It’s always fun to stumble into a new company to us. We checked out some summer items from Cascada last year. This latest review are some addition pieces – including cold weather items from this Italian brand that has its roots in the outdoor sphere.
Merino Base Layer Short Sleeve & Bottom
Whether you are a runner, backpacker, hiker, or participate in any other number of PNW outdoor activities, you know the importance of baselayers. Stylistically, the Merion Base Layer Short Sleeve and Merino Bottom are about as simple as it comes. The top (which can come in a long-sleeved option as well) is simply adorned with “Cascada” across the front, while the bottoms have no exterior logo.
Hence the name, both are made primarily from Merino (45% Merino Wool, 40% Polyester, 10% Polyamide, 5% Elastomer) that allows for everything we expect in a baselayer – comfort, breathability, temperature control, and moisture-wicking. And it does that pretty darn well. These items are cut as “unisex”, but feel more male-centric to me overall. I can’t speak for those female-identifying, but there seems to be ample stretch to accommodate most bodies.
Both the top and the bottom fit very slim – as most baselayers do – but I didn’t find it too terribly constricting. I anticipate utilizing this top as a baselayer (though you could wear as a standalone piece if you like that snug fit) and as a weightlifting top as the tight sleeves really make me feel jacked. Ha!
I did like that the bottom had A LOT of stretch. I know my wife likes to wear her leggings high, and I personally had no issue with pulling them up past my belly button while still staying snug on my legs. I didn’t keep it this way, but it was nice to feel a lot of play while not bunching during runs.
Each of these come in Salmon (reviewed), a Forest Green, and Tan colorway.
Land Wool Shirt & Highland Fleece Hoodie
We are right in the midst of long-sleeved weather here in the PNW. Honestly, this can be the case ~9 months out of the year some years. So it’s important/key/vital to have some options available for all your outdoor activities – running or not.
The new Land Wool Shirt comes in 6 color options – each seemingly cooler than the last. While there is one Charcoal option, the remaining fall in the flannel geometric design sphere with fun patterns and a muted color palate. I received the Harvest, a mustard yellow plaid option.
While this is not a running option, it IS a great option for hiking or putting on to warm up after a run. And it looks pretty “Oregonian” that it could be worn just casually out and about.
It is constructed with a wool / polyester blend (77% Polyester, 16% Wool, 7% Elastan) and allows for pretty decent breathability and odor control than poly-only options. As someone with a longer torso and extremities, I truly appreciated the rounded long back hem AND longer sleeves with elastic cuffs. The buttons on the front are press (as opposed to “standard” buttons) that allow for easy on and off.
I really like the fit and feel of this. As someone who varies in belly size from time to time, it does allow for stretch to meet that need without being constricting. It is also surprisingly comfy on the inside – an unexpected treat.
The Highland Fleece Hoodie is such a cool top. The green with a hint of accenting on the front pocket and around the sleeve cuffs and face hole (technical term – ha) makes for a really cool visual.
The construction is also cool as almost 70% of the polyester is made from recycled water bottles. It’s a full-zip (my favorite), has two hand pockets, and is slim enough to be used as a baselayer under a larger coat or as a standalone piece. It’s got a tiny bit of heft to it to provide some warmth, but not enough that you couldn’t utilize for running. In fact, I have recently been using this to power through some chilly miles this winter. I will note that this fit very snug on us. It is definitely recommended to size up on this for more room.
It really is a functional statement piece that is getting a lot of play this season.
Wolf Winter Hat & Merino Cross Socks
I am a hat guy – Matt in the Hat, if you will. I have a ton of baseball caps, a variety of dad hats, and a growing number of running hates. The Wolf Winter Hat is the latest addition and may be the most unique option. The hat is black and features the standard wolf design (which was on the shirt of our last Cascada review). The brim fits short – almost like a cycling cap – so not like most running hats.
The real magic comes in from its construction – waterproof and windproof (thanks to WINDTEX) with foldable Merino ear muffs to keep you warm and dry. Start with the flaps down on those early morning runs and then flip them up as your body temperature starts to rise a bit.
The Cross Socks are made of a Merino blend to keep your tootsies warm in the cold months. It provides a defense of odor-causing bacteria via moisture absorption. They are comfortable and for those who don’t mind a little height on their calves while they run. There is some small padding on the heel and toe to reduce discomfort and rubbing hot spots that happen with cold running. I have no issues with either.
I continue to be really impressed with this European brand. The styles, while not completely out there have a fresh and stylistic look. Each of the items we tried have solid functionality and style to boot. We can’t wait to see more from Cascada.
- Land Wool Shirt | $133
- Highland Fleece Hoodie | $155
- Merino Base Layer Short Sleeve | $67
- Merino Base Layer Bottom | $75
- Wolf Winter Hat | $50
- Merino Cross Socks | $27
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More about Cascada:
We design our products in Trentino (North Italy), using them daily in our adventures among lakes, woods and mountains, getting inspired by the environment that surrounds us. We create versatile and usable solutions for all outdoor activities, believing every product must satisfy multiple uses.
Thank you to Cascada for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.