Eddie Bauer First Ascent Hangfire Hoodie Review
Chilly winter runs don’t stand a chance with the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Hangfire Hoodie! That’s right, I said Eddie Bauer. I know, when you hear Eddie Bauer you think of Ford Explorers and flannel, but this is not the 1995 Eddie Bauer of yesteryear – this is one serious performance hoodie that has made me look twice at the Eddie Bauer First Ascent brand, and you should too.
Fabric and Function
The Hangfire Hoodie is made of brushed polyester fleece on the main body, and a polyester/spandex blend on the side panels. This fabric blend is designed to keep you plenty warm and to be able to wick away moisture. The polyester/spandex side panels are designed to release some heat, so that the hoodie overall feels breathable, and provides a little more flexibility in fit. The inside of the Hangfire Hoodie feels soft and warm much like typical fleece, and the exterior feels soft, yet durable.
After initially trying on the Hangfire Hoodie and feeling how warm it really was, I decided to only use it on runs cooler than 25 degrees, for fear it would be too warm. It performed exactly as it stated it would. I’m not an excessive sweater (unless running in Houston in July), but I do sweat enough to appreciate a good technical fabric. The Hangfire Hoodie kept me perfectly dry, and as a result, kept me consistently warm throughout my run. This is actually pretty rare for me, as most running jackets keep me initially warm and dry, but if out on a long run (>2 hours), the build up of sweat can actually leave you freezing by the end. This was not the story for the Hangfire Hoodie – in part from the fabric and breathability, but also largely in part to the fit.
Hangfire Hoodie Features
The Hangfire Hoodie also features a hood. I’m not a big fan of hoods while running, but I did try it – well, I found myself on a windy, cold run with snow coming down pretty good, so I opted for the hood. My usual complaint with hoods is that they are too tight and pull the rest of the jacket, and this was surprisingly not the case with Hangfire Hoodie. The hood is deep (for lack of a better term) in that is does provide some coverage of your face as well – which I did appreciate.
There are also two, zippered pockets on the front, and a zippered breast pocket. Each pocket was sizeable – you could carry a cell phone, keys, gel, tissues, gloves, etc. I have now washed the jacket twice, and the fabric has held up beautifully – no pilling or fading. Unlike some running jackets that claim to wick away moisture (just to retain your sweat somewhere in its fibers for all eternity) it smells just as good as when I got it!
Size and Fit
The Hangfire Hoodie is sold as a “mid layer” on the Eddie Bauer website – made to fit over a base layer and to have additional layers placed over it. For running, I think it works best as your main jacket. The fit to me was kind of like Goldilocks – (I have kids, go easy!) not too tight, not too loose, but just right! And remember those spandex side panels for breathability? Well, they actually give a nice overall shape to the hoodie, and even when you are out there in the cold and dark pounding the pavement on a tempo run, you want to be comfortable AND look cute, right?
Overall I am very impressed with the Hangfire Hoodie, and also with Eddie Bauer – this is not what I expected at all! I will definitely be checking out their website for other gear.
The Hangfire Hoodie is offered at $109.99 in sizes XS through XL and in two colors: mint (more of a teal), and vibrant purple.