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Orolay Thickened Down Review

This undeniably warm, comfortable, and expandable jacket is a great option IF you like the look
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Orolay Thickened Down Review (A roomy cut and plenty of down insulation make the Orolay a very comfortable winter option.)
A roomy cut and plenty of down insulation make the Orolay a very comfortable winter option.
Credit: Clark Tate
Price:  $152 List
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Manufacturer:   Orolay
By Clark Tate ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 26, 2024
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 15
  • Warmth - 30% 8.0
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Versatility and Style - 10% 4.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

With a unique cut and silhouette, the Orolay Thickened Down parka makes a statement. Not all of our testers appreciate the look, but we do all love how warm, comfortable, and practical this jacket is. Its oval shape fits at the shoulders and curves out from there, giving your body plenty of room to just be. It's also expandable. Down and feather insulation and lots of layering make this one of the warmest jackets we tested. The massive hood helps, holding in warmth and blocking wind from the side. The jacket only zips to your collarbone though, leaving your neck and face exposed to the wind. It's not technically waterproof, but this cozy winter jacket scored well in our head-to-head tests and is one of the most affordable options in the review.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfy relaxed fit
Warm
Impressively expandable
Nicely priced
REASONS TO AVOID
Controversial
Statement-making style

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Bottom Line An excellent option as long as you can handle flashy silver zippers and ribbonsA highly protective winter jacket that won't break the bankWe wish this well-rounded jacket had higher-quality snaps, otherwise it's an excellent bargainThis jacket is waterproof and provides a lot of warmth for your core at a low costThis short ski jacket sheds water well and comes at a reasonable price point
Rating Categories Orolay Thickened Down The North Face Arct... REI Co-op Norseland... Wantdo Waterproof Snow Moerdeng ArcticPeaks
Warmth (30%)
8.0
8.0
6.5
4.0
4.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
5.0
8.5
5.5
5.0
4.0
Comfort (25%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
3.0
Versatility and Style (10%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
Construction Quality (10%)
6.0
8.0
2.0
3.0
3.0
Specs Orolay Thickened Down The North Face Arct... REI Co-op Norseland... Wantdo Waterproof Snow Moerdeng ArcticPeaks
Measured Internal Temperature 68.8 °F 68.7 °F 69.5 °F 64.0 °F 63.9 °F
Insulation and Fill Power 700-fill power (90% white duck down, 10% feathers) 600-fill recycled down 650-fill power duck (80% recycled down / 20% feather) Not specified Cotton insulation with polyester fleece lining
Fill Weight Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified
Hood Insulated Adjustable, insulated with removable faux fur trim Insulated, adjustable Detachable, insulated hood, with removable faux fur trim Faux fur-lined, adjustable, removable
Pockets 2 hand warmer, 2 zippered straight pockets, 2 zippered chest external, 1 zippered chest internal 2 zippered hand warmer, 1 drop-in interior 2 zippered hand warmer, 1 zippered interior 2 buttoned external, 2 internal - 1 zippered chest, 1 drop-in mesh, 1 arm 2 hand warmer, 1 external zipper chest, 1 internal zipper chest
Weight (size small) 2.9 lb 2.6 lb 2.1 lb 2.6 lb 1.9 lb
2-Way Zipper N0 Yes Yes N0 N0
Weather Resistant Features Wind resistant fabric Waterproof, windproof, breathable (DryVent), non-PFC DWR DWR treatment Waterproof fabric Waterproof and windproof fabric with DWR finish
Sizes Available XXS - 5XL XS - 2XL XS - 3XL S - 2XL S - 2XL
Social or Environmental Certifications Certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) 100% recycled down, 100% recycled polyester lining 80% recycled down, Bluesign approved nylon fabric and recycled polyester lining, Certified Climate Neutral brand None found None found

Our Analysis and Test Results

This jacket is more fashion-forward than many we tested. That doesn't mean it doesn't function well. On the contrary, aside from leaving your face exposed to the elements, this jacket works in cold and windy or wet and sloppy weather. With its reasonable price and frequent sales, we think it's an excellent option for anyone who likes the style. It's also impressively expandable, which, when combined with its generous cut through the middle, makes it an option for pregnant women that will fit and flatter for years.

Performance Comparison


orolay thickened down - sure, some of our friends laughed at the orolay's style, but we...
Sure, some of our friends laughed at the Orolay's style, but we didn't care too much while enjoying its impressive warmth and comfort.
Credit: Clark Tate


Warmth


We tested the warmth of these jackets by walking around in all kinds of winter weather and by standing still in 20°F temps for 10 minutes, measuring the internal and external temperatures with small temperature and humidity sensors. The Orolay performed impressively, keeping our core toastier than all but the very best options in the test.


Stuffed with 90% down and 10% feathers, this jacket isn't the fluffiest, puffiest option we've reviewed. Its voluminous cut and uniquely layered design seems to help it hold heat. The back panel is a fairly standard baffled down puffy. The front is more… complicated. Part of the baffled panel in the front folds over an uninsulated strip of fabric, snapping down along the front zipper. If you leave the snaps closed, you form an extra air pocket between you and the frigid weather. Unsnapping it doesn't give you any more functional room in the jacket, since it doesn't affect the inner liner.


