Reviews You Can Rely On

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie - Women's Review

This lightweight and breathable jacket has an arsenal of premium features for an affordable price
gearlab tested logo
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie - Women's Review (We love the Ferrosi for long days outdoors and for saving us some cash in the process.)
We love the Ferrosi for long days outdoors and for saving us some cash in the process.
Credit: Mary Witlacil
Price:  $149 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 25, 2022
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 8
  • Weather Protection - 30% 5.0
  • Breathability - 30% 10.0
  • Mobility - 25% 10.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.0
  • Versatility - 5% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie is an active softshell with excellent features at a reasonable price. It performs well across nearly all metrics, proving to be a very worthy jacket for those on a budget. While it is not particularly water-resistant, it does dry quickly and provides top-notch breathability. The stretchy fabric also lends to great mobility. The jacket is reinforced with burly Cordura on the shoulders and elbows, which increases durability without impeding movement or comfort. We love this jacket for being able to stow into its pocket while climbing and for having UPF 50+ fabric to protect your skin from the sun. It proves itself to be a formidable offering at a low price, earning it our Best Buy Award. Check out our article on the best women's softshell jacket to see how it ranks versus competitors.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Durable
Breathable
Affordable
Premium features
Quick drying
REASONS TO AVOID
Below average water resistance
Baggy fit
Hand pockets inaccessible with harness

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $67.03 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$300 List
$300.00 at Amazon
$185.00 at REICheck Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$150 List
$132.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
81
84
81
80
46
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line This versatile jacket is a well-priced layer for many mild weather applicationsWhether alpine climbing, mountaineering, or hiking, this layer is breathable, moves well, and effectively protects from the elements in styleA protective and comfortable softshell that easily moves from an afternoon of climbing to the cafe or breweryThis jacket is lightweight, breathable, easy to move in, and affordable - a great combination for the active outdoorswomanA weather-resistant casual softshell for urban adventures or staying warm around the campfire
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Fe... Arc'teryx Gamma Hoo... Black Diamond Alpin... Rab Borealis - Women's The North Face Apex...
Weather Protection (30%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
7.0
Breathability (30%)
10.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
4.0
Mobility (25%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Weight (10%)
7.0
5.0
10.0
9.0
2.0
Versatility (5%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
2.0
Specs Outdoor Research Fe... Arc'teryx Gamma Hoo... Black Diamond Alpin... Rab Borealis - Women's The North Face Apex...
Measured Weight 12.5 oz (size S) 14.5 oz (size S) 6.5 oz (size S) 9 oz (size S) 22.5 oz (size S)
Material Body/hood: 86% nylon 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Shoulders/forearms: dordura 91% nylon, 9% spandex 120D stretch woven
Wee Burly Double Weave (56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane), DWR finish Schoeller w/Eco-Repel Bio (93% nylon, 7% elastane) Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR 86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane with non-PFC DWR
Type Active Active Active Active Casual
Lined/Insulated? No No No No Yes, fleece backer
Hood? Yes, 2-way adjustable Yes, 2-way adjustable Yes, 2-way adjustable Yes, stretchy but not adjustable No
Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted) 3 (2 hand, 1 chest) 2 hand 1 chest 2 hand 3 (2 hand, 1 chest)
Adjustable Cuffs? No, stretch cuffs No, stretch cuffs No, stretch cuffs No, stretch cuffs No, stretch cuffs
Available Sizes XS - 2XL 2XS - 2XL XS - XL XS - XL XS - XXL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ferrosi Hoodie delivered solid performance across all metrics. On variable weather days while doing aerobic activities, it offers excellent breathability to keep you warm without overheating. The highly stretchy fabric moves well regardless of what you're doing, and the abrasion-resistant shoulders and elbows lend excellent durability, especially when up against scratchy granite. It has below-average water resistance, but it dries quickly and offers great sun protection, proving to be a nimble fair weather jacket for any adventures you plan to get after.

Performance Comparison


outdoor research ferrosi hoodie for women - we love the ferrosi for premium features at an affordable price!
We love the Ferrosi for premium features at an affordable price!
Credit: Jared Ross

Weather Protection


While the Ferrosi provides excellent wind resistance and great sun protection with UPF 50+ fabric, don't expect this lightweight layer to be a reliable barrier against heavy rain or the coldest days.


One way we evaluate our tested jackets for water resistance is by taking them in the shower. In this test, the Ferrosi soaked through pretty quickly — it leaked and had noticeable drips of moisture inside the jacket within less than 10 seconds. At the one-minute mark, it reached total failure, becoming wet around the shoulders even with the hood up. While the shower test does communicate how effectively a jacket resists moisture in an all-out deluge, it tells us very little about how a jacket will perform in gentle rain or dry snow. In real-world applications, the Ferrosi does have a decent amount of resistance for light sprinkles and spray owing to its DWR coating. It is also among the quickest to dry, which means you won't have to wait too long to warm up if you're dealing with summer monsoons on a sunny day in the mountains. You will have little problem staying warm in cooler weather if your heart rate is up as long as you don't depend on this jacket to keep a heavy rainstorm at bay.

As far as wind, the Ferrosi provides great protection, taking the edge off of most breezes. While it is not the most wind-resistant, nor is it the warmest jacket in our review, we found it to be a wonderful layer on cool morning approaches and mountain hikes.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie for women - on spring days in the foothills, the ferrosi moves well between...
On Spring days in the foothills, the Ferrosi moves well between cool, breezy, and warm temps, so you won't have to ditch your jacket every time the sun comes back out again.
Credit: Jared Ross

Breathability


Breathability is one of the metrics where the Ferrosi truly shines.


