Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated Hoody | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Down and Insulated Jackets

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated Hoody | Review

Warm, comfortable and commendably eco-conscious, this is a versatile puffer that makes for ideal all-winter wear, whether you’re tackling frozen fells or commuting on chilly city streets

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.

OM Deputy Editor Jordan testing the Shadow Hoody on the Cumbria Way. Photos: Joe Whitmore

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.

Eco Credentials

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.

This is combined with bluesign approved outer fabrics and linings, made from a 20D stretch woven blend of nylon and elastane. Bluesign is a system that provides safer and more sustainable environments for people to live and work in. It is a certification that reassures consumers that the product has been made with safety, quality and integrity in mind, particularly in terms of responsible chemicals and resource management.

Construction and Performance

The jacket’s hood is insulated and adjustable for an easy fit. An elastic drawcord hem and elastic cuffs with thumb loops hold things in place as you reach, stretch, and move around, whether you’re on the mountain or off it. There’s also plenty of mechanical stretch in the fabric itself. Combined with a soft feel, it makes for an exceptionally comfortable, easy-wearing jacket.

Other features include two zipped handwarmer pockets and an interior stash pocket, which is equally good for keeping your wallet safe in town and your gloves safe in camp.


This synthetic puffy ticks plenty of boxes when it comes to performance, practicality and sustainability. It’s a nice little package that provides decent warmth and packability, while carrying a certain sense of understated style too. We particularly like the muted, earthy colourways and the shell fabric, which isn’t too shiny-looking, so it’s easy to wear in town as well as in the great outdoors. You can’t fault the eco credentials either.

Sure, you could buy a Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody like everyone else, but if you’re looking for something a little different, this is a great choice.

Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated Hoody

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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