Oros Apparel: Orion Parka and Endeavour Mitten Review

Let’s start with the guts of the brand. The insulation is literally out of this world. It is made of something nicknamed “air glass”; the same stuff used to insulate space shuttles. We have been beating up their best seller, the Orion Parka and here is what we found.

On the outside: It is waterproof with taped seams but still breathable and I liked the brushed fabric blend. It felt soft to the touch rather than like I was wearing an actual hardshell. No crinkle plastic feel or sound when you move!

Now onto the interior… you have to start by knowing that I have a well known strict “suns out guns out” policy. In Colorado, even with freezing temps, that includes a lot of the winter. Why is this relevant, you ask? This means I am often sliding bare arms into my winter coats. Try that with a hard shell or puffy and freeze the skin on your ams the instant you walk outside. With the Orion, the interior fabric is soft, comfortable and moisture wicking. That includes the cuffs of the sleeves and the inside of the pockets.

Last on my list of likes is the hood. Big, roomy and easy to grab while wearing gloves. The shape lets the edge of the hood go far enough past your face to keep the rain and snow off without drooping into your eyes.

Our biggest con for this parka is the fit. It runs big and comes off as dumpy even though they’re promising a slim fit. The Orion specifically is a mid thigh parka but the hips were fabricated uneven. One side curved out much further that the other.

Now onto the guts. That “out of this world insulation” is unusual to say the least. The insulation is sewn into the parka in segments and feels stiff. Reminiscent of downhill mountain biking body armor. Also if your body heat isn’t warming it, it gets incredibly stiff. We left it in freezing temps overnight and tried to put it on in the morning. It was so stiff that it was difficult to get on. Once it’s on, it loosens up and definitely keeps you warm but in tough conditions this could be an issue.

We tested the Endeavour Mitten alongside the parka. There is no question Oros has their fabrics figured out. The fabric content on these mittens are very nice. A supple leather palm and grip plus a cozy cuff and warm soft fleece inside that doesn’t snag on even the driest of fingers.  The inside is an insulated glove with separate fingers with a little extra warmth at the finger tips. A bonus, the individual fingers in the gloves are not going anywhere. No fear of pulling them inside out. (We have had this issue with other brands). There is no doubt these mittens looked good and kept our digits warm but with the individual fingers there was little to no dexterity. I found myself pulling my hand out of my mitten frequently to do small tasks. 

Photo: Oros Apparel
Photo: Oros Apparel

In the end, as far as technical gear, I’m not ready to go all in for OROS but I think that with some tweaks to the fit, the parka could be a winter daily driver… and we dream of the day they develop an Endeavor lobster glove.

By: Whitney Lannert

Comments or questions about the Oros Orion Parka and Endeavour Mitten? Please drop us a line below, we would love to hear from you.

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