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VOORMI River Run Hoody Review

Wear this shirt to make yourself look good, but it's not the most durable or protective hooded sun shirt out there
VOORMI River Run Hoody
Photo: Voormi
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Price:  $129 List
Pros:  Attractive-looking, wool blend is unique, good lifestyle piece, comfortable
Cons:  Not very durable, breathability could be better, expensive
Manufacturer:   Voormi
By Justin Simoni ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 11, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 9
  • Sun Protection - 25% 5
  • Breathability - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 4

Our Verdict

A sensationally comfortable and attractive casual lifestyle piece, The VOORMI River Run Hoody is a great all-day hooded sun shirt for low-intensity activities. It stands out simply because it's the only shirt we've tested that's made of a 52% wool, 48% polyester blend, rather than being 100% polyester. As sumptuous as it is, this comes at the cost of durability: this shirt's fabric is easily damaged because wool shrinks when mistreated. That said, if you're willing to baby this pricey shirt and you adore the idea of having a less synthetic option that's really comfy, check out the River Run.

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Pros Attractive-looking, wool blend is unique, good lifestyle piece, comfortableOff-trail style, dobbyweave fabric wears well, ideal length, good overall sun protectionGreat value, lightweight, very breathable, looks good off-trail, excellent comfortVery stretchy, comfortable, minimal, versatileInexpensive, bombproof, great coverage and sun protection
Cons Not very durable, breathability could be better, expensiveTight in the yoke, expensive, not as breathable as some competitorsOnly UPF 40, doesn't pack as well as others, difficult sleeve-capture tabsLacks thumb loops, under the neck button/zipper, and pocketsDurability comes at the cost of breathability, heavier than other hooded sunshirts
Bottom Line Wear this shirt to make yourself look good, but it's not the most durable or protective hooded sun shirt out thereComfortable with a great balance of features and functionality, this shirt is great on and off-trailGood-looking and a great value, this shirt floats around the torso and has a smart selection of featuresA lightweight, stretchy, and simple hooded sun shirt that will fit in with most any activityA great journeyman sun shirt, packing value that anyone can easily justify
Rating Categories VOORMI River Run Hoody Canyon Long Sleeve Columbia Silver Rid... Black Diamond Alpen... Baleaf UPF 50 Hoody
Comfort And Fit (30%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Sun Protection (25%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Breathability (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
4.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Specs VOORMI River Run Hoody Canyon Long Sleeve Columbia Silver Rid... Black Diamond Alpen... Baleaf UPF 50 Hoody
Sun Protection Level (UPF) 30 50 40 50+ 50+
Coverage Long sleeve, hood, thumb loops Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, hood Long sleeve, hood
Features Hood, merino wool material Roll-up sleeves, zip pockets Roll-up sleeves, anit-microbial treated fabric Stretchy, under-helmet hood Large hood for added protection
Fit Regular Regular Regular Technical fit Relaxed
Material DUAL SURFACE UL Precision Blended Wool, 100 g/m2 Polyester dobby fabric Omni-Wick Ripstop 100% polyester Polyester Stretch Textured Knit (87% Polyester 13% Elastane) 100% Polyester
Odor Control? No No Antimicrobial treatment Polygiene No
Available SIzes S-XXL S-XXL S-XXL S - XL S-3XL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The biggest strength of the River Run is just how plush and cozy it feels while wearing. A medium-sized fit our 5'11" athletically-built tester perfectly and complemented his body well. But its utility as a sun shirt is somewhat hindered because the 52% wool, 48% polyester blend warmed us up quickly, causing perspiration — and that perspiration noticeably darkened the fabric. The fabric itself is also less durable than many other sun shirts we've tested, giving us pause to recommend it for activities ranging from hiking to fishing or even for travel where temperatures can warm up.

Performance Comparison


The River Run works well in sunny, high altitude, cooler settings...
The River Run works well in sunny, high altitude, cooler settings. It has similar qualities to a light thermal layer and is comfy enough to sleep in.
Photo: Justin Simoni

Comfort and Fit


The River Run is a handsome-looking shirt, hands down. The fit is a little more athletic than most, but we'd still consider it a similar cut to other hooded sun shirts we've tested. The sleeves are a bit more constricted — to the point that rolling them up over our elbows wasn't possible. Thumb loops at the end of the sleeves help with keeping them in place but don't do much to facilitate covering your hands more than without wearing them, which is a big difference from every other thumb loop-equipped sun shirt we've tested. The hood is generously sized to cover as much of your head as you'd like or to wear under/over a helmet.

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Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The shirt's seam length is also on the shorter side by an inch or two when compared to other sun shirts in this review. All these little tweaks make the River Run complement the wearer's body a little better than a looser fit, but they also impact its breathability.

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Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The River Run is made from a 52% wool/48% polyester fabric blend. This is the real standout that makes this sun shirt unique from all the others we've tested. If you prefer the feeling of wool over polyester, you'll love the feeling of wearing this shirt. Although for those that perspire easily, using wool during high-intensity activities in very sunny/warm/humid conditions raises questions.

