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Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody - Women's Review

A breathable hooded model that stays put while you move and doesn't have thumbholes
Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody - Women's
Photo: Black Diamond
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Price:  $85 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable cuffs, breathable fabric, hood fits comfortably under a helmet, zippered hip pocket, odor resistant
Cons:  Odd seam in middle of neck, tight band at bottom of torso, hip pocket bulges, no thumb holes
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 11, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 15
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 8
  • Sun Protection - 25% 7
  • Breathability - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody is a comfortable and breathable shirt that is a natural choice for neck coverage in hot weather. Though this shirt has no thumbholes, its sleeves are long and provide comfortable partial hand protection. Clever seam placement in the armpits allows for the comfortable range of motion you'd want for activities like climbing and paddling, while a wide band around the bottom helps it stay put no matter what you decide to do. Perhaps not the most stylish of all the sun shirts we reviewed, this shirt is still a useful choice for an active lifestyle.

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Pros Comfortable cuffs, breathable fabric, hood fits comfortably under a helmet, zippered hip pocket, odor resistantIncredibly lightweight, very breathable, great coverage, super stretchySuper lightweight, built in hand covers, extremely breathable, ponytail hole in hoodVery comfortable, good construction, hides dirt well, impressively soft, cute natural colorsVersatile cut, soft, solid coverage, tons of colors, inexpensive
Cons Odd seam in middle of neck, tight band at bottom of torso, hip pocket bulges, no thumb holesGets dirty easily, too stretchy to keep heavy items in the pocketSnags easily, very low UPFFew color choices, small hood, sleeves a bit shortStinks easily, unimpressive durability, sleeves are short
Bottom Line A breathable hooded model that stays put while you move and doesn't have thumbholesA really useful sun shirt that's a great choice for just about any sunny activityA super breathable shirt with handy functions that keeps you both warm AND coolA great everyday hooded sun shirt that's perfect for anyone who doesn't want thumbholesAn inexpensive but solid option for casual activity
Rating Categories Black Diamond Alpen... Mountain Hardwear C... Outdoor Research Ec... Patagonia Capilene... Baleaf UPF 50 Crew...
Comfort And Fit (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Sun Protection (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Breathability (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Specs Black Diamond Alpen... Mountain Hardwear C... Outdoor Research Ec... Patagonia Capilene... Baleaf UPF 50 Crew...
Sun Protection Level (UPF) 50+ 50+ 15 50+ 50+
Coverage Long sleeve, hood Long sleeve, hood, thumb holes Long sleeve, hood, hand cuffs Long sleeve, hood Long sleeve, crew neck
Features Zippered pocket Extra large hood, draw string at waist, hip pocket (zipper) Fold-over mitt cuffs, ponytail hole in hood None Flat shoulder seams
Fit Relaxed fit Standard fit Trim fit Regular fit Relaxed fit
Material 87% polyester 13% elastane 88% polyester 12% elastane 100% polyester 100% polyester (50% recycled) 100% polyester
Odor Control? Yes No Yes Yes No
Available Sizes XS - XL XS - XL XXS - XL XXS - XL S - 2XL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Alpenglow Hoody is a lightweight, breathable sun shirt made of Black Diamond's Wick-It fabric. It boasts a UPF rating of 50+ and features a hood and tighter bottom hem to help hold it in place.

Performance Comparison


We love how we feel wearing the super cozy Alpenglow Hoody.
We love how we feel wearing the super cozy Alpenglow Hoody.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort and Fit


Rather than a feminine cut, the Alpenglow wears like your favorite sweatshirt. A wide cuff around the bottom hem of the torso and on your hands and wrists provides coziness and comfort, while the hood feels much like your well-worn hoody you can never quite get rid of. What this fit may lack in style and class, it makes up for by staying put through just about anything you might do while wearing it. The zippered hip pocket is useful, though sewn in a bit awkwardly, creating a small lump over the hip. It's not noticeable unless you're looking for it, but it's there. The fabric is soft and stretchy while still breathable and pleasant to wear or even sleep in. Active cut flat-stitched seams avoid running directly through your armpits, making the Alpenglow an exceptional choice for activities with extensive arm movements, like climbing or paddling.

