I Tried a Coat Made From Spacesuit Material—Astronauts Must Be Super Warm

If being from the midwest has taught me anything, it's how to dress for cold weather. Do I sometimes wear bike shorts to the gym in 14-degree weather? Yes, but that's precisely why I know a warm winter coat when I see one. I despise feeling like I am swimming in a puffy jacket, with a million winter hats and gloves on top of me, but I also don't like feeling cold. However, when the Oros Orion Parka came into my life, all of this changed. Cue the rom-com music because it's the warm winter coat I have wanted for years.

Let's start with the most exciting aspect: It's made from the same thing they use in astronaut suits. Oros says their patented material, "solar core," incorporates aerogel,  a material developed to insulate spaces suits and spacecrafts. A video on the Oros website features a blowtorch heating a sample of aerogel, while a Hershey kiss sitting on top remains perfectly unmelted. This demonstration shows how well the aerogel traps heat, given the fact that the blowtorch temps weren't melting the chocolate resting on the other side. The Oros Orion Parka traps the wearers' body heat in the coat and keeps the cold out.

When the coat first arrived, I was immediately impressed by the pops of color, numerous discrete pockets, and water-resistant outer surface. The coat is longer in the women's style than the men's, but both lengths offer warmth that extends past your torso which I really like. It also is somehow stretchy, which I found really great for climbing stairs and playing in the snow with my niece and nephew. One of my favorite parts about the coat, aside from its slim profile, is that you can easily regulate your temperature. Feeling super cold? Zip it, velcro it, and pull your hood up for maximum heat. Feeling kind of sweaty from running around in the cold weather? You can unzip without being inundated with frigid temperatures because you've gotten slightly sweaty.

Oros Orion Parka

I was a little worried, however, because it looked so thin! In most cases, the warmest coats are the puffiest, and I was hoping for a winter coat that could work during the coldest parts of the year. Despite my hesitation, I was in for a treat. The coat only looked thin, but it offered ample warmth. I remember sweating while trying it on in my house, which was honestly a great sign. Throughout the winter, this coat has coat kept me dry in the rain and snow—and during those balmy-for-someone-from-Michigan 30-degree afternoons. The coat doesn't force you to compromise: Typically, if you want style, you usually trade in warmth and vice versa. However, the Orion Parka has both in equal measure.


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