We provided TV production Manager Jess a versatile fleece to try out, check out her thoughts below:
You’ll usually catch me stomping along a footpath, stripping off and layering up a number of times over the course of a walk. I have a habit of taking wrong turns, coming across flooded or blocked footpaths & racing the sunset back to base so I always like to be prepared with versatile layers to hand.
After the unseasonably hot beginning of October, we grabbed the first colder weekend and set off on a 15-mile loop of Dartmoor, through a small valley up onto the moor and over some rolling tors. The wind chill made the 9-degree temperature feel much colder so it was the perfect initiation for The Rab Women’s Capacitor Hoody.
Design and Fit:
Comfort is one of the first things I look for in a new item of clothing. I tend to go for a baggier fit than my size so as a size 8 I went for a 10 which felt perfect. The Hoody is a good length and fits well, hugging my waist and hips and finishing below the top of my trousers, ensuring no intrusion of the cold air. One of my favourite features of this hoody are the Thermic stretch side panels, which are placed on the arms and run down the sides. These ensure it is stretchy, breathable and never feels restrictive even with its close-fitting design. The sleeves are easily pulled up on the sweaty uphill’s and when pulled back down can cover my hands if needed.
The full-length front zip ensures quick and easy ventilation. I was, (and this is no exaggeration) genuinely overjoyed to discover that the zip has a super soft backing material, protecting my chin when I bury it into the high neck in times of icy wind.
My only small niggle is there are no thumb loops, which would help keep it in place when putting on a shell, and keep my wrists warm although this is not a deal breaker.
Pockets and Storage:
The zipped hand pockets are easily accessible when wearing a backpack and provide a soft space for cold hands. The chest pocket is present (tick!) which is always a welcomed addition; a place for anything that needs a safe spot.
Performance & Breathability:
Mid layer and top layer, The Capacitor Hoody proved to be a reliable mid-weight fleece. It fits effortlessly below a jacket and as a standalone top, the high neck adds extra protection from the wind. Although not the coolest of hoods (I probably wouldn’t wear it up unless I needed it practically) it’s comfortable, fits under a helmet & provides excellent coverage, protecting my ears and even some of my cheeks, and stays in place when Mr Wind picks up.
The breathability of this hoodie is a winning feature, especially for someone who runs hot! At no point did I find myself feeling claustrophobic or suddenly way too hot. And those stretch panels under the arms result in a fleece you can wear day after day (which I have been guilty of) without needing to toss it into the wash, an essential feature for multi day treks.
Aesthetics & Style
Not only is this a great hoody for hikes; I’ve found myself reaching for it at home and on my day to day wanderings, to the shop, down the pub, the sideline of the hockey pitch. If you live in active wear, the slim line fit makes it a flattering casual layer.
I went for the ‘Patriot Blue’ colour which I won’t lie, has sparked debate: is it purple or is it blue? Most votes did go to the Blue although I’m still not totally convinced.
The Capacitor Hoody is made from recycled brushed fleece and has greater than 50% recycled materials. The impact of clothing on the environment tends to stay at the forefront of my mind. Granted it’s hard to be fully environmentally friendly when buying new clothes so it’s a relief to know Rab have a pledge to be net-zero by 2030. Supporting companies like Rab is hopefully a step in the right direction.
I am pretty much in love The Rab Capacitor Hoodie, it’s is a welcome addition to my hikes and my wardrobe. It’s a reliable mid layer for the colder days and a stand-alone fleece for those warmer occasions. The breathability and flexibility it offers is unlike any fleece I’ve tried before, I’m looking forward to scrambling up some mountains to put its stretchiness to the test!