Flat stitched hems help this long-sleeved hoody be comfortable to...
Flat stitched hems help this long-sleeved hoody be comfortable to wear - even better, Black Diamond has removed them from the armpits to let you be active and play all day.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Sun Protection


Just like most of the tops we tested, the Alpenglow has a high UPF rating of 50+. Combined with a hood that boasts a high neckline in front, this shirt offers excellent protection from the sun. The lack of thumbholes may at first seem a detriment to its protection, but the sleeves are long enough to keep a good chunk of the backs of your hands covered without the nuisance of looping your thumbs through them.

A higher cut neck help this hood be more protective no matter if its...
A higher cut neck help this hood be more protective no matter if its up or down.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Breathability


Though the fitted cuffs around the hem and sleeve ends stifle airflow that many other models make use of, the fabric itself combats this warming effect. It's thin and fits in a relaxed way that helps the breeze find its way through to cool your body. It also does a good job wicking moisture away from your skin and drying quickly, further helping you stay cool.

The fabric itself is thin, lightweight, and impressively breathable.
The fabric itself is thin, lightweight, and impressively breathable.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


Because of its bottom torso cuff, our reviewers feel the Alpenglow has a similar style to a thin sweatshirt. Though this fit isn't perhaps the most fashionable, it does help it to stay put through inverted activities — we happily wore it doing cartwheels, headstands, and yoga in the park. Because of its style, it's perhaps less versatile across social situations. However, its active fit and features, ability to stay put, and impressive level of breathability and odor resistance make it a great option for just about any active endeavor we can think of.

From trail runs to afternoons at the park, the Alpenglow helps us...
From trail runs to afternoons at the park, the Alpenglow helps us stay active and protected.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


Fully reinforced flat seams all over this shirt help it to be fairly durable (and comfortable). The fabric has a kind of dimpled appearance when you look very closely, and we did find a few tiny snags in it by the end of our several-month testing period. None of them seemed particularly large or damaging to the overall structural integrity of the shirt, though, and we put it through quite a lot. If you're planning to slide through rough granite crevices, you may run into some issues, but we think you'd be hard-pressed to find a shirt this breathable that can withstand that level of abuse. Black Diamond has also treated the fabric of this sun shirt to be odor resistant. While in some past versions, we found this to be ineffective, our latest tests prove much more promising — we couldn't smell anything untoward, even after running seven miles on rocky trails in the midday sun and letting the shirt dry overnight.

Though they seem purely cosmetic, we did pick up a few tiny snags in...
Though they seem purely cosmetic, we did pick up a few tiny snags in the fabric during testing.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Features


The Alpenglow Hoody has a small zippered hip pocket on the back of the right hip. It's about the right size for a few credit cards and a tube of chapstick. It also has a higher neck front than most others we tested, offering additional protection and staying power to the hood.

We appreciate attention to detail like flat-stiched seams, strongly...
We appreciate attention to detail like flat-stiched seams, strongly reinforced.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


This is one of the more expensive sun shirts we reviewed, but if you're after a sun shirt with great protection and staying power, comfortable enough to wear for days in a row, and sleep in every night, this is the one we would choose.

Conclusion


The Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody is a solid option for anyone looking for an active sun shirt with a hood. The underarm detail allows for a comfortable range of motion, and the lightweight material is breathable while wicking moisture away from the skin. If you're impartial about thumb holes but really want that hood and added range of motion from the underarm seam placement, we'd recommend checking this shirt out.

Stay comfy and protected on any adventure in the Alpenglow Hoody.
Stay comfy and protected on any adventure in the Alpenglow Hoody.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg

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