Hoodies are an odd bunch. They’re a staple piece of informal menswear, they straddle the line between fashionable and functional, and they’ve found a way to maintain the exact same silhouette over generations of existence. We’re not really sure if they’re grungy or clean, serious or satirical — but one thing’s for sure, they’ve single-handedly helped to define the genre of adaptive athleisure, providing wearers with a prominent top-layer that can be utilized in a variety of different ways. Headed to the gym? Throw on a heavyweight hoodie to keep your muscles warm, masked, and comfortable, while still promoting adequate perspiration. Headed to the grocery store? Find a more sociable model that can keep you cozy on the way there, but provide that informal feel that goes along with everyday chores.
If you haven’t caught on by now, the modern-day hoodie is one of the most versatile and essential pieces of outerwear for everyday endeavors. It can adapt and overcome almost anything, regardless of the situation you put it in, whether that be athletic, leisurely, or otherwise. Because of this, there’s been a large influx of low to high-end examples from the world’s most noteworthy brands, especially those who emphasize an athletic or training-focused lifestyle. To make things easier to navigate, we’ve provided some insight into the genre’s most lauded models, as well as give you a visual introduction that can help you to decide upon your next comfortable purchase. So sit back, relax, and read into what makes each of these variants so special.
prAna Hooded T-Shirt
prAna’s Hooded T-Shirt might not look like a traditional heavyweight model, and that’s a correct assumption to make. Instead of opting for the basic silhouette that we’ve become accustomed to, the brand has introduced a dynamic twist on the iconic garment, integrating an organic cotton/recycled polyester blend, woven label, and thin orientation to complement its shirt-like persona.
Carhartt’s Paxton hoodie is a traditional heavyweight model that stays true to the brand’s long-running workwear line. Crafted as a hard-wearing garment for those who spend their days crafting, cutting, hammering, and constructing, this 13-ounce example brings a formidable cotton/polyester blend, a Rain Defender DWR coating, and reinforced, triple-stitched seams to buyers who are looking for a bit more usability in their hooded top layer.
Alternative Apparel Rocky Eco-Fleece
Alternative Apparel’s Rocky Eco-Fleece takes a more sustainable approach to traditional hoodie construction. It utilizes a polyester, cotton, and rayon blend, recycled and organic materials, and set-in sleeves to provide adequate comfort throughout the day, while still fulfilling the warming role of a classic variant. The implementation of ribbed hems, bands, and sleeve cuffs complement the Eco-Fleece’s iconic front-facing kangaroo pocket, blending the worlds of modern and heritage outerwear.
Rhone Heritage French Terry
If you’re focused on the acquisition of a hoodie that places comfort and functionality at the forefront, Rhone’s Heritage French Terry example might be the perfect find. With a focus on style, adaptability, and warmth, this full-zip model features an adjustable hood, ribbed side panels for increased mobility, and a supple French Terry fabric construction, resulting in one of the most comfortable silhouettes that we’ve seen in quite a while.
Buck Mason Brushed Loopback
Buck Mason’s Brushed Loopback hoodie stays true to the brand’s pursuit of heritage gear that can be adorned throughout the year. Whether you’re headed to the gym for some good old-fashioned reps or heading out to your favorite dive, this great-looking example boasts a simplistic silhouette that transcends the boundaries of athleisure. A soft-brushed French Terry exterior fabric and looped interior provide exceptional warmth and comfort, regardless of application, while also promoting adequate airflow during those more balmy days. Dive deeper, and you’ll find a flatlock stitch and twill tape, providing additional reinforcement throughout.
Outdoor Voices CloudKnit
Outdoor Voices’ CloudKnit hoodie is a formidable opponent for any alternative variant promoting the “world’s softest” catchphrase. Though self-proclaimed, it’s no secret that the lightweight model is crafted using the brand’s ultra-soft polyester and spandex blend, bluesign-approved CloudKnit fabric, and a sleek design terminology that helps it to straddle the line between a mid- and feather-weight offering. If you’re looking for a semi-form-fitting model that does away with the bulkiness of the genre’s bigger variants, this might be the perfect garment for you.
