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Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka Review

This soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures drop
Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka
Photo: Outdoor Research
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $349 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Warm, light, soft, great hood
Cons:  No cinch at the waist, not the most stylish
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2021
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 16
  • Warmth - 30% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 10
  • Style - 10% 4
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research’s Coze is well-named. It’s one of the coziest winter jackets we’ve tested, earning it our top pick award for parades, hockey games, and anything else that has you standing around in the cold. Reaching midway down our calves, it also has a large, deep, and overstuffed hood that protects your head while shielding your face from crosswinds. Despite its length, high-quality down keeps it light, and the soft nylon shell, knit cuffs, and touchpoints make every inch of it delightful. Sure, it looks like you’re walking around in a sleeping bag, and most of us struggle to feel elegant in a straight-cut, feather-stuffed sack. If that’s your style, or you’d rather be comfy than care, we think you’ll love this one.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award   
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$209.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$199 List
Check Price at REI
$176.97 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Warm, light, soft, great hoodWarm, flattering, cozy, double-sided zipper, functional pocketsWarm, comfortable, simple, inexpensiveStylish, incredibly warm, lightweight to down ratio, detachable fur hoodWaterproof, windproof, breathable, warm, durable
Cons No cinch at the waist, not the most stylishNo front snaps, not as warm when compressed, not waterproofShallow hood, no internal pocketsSomewhat bulky, not waterproof, some feather & down lossCold pockets, slightly tight shoulders, and collar
Bottom Line This soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures dropSerious warmth is packed into this lightweight, flattering, and reasonably priced parkaCute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great valueA stylish winter jacket that will keep you warm when temperatures start to dropA warm and waterproof winter jacket that is available at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Co... Marmot Montreaux REI Co-op Norseland... Rab Deep Cover Parka The North Face Arct...
Warmth (30%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
7.0
5.0
6.0
3.0
8.0
Comfort (25%)
10.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Style (10%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
Specs Outdoor Research Co... Marmot Montreaux REI Co-op Norseland... Rab Deep Cover Parka The North Face Arct...
Insulation and Fill Power 700 fill down 700 fill power duck down with water resistant Down Defender 650 fill duck down 650 fill RDS Certified Hydrophobic European duck down 550 fill goose down and recycled polyester insultation
Fill Weight 240 g 221 g 238 g 340 g Down - unavailable, Synthetic - 150 g
Hood Adjustable Insulated, removable, detachable faux fur trim Fleece lined Insulated, detachable hood with faux fur trim Adjustable, insulated with removable faux fur trim
Pockets 2 zippered handwarmer, 1 internal zippered security, 1 internal pouch 2 zippered handwarmer, 2 internal chest (1 zippered) 2 zippered handwarmer 1 internal, 2 external 1 internal, 2 external
Weight (size small) 2.0 lbs 2.3 lbs 2.0 lbs 1.9 lbs 2.8 lbs
2-way zipper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather Resistant Features Water and wind resistant Water resistant down, DWR treatment DWR treatment DWR treatment Waterproof, windproof, breathable (DryVent), DWR
Sizes Available XS to XL XS to XXL XS to XL 6 to 18 XS to 3XL
Social or Environmental Certifications Responsible Down Standard - Certified, bluesign approved, 100% recycled nylon shell Responsible Down Standard - Certified , 100% recycled polyester lining, bluesign approved 650 RDS - (responsble down standards) certified hydrophobic European Duck Down, fluorocarbon-free Hydrophobic Down Lining 100% recycled polyester, Responsible Down Standard

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Outdoor Research Coze jacket is one of the longest in our lineup, offering more protection whether you're standing around waiting for a ride or sitting down around the campfire. It also provides a uniquely protective hood, keeping you comfortable in bitter temps.

Performance Comparison


This jacket covers most of your body and keeps you very warm even...
This jacket covers most of your body and keeps you very warm even when standing still. When we're running around, we often have to leave it unzipped.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Warmth


This jacket is filled with 240 grams of 700 fill-power down, in other words, a good amount of high-quality feathers. It is long, though, reaching mid-calf on our 5 foot, 6-inch tall tester. That means that those feathers need to cover more real estate than shorter jackets with a similar amount of down. While it's not as warm as some others, it's as warm as we ever needed it to be.


