Wherever I go backpacking, I take a hoody (hooded sweatshirt) with me.
They're perfect for layering, whether you're hiking in the mountains or curled up on planes and buses whose air-conditioning is turned up too high.
On my trip around the world, I went through 3 cotton hoodies. The downside to all of them was the material — cotton, which weighs heavy and dries slowly.
When I was recently offered the chance to test and review the Sarek Softshell Travel Hoody by GoLite, the first thing I did was check out the company website.
As the name implies, GoLite is dedicated to creating lightweight, high-performance apparel and products.
Their motto and contemporary values (Innovate, Sustain, Inspire) resonate with my own, as though they tore a page right out of my personal playbook:
Therefore I GoLite. This is our motto. This is what drives us. Less is more. Less is liberation. Less is our passion. But we didn't invent this philosophy. You did.
You want to get away from all the stuff, the blaring music, the gadgets, the never-ending load of work and the glut of more, more, more. So you go light. You head out on the trail, because you want to experience nature on its own terms.
You value adventure over advertising. Memories over souvenirs. You don't want to clog the planet with more stuff. You just want to have pure, simple, heart-pounding fun.
But let's get back to the hoody because it wasn't quite what I expected.
Viewing it on their website, I thought it looked like a normal sweatshirt and didn't think much of it.
When it arrived in the mail, however, I was pleasantly surprised by its lightweight (15 ounces/426 grams), and appearance.
It's made of 100% polyester, and the interior features a Mineraleâ„¢ lined hood.
GoLite describes Minerale as:
Our latest next-to skin fabric innovation utilizes Cocona Mineralea, which has a superior hand that's matched only by its impressive quick-dry capabilities. The natural technology uses microporous particles derived from minerals that improve fabric comfort and performance. It is permanently embedded in the fibers, so it will not wash off or wear out.
I'll admit I haven't gone for a walk in the rain it, but I can vouch for its comfort.
I wore it on my trip to Los Angeles last month, including on both flights, and during the day I hung out with the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.
The hoody is wind resistant, and in addition to the two normal external pockets, there are also two small interior pockets at the bottom of the front side, on either side of the zipper.
These are perfect for carrying a key if you're jogging, passport, extra cash, etc.
It's not as thick, and therefore warm, as the cotton sweatshirts I've used in the past, however, it packs smaller, weighs half as much, and will dry a lot faster.
I'm looking forward to taking GoLite's Sarek Softshell Travel Hoody to Colombia.
It'll be perfect for breezy nights on the Caribbean coast, and the regular Spring-like weather of Medellin.
Available sizes: S-XXL
Colors: shale blue, dark walnut, moss green, stone, and black.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary hoody to test and review on Go Backpacking.