Obermeyer Osprey Jacket

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Manufacturer Description

The spoils are yours this season with the Osprey Jacket. This jacket has all of the details you want in a jacket, and then some. The partially spandex shell means that you can move freely, and the removable hood lets you decide. The inside cell phone pocket is tight and secure, and an additional interior storage pocket keep your other mountain necessities separate. A reflective trim keeps you visible even on low viz days, and the fleece chest warmers means you’ll be bragging about how toasty you are on the lift. Enjoy easy pass access with the attached D-ring. The Osprey Jacket gives you every reason to get out the snow.

Features

  • Main Fabric – Genesis Stretch (86% nylon, 14% spandex)
  • Insulation – Thinsulate
  • 2-way ventilation zippers
  • Adjustable interior hem drawcord
  • Critical seams sealed
  • CZV – Control Zone Ventilation
  • Fleece chest warmers
  • Fleece inside collar and chin protector
  • Full-motion, articulated sleeve construction
  • Fused zippers
  • Gusseted sleeve cuffs with technical secure adjustment system
  • Inside cell phone pocket
  • Inside mesh/stretch binding goggle pocket
  • Inside secure storage pocket with zipper
  • Inside stow pocket
  • Interior stretch panels for fit/comfort
  • Internal zipper wind guard
  • RECCO
  • Reflective trim
  • Removable hood with peripheral and vertical drawcord adjustment
  • Scratch-free, absorbent goggle cloth
  • Ski pass D-ring
  • Stretch inner cuffs with thumbholes
  • Tricot-lined hand pockets
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Welded breathing holes at front collar
  • Zip-off, adjustable powder skirt with stretch panel
  • Zipper chest pockets
  • Zipper sleeve pocket
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 1179 g (2 lb 9.6 oz)
    • Center back – 73.9 cm (29.1 in)
    • Pit to pit – 63 cm (24.8 in)
    • Sleeve length – 93 cm (36.6 in)
  • Retail – $500

YMMV Review

Obermeyer is over 60 years old. They are located in Aspen, Colorado and are still family run. Obermeyer is known for making smart and technical winter clothing that enhances the experience of its customers in the outdoors. I have seen Obermeyer around for years as I have skied for 20+ years now. Until this review, I did not have the opportunity to try any of their products. In the fall, I reach out and was able to set up a review of the Osprey Jacket, a full-featured ski jacket.

Front of the Jacket

Testing

This is truly a ski jacket. Therefore, I tested it skiing at Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo ski areas in Central Oregon. It was a late starting winter that really did not get going until mid January.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (20%) ★★★☆☆

Construction (30%) ★★★½☆

Features (25%) ★★★★☆

Pockets (15%) ★★★½☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★★☆☆

The Obermeyer Osprey jacket has a lot going on. This is truly a ski jacket and is built accordingly. What I mean by this is that it is made with a host of features while being slightly on the bulky and heavy side.

Back of the Jacket

As a ski jacket the Osprey does not have to worry as much about weight as the end user will primarily be taking a ski lift up the mountain. On the other hand, the jacket will need to be highly weather resistant and warm. The Osprey jacket is made with Genesis Stretch softshell fabric. This fabric gives the shell of the jacket a soft touch and stretch to it for comfort. On the inside of the jacket there are also some strategically placed stretch panels for better ease of movement. The jacket is insulated by Thinsulate synthetic fill for warmth. The jacket also uses Obermeyer’s Hydroblock XL laminate to be waterproof and breathable. This laminate is made of PU and carries a rating of 20,000/10,000 waterproofness and breathability. All the critical seams have been taped, which means those that are likely to be subject to the elements. For more information about waterproof breathable laminates, check out the knowledge base article by clicking on the link below.

The Osprey jacket is not short on pockets. There are four of them on the outside and three on the inside. The outer pockets all feature waterproof zippers. The main front zipper is also a waterproof zipper with a full-length wind guard behind it for warmth. On the outside, there is a left sleeve pocket, a left chest pocket with a removable goggle cleaning cloth inside, and two hand warmer pockets. The left hand warmer pocket has a ski pass d-ring inside for connecting your pass to. On the inside there is a left chest pocket with a mesh lining and audio out. Inside this pocket, there is a sleeve for your mp3 player or cell phone. On the right inside of the jacket there is a large mesh drop in pocket for your goggles that has a Velcro closure at the top. There is also a soft drop in pocket for storing your sunglasses.

