Do have a little perusal of my review of the very fetching Arc’teryx Epsilon hoodie (£150), a versatile, breathable softshell layer that’s ready for all your springtime shenanigans.
Product description: “Provides moderate warmth as a midlayer and functions as a standalone piece for cool weather activities. Polyester grid fleece is bonded to stretch woven nylon face fabric to create a material that offers light, breathable insulation, effective moisture management, protection from wind and drizzle and superior stretch performance. The fit is clean and streamlined, and the helmet compatible StormHood™ adds protection and warmth.”
Facing the elements: The Epsilon is perfect as an outer layer on warm days or under a thicker jacket come autumn. It’s definitely too slim to fit a jumper underneath – pop it over a thermal cotton top, instead. It’s water resistant in downpours, too – rain beads up and slides off a treat. I’ve been wearing it when cycling, and the helmet-compatible hood and adjustable hem and hood keep wind and rain at bay. There’s beautiful attention to detail, on everything from the slim, flattering fit to the zipped sleeve pocket, perfect for stashing money and keys when trail running (or even for a ski pass if it’s warm on the slopes).
Bouldering: Ideal as a coverup when you’re warming up or down, the Epsilon hoodie is breathable, light and comfy to wear. It’s also super simple to keep clean after a day grappling with dirt and rocks – mud wipes off well and you can bung it in the washing machine. The only real issue I had was with the pesky long sleeves, which are quite restrictive and tough to roll up. It’s also too thin to keep you warm if you’re not doing something active – layer another jacket over the top to keep body warmth in when you’re resting.
Verdict: A beautifully fitted, lightweight and waterproof mid layer that’ll see you happily through rain or shine, whatever adventures you’ve got planned. Hefty on the pocket at £150, but worth the investment if you’re planning an active summer.