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While hooded garments have been keeping people warm since the stone age, the first hooded sweatshirt was actually made by Champion in the 1930’s to keep workers warm during the brutal winters in upstate New York. Today “hoodies” remain practical. So how do you find a great hooded sweatshirt? Here are three things to consider.

Top Pick

This 50/50 poly/cotton blend uses air-jet yarn that provides a super soft feel without pilling. Gildan

When shopping for a sweatshirt, check out what materials are being used. Most sweatshirts are made using some form of polyester blend (e.g., 85% polyester blended with 15% cotton or 50/50 poly/cotton blend), though you can find 100-percent cotton sweatshirts. If you’re looking to stay cooler during summers or heavy workouts, the more cotton in the fabric, the cooler it will be. Conversely, for cold-weather wear, look for sweatshirts with a higher percentage of polyester. Some makers even blend in wool for additional warmth. One thing about polyester is that it tends to hold onto odors much more than cotton does. If you plan on doing a lot of sweating, go for a higher blend of cotton.


Lots of color and style options; ribbed cuffs and hem seal in warmth. Amazon Essentials

What kind of cuffs does the sweatshirt have? Some form of knit cuffs are a must for keeping the cold, sawdust, or other debris from creepy up your sleeves. Are there drawstrings for cinching your hood when the wind blows long enough? What are the drawstrings made of? Are they strong enough to hold up and wide enough to tie even with gloves on?

Rugged Pick

This 50/50 poly/cotton option features triple-stitched seams for strength and a pouch pocket that’s great for warming cold hands. Carhartt

This sounds like a simple choice, but how you use your sweatshirt will help you decide. If you tend to stash tools, keys, or a phone in your sweatshirt, then front pockets are probably the best way to go. If you’re using your sweatshirt as a mid-layer when you’re on a deer stand and looking for a place to keep your hands warm, then a pouch pocket is definitely for you.