Montane Wolf Hoodie Review

Montane-Wolf-Hoodie Review

The Montane Wolf Hoodie is a body-mapped mid-layer technical fleece hoodie with warmer, higher density fleece areas over your core, and thinner, less insulating fleece along your sides, under the arms, and on the neck and hood where you’re most likely to overheat and perspire. The warmer areas of the Wolf Hoodie covering your chest, shoulders, and back are insulated with fuzzy Polartec Thermal-Pro fleece, while the less insulated areas along your sides, your arm pits, under your arms and wrists are covered with highly breathable and wicking, waffle-weave of Polartec PowerGrid fleece. The effect is a lot like wearing a Patagonia R1 Fleece Hoodie layered together with a fleece vest but in a single garment (17 oz. in a men’s XL.)

Montane Wolf Hoodie

Quality Sewing
Technical Features

Excellent Technical Fleece for Hiking and Climbing

The Montane Wolf Hoodie is a body-mapped fleece hoodie with highly insulating Polartec Thermal Pro fleece on the core and wicking Polartec PowerGrid on the arms and sides. It's a fantastic winter layer for cold weather use and stop and go activities like hiking, skiing, and climbing.

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The thing I’ve found most remarkable about the Wolf Hoodie, is just how warm it is. This is the first garment I’ve used that’s insulated with Polartec Thermal-Pro and the stuff is unbelievably warm. I can hike, backpack, or snowshoe with the Wolf into the low 20’s with a thin baselayer and a fleece cap without getting cold. Mind you, I’m generating a fair amount of body heat when I carry a 25-35 pound backpack in winter, but the Wolf keeps it close to my core while venting the moisture and excess heat buildup in my underarms, sides, and wrists through the less insulated parts of the garment. It’s nice because I don’t have to stop and delayer when I get too hot or put on a layer when my core gets cold. I can hike for hours without stopping and barely perspire.

While the Wolf Hoodie is quite warm (in all the right places), it’s not at all windproof. When wind is an issue, I wear it under a shell layer that has a lot of vents in it to prevent too much heat build-up. That’s the trickiest part of using this garment. It is really warm and “wants” to be the top dog, not buried under a shell layer or wind shirt. In addition to winter use, I think it will be a great piece for early spring and late fall hiking when it’s cool enough that you can feel winter in the air, but aren’t ready to carry a bunch of winter layers on every hike.

Closeup of Polartec PowerGrid and Polartec ThermalPro fabrics used on the Wolf Hoodie
Closeup of the Polartec PowerGrid (wicking) and Polartec ThermalPro (insulating) fabrics used on the Wolf Hoodie

The Wolf has thumb holes at the wrists and a hood that fits under a helmet. I have a small hat size and appreciate that the hood is on the smaller size, although the opening will stretch if you have a larger sized head. When the center zip is pulled up the PowerGrid fleece hood completely covers your neck and provides face protection up over the mouth.

The hoodie has three big pockets that all close with zippers: a chest pocket, and two side pockets. The side pockets are positioned higher up on the torso so they can be used if you’re wearing a climbing harness or a backpack hip belt. All of the pockets are lined with a mesh fabric backing, so be careful about putting electronics in them that can be affected by higher humidity (from perspiration.)

Fit-wise, the Wolf Hoodie true to USA sizes, unlike some of Montane’s other clothing which is fitted tighter in the torso and waist for European and UK preferences.

One piece of advice: if you live with a partner, buy them their own Wolf Hoodie. This is a garment that they will lust after because it’s so fuzzy and comfortable to wear, indoors and out. Yours won’t be safe until they get their own.

Disclosure: Montane provided the author with a sample garment for this review.

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  1. This looks like a nice layer, though I’ve found that my personal preference is for my baselayers not to have hoods. I was in the market for a thermal pro layer for a while but I couldn’t swallow the pricetag from the major outdoor retailers (usually ca. $150). I ended up going with just getting a used ECWCS Gen 3 level 3 fleece off ebay (note: long small seems similar to civilian mens medium) for $15. Or a brand new one straight from the manufacturer (e.g. Propper Gen III Fleece Jacket) is only $75. There are certainly some sacrifices with buying the military garments (fit isn’t ideal), but they are quite functional and for the price point they are an excellent alternative.

  2. “When wind is an issue, I wear it under a shell layer that has a lot of vents in it to prevent too much heat build-up. That’s the trickiest part of using this garment. It is really warm and “wants” to be the top dog, not buried under a shell layer or wind shirt”

    Phil, have you tried ‘active insulation’ pieces which use wonder-materials such as Primaloft Gold or Polartec Alpha? Examples are OR Ascendant/Deviator, Pata Nano Air, Arc Atom LT, Rab Strata. Seem to be the new hot thing for climbing and backcountry ski touring. The idea is that it’s a water- and wind-resistant yet highly breathable combo of wind jacket + fleece but much lighter, compressible, and you don’t need to mess around with taking layers on/off. Good for stop & go activities.

    I was intrigued so picked up an OR Ascendant on sale at REI. It’s really amazing how warm it is and how well it breathes. The new fabrics are really fantastic. I suppose the Wolf is very similar just without being wind-resistant.

  3. I’m curious as to how you rate the quality, fit, construction and value. I just bought a Montane Fury pullover on sale this am.

    • I’ve been wearing it almost continuously for the past month. It’s s fine and very functional piece. Montane makes very good gear.

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