Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gear Closet: Polarmax PMX Hoodie Base Layers

If you take a look at the weather map across the U.S. at the moment, you might think that winter has arrived early. Cold temperatures and plenty of snow have fallen across sections of the country, and while it isn't likely to last, we all know the season isn't far off. But for most of us the arrival of winter doesn't mean the end of our outdoor adventures, it merely opens the door to some new ones. With the proper gear, we can still enjoy our favorite activities no matter how cold, windy or snowy it gets.

One of the best ways to stay warm during the winter is to invest in a good layering system When you mix a good base layer with fleece and an outer shell, you have a versatile set of clothing that will protect you from even the most inclement weather. For me, the best layering systems always start with good base layers, which are tasked with keeping us comfortable by wicking moisture away from the skin. These layers come in a variety of weights that are designed to get heavier as the temperature drops.

Some of my favorite base layers come from Polarmax, a company whose vary name implies that that their gear is designed for cold weather adventrues. I've written about some of their base layers in the past and came away very impressed with their performance. In fact, I carried them with me on a winter trip to Yellowstone National Park a few years back and even though temperatures dropped to as cold as -15ºF/-26ºC, they kept me warm and dry for the entire trip.

Recently I added the Polarmax PMX Hoodie to my closet and it has only increased my already high opinion of the company's gear. Made from Polarmax's warmest fabrics, the hoodie is lined with super-soft fleece on the inside and tech material on the out. It performs flawlessly in cold weather keeping you warm and dry even when you're taking part in some of the most aerobic activities possible, such as cross country skiing or snowshoeing. It even looks great when worn on its own, which isn't always the case with heavier base layers.


I particularly appreciate the athletic cut on this garment, which is designed to be form fitting without restricting movement. Cold weather runners will love how the PMX Hoodie feels on those long workouts and skiers and snowboarders will enjoy its comfort as much as they'll like its good looks when hanging out at the lodge. Warm, yet still lightweight, this is the kind of high performance base layer that you'll want with you while climbing, trekking or backpacking in cold climes.

As you can probably guess from the name, and photo above, this base layer comes with a built in hood. This helps add an extra dimension to the warmth that it provides and while running in cool, rainy and windy conditions, I've been happy to have it. But while it is made of the same stretchy material has the rest of the shirt, it doesn't quite fit well over all helmets. That could lessen its usefulness for some activities, but for the most part, it is nice to have the hood.

Durable and affordable, the PMX Hoodie cost just $69.95, this is a base layer that is built to be used. With the with the winter looming ahead, I'm sure I'll find plenty of excuses to break it out on a regular basis and if you have one in your gear closet, I suspect you will too.

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