Rocking it with Orvis fishing waders in unpredictable Patagonian weather. Photo: Suzie Dundas

Orvis Pro Insulated Hoodie Review: a Go-Everywhere Jacket That Turns Into a Travel Pillow

Technology + Gear
by Suzie Dundas Jan 2, 2024

Some outdoor brands have a reputation for being cool, to put it bluntly. Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and Cotopaxi all convey a sense of being in-the-know, eco-friendly, and stylish without trying too hard.

No one would list Orvis as a brand synonymous with cool. In fact, you’re more likely to find jackets from the 150-year-old fishing brand hanging in the back of your grandpa’s closet than you are on skiers during après-ski or on hikers at a trendy brewery. But after a year – yes, a full year – of testing the brand’s PRO Insulated Hoodie, (men’s version here), I can say it is hands-down my favorite packable, insulated jacket I’ve ever tested.

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Why I love it

Orvis pro insulated hoodie review - fly fishing

Photo: Suzie Dundas

  • Has barely shown wear after a year of heavy use
  • Warm and sweat-free, thanks to underarm panels and high-end insulation
  • Thoughtful features like fleece-lined pockets and reinforced cuffs
  • Excellent water- and wind-proofing
  • Packs into a travel pillow!

It’s become my go-to travel and outdoor jacket

I have plenty of packable jackets (shout out to PrAna and Stio, which make my other two favorites), but when I only have room for one jacket, it’s the Orvis Pro Insulated Hoodie. And that’s because it’s so versatile. It can get rained and snowed on, and it’s incredibly wind-resistant (after all, it’s made for fly fishing). It’s also quite warm but not very thick, so I wear it often on flights where the A/C is blasting non-stop.

Orvis pro insulated hoodie review durable sleeves

The sleeves of my other two favorite jackets, all of which have been washed the same number of times (zero). Photo: Suzie Dundas

Ultimately, though, the best compliment I can give this jacket is that it’s still in great shape, despite extremely heavy use. That’s partially due to the use of ripstop and durable fabrics, as well as smart features like abrasion-resistant pads under each cuff. When I compare the sleeves of the PRO Insulated Jacket to the sleeves of my other packable down jackets, it’s clear that the others are showing way more wear. Granted, the Orvis hoodie is a slightly darker color, but it’s clear that it’s just not holding as much dirt as the others (and the black abrasion panel certainly helps).

I’ve worn it in the most extreme conditions

Despite being a snowboarder and a person who lives in a ski town, I’m always cold. Seriously – when it drops below 50 degrees F, I need double socks. So for me, it’s extra impressive that I find the Pro Insulated Hoodie to be quite toasty. And because of that, I’ve felt comfortable wearing it in all kinds of situations

While trekking through snow on Mount Whitney, CA

hiking on mount whitney - orvis insulated pro hoodie

My PRO Insulated Hoodie got my through whipping winds and midnight hiking on Mount Whitney, the highest point in the Lower 48. Photo: Suzie Dundas

It’s the highest point in the Lower 48 and got me through a 15-hour hike to 14,000 feet above sea level (that we started in whipping wind at 12 AM).

While fly fishing in southern Patagonia

Patagonia Pro Insulated hoodie women's - fly fishing

I caught (and quickly released) my first fish in Patagonia, and there’s no way to say it wasn’t because of my hoodie. Photo: Suzie Dundas

Honestly, I barely even knew it was windy when I was wearing this hoodie – and that’s saying quite a bit, considering I was in Patagonia.

Through tiny towns on northern Vancouver Island, BC

orvis pro insulated hoodie - women's jacket against fence

Photo: Suzie Dundas

When you’re on coastlines in northern British Columbia, having a waterproof and windproof jacket is a must.

The top features that made me love the PRO Insulated Jacket

The Orvis Pro Insulated Hoodie packs into an actually useful travel or camping pillow. Suzie Dundas
Thumb loops are more useful for buyers with longer arms (like me). Photo: Suzie Dundas
  • Chin protector: I often wear this jacket all the way zipped up, and thanks to a soft fleece panel on the inside of the zipper, it doesn’t rub or scratch against my face.
  • Giant pockets: In addition to two zippered hand pockets (lined with warm fleece), there’s also an exterior pocket on the left chest and an interior pocket on the right chest. All the pockets are huge. Each can easily hold several cell phones, and the right chest pocket runs the length of the jacket.
  • It’s packable: While I usually end up wearing the Pro Insulated Hoodie on planes, there’s a huge perk for people who don’t: it packs into the aforementioned right chest pocket, creating a decent-sized travel pillow. I’ve used it quite a bit while camping or in hotels when I needed an extra pillow to put between my knees while sleeping after a few active days of hiking or biking.
  • A drawstring hood and hem: The Pro Jacket does a pretty good job of preventing wind chill, but it does a great job when you cinch the adjustable drawstrings. My hat has stayed put in 30 MPH winds when secured tightly under the hood
  • Internal side panels: Though you can’t see them on the outside if you turn the jacket inside out, you’ll see two grey side panels. They both help eliminate bulk under your arms and provide extra airflow and temperature regulation. According to the product listing, it’s called “Polartec® Alpha” and was designed for “special ops teams.” I’m not sure if that’s impressive or not, but it has kept me warm and non-sweaty in quite a wide range of temperatures.
  • Thumb loops, not holes: The Pro Insulated Hoodie has internal thumb loops to keep it in place under gloves, rather than holes in the cuffs. They’re far easier to use and more comfortable for anyone with long arms (like me).

Sizing and reviews

hoodie on plane

It’s my go-to travel jacket (and yes, I used an empty seat to fly home with a box of donuts). Photo: Suzie Dundas

I’m not the only person who loves this packable hoodie — the men’s version has a rating of 4.9 out of five stars (and more than 330 reviews), while the women’s version has fewer reviews (51), but an equally impressive 4.8-star rating. That means most people think most everything about the jacket is great, including the sizing.

The sizing is pretty standard, and with the drawstring hem, it’s okay if it ends up being a little big on you. I’m 5’7″ and about 135 pounds, which is a size small in most brands. However, Orvis generally runs a little larger and less fitted than other outdoor brands, so I probably could have sized down to an XS. That said, I have a long torso and broad shoulders, and I like my jackets with plenty of room to layer, so I think a small was the right choice. So my advice would be to buy your regular size if you want a comfortable fit, and buy a size down if you like a more fitted, chic look. You can always exchange the size (or return it) for free.

It only comes in XS to XL, but according to the Orvis size chart, that should cover buyers who wear anywhere between a size 4 and size 20 for women, or a size 34-52 for men. Men also have the option of buying an XXL, which could work as an option for female buyers looking for larger sizes.

Costs and downsides

I put “costs” and “downsides” in the same category as that’s really the only reason to hesitate to give it a try. It’s not as expensive as some other outdoor brands, but at $249, it’s certainly not cheap. It also doesn’t tend to go on sale very often, probably because Orvis knows it’ll always be a crowd favorite. I feel as though I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it, but if you’re price-conscious, you may be able to find one on a used gear website like Poshmark, or maybe try their luck at an Orvis store, on the off-chance one is marked down or on the return rack. 

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