I have a weakness for midlayers. Fleeces, wool pullovers, synthetic hoodies—they all seem to multiply in my closet.
But the super.natural Sporty Zip Hoodie 220 is different. Unlike most of my performance midlayers, it’s nice enough to wear to an upscale restaurant (keep in mind I live in Santa Fe where dress code is admittedly lax), yet functional enough for a cool spring hike.
Part of the reason for that is the cut. I’m 5’6” and 120 pounds, and my extra small hoodie is definitely form-fitting, but not skin-tight. (I can easily wear a thin short- or long-sleeve base layer under it.) I usually wear a small in layers like this from Icebreaker, Patagonia, The North Face, and Mammut, so keep in mind that the super.natural hoodie runs a hair large.
The trim fit plus the textured look of the fabric make the Sporty Zip look more like a nice cashmere-esque sweater than something you’d wear hiking or skiing. But with a 47 percent merino wool, 46 percent polyester, and 7 percent Lycra blend, the midlayer doesn’t restrict your movements at all. It’s also very soft on your skin and works well in a broad range of temperatures—from about 30 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is an excellent, stylish hoodie best suited for travelling, hiking, skiing, and après. Plus, it’s made by an European company relatively new to the U.S. market that should give the outdoor industry wool goliaths a run for their money. The Sporty Zip will be available fall 2014.