The Primaloft Mountain Pro Hoodie from L.L.Bean is a full synthetic, stretchy hoodie that’s lined with Primaloft Gold for protection from the cold in times of high activity.
As the name suggests, this jacket features Primaloft insulation. Its strategically placed in the chest, back, and in the hood of the jacket, leaving the arms and sides with a thinner, more breathable fleece lining. The panels of Primaloft are topped with a mesh, helpufl for wicking moisture and speeding trying, while the fleece panels breath better to help with heat mitigation. The jacket has a full front zipper, two zippered hand pockets, and an adjustable hood. It comes across feeling like a cross between a soft shell jacket and a fleece, but with more mobility and breathability than both. It has a slightly fitted build, but does provide just enough room underneath for a light base layer. Handily, a rain jacket also will fit nicely over top.
What I like most about this jacket is the stretchy construction and excellent breathability. This allows the jacket to be an excellent hiking mid layer, similar to a fleece, but with better insulation and improved wind blocking. The breathability keeps the body warm without being too hot while on the move, and the fact that it’s fully synthetic means it will not only dry quickly, but still provide warmth while it’s wet. The interior mesh works to wick moisture away from the skin too, further speeding up drying and reducing the chill that can develop from dampness against the skin when huffing it up a mountain. The flexibility keeps it mobile and agile, providing unrestricted movement when climbing or scrambling, and the extended back keeps out breezes when bending over.
It’s also quite warm, easily keeping me warm while hiking or setting up camp into the low 30’s, and sitting around camp when there is little wind is viable in the high 40’s.
The ascetics are excellent, with a close to the body cut and smooth but lightly textured fabric that looks decidedly modern, without being flashy or in your face. I love the lightly quilted but non-bulky pattern sewn into it as it not only looks properly sporty, but also strengthens the jacket and locks the internal insulation in place.
I really like the hood also. For whatever reason, it hugs my skull just right, blocking wind around my face and neck without actually pulling down on my spine or getting twisted up.
A nice bonus, I’m yet to get a single zipper hang.
My only complaints with the jacket is it that comes in a bit heavier than a typical fleece, and the zipper is a bit on the stiff side (much like most fleece jackets. The right collar tends to stand up when unzipped (very common) and packability does suffer from it’s bulk.
Still, the use ofPprimaloft makes for a jacket that’s warmer, softer, and far more flexible than a traditional softshell or fleece jacket, making it a great “go” layer for those who spend most of their time on the move. It’s a little heavy for backpacking, but makes a great day hiking, peak bagging, and around town garment. It’s pretty well priced also at $129, and it comes in tall sizes if that’s you.
For more information on L.L.Bean and and their wide range of gear, check out their website, https://www.llbean.com/
For information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.
I want to extend a huge thanks to l.L.Bean for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here.
Thanks as always for reading! Don’t forget to follow our blog for future updates and reviews. If you have any questions, comment below, send us an email, or find us on Twitter or Facebook (links on the right).