Hoodies have been cool at least since the Middle Ages. And for sheer function, Patagonia’s Capilene 4 Expedition-Weight Hoody might last until the End Days. Here’s why:
It’s Lightweight: But still very warm. This lightness, plus a gridlike structure, belies the “fleece” lineage of this shirt, and there’s enough Lycra in the mix for good freedom of movement. The warmth means it’s fine on its own for a run down into the 30s.
Good Looks: A lot of synthetics look about as slick as Beefy T’s and wear not much better — fine for painting the house, not so fine for socializing. So far I’m happy to report that the exterior of this hoody is impervious to tree snags on trail runs and forearm stands in yoga. It pretty much looks fresh out of the drier three days into a weekend in the woods, too.
Deep Zip: This zip front unfurls a few inches past my sternum, but zipped all the way up the hoody envelopes my entire bean, pretty much just leaving nose and eyes exposed. Under a ski- or climbing helmet it’s ideal.
The one reservation is with odor management. Capilene 4 is made of 30 percent recycled content, and true to the “power dry” promise of Polartec, even sweating like a faucet doesn’t seem to dampen this hoody much. But Patagonia’s eco-friendlier Gladiodor odor control, which uses bacteria-fighting amino acids rather than silver salts that add heavy metals to the environment, doesn’t seem as effective as the more-toxic approach.