Kari Traa Rothe Fleece Hoodie - Women's Review
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Kari Traa Rothe Fleece Hoodie - Women's
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|Pros||Very cozy, warm, oversized fit is relaxing to wear, comfy kangaroo pocket, hood drawstring, unique side ventilation||Soft interior, pockets are high enough for hip belts, robust wind guards on zippers, easy to layer||Very stretchy, comfortable thumbholes, extended coverage, packable, very breathable, great warmth-to-weight ratio||Instantly cozy, soft and fluffy, affordable, lots of color options||Warm thumbholes, easier layering, solid coverage, good breathability|
|Cons||Not a great performance piece, bulky and difficult to layer over, no secure pockets||Shorter torso and sleeves, less stretchy, stiff zippers and wind guard make hood awkward||Chest pocket looks bad, oddly long cut, light colors are see through||No pockets, challenging to layer, not breathable, less wind resistant||Less stretchy, cuffs are slightly scratchy, hood is an odd fit|
|Bottom Line||An oversized fit adds relaxation vibes we can sleep in, with fluffiness inside and out and wide sweatshirt cuffs||A simple and lightweight sweatshirt-like jacket that's comfortable to wear, if lacking in a few details||This lightweight fleece features good technical performance and coverage, a great warmth-to-weight ratio, and a reasonable price||A simple pullover with a classic design that's cozy, relaxed, easy to love, and affordable||A lightweight hoody with comfortable thumbholes, good breathability, and ease of layering|
|Rating Categories||Kari Traa Rothe Hoodie||The North Face Cany...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Columbia Benton Spr...||Mountain Hardwear S...|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Specs||Kari Traa Rothe Hoodie||The North Face Cany...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Columbia Benton Spr...||Mountain Hardwear S...|
|Main Material||Polyester||96% recycled polyester, 4% elastane||94% polyester, 6% spandex||Polyester||Polyester|
|Cuff Construction||Elastic sweatshirt cuff||Elastic cuff||Same fabric as jacket||Elastic cuff||Elastic band|
|Weight||14.1 oz||10.6 oz||8.9 oz||10.4 oz||11.5 oz|
|Number of Pockets||1 passthrough||2 hand||1 chest||None||2 hand|
|Features||2 side zips for easy on/off, drawstring hood, chin guard||Chin guard, elastic hood hem, full length wind guard||Thumbholes, flat seam construction, UPF 30, moisture wicking, off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, chin guard||Comfort stretch, extended collar||Thumb holes, chin guard, elastic hood hem, off-shoulder seams|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kari Traa Rothe Hoodie is a midweight polyester pullover with a quarter zip and a hood. It features a single passthrough kangaroo pocket, elastic sweatshirt cuffs, two ventilating side zips, a hood drawstring, and a chin guard.
The Rothe is a thickly warm pullover with fuzz both inside and out, creating that feeling of instant warmth and helping to add sustained warmth. The quarter zip has a fleece wind guard behind it — though the side ventilation zips do not. Drawstrings allow you to cinch the loose-fitting hood against the cold. Wide sweatshirt-style elastic cuffs warm our wrists very effectively. The fabric does a reasonable job against light breezes. The only weak point in this jacket is its fairly open waist hem.
The Rothe 's soft fabric and loose fit are a major part of what makes this fleece comfortable to wear. The signature elastic cuffs are snug but not tight and lay very pleasantly on our wrists. Even with its oversized build, the Rothe is quite stretchy, allowing it to be more accommodating of varying body shapes than most others. A single passthrough pocket is made of the same material as the jacket. It's several inches deep and we had no issues with it holding our phone through a lazy weekend at home, but there are no zipper- or snap-secured pockets on this fleece.
The Rothe isn't a particularly element-resistant hoody. Like most fleeces we tested, water easily soaks into the fabric and will eventually transfer to your clothing underneath. It does slightly better against wind, but the loose-fitting waist hem is a weak point. The size Small we tested weighs 14.1 ounces — one of the heaviest models in our lineup. It's also one of the bulkiest. We prefer to wear the Rothe around the house than to try to travel with it.
Two prominent zippers on the sides of the torso allow for extensive ventilation of about the bottom 7 inches. The hood is well-balanced, easily allowing us to fully unzip the chest for additional airflow. The loose-fitting hem again comes in handy for breathability, but the wide elastic cuffs keep the sleeves from being very breathable. Their snug fit also makes them challenging (though comfortable) to wear pulled very far up our forearms. And the thick warm fabric itself just isn't all that breathable. It does a solid job mitigating its warmth, but still isn't a model we want to wear on a hike, let alone a long run.
While this oversized pullover easily fits over just about every base layer, it's difficult to layer anything over the top of it. Unless your parka is also oversized, this bulky, loose-fitting fleece isn't an ideal midlayer.
Should You Buy the Kari Traa Rothe?
If you're in the market for a very casual fleece to snuggle up in at home, the relatively low price tag (for this lineup) of the Kari Traa Rothe makes it a solid choice. It's one of the only fleece jackets we enjoyed sleeping in and a go-to layer for a case of the cold weather sniffles. If you're hoping to go hiking in your new fleece or integrate it into your layering system, the Rothe is not the right choice.
What Other Fleece Jacket Should You Consider?
When we wanted a fleece to wear while lounging around and not doing much, we reached for the Rothe. The Patagonia Synchilla is a similarly relaxed, cozy model without a hood that we also love to hang out in. But when we wanted a jacket that was exceptionally cozy and warm, built for outdoor adventuring and relaxing at home, and easy to layer, the Ar'cteryx Kyanite had our backs.
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