Outdoor Research Filament Pullover Review

Outdoor Research Filament Jacket enjoying the
evening sunlight rays on Spray Park in MRNP
Intro:
Outdoor Research is a brand that brings a lot of pride for those living in the PNW. I've been a big fan of their products due to great craftsmanship, reasonable pricing, and great warranty. I've been lucky enough to wear their Filament jacket for nearly a year now and have gotten fairly acquainted with it. In general I'm not a big fan of pullovers, I just think they are annoying to layer with and are often made a budget version/ stripped down model of their jacket counterparts. The OR Filament jacket is an exception to this where I believe OR purposely built a pullover instead of stripping down a jacket to make a price point garment.


Materials / Comparisons: 
The Filament jacket is made from 10D Pertex Quantum Nylon fabric with approximately 50 grams of 800+ fill down. The weight of the a medium sized jacket with my scale is 6.9oz. This makes the pullover pretty darn light. One of the biggest questions when it comes to buying a down jacket is how warm is it and how does it compare to other down jackets. A quick comparison to other down jackets:


Jacket Type
Fill Weight (grams)
Claimed Weight (oz)(Medium)
Fill Power
Outdoor Research Filament pullover
50
6.9
800+
Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer
79
7.1
800+ (current generation)
Arc'teryx Thorium AR
100
12.7
750+
Arc'teryx Cerium LT
85
8.6
850+
Arc'teryx Cerium SL
51
6.5
850+
A quick look at the fill powers and fill weight shows that the Filament pullover isn't as warm as a typical down jacket.

The closest comparison to warmth would be the Cerium SL which is slightly warmer and lighter weight due to using 850+ vs the 800+ fill in the Filament and also 7D fabric vs 10D in the Filament. You're also paying an extra premium for those finer weight savings which create a slightly warmer jacket that's roughly 1/2 oz lighter. MSRP for the Filament is $225 while the Cerium SL is $319. Pretty big price bump; if you absolutely have to have the best UL down jacket/pullover, the Cerium SL is the one I'd buy. For the average John, the Filament strikes a great balance between UL, warmth, and cost.

How it Fits:
OR does a great job on the cut of the Filament pullover, making it fit a skinny person with a slightly larger back for my weight and height of 5'10" and 160lbs. Sometimes companies tried to make it to trim fit everywhere making very little room under the arms or when crossing your arms, but the Filament pullover never gives me this issue. The slim draw-cord hem around the waist does a good job conserving heat and stream lining the fit. I think the waist area could have been a little slimmer but the sleeve length is spot on. Overall I think the fit is pretty darn good.

Performance:
I've been using the filament jacket all summer and fall this year due to how light weight this piece is. During the summer months it's been my go to piece when I need something warm, but not too warm, but also something that doesn't weigh down the pack. Half the time I never actually used the filament but had it in my pack as an emergency insulation layer. I brought it with me to Mt. Daniel and Ingall's lake but it never saw much use. Other times the Filament saw a lot of use. I wore the Filament pullover almost all evening at Tuck lake in September when the wet and cloudy weather system was being blown out to replace it with a clear crisp day. Temperatures were around mid 40's with light gusts but the filament jacket kept me warm with just a beanie and a light weight softshell (OR Ferrosi) for wind and moisture resistance.

Looking silly at Tuck Lake in September
The Filament pullover also makes for a perfect day hiking piece. I took the Filament out to a beautiful fall day hike to Spray Park on Mt. Rainier National Park. Up on the ridge above Spray Park, below Echo Rock, it was windy but the Filament pullover was the perfect piece to sit down and enjoy lunch in the autumn sun.

Summary:
The Filament was a piece that I thought had limited applications, but it happened to be one of my most used and versatile garment this year. When it comes to moving fast and light in dry conditions, the OR Filament pullover is one of my quintessential mid-layers that sees year round use. Perfect warmth as a stand alone piece for many months of the year,  yet slim and light enough that it bolsters heavier weight insulation pieces for year round use.

Pros:
  • Stuffs into it's own pocket
  • very lightweight but still warm
  • priced competitively
  • Awesome colors
  • Comes with OR's great warranty
  • Works great as a summer standalone piece
  • Slim enough to wear under another insulation piece for winter
Cons:
  • It's still a pullover 
  • No jacket or hoody model option

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