As an all-around down jacket for the cold season, the Outdoor Research Aria is a solid performer. We like the attention to detail on this jacket: cozy face guard on the collar, ribbons to protect against zipper-snags in the pockets, an internal pocket with a headphone port, and a longer cut in the back. The downsides are that we don't love the look, and the down is slightly lower quality than most other competing jackets in this category. For the same price, we would be inclined to go with the Hi-Tec Timaru Down Hoodie - Women's which has better looks and a hood.
Outdoor Research Aria Jacket - Women's Review
Cons: Strange looks, somewhat heavy for a hoodless jacket, lower quality down
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Our Analysis and Test Results
A cozy and warm down jacket, the Aria has a style that appeals to many women.
Since this jacket has lower quality down, it does not insulate as well as other similarly weighted jackets.
This jacket does not have a hood and uses lightweight polyester as the main fabric, so overall it is not very heavy, weighing 11 ounces for a size small.
The Aria uses 650 fill down, which is slightly lower quality down than many of the other jackets in this review. This makes it is less compressible, though the jacket is not very large so it still fits into a stuff sack.
As a non-treated down jacket, if the Aria gets wet the down will lose its loft. The polyester face fabric can repel a light sprinkling of water, but moisture can still leak into the stitching seams.
Style & Fit
The back of the jacket is cut longer than the front, which is a desirable fit, keeping out wind and fully covering the waistline of the pants.
The sewn-through construction of this jacket takes a creative approach and uses an unusual swerving, curvy pattern for the stitching. Though we appreciate the uniqueness of this idea, we aren't sold on the look of the resulting baffles. Our testers had varied opinions: one tester loves the look of this jacket and prefers it to all others in this review, but the majority did not like the style. We are also not a fan of the sleeve cuffs, which are bunched elastic. It results in bulky sleeves that bulge out at the wrists. We do like that it is cut longer in the back, which is flattering and warmer. This jacket runs smaller in fit that many of the others, having a slightly more tailored feel.
We have yet to find any durability issues with this jacket. It is solidly made.
The Aria has a cozy, fleece face guard along the collar, adding a snuglgy component for when the jacket is fully zipped.
At $199 this jacket is fairly average in price, being much less expensive than the Valandre Split S or the Brooks Range Mojave, or the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, all of which require more of an investment. If you are looking for a fairly inexpensive jacket for all-around winter use, this jacket works well.
— McKenzie Long