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.)
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.
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.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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