The problem with most mountain bike clothing is that it only looks cool on the bike. Step off, and you immediately look like a dork. You’re familiar with this dilemma, right?
A notable exception to that rule is the Shower’s Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie, a new piece from the brand that I’ve been obsessively wearing for the last six weeks. Yes, it’s cute, comfortable and functional on the bike, but it really shines off the bike.
With a pair of jeans and some earrings, I’ve been sporting the Basecamp around town at a ladies coaching evening, at the brewery, and on long walks. It’s rare for me to get so much use out of a top and I’d highly recommend this hoodie to anybody who wants to get a little extra bang for their buck with a piece they can wear on and off the bike.
Review In A Nutshell
- Merino stays warm and dry
- Stink free
- Very soft, not scratchy
- Packs up small
- Merino is pricey
- Hood doesn’t fit over helmet
Price & Where To Buy:
- $135 at ShowersPass.com*
Merino Is The Ideal Outdoor Fabric
Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly sold on merino. In fact, I’ve been slowly converting pretty much all my bike pieces to merino including socks and sports bras.
Why? Because merino stays dry and warm. Sweat, rain, you name it, you’ll stay comfortable in merino.
Secondly, it doesn’t stink. Synthetic materials start to smell pretty quickly, whereas I can wear the same merino piece for several days on a bikepacking trip without ever turning stanky.
Midweight Works Well For All Seasons
Shower’s Pass advertises this as an all-season top. That may be true. I can definitely see throwing this on in camp on cool summer mornings while I drink coffee.
As a riding top though, I’d call it a three season hoody. It’s warm but midweight. For me, it’s worked well in 40 degree weather by itself, and under my jacket for true winter riding.
The fabric is crazy soft and cozy. I’ve been wearing it directly against my skin without anything underneath. It’s not scratchy at all.
The Basecamp is as cozy as a traditional cotton hoody but nowhere near as bulky. I was able to cram it in my hip pack half way thru my ride, and it would work well in a carry on for a travel piece as well.
Runs True To Size
The Basecamp Hoodie comes in XS to XXL and Shower’s Pass offers a size chart to help you get the correct fit. I found that it ran true to size.
For reference, I weigh 125 lbs, am a size 6. This would have put me at a size small but I chose the size Medium to fit a little looser. Which it did, and I personally liked that fit. A size small would have been a tighter, but still functional fit.
Hoodie and Pocket Make Things Extra Cozy
It’s still winter in Idaho, and while I can get away with riding with only Bascamp on top during warmer rides, by the time I get to the trailhead I’m chilled. On a recent ride, my hair was wet and I was appreciative of the hood as I drove home.
The one thing of note is that the hood does NOT fit over your helmet, so to get it on or off during a ride I had to remove my helmet. Not a big deal, but not as convenient as my Club Ride Sevvy hoody, for example.
There’s also a front zippered pocket. While I didn’t use it much, it did add to the cozy feeling. You could also stash some cash or even a bar in there if you wanted to use it for storage.
No Shrinkage / Washing
Did I mention that I’ve been wearing this hoodie a bunch? Like a couple times a week.
So I’ve also done my fair share of washing it. Thus far, I haven’t noticed any shrinking, mis-shaping, fading or piling.
I have also been throwing it in the dryer (on low heat). This is something that Shower’s Pass advises against. You’re supposed to lay it flat to dry. This could affect the longevity of the piece, but thus far it hasn’t caused any problems for me.
Pricey Only When Compared To Synthetics
The only real drawback to the Shower’s Pass Basecamp Hoodie is the price. At $135, it’s definitely not cheap.
That said, it’s only expensive when compared to synthetic tops. Compared to other merino tops, it’s competitively priced. And given the long term durability of merino, and the versatility of this hoodie, I’d say it’s well worth the investment.
Bottom-Line: An Attractive Top For Use On The Bike Or Around Town
I’ve reviewed a bunch of Merino tops, but this has got to be my favorite hands-down. It’s beautiful, comfortable, and I don’t think twice about wearing it off the bike as well as on.
If you’re in the market for some additional merino pieces, I’d highly recommend the Shower’s Pass Basecamp Hoodie.