The Orsden Women’s Lift Jacket is right at home on a trail like this.
Orsden’s website mentions a mythical bear. Cool. What really gets me, though, is that this mythical bear is supposedly playful and tough. That’s my kind of bear. It’s also my kind of girl. Playful and tough is a pretty good description of my wife Annika. Also organized, hard-working, patient and beautiful. Maybe Orsden’s bear is those things too. I don’t know.
Naturally, I thought my playful, tough bear wife would be the perfect person to take the Orsden Lift Jacket for a test drive. Most of what follows are her impressions, though I’ve thrown in a few thoughts of my own [in italics].
First Impressions on Fit
First of all, I’m pretty tall for a woman. At 5’9″ I rarely can find a shirt, sweater or jacket with long enough sleeves. The Lift Jacket sleeves are long enough, and even have length to spare. My wrists thank Orsden for this design! The inner black liner at the end of each sleeve keeps the cold air out, the sleeves down, and my wrists happy. Thumb loops make the fit even more secure.
I also like the length. It’s not so long that I’m sitting on it all the time, but it’s long enough to keep my waist and hips covered. I think it’s the perfect length.
I love the color (Nightfall, a dark blue with a hit of slate). I think the other available colors look nice too. I like the deep blue, though, because black can be kind of dark for my fair skin. [Annika is a redhead.] Black would be pretty much like every other black coat. [Read: boring.]
I’ve received many compliments on this coat. That tells me that besides being functional it’s also a good-looking jacket for everyday wear. Actually, since receiving this jacket, I have worn it every day. [It’s been a little over a month.] It keeps me warm and comfortable in any kind of weather. I love going outside in it.
Quality & Features
The Orsden Lift Jacket is well-made. The slanted zipper took a bit of getting used to, but I really like that feature now. It’s unique, and it makes it so the coat doesn’t pop out at the tummy as much when I sit.
Having a jacket with a high neck was new for me, but I like it now. It keeps me toasty warm.
The adjustable hood is well-designed and provides good coverage from snow, rain, and wind. I like the inner lining [and insulation]of the hood. It adds warmth and coziness. I’ve had other hoods that aren’t lined, and I don’t like them as much.
I love the outer shell and whatever finish Orsden applied to the fabric. My three-year-old smeared me with gooey, sucker mouth one day. I wiped it all right off with my bare hand. Quick cleanability is a sweet feature for moms or pet owners. [My wife hates pets. But she’s inclusive.]
The Orsden Lift Jacket is perfect for winter hiking and snowshoeing, and would also make a superb ski jacket.
When I get heated up from hiking or shoveling snow, I can unzip the pit zips. Yet even when I’m warmed up from just moving around, I don’t feel overheated in the Lift Jacket. It’s like the coat has a magical thermostat inside. It keeps me warm when I’m cold but not too hot when I go inside a building. I can wear this coat shopping without having to take it off when I walk in the store.
[I’ll admit to trying this coat on, too. The interior fabric has a microfiber feel. It’s really cozy, like wearing a blanket. And Annika’s right that this is a really good-looking jacket. The cut, form and length are very flattering. Aside from that, the jacket has a lot of great features Annika didn’t mention: breast pocket with waterproof zip, interior pockets, zippered pocket on the left sleeve, and a removable powder skirt. All of these features, the quality of manufacture and really great aesthetics make this jacket a winner.]
Aaron Lovell lives in Tooele, Utah, and studied journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He hates fishing, loves ballet, and spends his free time helping his wife coax their four children along on hikes they're not old enough for. Twitter: @aarontlovell