SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Stio’s Merino Wool Hoodie May Be the Best Midlayer Ever

When I began wearing my Merino wool hoodie by Stio, I didn’t have to be convinced of the value of Merino wool.  I already knew that Merino wool makes the best inner layer and probably the best “non-jacket” midlayer.

Stio's Basis 21 Merino wool hoodie.

Stio’s Basis 21 Merino wool hoodie.

Wool is number one for wick (the science is clear) and retains 60 percent of its insulating qualities when wet.  In 14 adjectives, Merino wool is fine, light, durable, quiet, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, biodegradable, odor-resistant, flame-retardant, wind-resistant, soft, stretchy, supple, and comfy.  Merino wool stays warm when moist or damp, protects us across a range of weather conditions, and helps provide our body with excellent temperature regulation.

Clearly, the design team at Stio understand all this too.  “We love Merino,” they declare on their website.  “We love Merino for its natural body temp regulation, super-soft insulative properties, and hassle-free, stay-fresh tendencies.”

But Stio goes beyond this, to make a claim that seems too bold to be true:  “We’ve rolled 21 micron Merino wool into a casual hoodie style that will perform on any day, in any outdoor endeavor.”

Needless to say, I had to put Stio’s bold claim to the test.  I wore my hoodie out snowshoeing multiple times, in various severities of temperature, and I wore it walking around town and out in the wilderness on days that were even colder.

As one of four layers, Stio’s Merino wool hoodie kept me warm on the day it dipped under 20 degrees below zero.  It kept me warm even when I got snow on it.  And it kept me warm on the windiest day we’ve had so far this winter.

So I believe Stio when they tell us, “We tested it during fall backpacking trips, winter wade fishing excursions, and spring ski tours in Teton Park, and it performed beautifully.”

This hoodie insulates.  This hoodie wicks.  And it is as soft and comfortable as any midlayer you will ever wear.

If that’s not enough, this hoodie also boasts meshed front pockets you can stick your hands in – which have already kept my hands warm a dozen times.  And unlike some wool products, this hoodie is machine washable.

I need no more convincing.  Whenever I’m wearing three layers, from now on, I will always wear Stio’s Merino wool hoodie as my only midlayer.

Check out Stio’s Basis 21 Merino wool hoodie:

http://www.stio.com/mens-basis-21-merino-hoodie

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