It has been in use for most of the past couple of weeks, and first impressions are as follows:
‘Made of 100% brushed back cotton, this full zip hoody is the answer if you don't like the hassle of pulling a hoody over your head. This one's the ideal lightweight extra layer for any time you might want some extra warmth, either indoors or outdoors.’ So says one retailer, but this and similar products are also more readily available directly from Berghaus.
The cotton construction makes this a much heavier garment than the Polartec® 100 fleeces with which I’m familiar. As such it is more of an indoor/outdoor top, for casual use as opposed to ‘on the hill’ use. Having said that, it could be used for hiking on cool dry days – the sort of days when you could get away with wearing jeans.
The hoody is made to a very high standard:
- the sewing appears faultless
- there’s a good solid baffle behind the front zip
- the unzipped hand warmer pockets are roomy and robust
- the feel of the fabric is soft and velvety
- the medium size fits my 38” chest with room to spare
- the fleece is comfortable without being snug
- the hood is spacious and the length is generous
- there is no draw cord other than for the hood, but closely knit stretchy fabric is used for the cuffs and at the bottom of the garment, making it feel quite snug
- the hand warmer pockets are all you get by way of storage. Many users will be quite happy with this and would find somewhere else to keep their valuables
- this is not in all honesty a lightweight garment, despite Cotswold Outdoors description, more a garment for everyday use – along the lines of ‘cotton t-shirt in the summer, cotton hoody in the winter’
- the hoody is an excellent garment for day to day indoor and outdoor use during the cooler months of the year
- it hasn’t been washed it yet – that won’t be necessary very often – but I guess it will take quite some time to dry when it is washed
- if you are looking for a full zip hoody for general use, then you can’t do much better than get one like this from Berghaus
As you may gather from the pictures, my son Mike has been helping me with this review. Here are his initial observations:
This is REALLY warm compared to my other hoodies, fit's very good but bulks out a little bit on me when zipped up. Cuffs and quality of construction seem great and looks like it will last a long time. Hood is nice and big. Personally I would have thought a darker blue colour would be better, the paler shade almost makes it look faded when it's new...however it's really not something that bothers me. It's super warm and cosy, very comfortable to wear.
Regarding pockets – it just has the hand warmers, not a disadvantage, convenient, zipped would annoy me, you'd have to be a fool to put something like a phone in them. No other pockets apart from two inside pockets on the inner side of the hand warmers, not zipped. some sort of inside pocket might be handy actually, but this is a hoody and not a full on coat I suppose...
Overall I really like it.
That’s it for now. I’ll add to this review when the hoody has been used for a longer term. I suspect that I won’t be the one who will have used it if the gentleman pictured above has his way!