Outdoor Research Chaos Jacket

2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



A decent synthetic belay jacket. After freezing my…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $125


A decent synthetic belay jacket.


  • Windproof
  • Good water resistance
  • Good pocket distribution
  • Hood has lots of room and excellent coverage


  • Not warm enough for Rockies
  • Could use a waterbottle pocket, or second glove pocket
  • A bit too tight to move freely with layers underneath

After freezing my ass off belaying in a blustery -20° day I decided enough was enough and I would stop wasting my time waiting for the Dually Belay Parka from Arc'Teryx to come available. I wanted a synthetic belay parka for ice climbing and wearing around town. (I'm planning on moving to Scotland, so I want something for wet conditions). I live in the Rockies.

So I ordered up the Chaos. OR has excellent customer service, and it came incredibly quickly. Thanks, OR!

I was immediately disappointed. It fit like a glove, the pockets were great, I loved the hood, but the jacket was about half as thick as I had expected. It's a little thinner the the Patagonia DAS parka and Arc'Teryx Kappa. Just a little bit more thick then the Atom SV. Of course this was made worse by the Dually coming available immediately afterwards. Bummer.

But I decided to give it a chance. The Primaloft One is incredible. For how little insulation is inside the jacket it performs much better then I would have expected. I would safely say that when this jacket is all packed up into its 2.5 L pocket (excellent pillow) it has the same warmth as a down jacket that packs down to a similar size.

This jacket performs much better then I would have imagined. My commute to work takes me over a very blustery bridge, and even in temperatures of -40° with windchill (walking with haste) and only an Atom LT on underneath I was comfortable. The hood cam very high and kept me cosy. I do burn hot though whilst moving (like -15 is like a thin ice breaker and Phase SV, and very thin sweater opened up.) So impressed by that. 

Belaying though... Well the two zips work great. hand warming pockets are wonderful. The internal glove pockets are sizeable enough for mits, though I would prefer one pocket on either side of the zipper on the inside so the gloves could help add some front insulation. In -26° weather it was definitely too cold with a light, and heavy base layer, Atom LT and a lightweight Gore-Tex jacket (MEC Synergy LT) while belay. I had to keep jumping and moving to stay warm. 

Overall it is very very comfortable. It's tough, windproof and very water resistant. I think for the West Coast or wet alpine climbing it would be excellent, but on Rockies ice climb down is a better option by far. The Havoc or something similar would have been a better choice. 


After picking up and loving the REI, quantum, zip…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Fabric: Windstopper Ripstop exterior
Fill: Primaloft
Price Paid: $169.83

After picking up and loving the REI, quantum, zip sleeve, lightweight, primaloft jacket; I became interested in the potential for the swiss army knife of all jackets. The hooded version of a primaloft jacket, with possibly more fill.

Researched for a while and the Outdoor Research Chaos came into focus. Got my hands on one at the local REI and decided to try it. It appears (one night walk in 41 degrees, 10 mph breeze) to be the perfect jacket. Wore my usual base (R.5 Patagonia Grid Fleece) and a light pair of pants. Never overheated (my primary concern) and felt like it was actually breathing.

The shell feels substantial (not an ultralight) and gives confidence it will take some abuse. The very high collar combined with a large hood (excellent adjustments) is like wearing a balaclava. With factory DWR this jacket should do well in anything short of extended downpour.

I've had less than stellar experience with laminates in the past, but whatever they are doing with the ripstop windstopper seems to work for me. This jacket and one or two layers should serve me from 50 degrees on down to anything I'd be interested in. (Sub zero is for sitting by the fire with appropriate wine :)

The materials and craftsmanship seem quite good. Time will tell if I remain as excited, but I can't conceive a better combination.

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Manufacturer's Description

Visit Outdoor Research's Men's Chaos Jacket page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

On Sale. Free Shipping. Outdoor Research Men's Chaos Jacket FEATURES of the Outdoor Research Men's Chaos Jacket Two Stretch Binding Hand Pockets Internal Shove-It(TM) Pockets Zippered Napoleon Pocket Drawcord Hem Water Resistant Wind Resistant DWR Coated Zippers Hook/Loop Cuff Closures Double-Separating Center-Front Zipper Fully Adjustable Hood with Stretch Fabric Panels Adjustable Wire-Brimmed Hood SPECIFICATIONS of the Outdoor Research Men's Chaos Jacket Standard fit Fabric Pertex Endurance(R), 100% nylon, 30D ripstop face Pertex Quantum(R) 100% nylon 20D Ripstop lining PrimaLoft(R) One Insulation: 170g body and sleeves, 133g hood Avg. Weight (oz./g): 26.8 / 759 This product can only be shipped within the United States. Please don't hate us.

- Moosejaw refers to the men's version

Built for highly aerobic alpine activities, the men's Outdoor Research Centrifuge Jacket features wind- and weather-resistant hard-faced fleece on the chest and front torso, but highly air-permeable Radiant LT Fleece on the back, side, underarms, and face panel. This combination of fabrics allows the Centrifuge to protect from inclement weather while remaining ultra-breathable. Also featuring an alpine cut and a close-fitting, balaclava-style hood, the Centrifuge is the ideal layer for traveling fast and light in less-than-ideal conditions.

- RockCreek refers to the men's version

Take control of your comfort when the weather gets truly wild. The Outdoor Research Men's Chaos Jacket offers lightweight fabric and a plethora of bells and whistles to keep you cozy. PrimaLoft ECO Sport insulation is thicker in the torso than the sleeves, so you maximize warmth without weight. The excitement doesn't stop there, however: WindStopper Insulated Shells fabric is shelters you from the wind and resists precipitation. The Chaos Jacket's adjustable hood fits over your climbing or ski helmet, and adjustable cuffs and drawcord seal out the elements. Internal pockets hold a water bottle and your music player so neither will freeze up.

- Backcountry Outlet refers to the men's version

The Chaos adds protection and insulation when conditions get out of control. A weather-resistant shell deflects snow and synthetic loft retains warmth. The deep hood and high collar seal out howling weather, whether youre wearing a helmet or not. Its sized as an over-layer, so it can go over what youre already wearing.

- GearX.com refers to the men's version