It there’s anything worth repeating over and over about the best types of travel gear, it’s the value of items that cover more than one function. Clothing that cover dress-up or dress-down situations, or even clothing that can be worn for more than just extreme temperatures—on either the high or low side—are of the highest value when you’re trying to pack light.
The Smartwool Women’s NTS Mid 250 Hoody Sport performs well as both a baselayer and midlayer in circumstances when you need warmth on the trail/slope/street, but then when you’re done with the outdoors, want something that will look good when you’re relaxing après sport. It’s ideal as a single layer in cool weather and a baselayer in cold weather.
The body of the hoody is made of 100-percent Merino wool, which keeps you warm, manages moisture better than cotton, is smarter than synthetics, and is more comfortable in any weather condition. It’s year-round, breathable, and naturally resists odor. Plus, it doesn’t itch like traditional wool.
Strategically placed DWR 100-percent polyester panels on the shoulders and hood of this jacket increases protection from the elements, as well as durability in high-wear areas (especially under backpacks). But remember, underneath these panels lies the Merino wool layer, so you’re staying warm, too.
The jacket is form-fitting, so if you’re considering more layers underneath, you may want to size up, just in case. The flatlock seams are designed to eliminate chafing, whether your outdoor style is aggressive or just a little less so. And kangaroo pockets provide additional warmth for hands, even if you have gloves on.
Wool can be confusing sometimes, with regard to cleaning. For this piece, Smartwool suggests machine washing warm in the gentle cycle, no bleach, tumble dry low, and iron low (if you must iron at all). It’s also cool to dry clean.
The Smartwool Women’s NTS Mid 250 Hoody Sport comes in light loden heather, desert purple heather, and charcoal heather, and lists for $150 on the Smartwool site. It’s also available at Amazon.