VOORMI River Run Hoody Review
Cons: Not very durable, breathability could be better, expensive
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VOORMI River Run Hoody
|Price||$129 List||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Attractive-looking, wool blend is unique, good lifestyle piece, comfortable||Off-trail style, dobbyweave fabric wears well, ideal length, good overall sun protection||Great value, lightweight, very breathable, looks good off-trail, excellent comfort||Very stretchy, comfortable, minimal, versatile||Inexpensive, bombproof, great coverage and sun protection|
|Cons||Not very durable, breathability could be better, expensive||Tight in the yoke, expensive, not as breathable as some competitors||Only UPF 40, doesn't pack as well as others, difficult sleeve-capture tabs||Lacks thumb loops, under the neck button/zipper, and pockets||Durability 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 there||Comfortable with a great balance of features and functionality, this shirt is great on and off-trail||Good-looking and a great value, this shirt floats around the torso and has a smart selection of features||A lightweight, stretchy, and simple hooded sun shirt that will fit in with most any activity||A 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%)|
|Sun Protection (25%)|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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