The Heist 1/2 Zip Hoodie is an ideal mid-to-heavy…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Ridge Merino for testing and review)
The Heist 1/2 Zip Hoodie is an ideal mid-to-heavy weight hoodie that does an admirable job in warm as well as cold weather. This sleek top is as perfect around town as it is performing on the trail or slopes. The Heist pullover is an ideal all-around piece of gear that will happily meet the needs of the most demanding active outdoors person!
- Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
- Excellent odor resistance
- Long dry time
- Some may consider to be too close-fitting
- 270g/m Weight
- UPF 50+
- Flatlocked Seams
- 1/2 Zip Pullover
- Low-Profile Hood
- Chest Zip Pocket
Founded in 2014, Ridge Merino is a relatively new brand to the outdoor industry. Deep savings can be made with this brand because the California-founded company cuts out the "middle-man," and only offers its product line through online sales. Merino wool can be an extremely pricey buy, and this young company is finding a way to get their products into people’s hands!
At first look, The Heist hoodie appears a bit understated. There aren’t any flashy looks or features, only a small logo is on a sleeve, and the hem of the pullover.
The hoodie that was tested is a Men’s Medium, which suited well for a 5'10" 155lb. build. Like much of the outdoor apparel line these days, the top is a slim fit. This can be less-than-ideal for some people, however it aids in layering as well as function.
The weight of this mid-layer feels notable at the 270g/m rating, without feeling too heavy. Although this hoodie does not feel to be the softest merino wool, it is not itchy and was found to be very comfortable. Flatlocked seams provide comfort; no hot-spots were noted at any points when carrying a backpack.
The hood is very comfortable against the skin, and provides adequate coverage.
The 1/2 zip aids with temperature management a great deal, which is a critical adjustment for a mid-layer. Testing had shown no catching on the skin or beard when the zipper was pulled up for a snug fit.
The thumb-hole and cuff design also really helps with heat management; there is enough stretch to the material to adjust the cuffs for cooling. Covering and exposing the wrists happens to be one of my go-to’s when it comes to temperature regulation during a hike.
The Heist pullover does an excellent job of maximum breathability, especially when considering the weight of the top. On the same token, testing has shown this top to hold in lots of warmth when needed… especially when wet!
Like all merino wool products, performance does not drastically suffer when wet. An extended cold hike in the rain (about 35°F) with only a Patagonia Capilene 2 short-sleeved base layer proved to be warm enough while moving.
This hoodie does not appear to be too absorbent in inclement weather. In conjunction with a lightweight performance base layer, the Heist performed extremely well in wicking moisture away from the body. Note: testing the top as a standalone base layer also yielded excellent moisture transfer results. If merino wool had any cons, a longer dry time would be the nitpick. When compared to all of the benefits in using this fabric, this factor doesn’t even register on the radar…
Another pro of merino wool is odor resistance. This top was one of the least offensive pieces of gear after a five-day backcountry trip to the Cranberry Wilderness of Monongahela NF, in W.V.
Ridge Merino has taken the efforts to design this top to work well in many applications; as an outer layer, mid-layer, or base layer. The top is loose enough to layer underneath, and is close enough to the body to layer on top of, without affecting heat and moisture management.
Extended use has shown the high quality of craftsmanship constructing the Heist hoodie. No pilling, undone thread, or any other signs of wear have been noted wearing this top nearly every day for over three months of testing in all conditions. This top was machine washed/air dried approximately six times during the course of its trial. This hoodie has also been worn extensively as an outer layer on several backpacking trips, showing no signs of wear due to abrasion.
The Ridge Merino Heist hoodie has been tested from November 2016 into February 2017 in the mid-Atlantic USA; temperature has ranged from 15°-75°F. The top has seen day-to-day wear at home, in town, on several multi-day backpacking trips, and many day hikes.
Many thanks to the people out at Ridge Merino for the opportunity to test this product for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps!