Stacy Wren has worked all over Colorado and the Pacific Northwest teaching skiing, mountaineering, and backpacking for the past five years. She is a new Customer Service and Operations Associate at Outdoor Prolink, and she teaches skiing at Arapahoe Basin on the weekends.
All photos by Doug Liedle Instagram: @dougliedle
When I first wore the Outdoor Research Sonata Hoody to a late fall backyard campfire, my friends noticed. All of the girls wanted to try it on, and several of the guys asked me if I could hook them up with men’s jackets. It looks that good on.
The fit is flattering and very feminine — it’s not boxy, yet not specifically cut for an hourglass shape. For those of us with more athletic, less curvy builds, the hourglass shape does not work. I was stoked to wear a jacket that actually fits AND makes me look like a woman. Double win!
The Sonata Hoody is mostly true to size. I am 5’4, athletic build, and the small fits really nicely. The jacket is advertised as a slim fit, which is flattering, but it still gives me room to move. I am right in-between a small and a medium on the Outdoor Research size chart. The small is a little slimmer, but I believe that the medium would fit me as well, especially if I have a couple of layers underneath … or let’s be real, just crushed a double bacon cheeseburger after a long day outside. One and the same.
Although looking good and winning is 90% of the battle, function is pretty important too. I tested out this jacket on a recent early season skin/hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a reasonably warm day, but as soon as we got to tree line, I was glad I brought the Sonata along. The wind at tree line was especially vicious that day, and if I had brought a shell, I definitely would have put it on. Instead, all I had was the Sonata, and much to my surprise, it both kept me warm AND blocked the wind.
Beyond wearing this on those chilly fall days, the Sonata is my new “summer puffy”. The Sonata is 650 fill down, so it isn’t the warmest piece in my closet, but I don’t think that was its intended purpose. It’s a great jacket for activities that generate a little warmth, like chilly hikes above tree line or layered under a shell while downhill skiing, but it’s also fantastic for summer mornings and nights, especially in the mountains. A women’s medium only weighs 11.7oz, so it’s light enough to justify tossing in a backpack for a summit attempt or overnight mission. You won’t regret bringing it along, even if you don’t end up wearing it.
The details on the Sonata Hoody are well thought out. The first thing I noticed was the pockets — the hands are perfectly placed, slightly higher than the waist, so it could fit underneath a harness, with the pockets still usable. It also has a sweet chest pocket. I’ve noticed lately that most men’s jackets have a Napoleon pocket, but it’s hard to find a solid women’s jacket that does. Thank God for the Sonata — women need just as many pockets as men do. Besides the pockets, other details that I love about the Sonata are the drawcord hem, which is always nice for dialing in the fit, and the solid zippers that are easy to zip/unzip with cold, gloved hands. Finally, the fabric is awesome. Both the shell and lining are constructed using Pertex Quantum ripstop fabric, which is both durable and incredibly soft.
I have two small gripes about the Sonata. 1) In a perfect world, the Sonata would be cut slightly longer. I like jackets that hit about mid-butt, and this is maybe 1-2 inches short of that. 2) The Sonata sheds tiny feathers through the inside lining. Thankfully, it doesn’t spit out any of the large down tufts, which are what actually make the jacket warm, so the tiny feather issue is more of a nuisance than an actual structural concern.
Overall, the Sonata Hoody is a solid choice in the realm of lightweight down jackets. It has all of the things you could want in a 3-season puffy — ultralight, warm, and flattering with great features and solid construction. Expect to see me rocking this all winter long underneath my shell, and come summer, this will be the perfect complement to my morning coffee or summit Snickers.