Like flipping a switch on a lamp, it’s turned from summer in the 90’s to what already feels like winter in the 30’s here in Southern Indiana. When the leaves start turning and the mornings get crisp, it’s time to grab a jacket. OROS apparel sent me some jackets and outerwear to check out that use the same technology that protects astronauts in space to keep you warm on earth without weighing you down. Let’s take a look.
What is it?
OROS jackets use a thin breathable insulating aerogel material called SolarCore which uses the same technology that NASA uses to keep astronauts warm and toasty in outer space.
OROS sent me two jackets and a pullover shirt let’s take a closer look at each one.
OROS Women’s Essential Quarter Zip
When OROS sent me the samples in September, it was still in the 80’s – 90’s here in Columbus, Indiana. It took a few weeks for the weather to cooperate enough so that I actually wanted to try on the gear for more than a few minutes at a time.
The lightest item that they sent me was the Women’s Essential Quarter Zip which is more like a shirt than a jacket and is perfect for 60-degree weather, drafty office buildings, or even on flights. That is is how I tested the Essential Quarter Zip a week ago. It was the only long-sleeved clothing that I took with me on a vacation to Sanibel Island Florida.
I always get a little chilled waiting at the airport gate and also on the plane, so this shirt was a perfect remedy for that. You can see that Jeanne is wearing a bulkier hoodie and I am wearing the Essential Quarter Zip which is much lighter but still kept me warm.
Just looking at the shirt, you wouldn’t notice that there’s anything special about it. It looks like an ordinary gray knit shirt. But it has a special layer of the SolarCore material between the front and the back panels of the shirt, and even around the neck. Note that the sleeves and side rib areas of the shirt do not have SolarCore.
The shirt feels heavenly to wear. The sleeves are silky smooth and feel like they are lined with microfleece inside even though they really aren’t.
The Essential is made of 88% polyester and 12% spandex. It only comes in the gray color that you see here in sizes XS to 2XL. Their sizing might run slightly large. I was sent a Medium and I think I would have been better served by a Small.
The shirt has a quarter zip nylon locking zipper at the neck and the collar has a flap that covers the top of the zipper to prevent it from rubbing your neck or chin if you like to wear it completely zipped up.
In the image above you can see the OROS logo on the left shoulder. There’s also a second logo on the back right hip.
Another feature of the Essential Quarter Zip is the thumb hole in each sleeve cuff that makes it easy to keep the sleeves from sliding up your arms if you put another layer over the Essential.
I wondered how the SolarCore material would stand up to being washed, so I ran the shirt through the washer and dryer. I’m happy to report that it came out looking and feeling no different than when I first unboxed it.
The OROS Essential Quarter Zip saved me when we came home from Florida and got off the plane in Indianapolis to 35 degrees and rain. I hadn’t been smart enough to bring a coat with me would have frozen if it hadn’t been for this shirt.
OROS Women’s Discovery Fleece
The next heaviest jacket that OROS sent me is their Discovery Fleece which is available sizes XS up to 2XL and in Charcoal, Green, and Reflecting Pond colors. No, I didn’t name that color which is blue 😉 I was sent the Charcoal version.
The Discovery Fleece is made of 100% polyester with a 100% nylon lining.
The jacket has a stand-up collar and a nylon zipper with a large easy to grab zipper pull.
There are two pockets on either hip that have small zipper pulls.
The image above shows one of my favorite features of this jacket. Can you guess what it is? It’s the longer waistband in the back. It really helps keep your lower back warmer.
Like the Essential Quarter Zip, the Discovery Fleece also has SolarCore on the front and back. The sleeves and side rib area of the jacket do not have SolarCore which keeps the jacket lightweight and comfortable.
I really like the OROS Discovery Fleece multi-season jacket. It has a nice understated look, is very comfortable, and will keep me warm in the spring and fall temps.
OROS Women’s Discovery Jacket
The Discovery Jacket is the heaviest jacket of the trio. It is designed to be versatile and to withstand various cold, wind, rain weather conditions. The jacket is available in black, green (what you see here), and gray. It’s made of 90% polyester/10% spandex and has a 100% nylon lining.
