The Access Pullover is a sharp-looking merino wool…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Samples provided by Voormi for testing and review)
The Access Pullover is a sharp-looking merino wool mid-layer that is perfect for being active on cooler days. Unfortunately, after testing two of these pullovers, this tester has found the quality to be substandard, developing holes in the seams after only a few washes. This con strongly negates any recommendation to spend $200 on this garment.
- Athletic fit
- Long sleeves
- Chest pocket
- Stitching begins to fray at first wash
Let me start by saying, I wanted to love this shirt. It arrived on a hot July day, and I immediately began wishing for cold weather to wear it in. So I stowed it until my mid-September trip to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area.
I like the athletic fit of the garment. The “SURFACE HARDENED Thermal Wool construction” does resist water/light mist. The side panels allow the shirt to breath. It keeps you warm while you are moving, but not so much when you are sitting around in your campsite. And it just looks good. All those things I really like.
But none of that can overcome the con of durability. When the shirt first arrived, it was pretty stiff from the SURFACE HARDENED material. To soften it up, I washed it—gentle cycle, cold water, no fabric softener, line-dried. I wore it for the better part of a week in the Boundary Waters. Back home, I washed it a second time under the same conditions.
When I put the shirt on a week later (to wear to church, because it is so stylish), I noticed the thread on nearly all the seams was showing wear. Some spots were much worse, but it was in every seam.
As this was a Review Corps item, I contacted Trailspace staff, and they suggested I wash the shirt a few more times while they contacted Voormi. This is the state of the shirt after the fourth wash:
I was hoping none of what I just wrote above would appear in this review. Voormi replied back to Trailspace staff that the production batch of the shirt had been made with the wrong thread. They asked that I return the shirt, while they sent me a new one from a different batch. I was good with that, believing mistakes sometimes happen, and I greatly wanted to give this shirt a chance.
Unfortunately, the new shirt fared no better. After one wash (gentle cycle, cold water, no fabric softener, low heat dry) all of the seams are showing wear:
The durability of the Access Pullover is the focal point of this review. I have never had any garment give out after only four washes and moderate use. With a selling price of $200, I would expect this shirt to last. For comparison, I own a couple of $9 running shirts from Walmart that are used, abused, and thrown in the wash 3-4 times per week. After nine months they are still holding up well.
Voormi has a sharp-looking product, but until these critical flaws are fixed, I cannot recommend this shirt.
My Voormi Access Pullover is my current favorite and…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
My Voormi Access Pullover is my current favorite and most versatile mid-layer. It has an athletic fit for me at 6'1" 185lb and arms that are plenty long enough for a large. It's both warm and breathable and can be worn anywhere from the city to skinning up Tuck's in the White Mountains.
- Athletic fit, layers well and does not restrict movement
- Warm, breathable, and water-resistant
- Pullover can be tight / awkward to get off indoors
- Armpits could be a little more breathable
I was an early adopter to the Voormi brand and in constant contact with the company after the first limited edition HIGH-E hoodie sold out. I picked up the Access Pullover as I did not need a mid-layer with a hood by the time they had stock again in 2014. Construction is holding up awesome after over a year and three or four trips in the washer and lots of active use in New England.
A friend shared the review here of the seams splitting and I have had no such failures. I contacted Voormi and they did have a bad batch of stitching but have long fixed that. They did say to ensure you hang dry to extend the life. I have had one or two strings at the hand holes have come out but easily trimmed and no stitches have come undone after a year nothing out of the ordinary for a often used garment that is sewn.
Mine is in rotation with a Wild Things Polartec hoodie when I want a hood, a Patagonia Nano Puff when I need it to back down into its napoleon pocket, and a Patagonia Nano Air when I need a full zip. I plan to buy a full zip hoodie when they make one.
Overall fit is athletic, arms are plenty long enough with thumb holes and stretchy so it layers well. Armpit and elbow can bunch up depending on layers above or below. There are no adjustments, but the front zip does allow for venting under high exertion.
In light rain it holds up just fine, have not been caught in a downpour but would want a hard shell. It's very warm and blocks the wind just fine. The construction for the stitching and zippers is solid and I expect many seasons to come.
I have owned it for about 14 months.