Gear Review – The Squak Mountain Co The Swell sun hoodie

Though I’m not as enamored with sun hoodies as many people for hot weather, I’ve found a niche using them for temps hovering around 45F / 7C to about 65F / 18C, from early spring until the cusp of summer and again in early fall.

It’s telling that I grabbed the Montbell sun hoodie quite a bit last spring and again in the early fall.

And when winter occurred in our high desert home, the winter weight Squak Woolie became a favorite piece.

From Joan.

When Utah-based Squak Mountain Co. allowed us to review their sun hoodie, we gladly agreed. We enjoyed their reasonably priced, well-thought-out, and practical clothing.

The Swell Sun Hoodie gets its name from a favorite place where Joan and I could meet up with friends. It has stark but beautiful scenery and a long history of people traveling through it over the generations.

The name-sake clothing seeks to provide sun protection in similar areas where sun protection is a concern.

The Swell – first impressions

The grid-like fabric is very light and almost wispy. The various sizes weigh sub-5 oz / 142 g, making it a light garment indeed. Like grid fleece, the pattern provides more breathability than a solid-fabric style garment.

The initial garment feels comfortable, and the thumb loops fit well and do not feel constrictive.

The scarring is from paddling a few weeks ago, not the thumb hole!

The Squak Swell in the field

As expected, it did feel comfortable, and it breathed well.

Scrambling up to a structure somewhere on the Colorado Plateau. PCO Joan.

On windy days, it did blow through the garment more so than solid-style garments.

On a local hike on Saturday. PCO Joan.

A key for any gear, be it clothing or equipment, is whether I notice it when I use it. If I notice it, be it the fit, the features, or too much futzing, it means the gear does not work for me.

I am pleased to say I did not notice The Swell when I used it—it fit well, felt comfortable, and worked within the parameters I expected sun hoodies to work for me. The thumb holes, in particular, felt very comfortable when I wore them all day.

The hood stayed securely on my hat, did not seem floppy, and provided the sun protection I’d expected. Other sun hoodies I’ve worn have baggier hoods and do not start on as securely.

Overall, it is a well-designed and effective piece of kit.

The downside? During cross-country travel through brushy areas, Joan and I noticed the fabric snags a bit, causing it to pill more than other fabrics.

Joan, always better with her gear than me, plans to use The Swell in the alpine terrain in a couple of months when we head to the mountains. (Expect a review from Joan at that time.)

Joan uses it in less brushy terrain during a local weekend. She’s also a better model than me.

With highs in the mid-70s this weekend, I plan to switch to my button-down shirts again and return to a hoodie in the mountain season.

However, the sub-5oz weight and hood will make it a fine base layer for the cool desert evenings and mornings.

Overall? At $45, The Swell sun hoodie is a comfortable, light, fairly priced, and breathable garment suitable for sun protection in cool to warm weather. I’d be cautious in brushy terrain, but it works particularly well for open terrain.

I’m also looking forward to using it in the mountains this summer. Joan will be writing another mountain-based review later in the year.

Disclosure – Squak provided The Swell sun hoodies for our review.
I signed up for an affiliate program, where I’ll receive a small commission for any purchase you make at no additional cost. You can also use a coupon code to get 15% off your purchase.

Women’s Swell sun hoodie | Men’s Swell sun hoodie – 15% off coupon = PMAGS-SQUAK 

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