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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > SmartWool Womens 150 Wool Hoody > Test Report by Kara Stanley

SMARTWOOL MERINO 150 HOODY
TEST SERIES BY KARA STANLEY
LONG-TERM REPORT
August 18, 2017

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kara Stanley
EMAIL: karguo at yahoo dot com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I have been hiking most of my life and backpacking since 2006. I have hiked mostly on the east coast, doing weekend trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Since moving to Arizona, my hikes have ranged from short desert hikes to overnight backpacking trips in the mountains. Recently I have taken up canyoneering and off-trail hiking/backpacking to spice things up. I currently use a solo non-free standing tent, canister stove, purification tabs, and lightweight trail runners, conditions permitting, to cut down on weight. My hikes are solo and range from an overnight trip to 4-5 nights on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Smartwool
IMAGE 1
Trying on the hoody

Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: Smartwool.com
MSRP: US$100
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 7 oz (200 g)
Sizes: XS-XL, M being testing. Smartwool Women's Sizing Chart
Measurements:
From Armpit inseam to longest hem - 20 in (51 cm) the back hem is 1 inch (2.5 cm) longer than the front hem
Sleeve length from armpit seam to wrist - 22 in (56 cm)
Chest measurement (measured from armpit to armpit) - 21.5 in (55 cm)

Color: Desert Purple, Light Capri (blue), and Pink Horizon (color tested)
Manufactured in Vietnam
Made from 87% merino wool and 13% nylon, the merino wool is wrapped around a nylon core to provide extra strength to the yarn used to make the shirt.

The hangtag states:
* Merino 150 naturally regulates body temperature
* Smartwool's most durable 150g merino fabric yet
* Offers natural SPF
* Naturally resists odors

Smartwool offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee - details can be found here: www.smartwool.com/customer-service/our-guara.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

This hoody is very soft for an item primarily made out of wool. Some wool products can make me a little itchy, however, this hoody doesn't make me feel itchy when worn next to my skin.

The pink hoody is a light pink with fine brush strokes of darker pink and grey on it. The hoody is pretty thin, so anything worn under it will show through. The neck is high and there is a 4 in (10 cm) slit in the neckline that makes this a modest v-neck when the hoody is not being worn.

I'm between a M and L, and the M fits me like a slim-fit shirt. The L would have been looser and a bit baggy. Being 5'10" (170 cm), sleeves are often very short on me, but the sleeves on this hoody reach to my wrists. I haven't washed the shirt yet, so I will check to see if the sleeve length shrinks.

I really liked that the hangtag was attached to the hanging loop at the back of the neck instead of attached through the material as this can cause small holes in the material.

Since I embrace the saying "Sun's up, Cover Up" - I will be using this top for sun protection as well as warmth in the evening. I like that there is a hood that can be use to protect my neck from the sun. While Smartwool mentions that this hoody provides SPF, the SPF level is not listed.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Care Instructions:
Machine wash warm. Gentle cycle. Wash with similar colors. Do not Bleach. Tumble dry low. Cool iron when needed. Can be dry cleaned. For best appearance, wash inside out and air dry.

I have a front load washer so this will get washed on a normal cycle. Since I live in a desert (aka a huge dryer), I'll air dry this hoody most of the time. I am sure that it will go through the dryer a few times when I forgot to pull it out of a load of wash.

SUMMARY

Likes:
* Feels soft.
* A hood that I can use to cover the back of my neck from the sun.
* Long torso length

Things to watch
* Will the lack of a drawstring for the hood be annoying on cold or windy days?
* Will the hoody shrink?

Thank you BackpackGearTest.org and Smartwool for allowing me to test out this hoody! Check back in 2 months to see what adventures this hoody has been on in the desert southwest and beyond!


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1
Hood up
Location: Superstition Mountains, Arizona, USA
When: April 2017
Length: Day Hike
Mileage: 9 miles/15 km
Elevation: Sea-level with 1,150 ft/348 m elevation gain
Weather: Sunny, high around 75 F (26 C)
Trail Conditions: Well-maintained trail

Location: Cedar Mesa, Utah, USA
When: May 2017
Length: 4 day/3 night backpack
Mileage: ~25 miles/40 km, plus about 10 miles/16 km of side trips
Elevation: 6,500 ft/ 1981 m
Weather: Sunny, high around 75 F (26 C) low around 45 F (7 C)
Trail Conditions: Partly well-maintained trail, partly overgrown trail and off trail exploring

Location: Cedar Mesa, Utah, USA
When: June 2017
Length: 2 days of day hiking
Mileage: ~10 miles/16 km total,
Elevation: around: 6,500 ft/ 1981 m
Weather: Sunny, high around 85 F (30 C)
Trail Conditions: Partly well-maintained trail, partly overgrown trail and off trail exploring

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

IMAGE 2
Plenty of stretch.. and who has bigger hands?
So far I have mainly used this shirt for sun protection during the day. A few times I have worn the hood to protect the back of my neck from the sun. On my 4 day backpack trip, I used the hoody over my hiking t-shirt or tank top for warmth in the evening while the sun was setting. On my first warm hike of the year, I put this top on for sun protection and I found that it not only protected me from the sun but I also felt cooler in it than in a tank top.

