Ortovox Fleece Hoody - Women's Review
Cons: Stiffer fabrics don't stretch well, tight through arms and chest
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ortovox Fleece hosts bright colors and a sleek looking style that'll have some heads turning. Performance-wise, this full-zip merino wool-polyester jacket isn't anything special. Its warmth level is good, while the fit is best for those with a slim body profile. It's relatively breathable, but far from the first fleece we choose when getting out to explore. For the high price, it's simply not worth the cost — in our humble opinion.
This thin fleece features a continuous face fabric with a combination of wool, polyester, and elastane. It provides good warmth while you're on the move in cold weather, and is relatively lightweight. It doesn't feature a whole lot of loft and feels colder in comparison to fleeces with thicker materials. Use it for the shoulder seasons or when chugging out miles in the winter. It will perform for most weather, but only in a layered system.
Comfort and Fit
This jacket offers an average level of comfort, but the fit feels tighter and slim. If you're waffling on size, we'd recommend sizing up. We do love the thumb loops, garaged zippers, and the hood that articulates well under a helmet.
However, its rigid fabrics are restrictive and don't give much room or give for sizing. In addition, our wider chested testers felt the jacket was constrictive around the base of the armpit. Our narrower testers didn't notice this as an issue and preferred the fit to other models that aren't as slim fitting.
The materials are soft against the skin and do a good job of wicking away moisture. While the pockets are plentiful, they are shallow and not as large as we'd like them to be. Overall, comfort and fit are average, without anything to really write home about.
The Ortovox is thin and relatively breathable. While it doesn't incorporate any unique patterns in the fabric to help aid in breathability, the merino wool and polyester offer a decent amount of ventilation. It's not our top choice for a warm trail run, but it does well in colder temperatures for skiing or winter running.
Layering this full-zip jacket over a base layer is easy. The interior fleece isn't "grabby", which helps keep base layers in place. Its slimmer fit (especially in the arms) does result in bunching of long sleeves, so make sure you have a firm grip as you push the sleeve through the jacket. Layering underneath is a piece of cake, as the exterior fabric is slippery and smooth.
Ease of Movement
The lack of stretchy fabrics and their continuous face design makes this jacket less mobile than most. When moving our arms up and down, the jacket also moves up and down. That said, the fabrics aren't completely rigid and will stretch with you. We commonly used this jacket while skiing, where arm movement with the poles is key. It's comfortable, mobile, and smooth; this wouldn't, however, be our first choice for a sport that requires full-body mobility.
This jacket offers average weather protection. The continuous face fabric does a good job of cutting the wind, but not such a great job at repelling water. While water will initially bead up, it quickly soaks into the fabric. Despite the zippers that "look" waterproof, they aren't. We'd recommend having a shell on hand to pair with this jacket, especially if poor weather is in the forecast.
As such a low scorer at such a high price, we wouldn't recommend purchasing this jacket. Its value is low. While its performance and fit may be exactly what some women want, there are less expensive options on the market with far superior performance and quality. For the average user, the price is too high for its level of performance.
The Ortovox Fleece doesn't have any stand-out features that we love, nor are we a fan of the price. It performs average in all metrics and has a pretty snazzy looking exterior that some women might feel compelled to pay top dollar for.
— Amber King