When I moved to Chicago from outside New York City, I quickly learned that the puffer coat I’d relied on was not suitable for the Windy City’s below-freezing winters. I invested in a floor-length down coat to get through the snowy season, but I needed something a bit lighter yet equally as warm in my closet, too.
Despite trying to resist the urge to buy Orolay’s down jacket, which I’d seen countless times on Instagram and that is known as “The Amazon Coat,” I finally purchased it. And after one wear, I knew it was exactly the kind of gift my friends and family, who were also suffering through Chicago's winter, would appreciate.
Orolay offers a variety of coats for men, women and children, but I gave into the trend and opted for the coat I saw rave reviews about on social media: the Women's Thickened Down Jacket, which has a 4.4-star average rating from 19,295 reviews on Amazon. It’s available in colors ranging from neutral shades like Black, Beige and Grey to bright hues like Yellow and Red. Some options also have fur trim around the hood. The coat is available in sizes ranging from XXSmall to 5X-Large. The variety of color options, styles and sizes allows me to customize the coat according to who I’m gifting it to.
The coat features a polyester shell, which the brand says is wind- and water-resistant. After wearing it while walking home in a blizzard, I can confirm that’s true. The coat is filled with duck down but it’s not bulky, allowing me to move freely and comfortably wear it in a car or on public transit. And it zips closed — avoiding a coat that took forever to button was a priority for me.
What I think makes the Orolay coat unique is its ability to expand. Its side zippers start at the bottom of the coat and extend upward toward my arms. When I unzip them, the hem of the coat gets bigger. And when I undo the buttons on both sides of the zip closure, the coat gets looser. I take advantage of both these features when I’m wearing a lot of layers so it’s not tight and doesn't feel restrictive despite the multiple sweaters I’m wearing underneath.
Additionally, the coat boasts six large pockets that I keep my hat, scarf and gloves in, as well as my keys, wallet and phone. I bought my aunt the coat last Christmas, and she stores pet treats, bags and an extra leash in it when she walks her dogs. The coat also folds down flat, which I appreciate when I’m traveling with it.
One of my favorite features of the coat is its fleece-lined hood, which covers my head and ears, keeping both warm. The hood is deep, so it stays on my head even in the wind. The coat is longer in the back than in the front and covers part of my legs, and the sleeves sport ribbed knit cuffs, cinching around my wrists and preventing snow or wind from getting inside.