The first thing I thought when I took it out of the package was: “Goodness. That’s very pink. And orange.”
Then I gave it a squeeze and lo! it was like the softest sleeping bag for my torso I’d ever felt. This jacket is ace. I wasn’t sure when I first saw it – or when I first tried it on – but I’m totally sold now.
Let me start with its looks. It’s extremely flattering: very slim-fit and nipped in at the waist without being tight, cut slightly higher at the front than the back so your bottom is sort of covered, ish, and with a cute little turtle-neck that looks good and doesn’t interfere with your chin too much when you’re bobbing along the running track.
The only feature I’m not quite sure about is the flaps on the shoulders. It’s not that they look odd; they don’t. I’m just not sure what they’re for. There’s no cooling mesh underneath to create air flow; there’s just a flap at the top of each arm. Who knows?
Odlo has added some nice touches to this jacket, like the zip collar at the top of the neck. The zip hides in a little pocket so the wind and rain doesn’t get in.
The front of the jacket is shiny and downy, and isn’t waterproof but is definitely a little water resistant (my phone stayed dry in a downpour in my pocket). It’s windproof, so when you’re running into the wind you stay warm – too warm in many cases. I often unzip half-way because I hate being too hot when I’m running. Cold-blooded runners will love it though, it’s toasty.
And I’d imagine it’s perfect for skiing (it’s also aimed at skiers, but I’m not a skier so I can’t really comment).
The back is a stretchy fabric panel that lets air flow through and moves with you, so you’re not restricted when you’re running, twisting or turning. It’s very comfortable.
There are a couple of little reflective slashes on the front, but I can’t imagine they’re very visible – if pushed, I’d say Odlo could add more of these reflective pieces along the seams. I felt a bit invisible during a nigh time running session during a recent stay in Cork.
There’s only one pocket on the right-hand side, but it’s roomy. Plenty of room for a phone, keys, wallet and a couple of energy bars – and a small map, I’d wager. Inside the pocket is also a little star-shaped rubber hole for your earphones, if running with music is your thing.
And finally, the sleeves. They’re a generous length – and then there’s an extra few inches of bright orange fabric with a thumb hole cut through them, so you can keep the meat of your hands warm. Ish. And on the left sleeve, there’s a watch slit too (although I wear a watch on my right hand, so it’s not much use to me).
The sleeves are a nice touch, but I did find that my fingers got very cold indeed. So if I had a request it would be that Odlo adds a mitten-esque flap that you could fold over all your fingers if you want – or just have the thumb hole if it’s not that cold.
Odlo says it gives ‘warmth without bulk’ – and it’s true. The jacket is really lightweight so it’s good for travelling. By my non-scientific and very rough reckoning, it weighs about as much as my iPhone 5s. So not much. It wasn’t quite as diminutive as I thought it would be, but it does fold down fairly small. When squished up, it just about fits into my dressing gown pocket.
Another bonus if you’re a treehugger like me is that it’s made of 70% recycled materials.
And the colours? I actually really like them. Bright pink and orange is kinda funky. The jacket also comes in charcoal grey, white and dull gold, and blue and dull gold… but they’re quite, well, dull really. Give me bright summery colours any day.
Verdict? At £150 this jacket is not cheap – but I reckon it’s worth the investment. I love it. And I didn’t expect to.