Outdoor Research Whirlwind Hoody

GEAR REVIEW – Outdoor Research Whirlwind Hoody Women’s ($115)

Ah shoulder to shoulder season (spring, summer, fall); when steep backcountry ski lines finally fill in and stabilize (spring), ridge traverses shed their snow allowing for some wild link ups (summer and fall), and fast and light seem to be the name of the game.  Recently, I have found myself on quite a few fast and light adventures and as such, have trimmed my kit down – everything in my pack serving a very distinct purpose.  On these exploits, I found the need for a lightweight softshell style jacket and the good people at Outdoor Research created just this jacket, the Whirlwind Hoody.

Since March, I have put this jacket through the wringer with countless 14er splitboarding missions (splitmo), technical mountain running ridge traverses including the Glacier Gorge Traverse in Rocky Mountain National Park, and a ridiculous amount of alpine climbs.  With a quiver of jackets at my disposal, I find myself always grabbing for the Whirlwind Hoody.

As part of the #ORInsightLab crew of dedicated testers for Outdoor Research, I was provided a Women’s Whirlwind Hoody to test.  For reference, I’m 5’8″, 135 pounds with an athletic build (32″ chest, 27″ waist, and 37″ hips) and I tested the Whirlwind Hoody in a size M (size chart).

Bottom Line – The Outdoor Research Whirlwind Hoody is the perfect 3-season outer layer for athletic, alpine pursuits.


  • Pocket – One left sided napoleon chest pocket that is large enough to stash an iPhone 6 and some snacks, doubling as a stuff sack.
  • Pullover – Simplistic and comfortable under a harness.
  • Wind resistant –  Takes the bite out of wind chill, tested in gusts up to 35mph.
  • Water resistant – Sheds light rain.
  • Helmet compatible hood- Seamlessly pulls over helmet to help retain body heat and keep core warm, hood is adjustable.
  • Winglike movement – Jacket is 100% non-restrictive to whatever movement you find yourself performing.
  • Thumb loops – Helps to keep knuckles warm when gloves are overkill.
  • Integrated carabiner loop – perfect for stashing the jacket.
  • Durability – Having been scumming up chimneys and what not, I have found the polyester/spandex blend fabric to be incredibly durable.  There are no abrasion tears like I have encountered on other lightweight softshell jackets
  • Lightweight – Weighs a mere 7.5oz, and while not the lightest on the market I found it to be the most durable lightweight softshell I have tested to date.


  • NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.
Addict Disclaimer – Thrillseekers Anonymous was provided with the Outdoor Research Whirlwind Hoody for this review. The opinions expressed above are my own and reflect my experience. No one can buy my love!

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Raised in the ocean lined landscape of Southern California, Ilana now calls the rocky mountains of Colorado home. Ilana is a mother to an adventurous daughter, an accomplished rock and ice climber, skier, snowboarder, mountain distance runner, avid adventurer, and a Registered Trauma Nurse. A recent, near fatal accident in May, 2018, has left Ilana with a new disability; bringing her biggest life challenge to head, adapting to continue her pursuit of long, hard days in the mountains and share it with the generations to come. Ilana is the founder of Thrillseekers Anonymous, a seasoned event speaker, and has been featured in various media outlets including the February 2015 issue of ‘Climbing’ magazine, December 2013 issue of ‘Rock and Ice’ magazine, December/January 2013 issue of ‘Gripped Climbing’ magazine, Canyoneering: A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons (How To Climb Series) by Dave Black and Pasadena Magazine as well as a Climbing Expert on MTV’s Parental Control (Season 7 – “Heather”).

Ilana has written 121 articles for Thrillseekers Anonymous.

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