Hands-on Gear Review

Orage Loulou Review

Orage Loulou
Top Pick Award
Price:  $300 List
Pros:  Stylish, warm, flattering fit, great ski features
Cons:  Hood is small for over a helmet, could be more breathable
Editors' Rating:   
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Main Fabric:  Nylon Twill 2 Poly fabric
Insulation:  100 grams of synthetic insulation in the body and 80 grams in the sleeves
Waterproofing:  10k waterproof and breathable with fully sealed seams
Manufacturer:   orage.com

Our Verdict

Discontinued - March 2016
The Loulou has been discontinued and is no longer offered by Orage. However, we have a number or current women's ski jacket recommendations.

The Orage Loulou is a feel-good jacket and takes our Top Pick Award for being a stylish, insulated resort jacket. You feel good wearing it, it looks good, and keeps you functioning well at the resort. The Orage Loulou can sometimes be difficult to find at major retailers; if you find this is the case, check out the Best Ski Jacket for Women Review to compare all of the ski jackets that we tested.

We wore this jacket in all kinds of weather on Mammoth Mountain and it was our go-to around town jacket for everyday winter use. The Loulou is comfortable and a great value — with lots of bright appealing colors to choose from.


RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Ski Jackets for Women

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Tuesday
March 10, 2015

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This fun and stylish ski jacket will keep you warm and performing all day on the mountain — not to mention looking good too. We think that the Loulou is one of the best all-around ski jackets we tested. Its stretchy shell material allows the wearer to move easily when skiing, and it has lots of pockets to stash anything you would need for a day at the resort. It performs better and has more ski features than the Spyder Amp, is a better value than the Arc'teryx Andessa and is a little warmer than the Obermeyer Brigitte. If you're looking for a resort oriented jacket that has it all in a stylish package, the Orage Loulou is for you.

Performance Comparison


A stylish and high performing ski jacket  the Orage Loulou does it all.
A stylish and high performing ski jacket, the Orage Loulou does it all.

Warmth


Synthetically insulated, the Loulou is a warm and cozy jacket. It kept us warm on the frigid days, although it is not as warm as the Patagonia Primo Down Jacket - Women's or the Arc'teryx Andessa. This year Orage has added some insulation to the hood, and we are stoked! This makes the jacket a lot warmer. We didn't feel any drafts through the zippers or seams when we were bombing down the groomers. We love its cozy wrist gaiters that keeps snow and chilly breezes from coming into the sleeves and they fit easily under gloves. There is also a soft micro-fleece baffle at the nape of your neck that stops drafts from creeping down your back. We wore the Loulou on a really warm day on the mountain and found it too warm — this jacket would not be the best choice for warm spring skiing days.

We love the look and feel of the Orage Loulou jacket. We wore this jacket in all kinds of weather on Mammoth Mountain  and it was our go-to around town jacket for everyday winter use.
We love the look and feel of the Orage Loulou jacket. We wore this jacket in all kinds of weather on Mammoth Mountain, and it was our go-to around town jacket for everyday winter use.

Water Resistance


The Orage Loulou's water resistance will do the trick for most days on the mountain. During our tests, water tended to bead on the fabric at first, but with more moisture it started to soak in. If you ski in a wet climate, consider going with a jacket like the Arc'teryx Meta that uses a fully waterproof Gore-Tex shell material as well as synthetic insulation that will keep you warm even when it gets wet. We can imagine the Loulou getting very soaked and heavy if it is out for a long time during warm, wet precipitation. We spent a whole day out in the rain getting drenched in the Patagonia Primo Down and stayed dry and warm. For more information on waterproofing and shell materials check out our buying advice article.

Ventilation


Occasionally we were HOT in this jacket. Granted we were out in sunny, warm California weather, but with the pit-zips fully undone we were still sweating. This makes us think that the Loulou jacket is not as breathable as we would like. The pit-zips are mesh-backed to keep out any powder when we're working hard to make turns. We think the Flylow Jane is more breathable than the Loulou, potentially because its pit-zips open all the way up, and its shell material may be more breathable. The Columbia Whirlibird Interchange - Women's has the potential to be the coolest jacket for spring skiing because you can remove its synthetic inner layer and it still has pit-zips in the shell.

