Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great features, good weather resistance, durable
Cons: Could be warmer, bulky
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Compare to Similar Products
Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka
|Price||$349.26 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$649.00 at Amazon
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$262.46 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$148.83 at REI
|Pros||Great features, good weather resistance, durable||Durable, clean looking, warm, weather resistant||Warm, long hem, comfortable hood, great features||Warm, lightweight, comfortable||Warm, weather resistant, durable|
|Cons||Could be warmer, bulky||“Crinkly” shell fabric||Bulky, faux fur hood is polarizing||Not that durable, minimal features||Not very breathable, limited color options|
|Bottom Line||This heavily-featured and weather-resistant parka will keep you warm and dry in stormy winter climates||This stylish jacket is the closest thing to perfection we have tested||A warm, stylish, and budget-conscious jacket for those in the coldest regions||A warm, comfortable, and lightweight down parka that is ideal for winter hiking and outdoor activities||A versatile and high-performance winter jacket with plenty of warmth and weather protection, at a great price|
|Rating Categories||Outdoor Research St...||Arc'teryx Camosun P...||The North Face McMu...||Rab Neutrino Pro||REI Co-op Stormheng...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Outdoor Research St...||Arc'teryx Camosun P...||The North Face McMu...||Rab Neutrino Pro||REI Co-op Stormheng...|
|Down Fill Power||700||750||550||800||850|
|Total Weight||2.89 lbs.||2.14 lbs.||3.55 lbs.||1.38 lbs.||1.94 lbs.|
|Pockets||2 snap hand, 2 zippered chest, interior zip chest, 1 interior mesh||2 zippered hand, 1 internal security||2 chest height, zippered handwarmers, 2 exterior top-entry Velcro flap pockets, 1 sleeve, 1 interior media pocket, and 2 side-entry waist handwarmers||2 zippered hand, 1 internal chest||5 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 2 internal)|
|Hood||Yes||Yes (removable)||Yes (removable)||Yes||Yes|
|Hood Adjustments||Front chordlocks||3 adjustable drawcords||Rear drawcord||2 side drawcords, rear velcro||3-way adjustable|
|Baffle Type||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Twisted arm baffle||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric|
|Main Fabric||Polyester||N150p-x Gore-Tex 2L||DryVent 2L 100% nylon||Pertex Quantum||HydroWall 2L|
Our Analysis and Test Results
It's not every day that we see a winter jacket with urban looks, technical features, and good overall performance.
The OR Stormcraft Parka is insulated with 700-fill power down, which is packed into baffles underneath the hardshell exterior. The result is a jacket that is warm enough for most winter weather, though there isn't enough insulation to keep users warm on truly frigid days. We felt warm enough down to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius). The hood and sleeves don't feel all that warm, but the torso insulation gets the job done. This jacket is plenty for most urban winters, but users in frigid climates will need more insulation.
The Stormcraft features a Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane in the burly shell fabric, allowing air to escape from within, but preventing water from penetrating the down baffles. Down loses its insulating properties when wet, and although the fabric is waterproof, the handwarmer pockets aren't. This weak spot doesn't affect the jacket's performance in most weather, but during serious downpours, water can get in and soak the down feathers. The hood is large but is hard to sinch tightly. The elastic sleeve gaskets are great at preventing wind and cold from penetrating through the wrists.
This jacket is bulky, and the shell fabric feels thick and canvasy. It is stiff to the touch and, like other trench coats, the parka feels like a big blanket that weighs the user down. The stiff material is irritating to the chin, even though a small fleecy fabric patch is placed at the top of the front zipper. In general, wearing this jacket feels cumbersome compared to other jackets we have reviewed, but it feels similar to other heavy, urban winter jackets.
The Stormcraft is styled to fit into urban environments and city winters. It has a bulky, boxy cut, large cargo hand pockets, and a long hem. A long front zipper flap is easily noticed in the front of the jacket, and the dual external zippered chest pockets also stick out. This mix of technical and trench coat features produces a slightly odd look, but the jacket doesn't garner much attention in the first place. Overall, we received mixed opinions on the style of this parka, but nobody thought it deserved any fashion awards.
This parka is loaded with useful features. It has two handwarmer pockets on each side, one top entry, and one side entry. There are also two external chest pockets with waterproof zippers, which honestly is overkill, but still notable. On the inside, there is one zippered chest pocket and one mesh stash pocket. This jacket has tons of storage space. The wrist cuffs have elastic gaiters and the long hem can be tightened with a drawcord.
Like most urban parkas, the Stormcraft has a thick shell that feels like canvas and resists snagging and tearing when in contact with sharp edges. The front zipper features large teeth for easy opening and closing, and the front flap protects the zipper from damage. The chest pocket zippers feel solid. The down insulation will last longer than the synthetic insulation found in other jackets.
Should You Buy the Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka?
With technical features and urban styling, the Stormcraft doesn't cut any corners and the relatively high price reflects this commitment to performance. This winter jacket isn't cheap, but it has durable features and good weather protection, as well as long-lasting warmth for most winter climates. If you like the style and are willing to pay a premium for technical features, this jacket represents a decent value and will be a good investment.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
The Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka has technical features like high-quality down insulation and a Gore-Tex membrane, in a jacket with urban styling and tons of features. If you're looking for something with a similar urban styling that performs a little better, check out the Patagonia Frozen Range, and if you're looking for something a bit more affordable, take a look at the Best Buy Award-winning REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka. Some high-end options that are a little lighter-weight with excellent weather resistance are the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun Parka or the high-scoring Arc'teryx Thorsen Parka.
— Jeff Dobronyi
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More