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Reader Reviews

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Smartwool Shadow Hoody

in Clothing - Baselayer & Fleece - WOOL

Average Rating
4.33 / 5 (6 reviews)

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Eric Noble
( ericnoble - M )

Colorado Rockies
Smartwool Shadow Hoody on 11/02/2006 18:24:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Smartwool Shadow hoody is essentially a Smartwool Zip-T with a hood and cuff thumb holes. The fabric weight of the two garments is the same, 195g. My size large weighs 12.7 ounces on my scale. As I recall the color is driftwood with brick red stripes. I bought this because I thought it would be more versatile over a broad range of conditions than my Zip-T. It has met my expectations. It is now my first choice for a base layer

I've had this for about a year now. I wear it skiing, backpacking and around town. I've been comfortable from the upper 50° F in camp to the upper 70° F while hiking with a pack. I feel my Patagonia Houdini and the Shadow Hoody are a perfect combination.

With a hood, when the temperature drops you don't have to go looking for a light hat, the hood is always there and you are more likely to use it. Besides providing warmth, the hood also provides protection from bugs, and in the winter it keeps the snow from going down my neck. My one complaint with the hood is that I wish it came around my face a little more.

I am very pleased with the cuff thumb holes. For such a small bit of fabric they provide a lot of warmth without a loss in dexterity. I like how they fold back and under the sleeve. When the cuffs are folded back in this way they are invisible, unless you looked close, and they stay put.

The main reason I gave this garment a 4 is because of a decorative stripe of brick red fabric was sewn to each sleeve. It serves no purpose and thankfully was not too difficult to remove with a seam ripper. A little less weight (0.2 oz) and a little less fabric to absorb water and have to dry.

I just checked the Smartwool site and driftwood doesn't appear to be an available color. This is unfortunate because the light color of mine makes it cooler in the summer. I sent my review and a plea to carry a light color to Smartwool and will update my review when I get a reply.

Edited by ericnoble on 11/07/2006 09:02:44 MST.

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Ryan Jordan
( ryan - BPL STAFF - M )

Greater Yellowstone
Smartwool Shadow Hoody is Versatile on 11/07/2006 00:19:05 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

A wool hoody. How about that! My all time favorite base layer garment style.

The Shadow has thumbcuffs, which is great for cutting the chill when using trekking poles on a cold morning - and you either forget (or intentionally left) your gloves at home...

I made a few modifications to mine, including adding some fabric to the hood perimeter to give it more balaclava-like feel and coverage, and adding merino wool tuckaway mittens to the end of the sleeves. Now I really do leave my hat and gloves at home, at least in the summer.

I wish the hem was 2 inches longer, the stock hood was tighter, and the fabric weight was Micro, but other than that, there's not much competition for this style of garment in merino out there.

Roger B
( rogerb )

Here and there
Recent Convert to a hoody on 11/25/2006 17:25:09 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

It was the recent Arctic 1000 and Ryan's comments that pointed me towards the Smartwool Hoody and I have nothing but praise for the garment.

The benefits of such a garment are the "hood" it provides immediate wind protection and warmth as well as providing a hood to wear as part of layering at night. It provides a little more insulation, than a thin synthetic base layer.

It only drawback is that I find it "cooler" than other merino wool base layers I have used and perhaps a finer micron wool would make this the perfect base layer

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Joshua Burt
( idroptapul )

The Smokies
Women's version for men on 12/20/2006 02:18:10 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I'm an about average build guy (5'10" 155lb.) but decided to try out the women's hoody because it didn't have the racing stripe. The fit on me is near perfect in a women's size large. As reviewers noted above, the hem is a little short for a man's torso but would probably be great for a woman's build. I would add that an offset zipper would be nice. Still, one of the most versatile pieces in my hiking wardrobe.

Caleab Spencer
( caleab )

New Hampshire
i love it on 02/14/2007 20:04:13 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

used it today in a blizzard in new hampshire XC skiing under my soft shell that is also hooded it was near whiteout at times and around 16 degrees out and i was warm while moving. i love the way the zip helps you cool down.

kevin davidson
( kdesign )

Mythical State of Jefferson
Hoody casts a long shadow on 06/07/2007 13:16:31 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I absolutely adore my SW Hoody, as well. I can't think of one backcountry ski trip that I wasn't wearing this, usually under a softshell jacket and towards the end of the season, alone. Thumbholes are really useful, they sometimes provided just enough warmth for the back of my hands that the lightest liner gloves were all that was necessary. Arms are cut long to be able to use the thumbholes to the fullest. Well detailed and constructed except for the silly accent trim which is non-functional and adds useless weight. If SW wants to add panache to it's clothing, I suggest they look to Icebreaker for some pointers. As noted in the above review, I could see the hood being more balaclava-like---the Patagonia R-1 Hoody being the model of what a hoody hood should be like.

Speaking of weight--this is 10.5 oz. in a Men's L. This is in SW's "Versawear" mediumweight wool.

Suggestion to Smartwool, make a men's model in a lighter weight merino wool. No one else is doing this and it would expand the design concept to the warmer half of the year.

I give this a 5 but the trim stripes actually downgrade it to a 4.5. I'll make allowances for the hood---this is one comfy piece of software.

Edited by kdesign on 06/07/2007 14:50:57 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Icebreaker Balaclava priced at: $24.99
Patagonia Balaclava - Kid's priced at: $17.50 - $35.00

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