Tracksmith’s Downeaster might not be your typical, run-of-the-mill hoodie; and to be honest, we don’t think that the heritage-focused running company set out to create something easily compared to the genre’s other models. As such, the outfit took heavy inspiration from Dustin Hoffman’s iconic zip-up garment, shown regularly throughout the film “Marathon Man.” In typical Tracksmith fashion, they’ve also elaborated on the construction principles of the original, offering wearers new temperature-regulating fabrics, and an odor-resistant merino blend for aroma-conscious comfort.
Hill City Heavyweight Fleece
Hill City’s Heavyweight Fleece hoodie might not deviate from the traditional, heavy-set textiles of early-era outerwear, but it’s been built to last. Not only was the classic constructed with thick applications of organically grown cotton, it was also ethically and sustainably sourced, with each certified product being developed alongside a process that prohibits the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified seeds. The result? A warm, gym-going model that boasts a hidden storage compartment, kangaroo front pocket, and adjustable drawstring hood.
Outerknown Sur Zip
Outerknown’s Sur Zip hoodie is an abnormal variant that takes inspiration from one of the beach’s most prominent drying accessories. You heard that right. While the hoodie takes on the classic characteristics of a traditional hooded model on the outside, its interior is more closely associated with a towel, at least when it comes to feeling. It also utilizes the perfect unison of hemp and organic cotton to create a durable, adaptable outerwear piece that you can take anywhere, thanks to its plush French Terry cloth, kangaroo pocket, and zippered front.
American Giant Classic Full-Zip
American Giant’s Classic Full-Zip hoodie is a custom-developed example brought to life through an original fleece and combed ringspun cotton construction. It was devised to take on the role of a catered piece, offering wearers a seemingly tailor-made silhouette that’s been imbued with reinforced elbow patches, a double-lined hood, custom metal zippers, grommets, and drawcord tips. To round things out, the entire garment has been reinforced with a structured helping of double-needle straddle-stitching, calling upon American Giant’s high-strength thread to keep things together whenever high mobility is key.
Reigning Champ Pullover
Reigning Champ’s Pullover hoodie was built to train under the most stringent stressors, but if you’re looking for something a bit more tailored to the athleisure realm, it also fills that role surprisingly well. Each example boasts a soft cotton fabric construction, capable reverse flatlock seams, a ribbed side panel, cuff, and hem, and a kangaroo pouch pocket to keep all of your essential items safe as you traverse the urban expanse.
Everlane’s Heavyweight hoodie is just that: heavy. It’s crafted with a thick seven-gauge cashmere yarn that’s 86-percent loftier than the company’s other variants and even comes with a suite of efficient cashmere fibers to promote adequate warmth retention. Only Grade-A cashmere from Mongolia is used, with 35-millimeter and 15-micron fibers making up the vast majority of the garment’s construction. As a result, the garment becomes softer and more malleable over time, giving wearers an ultra-comfortable silhouette that feels like it’s been molded to their own body type through continuous wear.
Lululemon City Sweat Pullover
Lululemon’s City Sweat Pullover is a testament to the brand’s pursuit of comfortable loungewear that can easily double as athletic attire. It features comfortable cotton, polyester, and elastane construction, allowing it to stretch, expand, and adapt to your movement whenever you need it most. To complement its overall demeanor, the brand has contracted an ultra-soft, stretchable French Terry fabric, promoting its four-way versatility, breathability, and shape retention after a day of heavy use.
Todd Snyder Heavyweight Popover
Todd Snyder’s Heavyweight Popover hoodie takes a more stylish approach to athletic wear, which isn’t a surprise. However, since the brand has created this formidable model with the help of Champion, it’s still one of the most viable options for functional use. As part of Snyder’s Foundation Collection, it provides wearers with a perfect “platform” for everyday applications, whether you’re lounging around inside, jogging around your block, or heading to the yoga studio for a quick centering session. The unison of cotton, polyester, fleece, and minimal branding has us fawning over the simplified, but diverse garment.