The Loulou jacket is not as breathable as we would like  but we like that the pit-zips are mesh-backed to keep out any powder when we're working hard to make turns.
The Loulou jacket is not as breathable as we would like, but we like that the pit-zips are mesh-backed to keep out any powder when we're working hard to make turns.

Ski Features


We like all the ski features the Loulou has to offer. It has many large pockets to store what you need for the day, including a mesh goggle pocket, a large zippered interior pocket, a napoleon chest pocket, a pass pocket, and cozy micro-fleece lined hand warmer pockets. We love the thin, stretchy wrist gaiters that fit well under gloves and keep the snow out of the sleeves. The zipper is very easy to pull up and undo, and it also un-zips from the bottom for more comfort when sitting down or if you need to get to your waist area without undoing the whole jacket. Although the Loulou does not have an electronics pocket with a hole for headphones in the liner like the Flylow Jane, it does have an interior pocket and a small keeper loop that we think is for securing your headphones inside your jacket.

The Loulou's hood is removable. We do not see the purpose of having a removable hood on a ski jacket and have never wished we did not have a hood. We think this feature adds unnecessary weight and bulk to the jacket. Hoods are stylish and add lots of warmth - why would we want to take them off? Also, we wish that the hood was a little larger, it just barely fits over a helmet.

We love all the great ski features and the brightly colored liner material in the Loulou.
We love all the great ski features and the brightly colored liner material in the Loulou.

Style


The Loulou has a very clean but stylish look. The fit is flattering and we prefer the long cut of the hem. This is our favorite jacket to wear around town because it is stylish, warm, and functional. IWe don't feel like we just came from the ski hill when we are in the line at the grocery store in this jacket. The Patagonia Primo Down is another clean, simple, stylish jacket for around town.

The Loulou comes in many different bright, fun color choices. This year we have noticed a trend where many jacket have toned-down shell colors with bright feminine liner colors. The white Loulou we tested has a pretty purple liner. The Flylow Jane and The North Face Point It Down both thave bright pink liners.

Ladies jacket testing on the gondola  from left to right: Arc'teryx Meta  The North Face Point it Down  and the Orage LouLou jackets.
Ladies jacket testing on the gondola, from left to right: Arc'teryx Meta, The North Face Point it Down, and the Orage LouLou jackets.

Comfort and Fit


We could hardly feel this jacket when we were skiing, it was so comfortable. The slightly stretchy shell material moved with us and was very wind resistant. We really like the thin material of its wrist gaiters and found ourselves wearing them even when we were just walking around. There is also a soft micro-fleece chin guard that protects the chin from abrasion. The size medium fit our medium sized testers well, although it gets snug if you wear a bulky layer underneath.

Best Application


We like the Loulou for skiing and snowboarding at the resort on cold days. It could also be a good jacket for other winter activities like walking dogs, tobogganing, or just being out and about town in the winter.

Value


The Orage Loulou retails at $300, and is one of the best values in this review. It has everything you could want for resort skiing, including great ski features and good looks. If you are looking for a jacket with more high-end materials and that is lighter weight, consider the Arc'teryx Meta or the Patagonia Primo Down.

Conclusion


Orage has created a great all-around resort skiing jacket. The Loulou is one of the most comfortable jackets we tested and it looks stylish, which is why it wins our Top Pick Award. It has functional ski features, including comfortable wrist gaiters and many handy pockets. It has a form-flattering cut and comes in an array of attractive colors with flashy liner colors. It was our go-to jacket for running errands and going out on the town as well as riding the lifts. The only downsides are that we wish it was a little more water resistant and that the hood was slightly larger - and it really doesn't need to be detachable, in our opinion.
Jessica Haist

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Most recent review: March 10, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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