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Performance and Leisure wrapped into one – courtesy of the new Smartwool Hoodie

While we had a relatively mild-weathered Fall (all things considered), the past few weeks have showcased that the cold part of winter is officially here. So, while this is a bummer for some Run Oregon bloggers (myself included), it does allow us to jump a little bit more into apparel items that have been designated to the backs of closets, dressers, and bins – long sleeve, cold-weather tops.

Sigh.

Smartwool’s latest apparel innovation is their Intraknit Merino Fleece Full Zip Hoodie, a quality top in both performance and style, with some new technology threw in for good mix. I will say that the first time I put this on, it was just to wear around the house. Within a handful of minutes doing moderate housework I was already in love. It provided warmth, but the breathability is still evident. Even with the level of warmth this provides, it doesn’t feel bulky or overly heavy.

The fit itself is quite nice. It’s designed to be more of a mid-layer, so it fits as such – a middle ground between bulky and tight. If you think you will primarily use this as a mid-layer, your typical sizing will likely be fine. If you want it to toe the line as an outer layer, and/or couple it as a crossover “casual’ item, maybe consider sizing up. Regardless of what you choose, the hoodie remains very stretchy. I never felt constricted when running in it. You will need a light shirt under it, but that’s sort of expected. It’s also super soft and honestly I love putting it on first thing in the morning as I dive into my first cup of coffee.

The technical components are there as well. The namesake of this item – Intraknit – is Smartwool technology that provides “insulation, articulation and ventilation are seamlessly integrated to amplify movement and comfort during high-intensity activities“. There are terry loops that provide the warmth needed in the top and some light mesh ventilation in the armpits to allow you to have some breathability and not overheat during more strenuous outdoor activities.

The Intraknit Merino Fleece Full Zip Hoodie is even a nice crossover piece – potentially even classifying as “athleisure”. It’s obviously completely functional to run in, but can double up as a casual option to wear out and about as well. Shoot, you could probably even go from run to dinner if you didn’t completely over exert yourself (maybe toss some deodorant on just in case, but still – it can fit right in at a casual restaurant).

The price is a little steep, but it seems to be a top that will last and potentially take over a bunch of less-warm and minimally-functional options you are likely using now. I also recommend keeping away from cat paws – the two are definitely a recipe for disat-purr

I never would have thought that a knit top could be an effective and functional piece of running wear, but this hoodie has proved me wrong. Bring on winter now – I’m more ready than ever.

Smartwool

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Intraknit Merino Fleece Full Zip Hoodie | $240

Specs:

  • Body: 63% Merino Wool, 24% Polyester, 12% Nylon, 1% Elastane
  • Pocket Bags: 57% Cotton, 38% Polyester, 5% Elastane
  • Two secure zippered pockets

Thank you to Smartwool for providing us with a sample item. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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