by Carol Crooker | 2006-01-29 03:00:00-07
SmartWool is bringing out a new women's product that may make a lot of men jealous. The Spectrum Hoodie is a lightweight hoody with some nice design features. It's 195 and 200g/m2 wool, making it suitable as a base layer. There are thumb holes to add a bit of warmth to hands on cool days. The zipper opening is a nice length, and the collar stands up around the entire neck circumference, independent of the hood. And of course, it has a hood.
This piece looks like the Holy Grail I've been searching for. I've acquired four hoodies in the past year. None turned out to be quite what I was looking for. Not thin enough for a base layer, a too short or non-existent neck zipper, or no thumb holes. My search for the perfect base layer hooodie was bound to fail, because what I really wanted was a lightweight, technical wool hoodie, but no one was making one. I love wool as a baselayer; I'm more comfortable in it over a wider temperature range than a synthetic baselayer. I like the idea of a hood attached to the layer I'll always be wearing since it reduces the number of items I need to keep track of, and it's instantly available for a warmth boost without a search.
SmartWool may have ended my quest for the perfect cool weather baselayer with the introduction (next fall) of the Spectrum Hoodie. As a bonus, since the Spectrum Hoodie is part of SmartWool's Versawear line, it's fashionable enough to wear as an outer layer in town too. And guys, don't despair, the henna (looks like rust) and black colors are subdued enough for you if your ego can take wearing a women's top. (I know at least one unnamed Backpacking Light staff member - initials RJ - who has already requested one.)
"SmartWool Spectrum Hoodie (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2006)," by Carol Crooker. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/smartwool_spectrum_hoodie_orwm06.html, 2006-01-29 03:00:00-07.