I have washed this hoody several times and then left it to air dry. The hoody hasn't shrunk that I can tell. Despite wearing this hoody with packs - both day and overnight - there is no pilling or wear marks on the back or shoulder areas. There is some minor staining on the back of the shirt where my backpack rubbed the fine red southern Utah sand into a sweat soaked shirt. The pattern helps to break up this discoloration and it's hardly noticeable. I did check for odor several times during my 4 day backpack and did not notice any even though I broke a sweat daily. Part of this may be due to always wearing the hoody over another shirt while hiking. While I would not have worn this shirt out to dinner after 4 days in the backcountry, I would have definitely worn it for a day or so. Sadly, I have gotten some dark oily/waxy stains on the hoody with no idea what they actually are. So far I have used stain removing spray and dish soap. While this has only slightly lightened the stain, the shirt is not discolored at all from the spray or dish soap. I am hoping I can get the stain out, but only time will tell (so check back in 2 months to hear the end of the stain saga!).

I have carried this hoody a few other day hikes (not listed above) just in case I needed sun protection or warmth. The hoody is small and light enough to easily carry along in my daypack.

My skin is somewhat sensitive, but I do not have a wool allergy. That being said, I do find that the shirt is a bit itchy when I compare it to synthetic performance shirts that I wear, but this goes away soon after putting on the hoody.

SUMMARY

So far I really like this hoody. It is light in color and fabric weight, both of which make this a useful desert sun shirt. Other than some staining, this shirt shows no wear or tear to date. I love that this hoody is more odor resistant than any other top I have worn to date.

Thank you so much BackpackGearTest.org and Smartwool for allowing me to traipse around in this light hoody!


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Location: Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, USA
When: June 2017
Length: 2 days of Day Hikes
Mileage: ~16 miles/26 km over 2 days
Elevation: Trail heads - around 8,500 ft/ 2,500 km
Weather: All weather, Sunny, clouds, and a bit of rain from a thunderstorm
Trail Conditions: Well-maintained trail

When: July, 2017
Length: 2 days/1 night
Location: Grand Canyon, Arizona
Mileage: 18 miles/29 km
Elevation: highest 7,000 ft/2,100 m to lowest 2,500 ft/800 m
Conditions: Hot (70 F/21 C to 90 F/32 F) and sunny

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I took this hoody on my annual summer hike in the Grand Canyon. This involves me hiking out in full sun with temps around 90 F (32 C) degrees for several hours. On the way out, I soaked the Hoody to keep me cool. I thoroughly soaked the hoody twice to keep cool, evaporative cooling works! I loved that I could pull the hoody up to both protect my neck from the sun and providing cooling.

Once I got done hiking, I did a sniff test and despite hours of hiking, it didn't have as much of a smell as I would have expected. I do sweat quite a bit in full sun at 90 F (32 C) degrees, so I was happy to see that the merino wool did resist odor as promised on the hang tag.

I have carried this hoody on several day hikes, sometimes I wear it for sun protection and sometimes for a touch of warmth during rest breaks. I like that the hoody is small and light enough to carry with me just in case I need it for warmth or sun protection.

Sadly, I figured out that the stain on the hoody was from some old elastic on a pair of pants that transferred to the hoody. While I haven't figured out how to get it out, the hoody doesn't seem the worse for wear after being washed with stain remover and dish soap as part of stain removal efforts.

There is some mild discoloration in the back of the hoody where sweat and red dirt mixed during my 4-day Utah backpacking trip. Overall, because this hoody is patterned, it's hard to see the discoloration unless you look hard. At the start of the test, I wasn't a huge fan of the pattern, but now I appreciate how well it can mask the dirt and discolorations the hoody gets from being out backpacking.

The hoody has not shrunk and it's been through the washer about 10 times and I have always hung it up to dry.

SUMMARY

Overall, I really like this hoody. It has kept me both warm at times and protected from the sun other times. I initially thought that the hood not having a draw string closure might be an issue, but the lack of draw string never bothered me. I have no complaints about the hoody and it has earned a place on my "go-to" gear list. Other than some mild staining, which is masked by the print, this hoody is like new in terms of fit, construction, and fabric (i.e. no pilling, small holes, etc).

This concludes my testing of the Smartwool Merino 150 Hoody. Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Smartwool for allowing me to test out this hoody.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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Read more gear reviews by Kara Stanley

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > SmartWool Womens 150 Wool Hoody > Test Report by Kara Stanley



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