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Ortovox Fleece Hoody - Women's Review

A decent jacket that just isn't worth the cost
Ortovox Fleece Hoody - Women's
Photo: Ortovox
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Price:  $190 List
Pros:  Durable face fabric, good wind protection, fun colors and style
Cons:  Stiffer fabrics don't stretch well, tight through arms and chest
Manufacturer:   Ortovox
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 11, 2020
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Warmth - 20% 5
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 5
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Layering Ability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Movement - 15% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Ortovox Fleece offers decent performance across all metrics, making it an excellent choice for outdoor endeavors. We like the use of bright colors and the cool style it dons. However, we're not a huge fan of its massive price tag. While it's somewhat warm and cozy, its performance lacks luster. The materials, while passively breathable, aren't very stretchy, so the fit is finicky. Since the jacket is narrow through the chest and shoulders, it works best for those with slim profiles. The pockets are functional, but super shallow, which we found less than pleasing. It's slick, but we were left wondering if the cost was worth the performance it delivers.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $190 List$169.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$159 List$97.99 at Amazon$103.73 at REI
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Star Rating
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Pros Durable face fabric, good wind protection, fun colors and styleBreathable, durable, helmet compatible hood, awesome thermoregulation, high valueWarm, extremely breathable, cuts the wind, soft and cozy fabrics, stretchy and great mobilityLightweight, breathable, full-length zipper and a hoodSimple, super light and packable, fits well with harness and pack, breathable, loose but fitted, cute style
Cons Stiffer fabrics don't stretch well, tight through arms and chestNot weather resistant, expensivePills after washing, style isn't for everybody, breast pocket is small and seemingly unfunctionalNot very warm, no weather resistancePoorly sized chest pocket, durability issues, expensive
Bottom Line A fun and colorful technical merino fleece that presents poor valueThe perfect fleece that will take you from the grocery store to the mountain topsThis fleece is best when it comes to thermoregulationA lightweight piece to add to your layering systemThis packable and light fleece is designed for ladies that like to be on the move
Rating Categories Fleece Hoody R1 Full Zip Hoody R1 Air Hoody Rab Nucleus Hoody - Women's Type 2 Fun 3/4 Zip Hoody
Warmth (20%)
5
7
8
7
5
Comfort And Fit (20%)
5
8
8
7
7
Breathability (20%)
8
9
10
9
9
Layering Ability (20%)
7
9
6
9
9
Ease Of Movement (15%)
7
10
10
8
9
Weather Resistance (5%)
6
7
5
5
4
Specs Fleece Hoody R1 Full Zip Hoody R1 Air Hoody Rab Nucleus Hoody... Type 2 Fun 3/4 Zip...
Type Lightweight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight
Main Fabric 68% polyester (recycled) + 28% virgin wool (merino) + 4% elastane Polartec PowerGrid(93% recycled polyester/7% spandex) 100% polyester Thermic fleece & Power Grid 55% Polypropylene, 45% Polyester
Unique Features Polyester on the outside, merino wool on the inside Hidden zippered pocket, balaclava hood fits under a helmet, brick-patterned insulation balances breathability and warmth Ultra breathable and windproof face material that is stretchy and comfortable Close fitting hood fits under a helmet 3/4 length zipper designed for use with climbing harness
Weight (ounces) 14.15 12.05 10.6 11.2 8.95
# of Pockets 2 hand 2 hand, 1 hidden zippered pocket (right hand) 1 small chest, 1 hand 2 hand 1 chest
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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.

Performance Comparison


While the Ortovox Fleece Hoody is a great companion on colder days...
While the Ortovox Fleece Hoody is a great companion on colder days in the winter, it simply doesn't cut it when you look at the price it goes for. Jack the dog, however, is the best companion and a source of laughs and joy constantly.
Photo: Amber King

Warmth


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.

The merino wool isn't particularly lofty and quite thin. This is far...
The merino wool isn't particularly lofty and quite thin. This is far from a warm layer. But with a solid base layer and jacket, it'll offer the insulation you need when on the move.
Photo: Amber King

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.

The thumb loops are cool, but not the coziest we've tested. We love...
The thumb loops are cool, but not the coziest we've tested. We love how they're color coordinated!
Photo: Amber King

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 hood is fleece-lined and soft, offering additional warmth and...
The hood is fleece-lined and soft, offering additional warmth and coziness on the trail.
Photo: Amber King

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.

We find the pockets to be relatively shallow, but enough to get your...
We find the pockets to be relatively shallow, but enough to get your hands into.
Photo: Amber King

Breathability


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.

The material is, no doubt, thin and porous. But it's far from the...
The material is, no doubt, thin and porous. But it's far from the most breathable...even for a thinner jacket. This is largely attributed to the density of the pores being so close together.
Photo: Amber King

Layering Ability


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.

The jacket fits a backpack over top easily. It'll also layer nicely...
The jacket fits a backpack over top easily. It'll also layer nicely under a jacket or overtop a baselayer.
Photo: Amber King

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.

The fabrics aren't super mobile and the jacket moves up when you put...
The fabrics aren't super mobile and the jacket moves up when you put your arms up.
Photo: Amber King

Weather Resistance


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.

The merino wool does insulate when wet, but boy does that fabric...
The merino wool does insulate when wet, but boy does that fabric absorb moisture quickly!
Photo: Amber King

Value


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.

Thin and breathable. A great option for winter travel or when hiking...
Thin and breathable. A great option for winter travel or when hiking or backpacking in the summer months.
Photo: Amber King

Conclusion


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