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Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Sun Protection


The soft and comfy fabric also has a visibly more relaxed knit than any other shirt we've tested, and its UPF rating of 30 reflects that. The thumb loops are extremely minimal and don't help with extending the sleeves of the River Run past the wrist to cover up your hands. The hood is large and usable with or without a helmet. A simple button by the neck is very welcome, as it helps protect the neck from exposure and also helps keep the hood from flying off your head if things get windy. The overall seam length of the shirt appears to be shorter than other sun shirts we've tested. If you're bending down a lot or have your shirt ride up from wearing a pack, this could contribute to exposure of your lower back to the sun more than you may want.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Breathability


The River Run is made from the airiest material of any shirt we've tested, which we hoped would equate to incredible breathability. But the outcome was a mixed bag. Yes, breezes seem to come through the shirt, but the wool blend of the fabric itself makes it act similarly to a very light thermal base layer by trapping body heat. If you naturally run cold, this could be a blessing. For those that perspire easily, you may not even be able to sit in a slightly warmer than normal room without creating wet areas around your pits.

The VOORMI River Run excels in cool, dry, climates like the Rocky...
The VOORMI River Run excels in cool, dry, climates like the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Photo: Justin Simoni

Versatility


Because of durability issues, it's hard to imagine the River Run in a large spectrum of applications. Any activity where you may snag a sleeve on something — be it hiking, climbing, fishing, or gardening — just won't be the most welcoming application for this sun shirt.

As an all-day travel shirt, it has some potential. The wool blend seems to be naturally funk-immune, but if your travel plans consist of hot and humid locales, the shirt may just visually accentuate your perspiration. The River Run probably finds its best home as a casual lifestyle piece. It looks good, but consider tougher gear for the heavy liftin'.

The River Run Hoody does change color quite pronounceably when wet
The River Run Hoody does change color quite pronounceably when wet
Photo: Justin Simoni

One scenario where we've found that the River Run Hoody absolute shines is in cool, dry climates with a ton of breeze and rarefied air: mountain hikes above treeline in the Rocky Mountains, for example. Covering up to protect from harmful UV rays is crucial when you're up so high, but so is wearing something to take the bite off the chill that's often in the air. The River Run Hoody then becomes the perfect all-day, lightweight hoody.

When packed, the River Run Hoody packs up to the size similar to a...
When packed, the River Run Hoody packs up to the size similar to a Nalgene Bottle
Photo: Justin Simoni

Durability


Durability is the weakest link for the River Run. The stitching is sound, but the wool/polyester blend is easy to damage. Wool does need more care when washing. One of our testers was able to visibly damage the fabric just under normal use.

However, after long-term testing of over a year, we are pleasantly surprised to report that no additional wear can be found on the garment; the stitching is solid, and the fabric shows no signs of new damage. Many finishers of the PCT, CDT, and AT also attest to wearing a River Run from start to finish.

Damage to the River Run's fabric is already very apparent after only...
Damage to the River Run's fabric is already very apparent after only moderate use.
Photo: Nolan Anderson

Features


The 52% wool/48% polyester blend is the most standout feature of this hoody, as it's fairly unique when compared to other sun shirts — unfortunately, at the expense of durability, breathability, and sun protection. On the bright side, the wool blend appears to have a natural ability to ward off stank, far better than any untreated polyester garments, and that's a very welcome feature.

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Click to enlarge

Most of the usual features of a hooded sun shirt are present in the River Run, including a hood, thumb loops, and long sleeves. The thumb loops certainly need work, as they don't necessarily help with covering up the hands. The hood doesn't have a drawstring, but a simple, single-button keeps it in place and your neck covered.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Don't expect any additional pockets or hidden features — the River Run is somewhat minimal, down to its low-key logo. We can appreciate the minimal use of logos as it does nothing but make the shirt make a good impression all on its own.

Value


This is one of the most expensive sun shirts we've tested — you can find other options that are almost a tenth of the price. Is the comfort and style of the River Run worth its price tag? It certainly could wear too warm for high-intensity activities and be too delicate for travel. Dry, cool, high country mountain hikes make perfect bedfellows with the River Run Hoody. Or, if you also would like a hooded base layer, this could be a great piece to consider.

Conclusion


As attractive as the VOORMI River Run Hoody is, it falls short at its job as — first and foremost — a sun shirt. Using a wool blend for the material gives it both its best and worst qualities. This shirt could find a great niche for itself in high-altitude, sunny places, with cooler overall temperatures, or where water both reflects the sun's intensity but also keeps the overall temperatures low. We would avoid using this shirt in very humid conditions. If you spend much of your summer on high alpine lakes, for example, this might be your new best friend. If you're trail running in the Appalachian mountains, not so much.

Justin Simoni