It’s not too often I get to write a review about a piece of gear that’s been integral to my curling activities. However, that’s exactly how I’ve been using the Voormi High-E Hoodie for the past few months: every friday evening I pull it over a T-shirt, step out onto the ice and yell “Hurry Hard” to my companions. And not only does it keep me warm the entire time (no jacket required) but I also look stylish – or at least as stylish as any curler can look. How does the sweater fare when skiing though? Read on to find out. Colorado-based Voormi was started in 2010 by Dan English, a former Microsoft employee, who wanted to use technology to improve natural fibres such as wool. His idea was to make merino wool products that were more burly than the comfortable-yet-easy-to-rip clothing already on the market and to to ensure he sourced, designed and manufactured everything in the United States. Today, Voormi offers toques, T-shirts, baselayers, jackets and, of course, hoodies such as the High-E.
Front kangaroo hand pocket with zippers on both openings and an athletic fit.
The High-E Hoodie is made from 50% Merino wool; 35% Polyester; 12% Nylon; 3% Lycra antimicrobial fabric.
The fabric is warm, comfortable, durable and it breathes well.
- 50% Merino wool; 35% Polyester; 12% Nylon; 3% Lycra antimicrobial fabric
- Interior zippered pocket with headphone jack hole
- Front kangaroo hand pocket with zippers on both openings
- ¼ front zip with a chin flap that covers tassel
- Articulated thumb holes at end of sleeves
- Tight-fitting hood
- Outer water repellency
Interior zippered pocket with headphone jack hole.
Articulated thumb holes at end of sleeves.
Tight-fitting hood makes you look like a ninja but also keeps out the cold and snow.
As mentioned above, the Voormi High-E hoodie is the perfect garment for friday evening curling games because it keeps you warm on the ice and makes you look stylish during the mandatory post-match beer swilling in the bar. And if this was a curling website you’d find that fact fascinating I’m sure. The good news is the High-E hoodie also works well at the ski hill. I’ve worn it several days skiing and as a resort layer it is excellent. It’s super warm and you don’t look like a total gear nerd in the lodge or in town afterwards. I have to give credit to Dan English because for a former Microsoft employee, he definitely has style sense. All Voormi products look cool with their athletic fit, brushed metal colouring and, in the case of the High-E, the front kangaroo pocket. (Although why the three logos on the piece? Surely one would suffice?) I almost didn’t want to wear it to the ski hill because I didn’t want to ruin the look of the fabric, which brings us to the point about durability.
My biggest peeve with merino wool products is the fact they last about three minutes before your climbing harness has worn a hole in the belly or a zipper has snagged and torn the fragile fabric. But Voormi seems to have overcome that by infusing their products with 50% technical fabric, which makes them burlier without sacrificing breathability or water repellency. And, unlike fully synthetic garments, Voormi products don’t stink after sweating in them for a full day. They’re also extremely comfortable, so soft and warm they feel like a second skin. In fact, that is the only major downfall of the High-E hoodie as a touring piece – it’s too warm. Unless you’re backcountry skiing in the Rockies in February, this piece will be too bulky, heavy and hot to tour in. But it’s an excellent resort layer (and curling garment). I find the hood a bit too constrictive when worn and too bulky under my ski jacket but that’s just personal preference and Voormi does make a hood-less version called the Access Pullover. It should also be noted that I never tested the water repellency of the hoodie as I always wore a shell over it at the resort but the few times I splashed my beer on the sleeve at the bar I noted the liquid beaded well.
Other features I like about the Voormi High-E Hoodie are the interior zippered pocket with headphone jack hole, the thumb holes at the end of the sleeves and, surprisingly, the front kangaroo hand pocket. When I first saw that pocket I was reminded of my public school attire but there’s no faster way to warm hands then clasping them inside a merino wool pocket next to your stomach.
The only other surprise consumers may experience regarding the Voormi High-E Hoodie is the price – US$229 is a lot to spend on a sweater no matter how stylish it is. That said, you can rest assured knowing the entire piece was sourced and manufactured in North America by people who ski on their way to work and who know a thing or two about what makes a warm, comfortable and stylish sweater that’s useful at the resort, in the bar or on the curling rink.
Price: $229 US
Colour: Cinder, Chestnut, Twilight, Deep Sage
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