The exterior of the jacket has a water repellant coating and there’s a hood to keep your non-water repellant coated head dry. Note that the hood is not removable and does not have drawstrings.
The jacket has a tall collar that’s lined in a silky short pile “fur”.
The sleeves have an extended knit cuff that keeps the wind from blowing up your arms. This jacket also has a longer hem at the bottom like the Discovery Fleece jacket.
OROS put an inspirational quote inside the lining of the jacket that says:
Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.
Although I didn’t show an image, this same quote is printed inside the Discovery Fleece jacket too.
In addition to the zippered pocket at each hip, there’s a zippered chest pocket inside the jacket that is large enough to hold a phone, sunglasses, wallet, etc.
The OROS Discovery Jacket not only looks nice, but it’s comfortable to wear, moves well, and really keeps you warm with the SolarCore thermal material.
What I like
SolarCore insulating material does a good job of holding in heat while remaining thin
What needs to be improved
Essential Quarter Zip is expensive
I’d never heard of the OROS brand before being offered the chance to review the Essential Quarter Zip pullover, Discovery Fleece, and Discovery Jackets. Now I can say that they are quality made outerwear that will make you look and feel good while wearing them.
I’ll update this review in a month or two after we’ve had temps in the 20’s and lower.
We’ve had quite a few sub 20F degree days due to the Arctic Blast, Polar Vortex, or whatever other lame names that meteorologists come up with to explain that’s insanely cold. I call it winter, and I don’t care for it. At all.
I have worn the OROS Discovery Jacket several sub 20 degree days it has kept me warm. It doesn’t keep me as warm as my bulkier down puffer jacket, but the OROS comes close. The only area of the jacket where I have felt the cold seep through is the sleeves in the upper arm area. I really enjoy wearing the Discover Jacket because it isn’t as bulky as my other winter jackets, but I prefer to wear them with then temps are above 30F. Today it was -0.3F and I opted for my down puffer jacket. 🙂
Price: See above for each item
Where to buy: OROS
Source: The samples for this review was provided by OROS. Please visit their site for more info.
14 thoughts on “OROS Discovery jackets review”
Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
with the deep freeze coming to the east coast (or it is here already:-), was thinking of ordering the oros discovery fleece and possibly the orion parka. how is the fleece holding up so far in the winter weather. thanks
The Discovery Fleece jacket will not keep you warm in temps like we’re having here in Indiana the past 2 weeks. Yesterday it was -7F when I left for work in the morning and only in the teens later that afternoon. Today it was 8F this morning and about 21F now. I have been wearing a big down parka and wouldn’t consider wearing the Discovery Fleece and haven’t tried the Discovery Jacket. I’ll wear the Discovery Jacket to work tomorrow. It is supposed to be about 6F in the morning and 12F when I go home. I’ll let you know if I survive tomorrow. 🙂
thanks. i was actually thinking of picking up both the fleece (as an underlayer) with the parka (i realize you have the discovery jacket) and wondering if this may be an overkill (as they all have the solarcore material). wonder then if combining either of the two with the fleece will make it too warm?
I wore the Discovery Jacket this morning in 4F temps. I was just fine walking into my work building which I guess is maybe a 2-2.5 block walk. I also had on a thin T-shirt with a medium weight sweater over it. I’m not sure about layering the fleece and a jacket. I can’t test this because my jacket fits snug and I don’t think it would accommodate another layer.
Does the garment tag say aerogel or nitrile butadiene rubber? I wonder if this insulation is better than Down.
Hey julie you think the discovery could keep me warm on my motorcycle? I love riding all winter but anything below 25 has been an issue
I don’t think you’ll be able to stay warm on a bike because the wind will cut through the sleeves which don’t have the special SolarCore lining.
I have the Discovery fleece and it’s disappointing, not living up to the hype for me. It’s far from the warmest fleece I own (although Oros promised it would be) but it is the smallest Men’s Large I have, fitting very snugly. It is well-made and stylish though. I paid $120 for it and then the price immediately went down to $100. I’ll keep it and not return it, but it’s just not that warm and nothing special as I had been led to expect.
