Ibex Hooded Indie

Mate a hooded sweatshirt with a base-layer top and you’d get the Ibex Hooded Indie. This hard-to-categorize piece, new this fall, includes a long zipper on the chest, a tight-fitting hood, and sleeves equipped with thumb-hole cuffs.

It is made in the United States with a thin wool fabric. The cost is $92.

But the Hooded Indie, which comes in a men’s and a women’s cut, is so cozy you might forget about the price. Pull on the loose-fitting top, zip it to your chin, and scoot the hood up over your head. Its wool — a fine New Zealand merino — ensconces the body in natural warmth.

Ibex - Indie Hoodie Model.jpg

Ibex Hooded Indie

Ibex Outdoor Clothing is known for its collection of top-end wool apparel pieces, from tights to sweaters to hats. I have long been a fan of the company’s Woolies Zip T-Neck top, a $72 piece that has endured dozens of cold weather adventures.

The Hooded Indie fits looser than base layers like the T-Neck top. It is less form fitting than tops I typically wear next to my skin. As a strict performance piece — for running in cool weather or cross-country skiing — I would not pick the Hooded Indie first off my shelf.

But for most other activities, from winter hiking and cycling to simply working around the house on a cold day, the hood-equipped wool shirt is a winner.

Ibex Indie Hoodie.jpg

A hood, thumb-hole cuffs, and merino wool

Like other Ibex tops, it is breathable and comfortable through a range of temperatures. It can be worn alone on cool days — the thin wool is warm enough maybe down to 50 degrees with no wind.

If you’re too warm during activity, pull down the nine-inch chest zip for ventilation. Then, as you cool, stretch the sleeves over your hands and insert thumbs in the cuff holes. Your hands will stay toasty like this half-obscured. Your head is cozy in a thin wool hood, comfortable and cinched tight. The hybrid base-layer top has you covered.

—Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

Posted by joe - 12/23/2009 02:53 PM

Nearly Ibex! If they’d have just stuck with the normal form fitting cut (better for wicking) they would have been on to a winner. Hooded baselayers make so much sense (quicker and easier thermo-regulation than a beanie and impossible to lose/forget or get blown off your head and down a mountain) that I’m surprised so few companies make them.

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