Goggles & Sunglasses Pockets

The jacket has many different features for providing a comfortable experience on the slopes. The hood is helmet compatible and adjustable to fit without a helmet as well. The hood can also be removed by a hidden zipper, and a couple snaps if not needed. In the front of the face, there is a softer fabric for comfort next to the skin. In case you need to have the jacket zipped all the way up, Obermeyer has put welded holes in the shell fabric so you can breathe easier when zipped up. Inside the jacket, there is a removable powder skirt that has a stretchable upper for comfort when skiing. The powder skirt can also be snapped out of the way if you do not need it but also do not want to remove it entirely. The powder skirt has an elastic hem and two settings for tightness to make sure it is secure and snow does not come up the jacket. At the bottom hem of the jacket, there is an internal drawcord that can be adjusted creating a tighter or looser fit based on the user’s preference. At the wrist, there is a gusseted cuff with a hook and loop Velcro system to adjust the cuffs. Inside the wrists is a stretchy wrist gaiter with a thumb loop for further comfort and better integration with hand wear.

Left chest Pocket with Cell Phone Pocket

You would think we were done but the jacket contains many more features on top of what is mentioned above. The Osprey Jacket uses the RECCO system with a reflector on the right wrist. RECCO reflector technology is a non-powered device. It is engineered to sit raised off the body in a strategic place. It is used in the case of a burial where a searcher can use RECCO radar to locate the buried person. This reflector will bounce back the directional radar signal to the searcher and double the frequency, allowing the RECCO Detector to actually hear where the burial is located. RECCO is becoming far more popular and can be found at most major ski resorts. For further safety the jacket has reflective piping for low light visibility. The jacket uses Control Zone Ventilation by having pit zips that can be used to regulate temperature. The pit zips are two-way and have a mesh liner inside to allow breathability while not opening too far as to let snow in. While I have tried to describe all that is to this jacket, Obermeyer has created a good video to show many of these features. Take a look at it below.

While the Osprey jacket itself is not made with green or sustainable fabrics, Obermeyer as a company is making a strong effort on this front. Obermeyer has a state-of-the-art distribution center in Denver, CO with Solar Panels, Passive Air exchange and other cool features. They try to use only renewable power sources and even make an effort in Bangladesh where their manufacturing takes place to be more sustainable. Obermeyer is working on some sustainable fabrics and use them in some of their other clothing. For more information, check out their website.

Wrist Cuffs & Recco Reflector

Fit ★★★½☆

Adjustability (15%) ★★★½☆

Arm Length (20%) ★★★★☆

Cuffs (10%) ★★★★☆

Ease of Movement (20%) ★★★☆☆

Hood (15%) ★★★☆☆

Torso Sizing (20%) ★★½☆☆

The Osprey Jacket is a bit bulky like most ski jackets are. With all the pockets, seams, insulation, and other features, there is a lot in this jacket. Even with all this the jacket is very soft and comfortable. Obermeyer has done a good job with using a stretchy fabric and including flexible sections within the jacket to improve the range of motion. I never felt restricted when wearing the jacket, for how bulky the jacket is, it is surprisingly easy to move around in.

Zip-Out Powder Skirt

The arms are nice and long in the Osprey. I could lift my arms and reach out for stuff without worry of the sleeves pulling up my arm. For better coverage, there is a stretchable wrist gaiter with a thumb loop that can be used to help create a weatherproof interface with your ski gloves. This wrist gaiter is soft, stretchable, and very comfortable. I have tested several jackets with similar cuffs, but these are by far the best ones I have tested. At the wrists, the shell has a hook and loop gusseted Velcro closure system. This allows you to change the size of the hand opening. I feel like these type systems while needed do add some bulk to the wrist area. These while not the best I have tested were fairly lower bulk and very robust.

