Voormi core construction water beading
(Photo/VOORMI)

Waterproof Wool Hoodie: VOORMI ‘Core Construction’ Review

‘Core Construction’ integrates technical properties into fabric without a gluey sandwich of membrane and fibers. And this year, the brand claims the tech reaches new heights.

The first raincoat was made in 1824 when Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh sandwiched soft rubber between two layers of fleece. The same construction is still used for raincoats, which now also have a lot of glue holding the layers together.

If you’ve ever felt cold, clammy, or wet inside your waterproof breathable coat, that’s why.

Voormi Core Construction
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

With its new Core Construction, Voormi reimagined how to make apparel waterproof and breathable, ditching sandwich construction for everything from sweaters to baselayers made with fewer layers and no glue. The brand’s first two products are a fleecy sweater that beads water and never feels sweaty, and a heat-blocking grilling apron.

Initially introduced in 2015, Voormi now boasts its second-gen Core Construction technology has twice the waterproof and windproof properties of the original. We put the hero Two-Pocket Hoodie the test to see for ourselves.

Ditching Sandwich Construction: VOORMI Core Construction

VOORMI figured out how to integrate a multitude of membranes into a fabric’s fibers.

“Most fabrics are up to 90 percent air,” said VOORMI’s chief technology officer, Timm Smith. “It’s a waste of space. So we engineered a waterproof and windproof membrane into a single layer of fabric. And we can build Core Construction clothing using wool, cotton nylon, carbon fiber, and polyester and integrate Core Construction into all of them.”

Voormi's Core Construction - upland pullover

Core Construction yields a garment that feels more like a sweater or baselayer than a jacket. It provides the weather protection you want and expect when you’re outdoors.

And it does this with clothing that’s comfortable, breathable, soft, and silent … but still waterproof and windproof.

Because there are no layers and no glue to bond fabric to the membrane, Core Construction is unlike anything waterproof and breathable we’ve used to date.

VOORMI Core Construction Hoodie Review

We tested VOORMI’s 2022 Sportsman’s Two-Pocket Hoodie, both the Core Construction and standard versions. The fleecy, wooly hoodie, which has always been made with the tightest and strongest water-repelling wool, is now fully waterproof and breathable using Core Construction.

In a cloudburst when I was hiking, water beaded off the surface of the sweater and rolled away. When I ran my arm under a faucet to see if pressure would force water through, the water rolled off. The sweater was otherwise indiscernible to the touch from the non-Core Construction version.

Unlike with traditional waterproof layers, there was no crinkly or crunchy feeling to the Core Construction hoodie. Both iterations felt like cozy sweatshirts, with a fleecy lining and tightly woven wool exterior.

The hoodie was warm and tough — ideal for hunting, fishing, working in the woods, and for logging backcountry ski laps. Wearing the hoodie and hiking up a backcountry ski run, I didn’t get as sweaty as I would be wearing a jacket. That’s because Core Construction remains highly breathable.

Meanwhile, high and low kangaroo pockets gave me space to stash gloves, tools, and other gear. And though I didn’t wear these fishing, VOORMI says that the pockets are placed for accessibility even if you’re wearing waders.

Between the two, the Core Construction-enhanced hoodie felt warmer than the non-Core Construction version, as the wind passed through the standard version. But the face and back of both felt nearly the same.

VOORMI Core Construction Styles

 

Voormi core construction style

So far, VOORMI has released its core construction in three styles — two sweaters and an apron. The three pieces start to hint at the possibilities of this creative way of building things made from woven fabrics.

The sweaters are waterproof and breathable. And the apron is made for live-fire cooking. It was a collaboration with celebrity chef David Rose and though it’s thin and pliable, it blocks heat

Coming Soon

Initially, VOORMI planned to bring Core Construction to market with waterproof breathable baselayer-weight pieces using Core Construction. But those are on hold for now.

We’ve had a chance to touch and feel the fabric, but VOORMI doesn’t yet have finished pieces for testing. But we are intrigued at the future of this tech — the thought of going on a run in a waterproof and breathable baselayer-weight shirt, and leaving the jacket at home, is exciting.

Conclusion

Core Construction is notable, not just because it turns your fleece into a jacket, your sweater into your outer layer, or makes your baselayer weather-repellent without being crinkly, sweaty, or stiff. This has the potential to vastly change how we approach layering.

Soft and pliable waterproof breathable baselayers that feel like a shirt, not a jacket are likely the next release. But the bigger picture is that Core Construction is a new way of building woven garments and more. It lets VOORMI insert a broad range of functional materials into the fabric.

For now, it’s weather protection and heat protection. In the future, it could be printed electronic circuitry, or layers added to carbon fiber to enhance its ability to repel heat and more. Keep your eye on VOORMI to see what’s next.

Berne Broudy
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Berne Broudy is a Vermont-based writer, photographer, and adventurer. She is passionate about conservation, education, and recreation, and has spent her adult life working to make the outdoors a place where all feel welcome with the gear and skills to enjoy it.