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Before I moved to Chicago a few years ago, I thought I’d learned how to handle winter. When I got here, I turned out to be dead wrong. Even wearing four layers – including a big North Face jacket that makes me look like the Michelin Man, but green – hasn’t kept me properly warm in the aptly-named Windy City.
Really, I’d never had a winter jacket I completely loved. In my 30s, I lived in Philly, and even there, my old Patagonia jacket left me chilly whenever the temperature dipped below 35 degrees. Layering always helped, but I still managed to catch a serious case of the shivers for the first few minutes I stepped outside.
That’s why I bought my North Face when I moved here, but with even that jacket leaving me cold, I knew I had to switch again. I nevertheless hesitated because I was tired of shuffling through winter jackets every year. I wanted whatever I bought to last for a decade of winters to come. I’d rather increase my winter jacket budget – specifically for something higher-tech – in hopes of finding one lifelong purchase to keep me warm forever.
I hit the internet in search of my final-ever jacket purchase – winter gear stores have never quite satisfied me – and eventually stumbled upon Oros Apparel. When I read about Oros in a Digital Trends article exploring the winterwear industry’s use of super-insulating aerogel, I knew I needed to learn more.
NASA uses aerogel in insulation for space suits, space shuttles, and even the Mars Rover. If it keeps the astronauts warm in space, where the temperature is wildly colder than anything I’d ever experience here on Earth, it will do just fine in Chicago.
When I checked out Oros’ Orion Parka, I learned that Oros’ signature Solarcore aerogels take those NASA insulation capabilities and fit that technology into a thin jacket that resists wind, breathes well, stays warm when compressed, and boasts that precious four-way stretch. Oros claimed that its Solarcore could easily withstand the -455 degrees F conditions that NASA shuttles encounter in outer space, and it also said that aerogel has been proven a far stronger insulator than 250 other materials, including the down in my North Face.
While combing the internet for more info, I discovered an Oros video that convinced me that people are missing out on a big open secret. In a video that Oros filmed, a person wearing the Orion Parka is blasted with liquid nitrogen, a material over twice as cold as any temperatures recorded on Earth. The Orion Parka fully protected him from the insane cold of the liquid nitrogen, so I felt confident it would keep me warm in these painfully frigid Chicago winters. I bought my coat and eagerly awaited its arrival.
I put it to the test a few days later when the package arrived at my doorstep. Orion Parka was just as thin as it appeared on the Oros website — even thinner than my down jacket. I tossed on my jacket and took a gentle stroll around my block to test it out. It was apparent in just the first 30 seconds that the Orion Parka would allow me to keep the heat and lose the bulk. As my walk progressed, I found myself enjoying the most advanced cold weather protection in the thinnest outwear I have ever worn in my life – and in the days that followed, as I wore my Oros Orion Parka everywhere I went, I forgot that I’d ever struggled so badly with winter.
I’ve worn the Orion Parka literally every day since I bought it (well, except those lazy Sundays when I don’t leave the house), and I haven’t felt cold since. Chicago no longer feels as windy thanks to Oros, and the jacket is so lightweight that, when I layer under it, I no longer feel weighed down or constricted. I’ve found the lifelong winter jacket solution I was seeking, and it’s all thanks to Oros using the most revolutionary technology out there.
If you’re seeking the warmest, lightest winter jacket available, Oros is the coat for you. Click the red link below to experience NASA’s best-kept secret for yourself, no spacesuit required.
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