Gear Closet: Voormi River Run Hoodie

There is a wonderful company based in Colorado that is quietly making some of the most exceptional gear that I have ever seen. Innovative, social conscious, and incredibly driven, Voormi isn't a name that a lot of people know in the outdoor industry just yet, but I promise you that will be hearing great things from them in the months and years ahead. That's because their products are well designed, feature amazing fabrics and technical breakthroughs, and are made by people who love the outdoors as much as we do. That passion for their work shows through in the clothes that they make, which perform amazing well.

I was fortunate enough to review Voormi's Drift Jacket for Gear Institute this past spring, and found it to be an amazing mid-layer. Warm, comfortable, very durable, and great looking, it set a new bar for the level of performance I expect out of my outdoor clothing. With that impression still fresh in my mind, I was also eager to try out their new River Run Hoodie as well, as it is a completely different piece of apparel from the Drift. I didn't come away disappointed, as this hoodie is now one of my most used articles of clothing, bringing a great deal of versatility to the table.

One of the things that separates Voormi from the competition is that the company uses a special blend of merino wool that is found on sheep living in the Rocky Mountains. That wool plays an instrumental role in some of Voormi's best products, and for good reason, namely it performs incredibly well in all kinds of weather conditions. When creating the River Run – and a line of other lightweight garments – the geniuses at Voormi developed a new type of fabric called Dual Surface UL. This incredibly thin material is incredibly lightweight, but still very durable, and retains the features that we've all come to know and love from merino. That is to say, it wicks away moisture, is highly breathable, wears well, and doesn't collect foul odors. In short, everything we want from our outdoor gear.

The River Run Hoodie puts this fabric to good use, making it a lightweight pullover when you want a layer of protection from the sun, or if you're simply looking to take the chill off when setting out on a crisp morning. Warm when you need it to be, but breathable enough to not be stifling, the hoodie is the perfect choice for use in a variety of activities. I've worn it hiking, biking, fly fishing, and paddling. It has also become my go-to layer for a morning at the dog park or running errands around town too.

With a relaxed-fit cut, the River Run makes a nice pull-over when you want a long sleeve outer layer that you can remove when things start to warm up. But, its incredibly soft fabrics are also comfortable enough to wear completely on their own on those days when you want to avoid to much UV radiation from the sun. It comes equipped with thumb holes to add a bit of warmth to your hands, and the oversized hood is useful when the wind picks up too.

Weighing in at just 6 ounces (180 grams), the hoodie is an excellent option for travelers too. I've taken this garment with me on several trips already, and it earns high marks for its lack of bulk and packability. In fact, I'd say that frequent travelers will have as much to gain by having the River Run in their closet as outdoor enthusiasts. It is just such a versatile piece of clothing that you'll likely discover new ways to use it on a regular basis.

If I had one criticism of the River Run Hoodie it is that I wish it had a pocket or two. It is completely lacking in this category, which is its only fault as far as I'm concerned. I would have liked to have had a pouch on the front for instance, which would be a good place to warm your hands on a cool morning, or stash a couple of small items that you want to keep close at hand. Other than this minor quibble however, I am completely in love with this pull-over. (Note: Voormi does make another hoodie – the Eleven.9 – which does have a front pocket, but isn't quite as lightweight.)

With fall upon us, warm days and cool nights are now the norm. If you're in need of a lightweight hoodie to add a bit of extra warmth without over-doing it, the River Run is a great option. Priced at $129 it is even a great bargain in my mind. Upon first inspection, you're likely to think that it too much to pay for a pull-over that is this light and thin. But after you've worn it a few times, Voormi will make a believer out of you too. This is a great garment to have in your closet, and I think you'll be very happy with how it performs.

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