The jacket's length holds heat around more of your body, and this jacket kept us warm in the mountains around Maine's Baxter State Park in chilly and damp late fall temps. We expect it to keep us cozy into the teens and comfortable above zero based on our experience testing winter jackets. We'll keep testing it as temps plummet and keep you updated.

Even when you're sitting down, the jacket fully covers the back of your legs and your thighs. Since you compress the down when you sit on it, it doesn't do much to insulate you from, say, cold metal bleachers. But it is like sitting with a down blanket draped over you.

Soft knit cuffs help your hands stay warm and block drafts from...
Soft knit cuffs help your hands stay warm and block drafts from sneaking up your sleeves.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Thoughtful features extend the cocoon of warmth. Soft cuff gaiters extend far enough to cover your hands and include a convenient thumb loop. They only exclude your fingers. The main zipper tops out near your mouth. It features a soft knit interior to snuggle against since the collar is wide enough to tuck your lower face out of the cold. A knit-lined, down-stuffed collar wraps around your neck, keeping out drafts whether your hood is up or down.

And that hood, it's cavernous, with what Outdoor Research calls a baffle ruff. Many winter jackets come with a fur ruff circling the hood, usually synthetic but occasionally authentic. They usually extend past your face and do a magnificent job blocking bitter winds or the frosty bite of snow or sleet.

The insulated hood has a down baffle ruff, that tube of down where a...
The insulated hood has a down baffle ruff, that tube of down where a fur ruff would be. When we cinch it down it keeps us quite warm, though it doesn't block the wind as well as fur.
Photo: Ryan Reed

This jacket aims to offer the same functionality by extending the down hood beyond the tip of your nose. It's not as effective at catching snowflakes, but it certainly shelters you from all but head-on wind. Drawstrings let you snug it down as much as you'd like.

Two zippered handwarmer pockets tuck your fingers against your body and under the jacket's downy warmth, the warmest place they could be. The pockets are smaller than we'd like but plenty big for your paws. An internal zipper pocket will fit any smartphone and keep it warm enough to save your battery. A large internal mesh pouch pocket can hold on to gloves or a hat.

The knit-lined pockets tuck under the down layer for warmth but are...
The knit-lined pockets tuck under the down layer for warmth but are small and oddly shaped for our tastes.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Weather Resistance


Outdoor Research calls this jacket water and wind-resistant, and the customer service rep we contacted told us that it does have a durable water-repellant (DWR) coating its nylon shell. When we took it out into the field, we were impressed.


We test all of our winter jackets with a 2.5-minute test at full water pressure. The Coze faired impressively well. Water beaded and ran off immediately and continued throughout the test. With its deep hood, it kept the water off our face even when we stood facing the showerhead. After the test, many of the jackets felt heavy and waterlogged. This one was still as light as when we started. We shook the water right off, and it dried quickly.

The thing is, when temps are well below freezing, you shouldn't run into too much water anyway. It'll be frozen. While the lack of true waterproofing makes this jacket best suited to weather cold enough to be dry, it can handle some rain or sloppy mixes.

The durable water repellant (DWR) finish sheds water nicely. Very...
The durable water repellant (DWR) finish sheds water nicely. Very little soaked in during our 2.5-minute shower test.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The Coze also impressed us in the wind. We tested it alongside several other jackets on a North Atlantic beach when 25-knot winds were kicking up whitecaps. We felt nothing through the length of the jacket or the zippers. It's a fortress. We actually got too hot.

That deep hood builds a protective cage for our head and face. But we found the limitations of the down baffle ruff in the ripping wind. When we compared it back-to-back with the Fjallraven Nuuk Parka's super protective fur-ruffed hood, the difference was breathtaking. Nothing stops the wind and snow like fur, even when it's artificial. The down ruff does help, though, especially when you cinch it down. It kept us much warmer than the jackets without any ruff at all.

