A hoodie is a true style classic, and while it’s fun to obsess over minute details like whether the eyelets have grommets or how many ounces the French terry fabric weighs, a hoodie is meant to be simply thrown on and then forgotten about. You can fuss over the details, but you can’t lose sight of the fact that, like the best T-shirts, a hoodie is a fundamentally unfussy garment. That’s because it was built with sports in mind, and it happens to be even better for lounging on the couch or a late-night dog walk. In short, the best hoodies must be durable and warm enough for outdoor athletics but cozy enough to do absolutely nothing.
The first hoodie was likely produced by Champion, the brand that still does it best today. Contrary to popular belief, while Champion made the first hoodie, they’re not the brand that invented the sweatshirt. That honor belongs to Russell, another brand that continues churning out some of the best sweats at a very economical price point. Since then, just about every brand has made a variation on this ubiquitous item of clothing. That means that there are many to choose from and a very wide range of price points.
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How To Find The Best Hoodie
Most hoodies are available in basically two styles; fleece and French terry. Fleece and French terry are found on the inside of the sweatshirts, and it’s what makes them warm (and cozy). Fleece is typically made from a cotton/polyester blend, while French terry is often all cotton. Fleece has a soft, fuzzy feel, similar to a plush toy, while French terry is a loopback design that’s very similar to a towel. These details matter when picking out a hoodie because fleece and French terry have different properties. If you’re looking for warmth, fleece has the leg up, while French terry is more breathable and lightweight. Which you find more comfortable will likely come down to personal preference. If you want something even more lightweight, you might consider a jersey hoodie, which is the same kind of material T-shirts are made from.
Fabric weight is also good to know to determine how light or heavyweight a hoodie will be. When you see ounces, that refers to the weight of the fabric per yard. Common weights for hoodies can range from 9 to 18 ounces, though not every brand discloses weight, and what some brands call heavyweight, others might call midweight. In short, what matters is that you find the sweatshirt that’s most comfortable and stylish for you. We’ve picked out some candidates.
1. Todd Snyder x Champion Midweight Popover Hoodie
Todd Snyder first launched his collaboration with Champion nearly a decade ago, and while he’s tweaked things here and there and changed up the colors from time to time, the sweatshirt has essentially stayed the same. It’s sturdy and 100% cotton French terry, and it uses reverse weave to resists shrinkage. It’s more costly than the average hoodie, but it’s thicker and sturdier than the average hoodie, too.
2. Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Hoodie
Nike is known for its high-performance sportswear, but on days when your body needs a rest or when you are craving the comfort of a warm, comfortable and cozy fleece pullover, this is the one for you. Coined as the brand’s constant best-seller, this hoodie is available in a range of colorways and is the ultimate relaxed fit hoodie that can work for anyone regardless of their style or fitness level.
3. Russell Athletic Men’s Dri-Power Pullover Fleece Hoodie
Russell invented the sweatshirt, and they still bring the heat when it comes to sweats. While it’s not the most premium hoodie, it’s an excellent value for a basic by a brand that’s been in the game for a long time. This hoodie comes in just about every color imaginable and costs less than what you probably paid for lunch.
4. Naadam Recycled Cashmere Hoodie
BEST CASHMERE HOODIE
You’ve heard the DTC spiel before, so we’ll keep this one brief. Naadam works directly with herders in Mongolia’s Gobi desert to produce quality, economical and eco-friendly cashmere. This hoodie is made from a blend of recycled cashmere from their own production and virgin cashmere to produce a soft, stylish and sustainable hoodie.
5. Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie Sweatshirt
Champion is undoubtedly one of the founding fathers of the modern-day hoodie. Their hoodies and crewnecks stylishly and affordably dressed kids across the world from the mid-80s to the mid-90s and existed in both popular culture and the world of sports simultaneously. In recent years, we’ve seen an influx in popularity again, and with that, a surge in pricing. While that part low-key sucks, we still love Champion for their wide variety of cozy wear. Pair it with a casual jean jacket and your favorite dad hat to finish the look off right.
6. Gap French Terry Hoodie
Do you want a simple, logo-free, classic fit, 100% cotton hoodie in a perfect heather gray? Do you also not want to spend too much money? The answer is probably yes. This is probably your hoodie. Gap’s been doing sweats for a long time, and this already inexpensive hoodie is even more discounted.
