I purchased the OR Furio Jacket after a search and rescue training exercise left me soaked and shivering in my softshell jacket. I decided that, unlike hiking in Alberta where rain is relatively scarce and carrying a poncho would usually suffice, I needed a more robust waterproof layer.
What is it?
The Furio Jacket is a blend of Gore-Tex Paclite on the body and Gore-Tex Pro Shell on the shoulders. As this is my first Gore-Tex jacket I can’t compare OR’s construction choices, but the theory behind the waterproof fabrics is that Paclite offers weight savings while Pro Shell is a thicker tougher material that would take on the brunt of the rain.
The jacket weighs 570 grams, has two side pockets, a napoleon pocket, and two inner zip pockets. In addition, it has zippers that run from the arm-pit through the full length of the jacket; allowing you to greatly increase ventilation when needed. The hood has a drawcord that lets you cinch it up to prevent drafts.
How do I use it and what’s good?
I chose the Furio Jacket as it satisfied a number of criteria I waslooking for: Gore-Tex, full-length side zips, and orange to fit in with the SAR team. Outdoor Research is well-known for their hiking hats and gaiters, but I also found that they offer competitive prices on their outdoor clothing as well, which didn’t hurt in my decision process.
The size medium fits me perfectly at 5’11” and 170lbs. It is not snug and has plenty of room for extra layers. In fact I’m now using it as my outer shell while downhill skiing (click here for more info).
I have relatively long arms and often jacket arms are too short; the arms on the Furio are long enough and they have velcro cuffs to cinch them tightly around gloves.
I like the stiff brim of the hood as it keeps your line of sight clear and keeps the rain off your face. The jacket feels and looks well-built, with good stitching and sturdy zippers.
I’ve owned the jacket for a year now and am quite happy with its performance. I have taken it on every backpack trip I’ve been on since I’ve purchased it, the longest being a six-day trek on the West Coast Trail. I’ve stood in full on down-pours and have not experienced any leaks or dampness through the jacket.
I typically do not wear it while hiking unless it is raining fairly strong as I find my soft-shell sheds a decent amount of water and offers better breathability. However, I keep this jacket handy for as soon as I stop to protect my body heat from the wind and rain. The Furio does a very good job at stopping wind and with this one piece you can most likely do away with carrying both a windshirt and rain jacket.
What’s not so good?
The only downside I perceive in this jacket is its weight. I would like to try the Outdoor Research Helium jacket or something similar for summer trips. At 190 grams it would shave off almost 400 grams of weight.
I’d also be interested to see how this jacket compares to the eVent fabric that is starting to become more popular.
I really like this jacket; it offers good performance in wind and rain and has added features at a competitive price. I think it will be in my pack for many trips to come.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/m_s_furio_jacket.html
MSRP: $390 Cdn