John Elliott Beach
John Elliot’s Beach hoodie is a dropped-shoulder variant that deviates, albeit subtly, from the aesthetic of the genre’s traditional garments. This relaxed model promotes a more laid-back demeanor through the implementation of custom-knit French Terry fabric, a rib-knit waist and cuff, and a comfortable cotton/polyester blend that elaborates on the streamlined measurements that classic hoodies follow, resulting in something a bit more alien. Aside from that, it remains relatively true to the iconic design, introducing a drawstring closure at its hood, and a kangaroo pocket at the waist.
Sunspel Loopback Cotton
Sunspel’s Loopback Cotton hoodie provides wearers with a simplified take on the classic, thanks to its pared-back cut, a cotton-jersey construction, and extra-fine materials. Each example boasts a unique loopback fabric that’s been composed of various extra-fine yarns, helping to promote adequate body heat retention and insulation. Naturally, this means that the garment lends itself to colder climates, meaning that, while adaptable, you might want to take a different avenue if you’re a regular of more temperate or arid locales. That being said, this luxury-focused example is an aesthetically-pleasing pickup that will have you turning heads during the colder months.
The Real McCoy’s 10oz Loopwheel Zip
The Real McCoy’s pride themselves on the creation, and reinterpretation of vintage garments, and the 10oz Loopwheel Zip hoodie is no different. This exceptional piece is crafted from only the finest cotton and Loopwheel fabric, which has been exclusively sourced by the company’s proprietary mill. Only a few hundred meters of fabric are created each day, thanks to the mill’s gravity-fed machines. As a result, each garment is created under stringent guidelines, allowing it to meet TRMC’s criteria for its ultra-soft examples. Inside, you’ll be treated to a comfortable brushed interior, as well as a reproduction Talon zipper, paying homage to the early 20th Century mainstay.
Cotton Citizen Bronx
Cotton Citizen’s Bronx hoodie is a heavyweight model that takes handcrafted creation to a new level. Each example has been built with a durable but soft French Terry fabric, accenting its oversized persona. Despite its heavy ideology, the Bronx remains relaxed and comfortable, integrating a ribbed cuff and waistband for adequate heat retention, as well as a more structured fit, overall. If you’re looking or a more modernized take on the traditional hoodie, without all of the bells and whistles associated with high-end premium offerings, this might be the garment for you.
Stone Island Logo-Appliquéd Loopback Cotton
Stone Island’s Logo-Appliquéd Loopback Cotton hoodie is a performance-focused garment that holds true to the company’s adventurous lineage. Here, you’ll find a soft loopback cotton-jersey construction, a drawstring adjustable hood, front pouch pocket, and a detachable designer emblem that allows for quick customization. As an added bonus, each example has been garment-dyed prior to its release to the public, arriving with that pre-worn look we’ve all come to expect from Stone Island’s premium gear pieces.
1017 ALYX 9SM Storm Flap
We’re rounding out our list with 1017 ALYX 9SM’s Storm Flap, which, depending on your classification of what a hoodie truly is, might not be a hoodie at all. Regardless, designer Matthew Williams has never been one for adherence to any specific ruleset, and it shows here. This sleek model features a brushed fleece interior, drawstring hood, various zip closures, and a water-resistant storm flap that allows for adequate protection when faced with inclement weather. But don’t worry, it’s still ultra-comfortable, thanks to its 100% cotton construction and ribbed trims, making it a great choice for the urban citizen who’s looking to take his hoodie game to a more technical level.
The 15 Best Beanies For Men
Now that you’ve found the perfect hooded variant to take on the colder months, complete your look with an iconic skullcap from our best beanies for men guide.