GEAR | Smartwool Women’s Active Ultralite Hoodie – Review

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I’m a big fan of Merino wool clothing, and when hiking, I will only wear merino socks. In terms of base layers too, nothing beats Merino and the Ultralite hoodie from Smartwool is a super versatile bit of active outdoor clothing. Read on for our full review.

Smartwool Women's Active Ultralite Hoodie - Review

What is it?

Smartwool Women’s Active Ultralite Hoodie £79.99

Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)



  • Ultra-lightweight, super-soft, blended Merino and TENCEL™ 53% Merino Wool, 47% Lyocell
  • Drop tail hem
  • Odour-resistant
  • Regular fit
  • Sizes XS (UK 2) to XL (UK 16-18)
  • Colours ultra violet or black

I’m currently a size 16-18 and the XL was the perfect fit for me as I’m not a fan of clothing that hugs my squidgy bits. Worn frequently during a recent road trip to the Isle of Mull and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the early April weather in Scotland provided the perfect opportunity to put the hoodie through its paces.

Firstly, let’s talk about the colour. There are a lot of mixed opinions in the outdoor community, with some women hating pretty or ‘girly’ colours and preferring standard or neutral colour palettes in outdoor gear, then there are those of us who enjoy dressing colourfully, and so outdoor gear being available in bright or bold colours is regarded as a positive.

Smartwool Women's Active Ultralite Hoodie - Review

I chose the gorgeous Ultra Violet colour because I adore bright or cute colours, and knew it would pair brilliantly with my lilac Keen hiking boots. The hoodie is exceptionally thin and light so it’s ideal for traveling as it takes up next to no space.

From a practical point of view, I was as comfortable wearing this hoodie on a short run as I was for hiking and generally exploring. As I already have Smartwool hiking socks and a fantastic Smartwool vest top that’s great for layering on chilly days, I found the Tencel and Merino mix in this top worked perfectly in terms of comfort and performance.

After a full day out and about in the hoodie, I took it off in the evening and gave the armpits a sniff and they were wonderfully pong-free, which meant I happily wore it another two times before I felt I needed to wash it.

It washed exceptionally well, and with it being so thin, it dries super fast too. Despite it being thin, after a chilly 6°C swim, putting it back on afterwards warmed me up considerably.

The top is quite see-through however, so anything worn underneath will show through a little and in the shot of me on the beach above, you can see the blue and white pattern of my long-sleeved spring surf suit underneath.

The verdict

Our Rating

Fit 5/5

Practicality 4.5/5

Looks 5/5

Value 4/5

Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Although I wouldn’t wear it on its own on a cold day as I might a regular hoodie, it’s a fantastic, versatile base layer and it’s also great when layered on top of something else on a warmer spring day and is best paired with a sports bra or vest top underneath.

This is an excellent top that I’d regard more as a long-sleeved t-shirt that’s styled like a hoodie, and it is perfect for almost any outdoor activity.

DISCLOSURE | Thank you to Smartwool who supplied the featured product to us to test. We were not paid to write this review.

Where to next?

Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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