Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie
The Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie is a terrific outdoor companion to anyone who values high-quality activewear made from natural fibers. The midweight, wool hoodie is great at moderating temperatures and resisting odors, while providing you with an eye-catching, cozy mid-layer. It's also a versatile piece for year-round performance—as a nighttime layer around a summer campfire, as a hiking layer in cool temps, or as part of a system of winter layers.
- Zippered kangaroo pocket
- True to size
- Fun color options
- Shape and coverage
- UPF 40 sun protection
- Resists odor
- Prone to snagging
If I could make every garment I own out of wool, I probably would. I love the material for its sustainability, efficiency, and general comfort. And the Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie is perfectly demonstrative of these points.
Available in men's and women's sizes, the hoodie is made from 230 gsm, midweight merino wool, which is an environmentally, biodegradable fiber (although some dyes prevent previously biodegradable fibers from degrading). Plus, it’s one of the coziest garments that I own.
I took the Basecamp Hoodie backpacking, cycling, and running. I predominantly used it as a conventional hoodie since temps were on the warm side (60-90 degrees), and it performed perfectly in every single environment. While it might be a little bit toasty to wear in the heat of the summer, this is a great garment for slightly chilly conditions, and you can easily use it to level-up your layering system in winter for year-round use.
Previously unfamiliar with Showers Pass, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I took this hoodie into the mountains. The brand, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, is known for high-quality activewear for cycling in all kinds of weather. But would this wool hoodie work well for my other hobbies? This is what I found.
- MSRP: $135
- Weight: Midweight
- Material: 95% Merino Wool
- Colors: Clay or Harvest
- Sizes: Women's (small to XXL) and Men's (small to XXL)
Sizing and Fit
The Showers Pass Basecamp Merion Hoodie fits true to size, staying true to the brand's sizing chart. It hangs a little bit on the baggy side—which is exactly how I like my hoodies. Contoured at the hips, it compliments curves very well, but it isn’t so oversized that it looks sloppy.
Material and Composition
The Showers Pass Hoodie is made with 95% merino wool, which is known for its sustainable qualities and natural composition. Compared to alpaca wool, merino isn’t quite as soft, but it’s more rugged, and it has a higher tensile strength, which means that it could be more durable in the long run. The Showers Pass Hoodie’s construction seems to be high-quality, and demonstrative of good stitchwork.
A few features that are great additions on this hoodie are:
- the kangaroo pocket, which is zippered and convenient for those who want to secure important objects on their person, and
- the hood, which can be used to increase your body temperature when it gets chilly.
Warmth and Breathability
When some people think of wool, they imagine a cashmere sweater or a big bulky sweater that helps you stay warm in the middle of winter. But wool is an extremely versatile fiber that works well in activewear of various weights because of its breathability. You can wear wool t-shirts and tank tops and find that your body regulates its temperature BETTER with this material.
The Showers Pass Basecamp Hoodie also offers the natural wicking and antimicrobial properties that a standard wool garment would offer. As a midweight garment, it's not designed to be the most breathable garment in warm temperatures. It's better used as a warming layer in cool or cold conditions, or as recovery wear after your activity.
I took the Basecamp Hoodie on various expeditions while I was living on the road this year. This meant I was able to test it in Colorado, California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana in the heat of the summer and in the fall. I found that I loved the Basecamp Hoodie as a nighttime layer in the summer. It’s a great layer for cold environments too.
I almost never had to wash this hoodie because of its natural antimicrobial properties, and it took a long time to become odorous. After several months of use, this hoodie doesn’t show signs of fabric pilling, which is incredible. I also love that it has a hood, because I often forget to pack a beanie, and the hood comes in handy in a pinch.
Durability and Long-term Wear
After regular use for several months, I found that this hoodie performed well in the mountains, but it is prone to snagging in high-use areas like the wrist. And, since it comes in light colors, stains are more prone to being visible. That said, I found that the wear that this product demonstrated was minimal. I’d still like to see a darker color option for sloppy people like me!
Washing and General Care
Wool material always requires delicate washing, and the Basecamp Hoodie is no different. To extend the life of your product, Showers Pass recommends that you wash this hoodie on a gentle and cold or cool setting. Once it has been washed, it should be air dried instead of tumble dried. Tumble drying may cause damage or shrinkage to the garment.
The Basecamp Merino Hoodie has a suggested retail price of $135. For comparison, the Ibex Indie Hoodie costs $170 and the women's Smartwool Intraknit Merino Tech Pullover Hoodie costs $175. You can find lightweight merino wool hoodies in the $80-100 range, but based on these comparisons and its quality, the Basecamp Hoodie is quite competitive, and worth every penny.
As a well-made, comfortable, wool garment, the Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie is a great pick for active scenarios in slightly cool environments, such as hiking, backpacking, camping. This hoodie performed well in most active environments, but I think it does best in hiking or casual environments.
I've tested dozens of merino base layers over the past decade. This one did not disappoint.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample for testing and review provided by Showers Pass)
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95% Merino wool / 230 gsm midweight fabric