True Life: I hoard insulation. Synthetic, natural, fleece, down, Primaloft… you name it, I will probably come up with an excuse as to why I want it. When I saw the Triple Aught Design Valkyrie LT Hoodie at their warehouse sale for just over 50% off, I had to have it. I’d been lusting after it since one in the perfect size slipped out of my hands at last year’s sale. This was my chance.
Made of Polartec® Wind Pro fabric with durable water repellent (DWR) treatment, this fleece keeps you toasty when you need it. Arm vents keep you ventilated when you start heating up a storm. I actually favor this over my Arc’teryx Covert Hoody since it blocks wind extremely well. Four pockets, two hand, two arm, means you can keep little things handy like snacks and lip balm while you’re out and about. Thumbholes are present on this fleece in case your hands get extra cold. I haven’t used mine very often though, the bulk of the fleece makes it slightly uncomfortable in the area between my thumb and index fingers. If you’re a fan of napping on long road trips or car rides, this hood will provide excellent cover for your eyes; it’s enormous.
Because it’s made of synthetic material, it gets a little stinky if you’ve gone a few active days without washing. The pull tabs are also a little pesky. You can see from the photo above that few of mine have fallen off due to the poor knot at the end of the tab. It’s not the worst thing in the world, just a little annoying.
It doesn’t pack down very small. In fact, it’s really bulky, but I can justify that with how versatile it is on the trail, on city streets, and for traveling. I wouldn’t take it backpacking, but for everything else, this is one fleece does it all.
The fit on this is very trim if you’re true to size. If you want a little more room underneath, I highly recommend sizing up. I found that the chest area is a little tight which lead to some strange wrinkles in the armpit area. If you’re larger busted than I am, this might be a very snug or uncomfortable fit.
This actually isn’t available on the Triple Aught Design website anymore; they’re redesigning it for 2015. Can’t wait to see the new version! Not that I need another fleece or anything. The men’s version of this is still available for $219.
Sidenote: I’m a huge fan of Triple Aught Design. They’re local, based out of the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. They’ve got a sweet tacticool yet functional aesthetic. And they’re all around great people who genuinely enjoy interacting with their fans. If you’re ever in the area, their HQ is a cool place to stop by.
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