Orage Nina Review
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|Pros||Stylish, comfortable, warm, good ski features, inexpensive||Warm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fit||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile||Warm, resort-oriented look, quite inexpensive|
|Cons||Not super durable||Lackluster ventilation||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn||No ventilation, bulky insulation, chafes chin, ineffective hem and hood adjustment|
|Bottom Line||This fully featured resort jacket is a great choice for any lady ripper||A super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who runs a little colder||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price||This inexpensive jacket was able to keep us warm and dry in most low-exertion skiing|
|Rating Categories||Orage Nina||Helly Hansen Powder...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Wantdo Snowboarding...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Orage Nina||Helly Hansen Powder...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Wantdo Snowboarding...|
|Main Fabric||100% recycled polyester||70% nylon, 30% polyester||100% Nylon||100% Nylon||150D Dull Mechanical Elastic|
|Insulation||Warn SD 100g recycled polyester||Body: 60g PrimaLoft Sleeves: 40g PrimaLoft||None||100% Postconsumer recycled polyester||Insulating padding|
|Waterproofing||Dermizax||PFC free DWR||3-layer Pertex Shield||2-layer DryVent||DWR, 10k waterproof fabric|
|Pockets||2 hand, 1 chest, 1 insulated media, 1 goggle pocket||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 2 internal drop-in||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand|
|Weight||2.3 lbs||2.2 lbs||1.2 lbs||2.0 lbs||2.5 lbs|
|Hood Option||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable fur|
|Cuff construction||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro||Velcro||Snap|
|Powder skirt||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, behind insulating layer||Yes, snap away|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We've tested many incarnations of this jacket over the years and love it for its comfort and cute style. The latest version features Dermizax waterproof breathable fabric. The colors are updated for this season, too. We're linking to the updated model, but note that our text in this review refers to our prior experience with the Nina jacket.
Our lady testers love the Orage Nina. It is a flattering design and has soft and comfortable materials that keep you warm and looking good. You'll want to be wearing the Nina from the first chair to après ski. It has fun, unique ski features with a reasonable price tag.
The Nina uses a 100% polyester "Prime 20 4Way Stretch" fabric with a Durable Water Repellent coating (DWR). This combination seems to repel water nicely, and it beads on the fabric's surface. We have started to notice that the DWR may be wearing off and will need to be re-treated for next season because this jacket has seen so much use and is popular with our testers. We prefer Gore-Tex fabric for when things get wet — we know it does a good job of keeping moisture out.
Because the fabric is so soft and stretchy, snow seems to stick to it when it is warm outside, which is slightly annoying. We did not notice any drafts through the zippers when traveling at high speeds, and it has a cute little draft collar around the back of the neck to keep icy cold air from creeping down your spine. The Nina's hood goes over a helmet relatively well, although it doesn't have quite as much coverage as we'd like. We like the hood's drawcords; they are easy to tighten with gloves.
Comfort and Fit
The Nina's fabric has a nice feel and is soft and stretchy, although not as durable as other jackets we tested. It moves well with us when skiing, and we never noticed any restricted movements. This jacket fits true to size, and we could fit a thin extra layer underneath when needed. Overall, it's a very comfortable jacket.
We backed off on the style points last year because the orange and pink color combination rubbed some folks the wrong way. However, Orage has toned it down in its latest iteration. The Nina has enough insulation to keep you warm but still fits in a flattering way and feels feminine. You can get it in black for a more understated look, especially with crazy-colored ski pants. The Nina is a great choice when hitting the town or for après ski on cold days.
The Nina is middle of the pack regarding warmth. You can probably get by wearing it in most conditions if you have enough room to layer underneath. It has 100 grams of synthetic insulation in the torso and 80 grams in the arms.
The Nina's hood is thinly insulated, which will add an extra layer of warmth when things get burly and warm thumbholes for your wrists to keep drafts from going up your sleeves. When we were skiing in British Columbia, Canada and temperatures got down to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), we decided that the Nina was maxed out.
The Orage Nina is equipped with pit zips for ventilation. These pit zips are mesh-lined, a polarizing feature. The mesh intends to keep snow out when you take a tumble in the powder — the downside is that it does not allow the pit zips to open very wide, and the mesh reduces the potential for air to enter and exit.
That said, the Nina has decent ventilation, but its pit zips do not work as well as unlined ones. The Nina's synthetic insulation and soft outer materials seem to breathe as well as can be expected.
Orage has given the Nina several thoughtful and unique features to help you perform — and look good — on the mountain. A unique feature is the "snow phone leash," so you won't drop your phone off the chairlift. We also really like the cool inner zipper flap that you can snap across the zipper opening near your face. It has holes cut in the flap to allow you to breathe through without feeling suffocated.
The Nina also has standard ski features like a powder skirt and pass pocket. We wish the powder skirt was removable and find that this skirt rides up and can pull your layers up with it. We like the Nina's cozy wrist gaiters but don't understand why the hood needs to be detachable — it seems unnecessary and adds weight.
The Nina has some great pockets, including one media pocket with an interior headphone gasket. Still, we wish that there was an interior zipper pocket for stashing things like keys and credit cards. This year, we also noticed an interesting safety feature called "Rescue Sleeves." The inside material of the sleeves is bright orange, and the jacket is meant to be turned inside out so you can signal a helicopter with your bright arms.
Should You Buy the Orage Nina?
If you are looking for a stylish, solid-performing, all-around ski jacket at a great price, the Orage Nina is a reasonable option. Our tester ladies loved its comfort and fit, the clever ski features, and the soft, stretchy fabric. But it's not nearly as durable as some of the other jackets we tested – we accidentally sliced a little hole in the sleeve when handling skis with sharp edges. We were also a bit disappointed in the warmth offered by this insulated jacket. We felt like it was necessary but tough to fit an additional insulated layer on the coldest days.
What Other Women's Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
Orage does a good job giving the Nina great ski features while keeping the price tag down, but other jackets offer better performance at a similar price point. If you want a single-piece, insulated jacket, the award-winning Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 is a significant improvement for just a bit more money. For skiers excited about boot packing or backcountry ski tours, it may be better to pair a shell like the Outdoor Research Carbide with an insulated layer.
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