If anyone has been eagerly waiting for the BPL Beartooth Hoody to be restocked in the BPL store and have been met with disappointment at the lack of availability then I definitely recommend picking up an I/O Bio Merino hoody. I did a quick from the couch side by side comparison of the two baselayers and must say I prefer the I/O Bio Merino over the Beartooth immediately.
Cost: I/O Bio Merino Hoody $53.98 right now @ Backcountry.com vs. $104.49 for the BPL Beartooth.
* Sorry, Backcountry.com ended the $53.98 SALE. Full retail on the I/O Bio Merino is $89.
Weight: 160g/m2 vs. 150 g/m2
(The ever so thicker merino in the I/O Bio is hardly noticeable but feels more substantial and less "frail"... not that the BPL Beartooth Hoody is frail, but it has always felt a wee on the thin side)
Piece weighs about 9oz.
Color: I picked one up in Dark Navy blue w/ yellow flatlock seams and it's more subtle and less "techy" in appearance. I/O Bio is also available in black w/ red stictching for all the deathmetal UL backpackers or angsty hikers.
*The BPL Beartooth is a 2-Tone green/gray and looks a touch ridiculous IMO when worn off trail, which is fine since it's a performance piece. I'm aware of it's limitations in that dept.
Fit: I/O Bio Merino hoody fits better overall. The cut is more effective and there are no baggy areas so it fits closer to the body all around. I would call the cut athletic in design. I was never completely satisfied with the the baggy cut around the chest area on the Beartooth hoody. My size small fit roomy in the chest and upper arms and tapered really tight down to the bottom waist hem. The hem on the I/O Bio merino hoody is long like the Beartooth for layering and extra coverage. I/O Bio also has great arm length for tall wearers.
Content: 96% Merino 4% Elastane
* I don't know the fabric specs of the BPL Beartooth Hoody, both pieces feel comparable in terms of hand feel and next to skin feel. Both have a healthy amount of Merino.
- Balaclava style hood
- Zipper garage (*BPL Beartooth doesn't have this feature)
- Flatlock seams
This is in no way to diminish the quality or greatness of the BPL Beartooth Hoody, because that piece has worked great for me over the last year or so on trips and trail runs, but just to show there are other affordable options to a highly sought after garment.
I'd honestly say that you'd be hard pressed to find much in the Beartooth hoody that you can't find in the I/O Bio Merino hoody, both are comparable.