weight on our personal scale.
Verifying the weight on our personal scale.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Versatility


Over the years, the Ferrosi has seen several minor updates, but despite these small tweaks, it has stayed true to the original concept and continues to offer broad appeal to outdoor enthusiasts seeking a quality, lightweight softshell jacket. Year after year, even in the face of new competition, Outdoor Research has continued the Ferrosi tradition of choosing simplicity and performance over flash and/or niche applications. Foregoing lots of fancy features for a simple but attractive design and a wide range of color offerings, this jacket is useful for casual outings, light hikes, and anything that a seasoned adventurer can throw at it.


Again, the main limitation of this jacket is its diminished performance in wet weather conditions. Still, for a thin softshell jacket whose main ambition is aerobic activity, we are absolutely fine giving up some weather protection for enhanced breathability and performance in this athletic arena.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - whatever the activity, the ferrosi is up for it, even if it means...
Whatever the activity, the Ferrosi is up for it, even if it means booting up this couloir in 50mph winds!
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Value


While prices of outdoor apparel continue to skyrocket, we are happy to say that the price of the Ferrosi Hoodie has remained the same. Simple yet refined in its updated iteration, this jacket continues to be one of our favored softshells and, at a budget-friendly price, continues to be an award winner.

Conclusion


At its core, a softshell jacket is a hybrid piece meant to fill the gap between hardshell jackets and fleeces. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie fills this gap wonderfully and is a joy to wear over a base layer or light fleece. Several reviewers purchased the jacket after the conclusion of our review. While other softshells might be a touch more breathable and others more weather-resistant, the Ferrosi strikes a fantastic real-world balance packed into a super lightweight piece. If you want excellent breathability coupled with some protection from snow and moisture, this jacket is an excellent addition to your kit.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie softshell jacket review - solid performance, good looking, and inexpensive. what's not to love...
Solid performance, good looking, and inexpensive. What's not to love about this softshell?
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Ryan Huetter
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