A Definitive Ranking of Merino Wool Hoodies, The Athlete’s Secret Weapon
This is a weird area of expertise for me, but if you’ve ever heard me on a rant, you know I am obsessed with the perfect merino wool hoodie. Merino wool is great for travelers because it doesn’t stretch, it wicks sweat, it doesn’t get super smelly as fast as polyester, and you can handwash and hang dry it without losing the shape. It’s also slightly classier than a typical sweatshirt-material hoodie, and it’s ideal for going from a workout to brunch. It may be the only article of clothing I would wear on a run and then out to coffee, to be honest. I remember probably 10 years ago, Chrome sent me their Pasha Hoodie to review, and I admit, I ignored it for months. Then, I threw it in my bag for a trip that turned out to be a lot chillier than I anticipated, so I ended up needing to wear it. And I fell in love.
I genuinely think as far as spends you can make on gear, a merino hoodie will be one of your favorite pieces. They’re not cheap — most of these are around $175 — but a good one will be SO good for layering. Even the coldest winter runs, I usually just do a baselayer, a merino hoodie, and a raincoat on top to block snow/seal in heat, and it works amazingly.
So here, my definitive list of favorite merino hoodies I’ve loved over the years, starting with the hoodie that started it all…
Chrome Industries Pasha Hoodie
I have been bullying the crew at Chrome for years to start making their women’s Pasha hoodie again. This is legit my favorite merino hoodie of all time, it has everything: perfect fit, tons of pocket space, and it’s the only basic black sweatshirt I’ve ever worn that gets me compliments literally every time I wear it. You can occasionally find one on Ebay, but I have insider intel that they’re seriously considering bringing it back. My fingers are crossed. But if you’re OK with a slightly looser and less women-specific cut, I’d recommend their men’s version:
Rapha Women’s Transit Hoodie
This is the hoodie that has come the closest to matching the Pasha for style points — the cut is comfortable but flattering, with slightly paneled sides, and the zip pockets are, again, a must for a traveler on the run. I really like the fit, and I’m *this* close to splurging on the matching sweatpants for an even chicer travel experience. Because yes, merino wool is the perfect material for planes, trains and automobiles.
- Get it here
7mesh Callaghan Merino Hoodie
This hoodie is way thinner than the photo would have you believe, but it’s actually exactly as warm as the much thicker ones that I’ve tried. This is a fantastic layering hoodie, though my only complaint is that it doesn’t have a zippered pocket, so it’s not as easy to sneak your phone in to run or ride.
Red Frog Athletics Commuter Jacket
I love this merino hoodie because it’s the most unique: The super high neck is really cozy, and the jacket itself is long enough to wear with leggings without stressing that your whole butt is showing, though side note, it is extremely fitted, which is great if you’re into that. Zippered pockets = win. (I wrote a full review of it here.)
- Get it here