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Synthetic Puffy With Breathable Gills: Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket Review

The Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket is designed with mesh vents between the baffles that ventilate the puffy and regulate the wearer's temperature during high output exercise.

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I use a lot of insulated jackets, vests, and coats throughout Colorado’s colder months. I’ve got lightweight puffies, mid-weight puffies, and full-on arctic parkas for different activities and different conditions day-to-day. But the most versatile in my collection, by far, is the Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket.

This jacket has been my backcountry skiing emergency layer all season. I’ve mostly kept it in my backcountry ski pack, but more and more I’ve found myself pulling it out to use on dog walks, hikes, and even out to dinner. It’s a unique jacket, and I get plenty of curious comments and questions about the “gilled” baffles when I wear it out.

Is it better than the other synthetic puffy jackets of similar weight in my arsenal? I’d say it’s on par with the best. But it’s also unique, and it serves a niche purpose in my outdoor tool kit.

And honestly, if I was going to do some spring closet cleaning, it could replace a few of my other synthetic insulated jackets. If this was the only puffy I owned, its versatility and overall function would make it a suitable daily driver.

In short: The Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket leverages Orage’s Gilltek technology. The baffles are separated (like gills) and between them, mesh fabric allows air to be ventilated and moisture to evaporate. It’s useful for high-aerobic activity in cold weather and for early morning dog walks when it’s too cold for a fleece, but too warm for heavier insulated jackets. Sometimes, an errant gust of cold wind will blast me through the baffles unexpectedly. Usually, though, it’s a breath of air — especially if I’m working up a sweat.

Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket


  • Fit Regular
  • Length Hip
  • Face fabric 100% recycled nylon, Eco C0 DWR
  • Arm, side panels Drirelease (86% polyester, 9% Lyocell, 5% spandex)
  • Insulation 170g PrimaLoft Thermoplume (100% recycled polyester)
  • Pockets 1 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand
  • Venting Gilltek back panel
  • Anti-Odor Yes
  • Manufacturer warranty Limited lifetime


  • Warm when you need it, breathes when you're working up a sweat
  • Anti-odor
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Recycled synthetic insulation is very warm


  • Gilltek mesh has questionable durability
  • Unexpected cold gusts can catch you by surprise
  • Gilltek not compatible with backpack

Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket Review

(Photo/Rachel Laux)

Synthetic insulation like the PrimaLoft Thermoplume used in this jacket has benefits and drawbacks over down fill. Down tends to be lighter, more packable, and, depending on the fill quality, warmer than most synthetic insulation.

However, I prefer synthetic insulation for a jacket designed for high-output activities like ski touring. It will keep you warm if it gets wet (which down will not), and it dries out faster. Plus, by and large, synthetically insulated products are cheaper than anything with down. As a bonus, the insulation Orage used in this jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester.

The Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket is also DWR-treated, so it’s lightly water-repellant. And, Orage claims, it’s odor-resistant too.

All of this comes together in a sleek-looking jacket that’s ideal for exercise, but lends itself well to the everyday. It’s a solid, insulated piece of kit. And that’s before you even add the Gilltek to it.

There are three pockets: one external chest pocket and two standard hand pockets on either side. All of the zippers have grabbable bright orange pull tabs, making them easy to manipulate with gloves on.

Orage Gilltek Tech

(Photo/Rachel Laux)

Orage uses Gilltek in several other garments as well as this Morrisson Hybrid Jacket. Essentially, the baffles of the back are separate from one another, connected by a thin mesh strip of orange fabric. That allows air to ventilate so that you don’t overheat when you kick it into high gear.

The idea is novel, and I haven’t seen anything quite like it from other brands. It has its advantages and drawbacks, cartainly, but overall, I really like the design. I don’t think I’d want every single puffy jacket to have Gilltek in it — but it doesn’t detract from this jacket’s functionality in any truly meaningful way.

In fact, I think it makes it a far more versatile piece than most standard synthetic puffy jackets.

There are some issues I have with it (and I’ll get to those). But overall, this is an innovative way to design an insulated jacket or vest, and the more I use it, the more I like it.

