First Lite Furnace Hoody Review

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First Lite Furnace Hoody

Nothing beats the comfort of a reliable hoodie, especially when it’s tailor-made for the rigors of hunting like the First Lite Furnace Hoody.

First Lite stands out as a brand dedicated to crafting gear that resonates with hunters, shaped by the experiences of those who truly understand the demands of the pursuit. Originating from a background in winter outdoor apparel, their expertise seamlessly transitioned into the realm of hunting gear. The incorporation of versatile Merino wool marked the inception of a fabric that has since become a staple in many, if not most, of their designs. Evolving with their expanding enterprise, First Lite introduced robust synthetic outer layers to complement their Merino creations. Today, they stand proudly as industry leaders in the hunting gear domain, trusted by a diverse community of hunters engaged in various disciplines.

The timing of my encounter with the First Lite Furnace Hoody couldn’t have been more perfect. While the hunting season in the Colorado Rockies may have drawn to a close, the winter landscape beckons with opportunities for fly fishing, ice fishing, and skiing.

About the First Lite Furnace Hoody

The Furnace Hoody stands out as a versatile midweight layer meticulously designed to serve either as a standalone garment or as a reliable underlayer in chilly conditions. To maximize its adaptability, it is advisable to wear this hoody true to one’s actual size, ensuring a comfortable fit under additional jackets or shells.

MerinoX Technology

True to First Lite’s commitment to quality, the Furnace Hoody is crafted from Merino Wool, utilizing a heavyweight MerinoX fabric with a substantial 350 gsm (grams per square meter). MerinoX employs a blend of Merino wool and spandex, resulting in apparel that not only boasts the natural benefits of Merino but is also more durable and maintains its shape over an extended period compared to traditional Merino products. The MerinoX blend comprises 95% Merino Wool and 5% Spandex.


At the forefront of the Furnace Hoody’s design is a kangaroo pocket wrapping around the midsection for convenient storage. The hood is equipped with two unique snaps, enabling it to be cinched down for added protection against cold winds. Each sleeve features a thumbhole, preventing any undesirable ride-up over the wrists and ensuring the hoody stays securely in place, especially under gloves.

Thumb Holes


While the Furnace Hoody is machine washable, it is recommended to be line dried. Merino and the dryer are not the best of companions, and opting for line drying helps maintain the integrity and longevity of the garment.

Thoughts on the Furnace Hoody

I was skeptical that anything could surpass my trusty old college hoodie in terms of comfort, but the Furnace Hoody not only claimed the throne as my new favorite; it proved to be a superior companion in the great outdoors.



Undoubtedly, the standout feature of the Furnace Hoody is its unparalleled comfort. As a devoted fan of Merino fabrics, I was astounded by the plush softness of the hoody’s interior. Throughout our entire winter fishing trip, it became a constant companion, accompanying me not only during the activities but also on the 14-hour drive to the lake and back. As highlighted in previous reviews of Merino fabric, one of its remarkable attributes is its resistance to odors, a feature that was certainly appreciated during extended wear.


While comfort steals the show, the performance of the Furnace Hoody is equally noteworthy. The 350 gsm MerinoX fabric proves to be a robust and dependable choice, serving as my heaviest Merino layer. It effectively keeps me warm in temperatures below freezing without the need for additional layers. During a particularly windy fishing outing with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, the hoody demonstrated its prowess in blocking the biting wind. While others were chilled to the bone, I remained warm, even shedding my outer layer at one point to marvel at the hoody’s wind-cutting capabilities. It’s this layer that truly kept me fishing when conditions turned harsh. The two snaps on the hood add an extra layer of wind protection.

Windy Fishing!

Cold Morning and Layered Up With the Furnace Hoody

High Energy Activities

For moderate to high-intensity activities in the cold, the Furnace Hoody shines when worn on its own. Whether engaging in cross-country skiing or winter hikes, it strikes a balance between warmth and breathability. It doesn’t lead to overheating during intense moments, and its breathability proves invaluable during uphill climbs. The hoody promises to be an ideal companion for mid-October through late-season hunts, excelling in situations where energy expenditure is high, such as uphill treks in the pre-dawn hours.

The fit of the Furnace Hoody is impeccable. As someone who stands at 5’10” and weighs 170 lbs., the medium size fits me perfectly. If I were to nitpick, my only suggestion would be a few extra inches in length at the bottom. Occasionally, the hoody tends to ride up, and a bit more length would be a welcomed addition. The sleeves are just the right length, and the fit is spot-on, especially when utilizing the thumb holes for added comfort.

Cross Country Skiing

View From the Back

Specs on the First Lite taken Directly From First Lite

  • MSRP $190
  • Comfortable heavy weight Merino-X 350gsm construction
  • Above the pack belt kangaroo pocket
  • Hood with two quiet snaps to create a comfortable Monks Hood Collar to seal in heat and keep wind off the neck.
  • Thumbhole construction sleeve
  • True to size: Purchase your normal size to wear over or under other layers
  • 95% merino / 5% spandex
  • Machine wash, line dry

Final Thoughts on the Furnace Hoody

The First Lite Furnace Hoody has swiftly secured its place among my top-tier layers. The unmatched comfort and plushness of this Merino hoody elevate it to a class of its own. Beyond being simply cozy, it proves to be an exceptional piece of outerwear—providing warmth, breathability, and impressive wind resistance. The Furnace Hoody isn’t just a standalone outerwear piece; it transforms into an outstanding layer under a shell or puffy coat when the elements demand additional protection. This truly multifunctional layer deserves a spot on your shortlist.

The only hiccup? The $190 price tag might make it challenging to indulge in the luxury of owning the Furnace Hoody in all your favorite colors. Nevertheless, for those willing to invest in quality, the performance and versatility of this hoody make it a compelling choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking reliable comfort and functionality. For more info or to check one out for yourself, visit

Bennett Colvin: Bennett Colvin lives in Steamboat, Colorado and is an avid fisherman, hiker, skier, and outdoorsman. Bennett instructs fly fishing and runs youth fly fishing programs. He also is a professional fly tier and ties publicly at fly shops and expos.
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