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These 4 Pieces of Outerwear are the Only Cold Weather Staples You’ll Ever Need – Here’s Why

Kyle Hart
ByKyle HartDec 5, 2022In Partnership With Oros Apparel

This time of year in Vermont, the weather is already dipping below freezing at night, so I’m taking inventory to make sure I’m set on winter gear for the season. Winters here are incredibly cold (it’s not uncommon to be out in below-zero weather), so in the past I’ve had to do a lot of layering. With this in mind, OROS created its SOLARCORE® insulation based on Aerogel, a NASA-developed technology designed to insulate spacecrafts up to -450°F.

Though it doesn’t get that cold here in Vermont, OROS took inspiration and combined its thermal properties with flexible foam that keeps you toasty without all of the added bulk. Because I don’t have a lot of closet space as a university student, OROS helps me decrease the amount of layers I need to wear throughout the day–and is just one reason why investing in OROS has changed my outerwear game.

Here are 4 of my favorite OROS cold-weather staples:

Orion Parka ($309)

Past me: Did not leave the house in less than 3-4 layers. Sweating the moment I stepped inside.

Current me: 1 light layer under my Orion Parka. Dressed right for a heated building once I take my coat off.

Favorite features: This coat is waterproof, breathable, fully seam sealed, it has full coverage thermal mapping, and it’s wind resistant.

Being in Burlington, which is very accessible by foot, I walk anywhere from class, to the gym, to downtown. These walks are anywhere from 5-15 minutes, but with the wind chill, it can be pretty brutal. Luckily with my Orion Parka, I can keep warm with just a light layer underneath. Most warm parkas are super bulky and heavy, but the Orion Parks provides the same warmth as a thick coat with a sleek, minimalist design.

Gemini Jacket ($169)

Past me: Dealt with bulky layers that I then had to remove to get down to the clothes I actually wanted to wear.

Current me: This heat-optimized shell lets me dress however I want on a date or dinner out.

Favorite features: Water repellent, breathable, has thermal mapping, it’s waterproof, and it’s wind resistant.

This jacket is sleeker than the Orion Parka, but still perfect for the harsh winters I experience. I play hockey here in college, and I’m able to wear it to the rink for games, as well as to the outdoor rink for pickup hockey. Since this jacket is a little lighter than the parka, I will reach for it when the temperature is around freezing, especially when there is a chance of rain. I already said I would gladly skate in this jacket, but it’s also a nice one to wear when going out for dinner. Above, you can see that in past winters I would dress how I wanted, then have to add lots of layers on top. This jacket has a SOLARCORE® insulated vest that lets me do without an extra layer that wasn’t part of my outfit.

Itinerant Jacket ($149)

Past me: Tossed a hoodie on for casual warmth.

Current me: I now have a nicer version for situations when I’m not straight-up lounging.

Favorite features: Water resistant/repellent, breathable, thermal mapping, 4-way stretch, wind resistant.

I’ve got a lot of hoodies and obviously I’m going to keep wearing them. But none of them are water resistant, water repellent, or really breathable at all. This lightweight jacket is all of the above and it’s a good option for when I’m going somewhere casual but want an upgrade from a hoodie.

Explorer Hoodie ($89)

Past me: A lot of cotton hoodie options.

Current me: A hoodie that’s optimized for the weather where I live.

Favorite features: Water resistant/repellent, breathable, thermal mapping, 4-way stretch, and it’s wind resistant.

For similar reasons to why I recommend the Itinerant Jacket, I’m into how the Explorer Hoodie is a step above my regular hoodie collection. This one has a wind-proof overlay on the body and back, but it isn’t at all stiff or noisy. It also has a scuba-material hood so I can pull it up over my ears for extra warmth, but it’s not going to overheat me while I’m playing pond hockey. The 2-way zipper in the front is cool, too, so I can have a little venting.