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 is a great choice for any lady ripper.
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 surface of the fabric. 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 so popular with our testers! We prefer Gore-Tex fabric like on the Patagonia Primo Down - Women's or the Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's for when things get wet - we know it does a good job at keeping moisture out!
The Nina's detachable hood fits pretty well over a helmet.
Because the fabric is so soft and stretchy, snow seems to stick to it when it is warm outside, which is just 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 the massive Sentinel or Patagonia Snowbelle hoods. We like the hood's drawcords, they are easy to tighten with gloves on.
We love the Nina's easy to use hood draw cords.
Comfort and Fit
The Nina's fabric has a nice hand and is soft and stretchy, although not as durable as something like the Billie Coat. It moves well with us when skiing, and we never noticed it or felt like our movements were restricted.
This jacket fits true to size, and we were able to fit a thin extra layer underneath when we needed it. Overall a very comfortable jacket.
The Nina's pass pocket.
We backed off on the style points last year because the orange and pink color combination rubbed some folks the wrong way. However it looks like Orage has toned it down for the 2018-19 season.
The Nina has enough insulation to keep you warm but still fits in a very flattering way to feel feminine. You can get it in black for a more understated look, especially if you have a crazy colored ski pant. It even looks good when you're wearing a tutu! The Nina is a great choice when hitting the town or for après ski on cold days.
The Nina's color combinations this year were not everyone's favorites.
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. It is warmer than the Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowbelle, with 60 grams of synthetic insulation.
The Nina kept us warm and we didn't experience any drafts through the zipper at high speed.
The Nina's hood is thinly insulated which will add an extra layer of warmth when things get burly, as well as warm thumb holes 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 Celsius, we decided that the Nina was maxed out and reached for the Primo Down instead.
The Orage Nina is equipped with pit-zips for ventilation. These pit-zips are mesh lined which have pros and cons. The intention of the mesh is to keep snow out were you to 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. The Columbia Whirlibird and the Patagonia Primo Down also have mesh lined pit-zips.
That being said, the Nina has decent ventilation, but its pit-zips do not work as well as the Patagonia Untracked jacket's gaping zippers. 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. The most unique feature is the "snow phone leash" so you won't drop your phone off the chairlift when you take it out to use it on the chairlift to coordinate a meet up with your ski buddies or take a selfie!! 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 comes with standard ski features like a powder skirt and pass pocket. We wish the powder skirt was removable like on the Flylow Billie Coat 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's snow phone leash.
The Nina has some great pockets, including one media pocket with an interior headphone gasket, but we wish that there was an interior zipper pocket for stashing things like keys and credit cards.
The Nina is loaded with great ski features including a large drop in pocket and snow skirt.
We also noticed this year that the Nina has 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.
This is a true resort jacket. It doesn't have any special uses like the shells (Untracked, Billie Coat, and Sentinel) which you can take ski touring or wear in the rain; or 3-in-1 type models like The North Face ThermoBall Triclimate. It is not super warm like the down insulated jackets we tested. It is simply meant to be worn in most conditions, on most days at the resort. It is super comfortable, and you will feel great wearing it.
Orage does a good job giving the Nina great ski features but keeping the price tag down. We've removed it's "Best Buy" status because it is no longer one of the least expensive jackets in this review, retailing for $375. We think it is still a decent value, although it is not as durable as some of the other jackets we tested like the Billie Coat. We accidentally sliced a little hole in the sleeve when handling skis with sharp edges.
You will stand out in a crowd in this jacket!
Forget all the hype about El Nino you've heard in the past; you want La Nina! If you are looking for a stylish, solid performing, all-around ski jacket at a great price, you should choose the Orage Nina. Our tester ladies loved its comfort and fit. We loved the clever ski features and soft, stretchy fabric. We wish it was slightly more durable and could have been slightly warmer. For very cold climates you may want to look into something like the Patagonia Primo Down.