Six more weeks predicted the Groundhog. If the first few days of March are indicators, we should brace for that long haul. This past week, we broke out a few extra layers in the form of merino wool (and wool blend) jackets and hoodies to fend off the cold and wet. Check them out in case it remains cold in your neck of the woods.

Showers Pass Trailhead Merino-Bamboo Hoodie

Showers Pass Trailhead Merino Hoodie


Showers Pass branched out of the pure technical department with their new Trailhead Bamboo-Merino Hoodie. And we like this new addition to the company’s lineup. As the name implies, the Trailhead is made from a 50/50 bamboo and merino blend which provides both warmth and odor resistance. We found it comfortable but it tended to pill quickly (after about a week or so of wear).

Showers Pass includes a host of features in the jacket including a kangaroo pocket, zippers and drawstring neck, an ample hood and reflective piping.

The fit is definitely tight. I am normally a medium but went with large, and even that felt snug to me. Definitely size up unless you want the Trailhead to act as a baselayer.

Find the Showers Pass Merino-Bamboo Hoodie at Amazon for $129.

Ortovox Melange Hoody

Ortovox Melange Hoody

The chief feature of the Ortovox Melange Hoody is the Merino wool and synthetic fabric blend. It makes for a dense, taught, and water-resistant feel. The interior, however, delivers a soft fleecy cushion against the skin. We likey.

Ortovox positions the Melange Hoody as a second-layer garment. The company cuts the jacket very close to the body. Ortovox call the fit “ergonomic.” We’d say it runs quite small. An Ortovox mens medium feels like a US small. Definitely size up at least one notch or maybe even two.

Features are limited. There’s a small hood, thumb holes at the cuff, and a bonded pocket on the left chest. The lack of features — including basics like handwarmer pockets — limit the versatility of the Ortovox Melange. At nearly $200 we expect more bang for the buck. Find the Ortovox Melange at Amazon.

Chrome Cobra Merino Wool Hoodie

Chrome Cobra Hoodie

The Chrome Cobra Merino Hoodie continues to impress. It looks amazing in deep black with a subtle red Chrome logo. It’s heavy duty. Our men’s large sample weighed it at one pound, four ounces. Absolutely great heft and feel. And the Chrome Cobra boasts numerous, very well-thought-out details. Four pockets are located around the jacket including a large zippered cycling pocket on the rear, two zippered handwarmers and a zippered key stash on the left wrist.

The Chrome Cobra fits trimly but not as tight as either the Ortovox or Showers Pass Trailhead. Don’t be afraid to size up unless you like a more form-fitting approach.

Find the Chrome Cobra at REI for about $180.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to Chrome, Ortovox and Showers Pass for providing samples for this review.