By RYAN DIONNE
The Covert Cardigan by Arc’teryx, a pricey mid-layer top, is as comfortable as putting on your favorite hoody but without the weight. Plus, it’s not made of cotton so you can use it for active pursuits. Made with Polartec Thermal Pro fabric, this sweater is one of those tops you can wear skiing, and then wear downtown afterwards — and then still wear while lounging around the house the next day.
Though expensive — $175 retail — for a fleece-style sweater, the Covert Cardigan is worth the cost for the right person. For me, no matter what I’m doing, I’ve barely taken it off over the last three months. I’ve worn the Covert Cardigan to work, to the grocery store, around the house, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, riding an ATV, and the list could continue.
When I first got this top, though, I was skeptical. The full zip in front made me think “old man.” But after wearing it for a few days, despite being in my mid-20s, the full zip grew on me.
Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan
Far from windproof — and barely wind resistant — the sweater seems to wick well when worn over a quality base layer. And it’s machine washable, which is a must when you’re wearing it for active pursuits.
The Covert Cardigan’s sleeves are a good length— even for people like me with a big wingspan — though I wish the body was slightly longer to prevent it from riding up when I’m active.
One other gripe: Even before washing the cardigan, the sleeves (near the forearm) began to pill. My guess is that it was from rubbing on the hand-pocket zipper.
Overall, the Covert Cardigan is a soft and insulating top that is versatile and looks as good as it functions. The price is high, but it should last a few seasons and it can be worn just about anywhere you need to keep warm.
—Contributor Ryan Dionne is based in Boulder, Colo. He writes a blog on the outdoors and gear at http://explore-it.blog.com