7. Reigning Champ Full Zip Hoodie
BEST FULL ZIP
Reigning Champ might be stepping on Champion’s turf with its name and focus on sweats, but we’d argue there’s room for two champs in the ring. This hoodie is made in Canada from 100% cotton terry and comes in a range of stylish, muted colors. The double YKK zips make it easy to zip the hoodie partially.
8. Fresh Clean Tees Pullover Hoodie
We are big fans of Fresh Clean Tees for their super soft. Tailored tees that always seem to fit in all the right places, and their new pullover addition with kangaroo pockets combines the coziness of fleece with their famous fit to make sure no matter what shape you are in, this hoodie will make you look and feel comfortable.
9. PANGAIA 365 Zipped Hoodie
BEST FOR 365 USE
A hoodie is not just made for cold weather or the weekends but is for all-year-round wearing, so why not invest in something durable even to withstand the ups and downs that your life has to throw at it. This zipped hoodie is called 365 because it is made from 100% organic cotton and can be worn throughout all four seasons. It also comes in the brand’s signature rainbow colors, so you are bound to find one that can seamlessly blend into your current wardrobe.
10. Unbound Merino Kanga Hoodie
BEST FOR TRAVELING
The Kanga is Unbound Merino’s clean, lightweight, and wrinkle-resistant take on the classic, but in UM style, it’s made with your convenience in mind. This hoodie is odor-resistant, temperature regulating, fast-drying, and will keep you feeling cool whether you are traveling away or commuting at home. Also, it’s made from Merino wool; it is breathable and gives off a seriously cool aesthetic.
11. Everlane Track Hoodie
If you’re looking for a no-fuss, go-to everyday hoodie to rock from fall through winter, look no further than the Everlane Track Hoodie. This cool yet cozy cold-weather staple is made for everyday wear. Need to run a couple of errands around town? This is the hoodie to do it in. Are you looking to go on a quick job in cooler weather? This is the hoodie to do it in. Lounging on the couch like the potato you strive to be? This is the hoodie to do it in.
12. Feat Clothing BlanketBlend Hoodie
SPY’S BEST HOODIE OF 2020
We awarded the Feat BlanketBlend Hoodie “Best Hoodie” in our 2020 SPY Man Awards, and the accolade holds up. Why might you ask? This 2020-centric pullover is clad in none other than the style of the year: tie-dye. That’s not all; upon throwing this bad boy on, you’ll notice that it feels like your favorite blanket. There’s genuinely no other hoodie that hit the nail on the head the way this one did.
13. Outdoor Voices All Day Hoodie
BEST FOR BEATING THE HEAT
Let’s set a familiar scene up. You wake up, still confined to your house. You eat breakfast, grab a blanket, turn on the tv and continue to watch Narcos or whatever it is you fell asleep watching last night. Two episodes go by until you realize it’s been a few days since you’ve seen a shower. Relax, we’re all doing it. The least you could do to stay “fresh” is reach for something that won’t leave you sweating through the dog days of summer were almost full-throttle experiences. That’s why we like Outdoor Voices’ CloudKnit Hoodie. It’s a lightweight choice with the softest material you’ll ever feel on a hoodie. It’s made from primarily polyester fabric designed to layer light and comfortable even during the summer, hence the name “CloudKnit.”
14. Alo Caliber Hoodie
MADE IN THE USA
Since 2007, Alo has been surging through yoga communities everywhere and creating some of the best apparel for the active lifestyle. We’ve seen yoga clothing before, but Alo’s vision takes people from the studio to the street in a trendy, fashionable manner. The Caliber Hoodie is made in the USA and designed with four-way stretch making it great for yoga, running and other sports. The attention to detail in this hoodie is remarkable. Aside from the overall slouchy appearance, the drawstrings feature a thicker tip, making handling easier and presenting an innovative way of preventing strings from getting lost in the hood.
