SNEWS understands why Pearl Izumi named a product our testers recently tried out the Infinity Windblocking Hoody: This nifty little layer is infinitely versatile and provides protection from a number of weather conditions.
SNEWS received this item shortly after the New Year, when the Colorado winter was at its coldest.
Upon first glance, the lightweight Infinity Windblocking Hoody doesn’t look like it could protect anyone from much, but our testers soon found that it’s part of the company’s ELITE Series for a reason. It works, and it works well.
The soft Ultrasensor-Flat knit and the Ultrasensor-Grid fabrics combine to create a lightweight item that kept testers warm and feeling dry, even during the sweatiest workouts on the coldest, wettest days and nights.
Plus, the item eliminated the need for our testers to round up gloves, hats and iPod bands for a run, giving them more time on the trails and less time getting ready to hit them.
The most exciting feature to our testers were the thumbholes and mittens built into the jacket’s arms. They’d simply put their thumb through the thumbhole, fold over the mittens and cover the mittens with the windstopping Ultrasensor-Flat knit fabric. This left them not needing any gloves outside of the jacket. Plus, the fingers worked to keep one another warm, versus in traditional gloves where the digits are separated. In fact, our testers said hands got a little sweaty, even during runs in winter snowstorms.
The hood, which made it so our testers didn’t need a separate hat, featured a ponytail slit so there was no hair irritating their necks while stuffed in the hood. The hood had the same windblocking technology as the rest of the piece, leaving our testers’ ears feeling warm, toasty and unassaulted by the harsh Denver and San Luis Valley winds.
Another handy feature on the hoody was strategically placed reflector strips, giving our testers a feeling of safety while out running during the dark mornings and evenings. Plus, two pockets in the front kept the house keys safe during runs, and the back pocket became the iPod and ID holder throughout the course of testing.
There wasn’t one negative thing SNEWS testers could find about this product, even though they tried. Our only issue, however, was that the product was white. But that was the color dealt to us, and Pearl Izumi shouldn’t get a bad review on an excellent product because we can be clumsy and spill things on ourselves.
This is one winter item our testers won’t be packing away for the summer, because if you know anything about Colorado, you know we might need some wind and snow protection in the middle of May. Especially up in the mountains during the 2012 Gore-Tex TransRockies Run.
Suggested Retail: $120
SNEWS® Rating: 5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)