Mue Apparel‘s High Performance Hoodie a combo of technical functionality and street style all bundled up to give you a wind & water resistant layer. And being an independent brand, made in the US, based in the Midwest (Milwaukee), I had to be all over this so I got in touch with them and lined up a review.
I took it out for a day session of (mostly) park laps and a few groomers, temps were in the low 20s early and warming up to about 28F. What else you need to know? They sent me an XL, I’m 6ft tall and 210 lbs, normally wearing a L or XL in outerwear and an L in mid/base layers.
With that out of the way here’s the review of Mue Apparel’s High Performance Hoodie:
Fit & Comfort: The High Performance Hoodie is true-to-size through the chest, the XL they sent me measures 46″ (I normally wear 44″) so this was just right in terms of having room to layer underneath without being restrictive and easily fits a base-layer and mid-layer underneath. They have an interior drawstring that would allow you to make it fit more snugly if you want, however it has a fairly slim fit to begin with.
Lengthwise is where I say these fit “tall and slim”, it hits about mid-thigh and tapered longer in the back to save your bum from sitting on the ice/snow. Although slimmer, the fabric has good stretch to it so your range of motion won’t be affected, I just personally prefer a shorter fit (mid-pocket, instead of cargo-pocket). The sleeves were long but not too long, basically the perfect fit sleeve for me.
Warmth: Well it’s a hoodie so I wasn’t expecting it to be particularly toasty but on a 24F morning I had to shed my mid-layer while lapping the park and I probably could’ve gotten away with wearing just a t-shirt underneath, it’s stupid warm in a good way. Wind was not a major factor in the on-snow test, but during my preseason tests I walked it through some Hurricane Sandy winds (40-50 mph) and can attest to its wind-proofiness.
Although I wouldn’t wear it on sub-zero days, when layered properly the HPH should keep you warm enough to weather most days.
Technical stuff: The HPH is made from wind-resistant athletic stretch softshell fabric with a microfleece lining, offering 5k/3k waterproof/breathability. The material is stretchy enough that although slimmer than I prefer, it didn’t impact range of motion.
Bonus features for hoodies include pit zips, velcro/elastic wrist to help keep the snow out of your sleeves and handwarming pockets, the full-zip has two front chest pockets (button closure) and an interior pocket (zip closure) with an mp3 loop.
Styling: They are available in both full zip and quarter zip options in a variety of colorways, mostly primary color blocks but they also have a grey camo and a red plaid option. The coloring is bolder in person than you see in the GoPro screengrabs, here’s a non-GoPro pic for a better color
Pricing: $129 is what they’re going for; comparable to many big-name softshells, technical fleeces or bonded hoodies and considering they’re manufactured right here in the USA and they’re the same price or less than stuff made in Malaysia it seems fair to me.
How to get one: Mue’s hoodies are produced on a made-to-order basis, “You order, we make and then ship. We work with local businesses in Milwaukee to give you a high performance product” which means you can’t get one overnighted but all of their hoodies and high-performance hoodies are available direct from the Mue Apparel webstore.
Summing it up: It’s definitely more “performance” than a plain old hoodie, with the wind & water resistant fabric, pit zips and functional fit throughout the upper body especially. Feels like the perfect casual shred jacket for urban sessions, endless park laps, or any days that aren’t super cold.