15. American Giant Classic Full-Zip Hoodie
Deemed “the greatest hoodie ever made,” American Giant’s classic full zip-up hoodie’s got a lot to live up to — and it does. Coming in a slew of different colors, this cozy zip-up is fit to match whatever your style is. Because it’s made from heavy-weight cotton fleece, it’s made to handle colder weather with no problem, which is strange for a zip-up. Most of the time, we’ll never feel like a zip-up by itself can keep us warm, but let American Giant’s surprise you. It’s also tailored to fit your body so it won’t look boxy when on.
16. Patagonia Trail Harbor Hoody
Patagonia is one of the most active, mainstream American brands on the frontlines of environmental relief. That mission is directly reflected in its products, like this hoodie, which is part of its Fair Trade Certified line. It combines organic hemp and an organic cotton/French terry blend for ultimate breathability and comfort. Finding a Patagonia hoodie can often prove difficult (particularly during colder months). Get on it while you can!
17. Comme des Garçons PLAY Patch Hoodie
BEST GRAY HOODIE
A solid, do-all gray hoodie is something everyone should have in their closet. It’s the most basic and essential of layering pieces and works within the broad spectrum of personal style. Although many brands have an excellent look at the gray hoodie, the Red Heart Hoodie from the Japanese brand Comme des Garçons has the perfect accent with their signature heart appliqué. This soft, drawstring hoodie is made from 100% cotton; this soft drawstring hoodie features welted kangaroo pockets for convenience. Though durable, the brand recommends dry clean only maintenance to service the garment properly. Rock this hoodie however you want to because it’ll look dope no matter what!
18. Lululemon City Sweat Pullover Hoodie
BEST FOR MOVING
True to its reputation as the biggest name in yoga apparel, Lululemon made a hoodie that moves with you, thanks to a soft, stretchy blend of French terry, polyester, and Lycra. Those fabrics make it super breathable, too, meaning you can reach for this hoodie if you’re planning to shoot hoops or get active after work and don’t want to change. The athleisure movement — and its emphasis on comfort and style — isn’t going anywhere, and a hoodie like this deserves a place in your closet.
19. Buck Mason Brushed Loopback Hooded Sweatshirt
BEST BLACK HOODIES
If you’ve ever been blessed with owning something from Buck Mason, you’ll know how quality and comfy their stuff is. Case and point, this hoodie. With an effortlessly stylish all-black look, you can stay comfortable while looking cool, calm, and collected no matter what the day brings. This is an all-season throw-on, making it perfect to wear no matter where you’re from or the weather outside your front door.
20. Faherty Whitewater Hoodie
BEST FOR THE BEACH
Here’s the men’s hoodie for you if you’re a simple guy who likes holding hands and long walks on the beach. This Faherty pullover hoodie was inspired by the classic Baja sweater of the ’70s California surf culture. The loopback cotton weave is naturally crease-resistant, so even if this hoodie is tossed in the backseat of your car, it’ll still look fresh when you put it back on. Rock this with your beachwear, from dock shorts and Birkenstocks to loose chinos and Vans slip-ons. Don’t forget your board!
21. Vuori Ponto Performance Half-Zip Hoodie
BEST TRAINING HOODIE
This Vuori hoodie is made from the brand’s signature DreamKnit fabric blend of polyester and elastane that maintains its natural shape even after vigorous exercise. That means the hoodie excels at wicking moisture and regulating your temperature as you pour sweat into it. No more overheating, even when your workout is on fire. And is there a more badass color than true black? Absolutely not.
22. Mack Weldon Ace Hooded Sweatshirt
MOST LAID BACK
The answer is no; you can never have too many gray hoodies. The zip-up gray hoodie offers some serious tech bro vibes, which is not necessarily bad. Something about it must be unique, considering it’s a uniform of so many Silicon Valley tech employees. You might not build the next great startup, but with this hoodie, you’ll at least channel that energy, and you’ll look great doing it.
23. Everybody.World 100% Hoodie
L.A.-based Everybody.World is quietly becoming a household name for simple, ethically-made threads. Its wholesale branch just supplied Lorde’s new merch, so you can bet they’ll blow up soon. Because of the company’s incredible sustainability practices — everything’s made from 100% recycled cotton — the prices are a bit steep. This incredibly comfortable hoodie will run you $100, but it’s completely worth it. You’ll look great, stay cozy and help out Mother Nature. What could be better?
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