The hood on the Osprey Jacket is removable via a hidden zipper. This hood is large enough to fit over a helmet, but it may be on the tight side depending on the size of your helmet. Without a helmet, the hood can be cinched down to be comfortable. There are both peripheral and vertical hood adjusters to optimize the fit. The torso of the jacket fit a little loose like expected. With all the pockets inside the jacket there has to be a little room in the jacket to fit things. At the bottom hem, there is an internal drawcord that can be adjusted to tighten up the bottom of the jacket if needed.

Welded Holes for Breathing

Performance ★★★½☆

Breathability (10%) ★★★☆☆

Durability (20%) ★★★☆☆

Versatility (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Warmth (20%) ★★★★½

Water Resistance (20%) ★★★★☆

Wind Resistance (20%) ★★★★☆

The Osprey Jacket is waterproof and breathable thanks to the Hydroblock XL membrane. We normally have dry snow here around Bend, and if we don’t I don’t go skiing. This being said I really did not put this jacket through a soaker but am not worried about a little wet snow. The jacket is critically seam taped, which should be enough for whatever you encounter on the mountain. The jacket is also entirely windproof. There is a wind barrier behind the front zipper for extra protection if needed. For breathability, I noticed when the jacket is all zipped up it can get warm inside if you are working hard, hiking for turns or something like that. To combat this there are pit zips that can be open to allow more airflow into the jacket. These pit zips have mesh panels inside to prevent them from opening too far and keeping most of the show from coming in the jacket if you do happen to crash. Depending on the snow conditions, this mesh will keep more or less snow out. I tried it is deep powder just to see how it works, turns out fluffy powder can get through rather easily.

Stretch Panel

All the zippers worked smooth, and I never had any issues of water getting in. Once again, I will mention that I did not use the jacket in any wet conditions. There are a lot of pockets in this jacket! If you have to carry more than this jacket has room for, then you may want to rethink things. The only thing I was not a fan of in the pockets was the pass holder in the left hand warmer pocket. It was annoying to have to open this pocket up to show my ticket on the mountains around here. Maybe and external loop should be added for days when you will need it and the internal one can be used on mountains where this will work better. Just a thought.

The internal powder skirt on this jacket is a great addition. Not only does it work well but the stretchy upper makes it move well with you and not move around. Others I have used would sometimes pull up above my belt line if I had to stretch for one reason or another. This powder skirt stays in position well and has several options for snapping it together to make it however tight you like. When not in use it can either be zipped out or just snapped out of the way. They really did a good job with this feature. The Osprey Jacket has a RECCO reflector on the right arm. I must say that I did not test this out by being buried but trust it will work if it ever needs to.

Hood is Removed

The inside of the jacket is nice and soft. There are a couple of stretch panels in the jacket for better movement, the largest being in the back. There also seems to be a little less insulation in the back of the jacket. I assume this is done on purpose to help dissipate heat better. I am not sure because I could not find any hard data that confirms this. The jacket overall is very warm. A couple of times up skiing the wind was blowing 30+ with temperatures in the teens, and I was cozy warm in this jacket. Zipping the jacket all the way up will cover your lower face, and Obermeyer has put welded holes in the face area to make it easier to breathe in these conditions. It seems like this worked as I had no issues when the jacket was zipped all the way up. Since the jacket is so warm the main drawback I have with it is that it is not going to be a year-round option. It will definitely be too warm on spring type ski days.

Waterproof Zippers

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, I really liked having this jacket for the cold and blustery day this winter. It is warm, feature packed, and didn’t inhibit my skiing. The fabric choices on this jacket were right on. They have been durable while being comfortable. The construction and finish on this jacket are excellent. I have really been a big fan of the internal wrist cuffs and the powder skirt. Both were done very well. I do worry that this jacket will be too hot for some days on the mountain. Since the insulation is built into the jacket it is limited on how warm it will stay comfortable. That being said, if you are looking for a warm ski jacket with a multitude of features, I would definitely recommend the Osprey Jacket. The jacket retails for $500, which might price some people out of it, but you get a lot of jacket. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Very warm
  • Stretchy materials make for good range of motion
  • The internal wrist cuffs are the best I have tested
  • Powder skirt stays in place and is carefully thought out
  • Lots of pockets

Cons

  • Too warm for some days
  • Expensive

[button url=”http://www.obermeyer.com/” style=”black” size=”small”] Obermeyer Website [/button]

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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