On days when the temperature vacillates between warm and cool, you want a layer that allows sweat to escape while protecting your skin from a cold breeze. This is critical when you're on a long hike and need a layer to keep you warm without trapping sweat against your skin. The Ferrosi does this surprisingly well. When everyone else was putting on and taking off layers to manage temperature fluctuations, our reviewer could keep hiking without stopping to change layers.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie for women - the ferrosi performed well across nearly all our metrics, and does...
The Ferrosi performed well across nearly all our metrics, and does so at a completely reasonable price.
Credit: Jared Ross

Mobility


Mobility is a category where we expect softshells to perform well, as they are supposed to be stretchy and allow you to move without slowing you down. The Ferrosi exceeded expectations, outperforming a competitive array of jackets.


The stretchy cuffs and four-way stretch on the Ferrosi lend to excellent mobility. The jacket moves well without lifting up while climbing or raising your hands over your head. For this reason, it is an excellent jacket for climbing, hiking, running, or scrambling. Some softshells have abrasion-resistant fabric that feels like sandpaper against bare skin, not so with the Ferrosi. The genius designers at Outdoor Research somehow found a durable fabric that feels comfortable to the touch. An impressive feat, for sure!

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie for women - no matter what we got into, this jacket could move and keep up...
No matter what we got into, this jacket could move and keep up without restriction.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Weight


With a weight of 12.5 ounces in size small, the latest iteration of the Ferrosi scores favorably in this category as well.


Part of why our reviews love the Ferrosi is that it is among the lightest weight options in our review. This matters a ton when you have to stash a jacket in your pack or if you need to tuck it into its stuff sack and clip it onto your harness. The lightweight jackets in our review also feel light when you wear them, something that matters if you don't want to be weighed down by your jacket, whether in your pack or on your back.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie for women - the ferrosi is so stretchy, it will have you jumping for joy!
The Ferrosi is so stretchy, it will have you jumping for joy!
Credit: Jared Ross

Versatility


This metric is where we consider the various uses ideal for each jacket, as well as the features that distinguish the jackets from one another. The Ferrosi scores favorably in terms of versatility for having top-shelf features and excellent performance in myriad activities. With this generation of Ferrosi, Outdoor Research has increased their size offerings to include XS-2XL size options, improving over previous iterations.


We consider the Ferrosi an active softshell, meaning that it is best used for aerobic activities when you need an extra layer for the wind or cool temps. Owing to the stretchy, durable, and breathable fabric, this is a great wind layer while climbing or running. We appreciate how well it kept us warm without stewing in sweat on long hikes. However, given that it isn't terribly warm or water-resistant, it is not our first choice for most winter activities. For ice climbing, backcountry skiing, or winter mountaineering, we would recommend you check out one of the technical softshells in our review.

outdoor research ferrosi hoodie for women - while not the warmest layer, we still consider the ferrosi to be...
While not the warmest layer, we still consider the Ferrosi to be very versatile. It's stretchy, durable, lightweight, and can easily be layered. It also provides sun protection and breathes well.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Despite its low price tag and light weight, the Ferrosi has a few outstanding features that distinguish it from other budget-minded jackets. For starters, it folds into one of its pockets so you can easily stash the jacket in your pack or on your climbing harness when you aren't wearing it. We think this should be standard on active softshells, but some companies still haven't adopted this feature. It has three zippered pockets — two hand and one chest. One downside is that the hand pockets are inaccessible while wearing a harness or the waist belt of a backpack. On the inside of the jacket, there are two additional vertical slots behind the baffles of the hand pockets that can be used as a stash spot for your gloves or beanie. Brilliant! The hood sits close to the skin, so it is meant to be worn under a helmet, which can be a bummer given where the hood adjustment toggle sits. Caveats aside, this jacket has many premium features and is an excellent option for fair-weather aerobic activities, making it a very versatile jacket.

The Ferrosi stuffs easily into one of its hand pockets, to easily...
The Ferrosi stuffs easily into one of its hand pockets, to easily hang on your harness or stash into your pack.
When folded into its pocket, the Ferrosi commands minimal space on...
When folded into its pocket, the Ferrosi commands minimal space on your harness. A feature climbers are sure to love.

Value


The Ferrosi is an exceptional value. The folks at Outdoor Research designed an affordable yet durable jacket with premium features. It is impressively breathable, offers great mobility, and is quite comfortable to wear despite being abrasion-resistant. It protects your skin from wind and sun, and while not very water-resistant, it dries quite quickly. This jacket is also durable enough to withstand scratchy granite and pokey willows, so you hopefully won't have to replace it year after year. If you're looking for an active softshell that folds into its own pocket and is light enough you won't notice it on your harness or in your pack, then we think this is a great option to consider. All without breaking the bank!

Conclusion


Breathable? Check. Great mobility? Check. Versatile? Check. Wind and sun protection? Check and check. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie checks a lot of boxes, which is why it is an easy jacket to recommend. It does exactly what an active softshell should do — keep you warm but not swampy, and allow you to move, unimpeded by poor design or stiff fabrics. We also appreciate how Outdoor Research has begun making this jacket with 46% recycled fabric. Couple this with the durable abrasion-resistant fabric, and you'll be wearing this jacket for years to come.

Mary Witlacil