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Patagonia’s Capilene Air Hoody Is Your Spring Base Layer Staple

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A do-it-all layer for shoulder season adventure.

Materials: 51% Merino Wool and 49% Recycled Polyester

Price: $$74.50 – $149

Weight: 196 g (6.9 oz) (Men’s Medium)

Best features: Lightweight, quick-drying, chafe-free and versatile

Room for improvement: Wind-resistance, watch window

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Patagonia’s versatile base-layer provides next to skin comfort and versatile performance in fickle spring weather. The merino wool is silky soft and has a cozy loft to it for a sweater-like feel. This layer performs great on its own, or under a heartier shell for extra protection on particularly blustery days.

The single-kit construction is comfy and chafe-free for long days or speedy intervals. 18.5-micron-gauge yarn provides solid loft without excess weight that regulates temperature exceptionally well even on sunny but cold but somehow also windy spring days in the mountains. Extra elastic in the cuffs and hem hold the garment in place when you’re really hustling.

My favorite feature is the high collar and hood that’s constructed like a performance Balaklava. The weightless knit means the hood doesn’t bounce or pull the sweater when you’re not wearing it and is barely noticeable at all. When the wind packs a punch, the fitted hood goes well over chill ears and cinches around the chin for a comfortable fit even when running. The anatomical shaping provides a precision fit and makes the hood a welcome addition rather than dead-weight.

For windy days, a shell fits great over the hoody’s slim construction. While this apparel is warm and cozy on the move, it doesn’t cut down on wind, so if you’re sensitive to a chilly breeze, throw on a shell.

This hoody is almost half made of recycled materials, giving it a huge sustainability boost. Even after many washes and wears, the Capilene Air Hoody holds its shape thanks to the seamless 3D construction that cuts back on less-durable seams.

This hoody is an essential do-everything layer for spring runs and adventures when the weather is fickle. Its versatility and durability make it a shoulder-season staple in this gear tester’s wardrobe.

Zoë Rom is Assistant Editor at Trail Runner and host of the DNF Podcast. She enjoys podcasts, pizza and supporting women. You can follow her trail running adventures on Instagram @carrot_flowers_z