Why We Chose It: Versatile, excellent materials
By definition, technical outdoor gear isn’t always the most versatile. Layering pieces that are designed for a particular specialist end user or specific environment don’t tend to work so well when you take them out of that context. But in turn, jackets and hoodies that are produced for everyday wear sometimes reach their limits on big mountain days.
For outdoorsy types, that often means having two separate wardrobes – one set of gear for hardcore adventures, and a second set for the everyday stuff. But that approach soon gets expensive, as it means buying more clothes – which is not a particularly sustainable way to live either.
For maximum versatility, the ideal solution would be a selection of technical garments that don’t look like technical garments. Enter the Outdoor Research Shadow Hoody. It’s a synthetic insulated puffer that is sustainably crafted with recycled and bio-based materials, but also comes in muted contemporary colours and looks pretty stylish. However, when you need technical performance, it’s also cosy and packable, offering excellent warmth for weight.
Who Is The Shadow Insulated Hoody For?
This is a great jacket if you’re looking for a versatile layer to wear both around town and in camp. It provides a noticeable boost of warmth without adding too much bulk, which makes it ideal for use as a standalone layer, or as a midlayer under a shell in cold and wet conditions.
The headline eco material here is OR’s VerticalX Eco SR insulation. This combines Repreve recycled polyester fill with Sorona, a renewable plant-based fabric that is particularly hard-wearing.
“Makes for an exceptionally comfortable, easy-wearing jacket.”
The result is a highly compressible fill that offers excellent warmth for weight, a soft down-like feel and good performance even when wet. Of course, using recycled and bio-based content also reduces waste, energy usage and dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels like petroleum.