I should point out, too, that this fleece jacket is designed pretty much without any features – it has the two outside zippered hand pockets and that’s it. No zippered chest pocket, no inside open pockets, no hem cinch at the bottom. So even at its new lower price of $100 I can’t consider it a bargain.
i have been using the fleece for two weeks now. on colder days (below 30f), use it as a 2nd layer to another jacket. i can actually feel the warmth on areas where the solarcore is.
it does get pretty warm though when you wear it indoors. i only had an undershirt and then the fleece which i wore in a restaurant. i was sweating like crazy though couldn’t remove the fleece as i would then be super underdressed:-)
in term of esthetics, design could use a little improvement. when zipped up completely, it looks like i am a cadet at west point
I have the Oros Parka (mens) and wore it all last year – in Nebraska. Got plenty cold last year and Nebraska is also famous for it’s wind chill. This is, by far, my warmest jacket. I love this thing. Most days, I’m unzipping it to let a little cold air in because it is that good. Great quality, not too bulky at all. I’ve got a down north face puffer coat and a 3-in-1 Under Armor and Oros is much warmer than either. It wasn’t cheap – but I got it w/ a 20% discount right after they launched.
The website is worth a visit – does a great job of showing you how well this thing protects you from the cold.
My only complaint about the coat is the cuffs around your wrists. It looks like they used the same material in the discovery jacket. It’s sort of elastic – definitely grabs your wrists to block the wind, but it does not “work” like your typical elastic wrist cuffs. It stretches – but not like the typical knit cuff. That said, it definitely works better at blocking cold air than typical knit. In short, if I’m wearing my Apple watch (which I always am) it makes it hard to get the cuff over it to check the time. Not a big deal but an annoyance. Of course the Apple watch is not the thinnest of timepieces (Series 3)
100% would buy this coat again and recommend it as well.
Hi Mike! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and long term use info.
I’m here to comment on the OROS Men’s Orion Parka 3xxL/tall which I purchased for $300 in nov of 2018. Along with a pair of men’s XL gloves for $85 at the same time.
A little background . 225 lbs/ 6 ft. Live in eastern PA. Snow camped from age 11 (Scouts) to about 40. 61 now . Have spent 2-3 days at a time in sub zero weather with nothing but a tent, sleeping bag and campfire to keep warm.
First test in nov in the 30s. Got in car with windows down and drove around for a half hour. hood up, face mask, oros gloves. Passed test . Hands and body warm. felt some breeze in chest area but liked that my back stayed warm against seat back.
Second test 1/20/19 9 degrees outside.
jacket and gloves with face mask, long sleeve tee shirt and long sleeve shirt over it. Pajama bottoms under cargo pants. UGG boots.
Stood outside on poach 25 min. without moving around much. Hands warm. Body comfortable but material felt a little cool against chest and arms. Passed but…
Reason I purchased a 3XXL/Tall is because I want to be able to put layers under it. When in cold for extended periods of time you heat up and cool down depending on activity. Snow camping taught me this the hard way with no place to go inside to get warm.
Not as bulky as goose down or warmer synthetic jackets.
Does not compress.
Waterproof. you can smell it when you first take out of bag. Smell fads quickly.
Super dense jacket material will not rip or tear anytime soon.
Gloves very warm but on stiff side. Order larger size
Sizing SUCKS. May have something to do with made in China. Always wore a size 12 1/2 shoe. Now a 15. Been finding the same in all clothes.
3XXL/Tall jacket tighter than my 2XXL/Tall goose down. Especially the neck and arms. So order 1 to 2 sizes bigger to have any room at all. Have size 19 neck. 3xxl too tight even without layer underneath. Same with gloves.
got an xtra tall but sleeve were not long enough
Jacket is much heaver weight wise.
Jacket is stiff for moving around in.
Hood is waterproof but not insulated
I don’t recommend for large persons unless they start making a 6x size. Or persons trying to make 3 layer system like I was unless small enough.
Great cold damp temp. waterproof coat for city dwellers wanting low bulk and weight not an issue.
Over all a good water/ wind proof winter jacket. Guess I’ll have to lose another 25 lbs to create that 3 layer system I want :).
Hi John, thank you so much for sharing your own experience with the OROS jackets!