This jacket does an excellent job of cutting the wind. When you zip...
This jacket does an excellent job of cutting the wind. When you zip it all the way up and cinch down, the hood even your face stays fairly well protected.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Comfort


This jacket nails comfort. It feels both snug and incredibly lightweight, with a soft knit covering every point where your skin is likely to brush against it. Even the nylon shell is pleasant in hand.


The generous cut never feels binding in our standard size. Even when we're bundled up, we have plenty of room to move, from shoulders to hips to knees. When you zip the jacket from top to bottom, climbing stairs can feel restrictive. Just unzip the bottom of the jacket or the two 9-inch zippers on either side of the hem to solve the problem.

9-inch zippers on either side of the hem make it easy to walk when...
9-inch zippers on either side of the hem make it easy to walk when you're all zipped up and heading into the wind.
Photo: Ryan Reed

No part of this jacket tugs or binds. Even the collar is spacious enough that it lets you keep your chin and face out of the cold, a rarity among winter jackets. It's like wearing a light, down sleeping bag, if it were a thoughtfully constructed winter jacket.

Some of our testers really like the look of this jacket and feel...
Some of our testers really like the look of this jacket and feel great in it. Others found it unbearably frumpy.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Style


While the lightweight and cozy drape of this jacket can help us feel elegant when it's unzipped, we're not convinced that we look it. It's so long that it can look a little like it's eating you. Our testers are all around 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Taller folks may not struggle as much with this aspect of the look.


When the jacket is all zipped up, it's hard to argue for any hint of style. It hangs straight up and down with no definition at the waist. It's a piece that seems to put function before form.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

That said, our lead tester couldn't care less that it's not particularly flattering. The length, comfort, and lightweight feel give her a little swagger, like a fashionable somebody who doesn't care what you think of her outfit.

Any jacket that makes us feel this happy is worth a little fashion...
Any jacket that makes us feel this happy is worth a little fashion controversy.
Photo: Ryan Reed

That said, we would love to see some buttons or snaps added to this jacket. Not only would they add a flap of warmth to protect the zipper, but they also make it much easier to pull the jacket on to step outside in milder weather. You can use the double zipper to get the same effect, but it's a pain.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Durability


This jacket seems very well-made with solid zippers, which is good since there are six of them counting all the pockets. The only other moving parts are the toggles that tighten the hood's baffle — thin nylon strings tucked into the corners of the collar. Pulling them to batten down the hood is a cinch. Searching around for the buttons hidden under the hood's fabric to release them is not.


It all seems robust and likely to last. The most likely weak point we'd expect to see over time is the thin nylon shell. They tend to rip, and certainly more easily than the jackets in this test with multi-layered shells. That's why it gets more of an average rating in this metric.

That big protective hood and calf-length down baffles offer a lot of...
That big protective hood and calf-length down baffles offer a lot of value.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Value


We must say, we're impressed. While this jacket isn't exactly a looker, it feels luxurious. We love it when gear that helps keep you outside longer comes in at a more affordable price point. It's not the most affordable option, but we think you'll get enough use out of this jacket to make the price-per-wear very reasonable.

This jacket is also certified to meet the responsible down standard, which indicates that the birds who grew the feathers didn't suffer more than necessary. Outdoor research provides a tracking number through its down supplier, Allied Feather. Our jacket’s down came from grey ducks in China.

The shell is also 100% recycled nylon. If these steps to prevent animal cruelty and increase environmental responsibility fall in line with your values, that adds value to your purchase.

We tell all our friends how comfy this jacket is.
We tell all our friends how comfy this jacket is.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Conclusion


It's not the most fashion-forward jacket we've ever worn, and there are options stuffed with even more warm and fluffy feathers, but this jacket offers excellent coverage and comfort at every contact point. It wraps you in downy insulation from the middle of your shins to the middle of your face, leaving you just enough room to see out of while shielding your eyes from both sides. We do love snuggling up in it when hanging out by the campfire or around town.

The soft knit detailing on the inner baffle collar and the taller...
The soft knit detailing on the inner baffle collar and the taller outer collar keep us smiling.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Clark Tate

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