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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > SmartWool Womens 150 Wool Hoody > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

SMARTWOOL WOMEN'S MERINO 150 PATTERN HOODY

Test Series by Theresa Lawrence

Initial Report - April 5, 2017
Field Report - June 19, 2017

Long Term Report - August 14, 2017

TESTER INFORMATION

Name: Theresa Lawrence
Email: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
Age: 39
Location: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
Waist Measurement: 29 1/2 in (75 cm)
Hip Measurement: 39 1/2 in (100 cm)
Chest Measurement:35 1/2 in (90 cm)
Torso Length:19 1/2 in (50 cm)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.

Initial Report - April 5, 2017
PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer:
SmartWool
Image taken from website
Manufacturer's URL:  www.smartwool.com
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Made in:
Vietnam
MSRP: $100 USD
Measured Weight: 7.2 oz (204 g) medium
Materials: 87% merino wool, 13% nylon core
Sizes Available:
XS, S, M (tested), L, XL
Colors Available:Desert Purple, Pink Horizon (tested), Light Capri

DESCRIPTION      

The merino 150 hoody is SmartWool's lightest merino layer. It is made with a nylon fiber core wrapped in merino wool, which the manufacturer names Core Spun technology. This technology allows the soft merino wool to be the soft fiber against the skin and maintain its ability to regulate temperature while enhancing its durability. Moisture wicking, odor resistance, wrinkle resistance and UV protection are among the other features of the merino wool fabric. The manufacturers care instructions recommend machine washing on a warm, gentle cycle and tumble drying on a low setting. Dry cleaning is allowed, but bleach is a no no. 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT ON


Subjectively, I was not a fan of the color as it seemed a bit 'nude' looking. I'm more drawn to vibrant colors that stand out in the backcountry. Having said that I like the cut with the hood and the v-neck notch. The v-notch doesn't close, so a warm neck is not the goal of this garment. I find this odd with the hood, but I think it looks trendy in an appealing way. When trying it on, I found it was much baggier than I would have thought. All of my dimensions fit within the medium size on the sizing chart, but the shirt is definitely roomy on me. I can fit a long sleeved base layer underneath, so I've got some interesting options for layering. The feeling on its own was light and comfortable and it feels great to lounge in. I did notice it was a bit 'see through' reinforcing the 'nude' feeling of my first color impression. I would say it was more of a peach than pink. The website picture makes it appear more pink, but in actuality it seems more peachy to me. I'm interested in how well it will work for my outdoor backpacking activities, which will primarily be in mountains. I'll be looking to test performance of wicking, breathing, odor control and durability. I can see myself stuffing this layer in my pack at times during the summer, so would be interested to see if it will resist wrinkles. On first inspection the garment is flawless and looks of high quality. It is by far the lightest merino wool layer I've ever seen or worn.

SUMMARY

So far my impressions of the 150 merino wool hoody is that the design is a bit baggy and the color is not so vibrant. But, there will be lots of potential for this lightweight merino wool garment to show off its strengths over the next few months, which I am hoping translates to excellent thermoregulation and odor control after multi-day backpacking trips among other things. Stay tuned for my field report in about 2 months time.


Field Report - June 19, 2017

FIELD CONDITIONS     

Over the past couple months I've worn the merino 150 hoody approximately 20 times. The first was a 2 night, 3 day backcountry hut trip that involved trekking approximately 50 km (31 mi) mostly on snowshoes. Another 3 days and two nights included steep scrambles on hard packed ice and snow using crampons and another lengthy day of 17 km (11 mi) hiking along a lake in variable trail conditions of ice, snow and bare trail using trail crampons. Finally, another snowshoe excursion of 11 km (7 mi) of steep terrain to a ridge ended the winter. As weather improved and snow disappeared, a 15 km (9.5 mi) hike and scramble to the top of a summit took place. I've also been using the hoody as casual wear around town and for a car camping trip. Temperatures during this period ranged from - 5 C to 25 C (23 F to 77 F). Weather encountered included every season including rain, hail, sleet, wet and heavy snow, gale force winds and beautiful calm sunny days.

COMFORT & FIT     

So far I have really enjoyed the loose fit, long length and casual design with side cuts on the hips and v-cut neck. While I was not a fan of the color originally, it has grown on me and seems to match everything I choose to wear. The fabric is soft and light and was nice to wear for long periods of time. At home I like to lounge in it. I have noticed it is a bit 'see-through' and it does force me to pay attention to what I wear underneath it.


PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD      

Having worn the merino 150 hoody in all sorts of sustained strenuous activity over multiple days, I can definitively say it is highly breathable, it wicks well and dries fast. In hotter temperatures, I was pleased that it was loose and could protect me from UV rays. In the colder and windier temperatures, I found the hood useful. The only problem I found was the v-neck could not be drawn closed, so even with the hood up I had a triangle of exposed skin, which made it very drafty. This was nothing that couldn't be stopped with another layer or shell, which was typically needed anyways during those chilly moments.

I've washed this shirt about a dozen times in warm water and always hung it to dry. At this point in time, over 2 months later it still looks as good as new. I find it easy to wash and wear. It also seems to resist wrinkles after packing it around in my backpack and does not amplify my body odor after days in the backcountry.

SUMMARY      

At this point in the test, with 2 months of use for strenuous activities, I am pleased with the concept of a lightweight merino wool that performs up to par and maintains a casual look and feel. As the weather warms I see myself using this more for a second layer in the evenings at camp or up on a windy peak. Check back in a couple months for my final test results on the merino 150 hoody.

Likes
- lightweight
- breathable
- wicks well
- dries fast
- does not amplify body odor
- has a hood
- loose, casual fit and look

Dislikes
- transparent/ see-through


Long Term Report - August 14, 2017



LONG TERM FIELD CONDITIONS    
 

During the last couple months of this test I've worn the merino 150 hoody on the following exciting adventures in the Southern Canadian Rockies and Selkirk mountain ranges:

- 1 day hike up a steep mountain trail that was over 10 km (6.2 mi) round trip with an elevation gain of almost 1000 m (3300 ft). A little bit of snow was encountered at the top.
- A 63 km (39 mi) 3-day, 2-night alpine trip, camping in a 3-season tent.
- A 40 km (25 mi) 3-day, 2-night alpine trip, camping in a 3-season tent.
- Two 3-day, 2-night car camping trips.
- 1 day of sport rock climbing.
- A 7-day mountaineering trip camped in a 3-season tent at the toe of a glacier. Included daily glacier travel and summit climbing with rope, helmet, harness, ice axe and crampons.  

Temperatures during this period ranged from 9 C to 32 C (48 to 90 F). Weather encountered was mainly dry, hot, clear and sunny, with some cooler, windy evenings.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD 
    
 
The merino 150 hoody has continued to perform well for all sorts of outdoor activities. A number of sunny trips has shown its light reflective color to be very admirable. This became highly useful while traveling across a glacier on a hot sunny day with intense solar radiation being the main challenge of the day.  The hood was helpful to shelter myself from wind and UV radiation on the back of my neck. I've continued to enjoy the loose fit for its comfort and casual feel. At the end of a harsh strenuous day, I don't even feel the need to take it off. It never smells, it never stays wet and it continues to feel fresh despite intensive use over multiple days. It dries incredibly fast and wicks the worst moisture. Ultimately I have no complaints about this garment.

DURABILITY    

Having worn this shirts another 20 times or so and washed it half as much, it still looks like new. Washing it is easy, it dries fast and resists wrinkles. This is a solid product. There are no loose threads or wear of any kind evident.

SUMMARY      

My final thoughts on the merino 150 hoody is that it is a real winner. It's got style, comfort and function. It is easy to maintain, super durable and stands up to anything. This loose fitting, casual looking hoody stands up to all my other merino wool counterparts. It wicks, it dries quickly and most importantly doesn't smell after multiple days of use. Day after day it continues to be comfortable. My only superficial comment is that I don't love the 'nude' color. From a fashion police stand point I would have preferred a more snazzy and brighter color for my outdoor photos. Future plans of the same nature will continue for this SmartWool hoody, but whether it is chosen for a particular trip will depend on weather (cooler temperatures would require a heavier layer) and whether comfort exceeds my need to be bright. I'm not one to coordinate my outfits in the outdoors, but preference for a transparent 'nude' colored shirt would not have been my first choice. Still thumbs up! Likes and dislikes remain as above with emphasis on a finely tuned functional and durable product.

I'd like to thank SmartWool and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this test series.


Read more reviews of Smartwool gear
Read more gear reviews by Theresa Lawrence

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > SmartWool Womens 150 Wool Hoody > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence



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