I received this just as the riots broke out in London, so it wasn’t, perhaps, the best time to be testing a ‘hoody’. Nevertheless, I decided the windy beaches of Cornwall and our annual family holiday were far enough from the troubles to get away with it…
The aim of the holiday was partly to enjoy bodyboarding (courtesy of the brilliant Rob Barber’s Bodyboarding School), but realistically I’m not going to spend as much time in the water as my husband and teenage daughter – for whom competitive marine activity is an important part of relationship building. As a result, I enjoy time on the beach with a good book. However, the wind chill on Cornwall’s north coast often means I’m huddled into coat and hat, the latter to keep the wind out of my ears.
Owen at Sprayway suggested this Dash Hoody could be the perfect ‘post boarding cover up’ and I’m inclined to agree.
Previous hooded jackets have cords that should keep the hood over my head but generally don’t. The zip on this Dash Hoody goes right up to my chin, keeping my ears safely covered without the need for a cord to close it. I really appreciated this as it made the hood-wearing so much more practical and comfortable, even in a cliff-top wind. Admittedly, the family didn’t disguise the smirks when I put the hood up on our first afternoon on a cliff top at Tintagel, but I had the last laugh because there was a biting wind and it offered excellent protection.
The hoody is also carefully shaped, cleverly avoiding the ‘mother in a sack’ look that normally occurs when ladies of my age try such clothing.
I also appreciated the zipped pockets, keeping my phone safe on our leisurely walks along the South West Coast Path (the only place I could get any reception…).
I wouldn’t normally choose a manmade fabric over a cotton sweatshirt, but I was won over by this. It’s a wicking fabric and it really worked on the cliffs where it can be bracing in the wind one moment and baking hot the next, depending on the shelter available.
The label reads: “The material is soft and smooth on the skin <which I can vouch for>, non-allergic and does not product <sic> irritating rustling noises and is easy to care for.” I love the idea that I might choose an outer layer of clothing based on the quality of sound it produces. But now I think about it, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be a vital criterion for all future garment purchases.
Another concern I had was the washing instructions. The label instructs you to use ‘pure soap flakes’ in a 30C delicates machine wash. I’m afraid I don’t have washing-machine-ready pure soap flakes at hand, so I had to use my normal own-brand non-bio ‘green’ laundry liquid. Fortunately it’s survived its first wash well. The inward-facing fleece is still lovely and soft and it doesn’t seem to have lost its shape. I’ll try to remember to update this after a few more washes and see how it fares.
And fortunately, it’s clearly outdoor wear, hence avoiding the chance that I might be locked away as a hooligan…