The coat's expansive hood helps. It's huge, with insulating down and a soft, high-pile fleece liner. You can wear it with the rim folded back for maximum visibility or rolled forward to increase coverage. It's kind of comically large, extending nearly five inches past your forehead and giving your face and neck protection from snowfall and crosswinds. The zipper only comes up to your collarbone though, so your face and neck are on their own.

orolay thickened down - with flashy features and bright pops of color, this jacket is a fun...
With flashy features and bright pops of color, this jacket is a fun choice.
Credit: Clark Tate

Wrist cuffs help keep drafts out, and comfy hand-warmer pockets are tucked into the insulation. The jacket reaches partway down the thigh, keeping your bum warm but doing little for your legs.

orolay thickened down
Credit: Clark Tate

Weather Resistance


To make sure these parkas can keep wind, driving snow, or sloppy mixed conditions at bay, we also test them in the shower and in blustery winter weather. Again, this jacket impressed during our 2-minute shower test, keeping us warm and dry inside. It's not meant for wet weather though, and our face and the face of the fabric did soak in some water. The two horizontal front pockets were also, unfortunately, unzipped and collected rainwater like buckets.


Even after a quick shake off, the fabric held on to quite a bit of the shower water. If temps dropped below freezing after a bout of rain, you'd be pretty ice. Still, for a jacket that doesn't claim to be waterproof, at least it kept us dry. The fabric cuffs absorbed some water, holding cold, wet fabric against our wrists. It's not meant for a rainstorm, but this jacket can withstand some exposure to wet and sloppy snow.

Its results in the wind test are also mixed. The top performers in this test all sport a protective hood and a collar tall enough to shield most of your face. The Orolay has a large hood that extends well beyond your nose, blocking wind from the side and wet weather from above. The short collar does nothing to protect your neck and face though, and a cold headwind will steal your breath unless you remember a scarf.

orolay thickened down - we didn't get wet during the shower test, but the fabric sure did.
We didn't get wet during the shower test, but the fabric sure did.
Credit: Clark Tate

Comfort


What's not to love about a coat that feels like a set of sweats? Since it bells outward in an oval curve, this jacket puts absolutely no pressure on your waistline. The soft hood liner and pleasant fabric help, but the key to this jacket's comfort is in the cut.


When you're bundled up six ways to Sunday, it's easy to overheat and feel flustered by constriction points. This roomy jacket mostly avoids the issue with a fit that flares from the shoulders and tucks back in at the thighs to hold in heat. It's also expandable. Two-inch-wide triangular panels unzip on either side of the coat, widening the hem. You can also unsnap the down panels on either side of the front zipper, but it won't give you more room since the liner doesn't change.

We also love that the hand-warmer pockets are truly made for your hands. Tucked behind the insulation and without scratchy zippers (since there are plenty of secure options for your valuables), they are some of the coziest in the test.

orolay thickened down - zippers on either side of the jacket will grant you four more inches...
Zippers on either side of the jacket will grant you four more inches around the hem if you want it.
Credit: Clark Tate

Versatility and Style


This jacket's style was the most controversial element in the test. Several of our lead tester's friends laughed when she showed up wearing it. But, that really just shows how much of a style departure it is for her. She didn't mind wearing it.


The jacket's unique silhouette is not the point of contention, it's all the bells and whistles, i.e. shiny zippers, long ribbon zipper pulls, and not-so-necessary snaps and layers. It's all a bit much for our simple/neutral/natural leaning test team. If you like the photos though and feel like it's a fun style for you, we think you'll like it.

It's not the most functionally versatile jacket. It's not great in wet or stormy weather, and it's not that easy to dress up. You can expand the hem by four inches though, between that and the generous cut through the middle, this coat may be able to keep you warm through a portion of pregnancy. That's a nice option to have.

orolay thickened down - the roomy hood blocks gusts of wind from the side, even without a...
The roomy hood blocks gusts of wind from the side, even without a fur ruff.
Credit: Clark Tate

Construction Quality


We saw little evidence that this coat will fall apart on you anytime soon. The chrome colored zippers, all seven of them, worked well throughout the test. Hidden seams in the outer shell of the jacket resist snagging.


Those lines of stitches that are exposed snag pretty easily though. When they do, pulling on them bunches the fabric, meaning that breaking one is going to impact the entire, somewhat uneven row. That wouldn't ruin the jacket, but it would mar its unique looks.

orolay thickened down - the jacket's possibly overly complicated construction seems pretty...
The jacket's possibly overly complicated construction seems pretty well done.
Credit: Clark Tate

Should You Buy the Orolay Thickened Down?


Scoring well in warmth and comfort, this well-priced jacket is a good option for anyone who doesn't mind wearing a buff or scarf to protect their face and sticks close enough to civilization to duck inside during a real storm. Make sure you like shiny zippers and unique shapes before you commit to this jacket.

orolay thickened down - most winter jackets have hoods that look oddly small in proportion...
Most winter jackets have hoods that look oddly small in proportion to the bulky parkas. The Orolay goes the other way with an oversized hood. It's functional, but can feel silly.
Credit: Clark Tate

What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?


One of our favorite aspects of the Orolay is its reasonable price point. If you're watching your budget but want a less flashy option, consider the easy-wearing REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0. The Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket is another reasonably priced option that's warm and waterproof, but too short to keep your legs insulated. If you want a longer jacket that won't depend as much on warm pants to keep you toasty, consider the Outdoor Research Coze.

If fashion is your first consideration, we think the Patagonia Down With It Parka, Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka, and Fjallraven Nuuk are all great looking coats. They all cost quite a bit more though.

orolay thickened down - we feel cool. do we look it?
We feel cool. Do we look it?
Credit: Clark Tate

Clark Tate