The Patagonia Capilene Air Hoody is considered a high end base layer, but what does our reviewer think when put to the test?
Yes, £140 is a lot of money for a base layer, but Patagonia have really gone to town on the Air Hoodie. It feels absolutely great against bare skin, with just the right combination of lightness, softness and warmth.
Indeed, Patagonia say this is the most advanced base layer they’ve ever made with the greatest range of warmth and comfort. The ability to insulate even when wet at the same time as drying quickly and odour resistance for days at a time; is pretty much everything you need in a base layer.
The Air Hoodie uses a blend of 51 per cent New Zealand merino wool and 49 per cent Capilene, which is made from recycled polyester. It also incorporates a unique ‘airblasting’ technology that dramatically increases the yarn’s loft while reducing weight compared to traditional wool yarn.
Add to this a seamless 3-D construction which eliminates chafe points (and as a side benefit it nearly eliminates wasted material too) and your comfort is guaranteed. The garment’s hood is also seamless and has an anatomical fit; it provides protection for everything other than your eyes in cold weather but doesn’t ruck up too much when not in use. If you don’t want the benefits of the hood you can buy a crewneck version for £40 less.
Other nice touches include contrast piping on the stretchy elastic knit in the cuffs and hem and a long fit so the garment doesn’t ride up. This all adds up to be a really great base layer.
For Feels great, performs superbly.
Against Hoody style won’t be for everyone – but there is an alternative (and it’s cheaper!).