There are a few essential items everyone should have in their closets. First, is a favorite soft and comfortable t-shirt you can wear year-round. Second, a set of wool socks for lounging around the house or hiking in. Lastly, is a warm and cozy hooded sweatshirt that you hate taking off. While a simple $10 hoodie from a big-box store will keep you warm indoors, they don’t necessarily provide the same warmth and comfort outdoors. In this review, we’ll be looking at the new Ridge Merino’s Convict Merino wool hoodie that is designed to be your favorite hoodie. This is a mid-layer pullover at 170g/m, made from Polartec® Power Wool™ which is a 54% Polyester, 38% Merino Wool, 8% Spandex blend. Ridge Merino has incorporated a number of unique features in the design of the hoodie and also offer a Women’s version of this hoodie.
The Ridge Merino Convict Merino Wool Hoodie combines premium design, fabric and features into a classic hoodie design. From the low profile hood, the gusseted underarm and down to the subtle thumbholes, the Convict Hoodie is full of surprises.
Before we go into the details of the Convict hoodie, it’s worth highlighting a little background about Ridge Merino. The company was co-founded in 2014 by a husband-wife team in Mammoth Lakes, CA. They make sustainably sourced high-quality Merino wool apparel and offer a variety of clothing options for backcountry hiking, skiing or around town. Ridge Merino also donates a percentage of each sale to environmental nonprofits.
|Category||Clothing > Mid-layer|
|Likes|| + High Neck|
+ Form Fitting Hood
+ No Underarm and Shoulder seams
+ Thermal and Odor resistance properties of wool
|Dislikes||– Big around the chest|
– Low Merino Wool Content
|Where to Buy (US)||Ridge Merino|
The Convict hoodie came in a minimal recycled poly mailer that can be recycled again.
With a typical hoodie, the design starts and ends with a hood and maybe a zipper. However, with the Convict Merino Wool Hoodie, Ridge Merino has incorporated a number of thoughtful details to make the hoodie ideal for outdoor use. First is the low-profile hood which is designed to comfortably fit under helmets without bunching. The underarm features a gusseted design instead of the traditional seams which again prevent chafing and provides comfortable range of motion. The high neck that comes up to the nose and the form fitting hood keeps the cold out.
We found that these features made the Convict Hoodie extremely comfortable to wear for any occasion. When commuting on our bike and wearing a backpack, the lack of shoulder and underarm seams eliminated the normal chafing and discomfort. On colder days, the high neck and thumbholes provided the extra warmth we needed to stay comfortable. Best of all, the large chest pocket made a great place to conveniently store our cell phone to listen to music while out and about.
Being accustomed to form/slim-fit clothing, the relaxed fit of the Convict took a little getting used to. On a 6’ 1”, 160lbs male, the medium sized hoodie was a good fit with enough stretch-ability to allow you to layer it over clothing. The Convict Hoodie is a mid layer and has a relaxed fit to accommodate layering over baselayers. With Ridge Merino’s signature thumbholes, the arms are longer in length to allow them to be used without discomfort (something we’ve noted on other clothing with thumbholes and thumbloops).
Additionally the hem of the hoodie is a longer that traditional clothing for additional warmth and comfort. With the lack of the underarm seams, due to the gusset design, we found the Convict Hoodie was bigger than we expected around the chest. Overall, it was slightly looser than a typical hoodie but still fit well.
The Convict Hoodie is marketed as a “lightweight mid layer with backcountry travel in mind.” While most marketing descriptions are exaggerations, in this case the Convict Hoodie delivered on the promise. The hoodie is light and thin to the touch with a listed linear weight of 170g/m with a 54% polyester, 38% merino wool and 8% spandex composition. This allows the hoodie to quickly hang dry and fold compactly for travel. Despite the thinness and the relatively low wool content, we were surprised with how warm the Convict Hoodie was. It performed more similar to thicker synthetic jackets we own and layered well to accommodate colder days.
Whether we were riding our bicycle on a high 40Fs day or hiking in a lower 40Fs day, the Convict Hoodie provided the characteristic thermal management that has made Merino wool so popular. Unlike low quality athletic gear, the Convict Hoodie had the breathability and odor resistance to allow us to continue to wear it around the house after a workout. It’s partly thanks to the air pockets on the inside of the jacket and the Polartec Power Wool composition that the Convict Hoodie is able to exceed our warmth expectations.
Overall, we found the Ridge Merino Convict Merino Wool Hoodie to be an excellent value. Although the wool content is lower than we expected at this price point, the Convict Hoodie is very well constructed and has the warmth that exceeded our expectations. There are a number of thoughtful details in the construction, from the thumbholes to the chest pocket that make the hoodie flexible for any use. Also the lightweight fabric and the low profile hood are both features we found very useful in day-to-day use. In the end, the Convict Hoodie became one of our favorite hoodies that we found difficult to not wear all the time.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Ridge Merino. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.