In the Field

(Photo/Rachel Laux)

If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I get so hot when I tour that I never wear a puffy jacket on the uphill. And on the downhill, unless it is near-zero out, I will typically just wear a fleece under my shell. So I only used this jacket on the uphill once, and I quickly got too hot in it.

The Gilltek was working — I could feel cold air trickling into the back as I skinned. But I was sweating bullets and took it off before got too far.

I used it on multiple occasions as an emergency layer. There was one long day of skiing in 6-degree weather at Powder Mountain in Utah, where I whipped this thing out to replace my fleece. But it was under a shell, and the breathability of the Gilltek was negligible. By the same token, with the shell over it, I couldn’t feel any cold air seeping in through the back. It functioned like a regular puffy.

I found this jacket most useful for fall and winter hikes. When I only had a T-shirt or base layer underneath, this was ideal for day hikes anywhere between 25 and 45 degrees. This will be my primary hiking puffy come summertime. For peak bagging in Colorado, this is an ideal garment.

It was also great for dog walking, going out to dinner and drinks with friends, and general casual use. Despite sweating a lot in this jacket, I never got comments about being stinky when I was out with my partner and my friends. I can’t prove that was thanks to the anti-odor properties of the insulation — but I can’t disprove it either.

When I wore this jacket out in the snow, the DWR treatment seemed to do a fine job of repelling beads of water. Obviously, it isn’t a rain jacket, but I would trust it skinning in light, dry snow, or short sprinkles without throwing a shell over it.

I got a size large in this jacket, which is the jacket size that I normally wear. But if I had it to do over again, I’d have gotten a medium. I think the Gilltek would work better with a more form-fitting jacket. This is a great midlayer and aerobic layer, and a baggy fit doesn’t do it any performance favors.

Where It Fell Short

(Photo/Rachel Laux)

Right out of the gate, it’s obvious that the Gilltek only works if you aren’t wearing a backpack. Maybe some air can ventilate. But if you have a pack on your back, it basically holds the gills closed and the jacket functions just like any other synthetic puffy. Gilltek negated!

Similarly, you can expect to be caught off guard by the occasional gust of cold air. I imagine the surprise is similar to what people feel when they wear a dress, skirt, or kilt. But it was almost always a momentary flash of discomfort.

Sometimes, it was even a welcome cooldown. If it was consistently gusty and cold out, you could throw a shell over top of this jacket and you’d be very warm.

My biggest fear about this jacket, though, is its durability. The mesh fabric that makes the Gilltek work is very insubstantial. It’s thin. Now, I don’t often do jump rolls, or wild feats of acrobatics when I’m wearing a puffy jacket. But if you were wearing this as an outer layer and really ate it skiing or trail running, that mesh is the weakest point and the most prone to tearing or detaching.

I’m not sure that would ruin the jacket’s function so much, as the baffles would still ventilate (even better, actually). But it’s a distinct possibility.

Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket: Who Is It For?

(Photo/Rachel Laux)

I use this jacket a lot more than I expected to. The Gilltek seemed kind of gimmicky at first, but the more I wore it, the more it grew on me. I question its durability, but beyond that, I really have no holes to punch in the design of this jacket.

This is a solid piece of outerwear as a synthetic jacket (before even considering the Gilltek). Add the ventilation properties that Orage has designed into this piece, and it becomes an exceptionally versatile jacket. It will continue to be my emergency base layer in my backcountry backpack. I will continue to use it on hikes through the spring and into next fall.

Synthetic insulated jackets often function similarly between brands, and the designs, while sometimes unique, don’t really break the mold all that often. This jacket is distinctly different. It’s innovative, it’s cleverly designed, and damn if I didn’t find a lot of ways to put it to good use — even over other puffy jackets I own.

If you want a jacket that’s perfect for high aerobic activity, shoulder season excursions, and even nights out on the town, I’d highly recommend the Orage Morrisson Gilltek Hybrid Jacket. I continue to grow more attached to mine the more I wear it.

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