Last Updated October, 2020.
The hoodie is a pillar of the casual wardrobe. It has transcended its roots as a sportswear staple and is an essential garment regardless of social class or aesthetic taste. Though the design hasn’t changed much over the years, brands are offering versions of the hoodie in a range of quality fabrics not present in previous decades. Still comfortable and durable, these sweatshirts show the depth of quality fabrics available in French terry, fleece-back and double-face constructions. Whether you’re a fan of pullover or zip-up styles, quality fabric is what makes the garment. So explore the range of options below and invest in a hoodie worth wearing for years.
Important Fabric Terms
French Terry: Sometimes referred to as loopback cotton, this fabric is warp knitted with a flat face and loops on the underside, which serve the same purpose as the loops on a towel: to absorb moisture and sweat. Most commonly offered in 100 percent cotton, French terry can also include added elastane for stretch.
Fleece-Back: To create fleece-back fabrics, the underside of a knitted fabric is brushed with sandpaper or wire brushes until the yarn becomes soft and fleecy. This technique can be applied to a large range of knitted cotton fabrics and is utilized for its velvety hand feel.
Double-Face: This material is made up of two interlocking knitted fabrics. A double-knitted jersey, for example, is made up of two single jerseys knitted together so that both the underside and outside of the fabric are flat. Domestically, the Northwestern Knitting Co. has a proprietary knitted fabric made of two distinct layers, while internationally, brands like Norse Projects utilize this material.
Flint + Tinder 10-Year Pullover
Best Overall Pullover Hoodie
The name says it all. Flint and Tinder’s 10 Year Hoodie is built to last a decade. At 23 ounces of beefy fleece, a double-lined hood and raglan sleeves, this made-in-Los-Angeles pullover is a major value others are slow to catch up to.
The Real McCoy's Loopwheel Hoodie
Best High-End Pullover Hoodie
It doesn't get closer to the real thing than The Real McCoy's. Making one of these hoodies is tedious, thanks to the mythicized loopwheel knitting machine from which the fabric is made. Using only the natural tension of gravity, these machines slowly knit a seamless tube of jersey that's both dense and unbelievably soft.
Uniqlo Long-Sleeve Hooded Sweatshirt
Best Affordable Pullover Hoodie
Uniqlo’s is one of the best-kept non-secrets in fashion. The better basics brand is a go-to for anyone on the style spectrum and its Long-Sleeve Hooded Sweatshirt is a simple, pared-back hoodie with a fabric stands up to the competition in higher price brackets.
Russell Athletic Dri-Power Pullover Fleece Hoodie
Russell Athletic is best-known for literally inventing the sweatshirt, so if you’re one to gravitate to the real deal, look no further. Its Dri-Power Pullover Fleece Hoodie comes with baby soft fleece fabric and vintage details like the v-insert, drawstring and a comfortably relaxed fit.
Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie Sweatshirt
Champion invented the hoodie, so it makes sense that the century-old company makes a pretty good one. It has the signature reverse weave fabric for which the brand is known, which is tough and won’t shrink in the length.
Buck Mason Brushed Loopback Hooded Sweatshirt
Crafted from an all-cotton terry loop fabric, the smooth outer looks clean while the brushed interior is super soft against the skin. The kangaroo pocket is generous and the contrast hood cinch adds a subtle touch of style.
Standard Issue Hoody
If only hoodies like Standard Issue’s were actually the standard. The fabric weighs in at a seriously hefty 24 ounces which is twice that of your average hoodie.
Birdwell Cayucos Pullover Hoodie
Legends of the beach, Birdwell's best-known for its tough surf trunks. But, one of its recent additions to its line of seaside goods is this vintage-inspired hoodie. For the vintage nerd looking for a 1930s-style hoodie without the collector price, look no further.
Save Khaki Supima Fleece Hoodie
Save Khaki United’s American-made hoodie starts with premium Supima cotton, one of the world’s softest cottons. From there, comfort is added thanks to the naturally-fitting raglan sleeves and flatlock stitching throughout. Plus, we love the refreshingly clean look that forgoes the near-requisite kangaroo pockets.
3sixteen Indigo-Dyed Heavyweight Hoodie
From the makers of some of the finest jeans on the market comes one of the finest hoodies on the market, made with a seriously hefty fleece that’s been dyed with indigo and just begging for you to fade it yourself. It’s crafted in Canada with a unique 3-piece hood construction and discreet, on-seam hand pockets.
Warehouse Lot. 475 Hooded Sweatshirt
It doesn't get much better than this. Warehouse's beefy sweatshirt takes after vintage iterations with details like an after-hood and dense, loopwheel construction. It's been given a meticulous wash and fade for that primo vintage aesthetic.
Outerknown Sur Zip Hoodie
Best Overall Zip Hoodie
Made from an all-natural blend of hemp and organic cotton, this hoodie features ribbed hems and cuffs, a sturdy zipper and kangaroo pockets. When the weather get a bit too windy, the drawstring hood helps keep it tight.
Reigning Champ Mid Weight Terry Zip Hoodie
Best High-End Zip Hoodie
Reigning Champ’s Canadian-made zip-up hoodie combines the comfort of a raglan sleeve with the tailored look of an in-set sleeve, all packed into an inimitable loopback cotton-jersey fabric. Bartack stitching reinforces the pockets while flatlock stitching ensures a the fabric lays comfortably flush against the skin.
Hanes Full Zip Heavyweight Fleece Hoodie
Best Affordable Zip Hoodie
Cut with a burly blend of cotton and polyester, Hanes’ zip up can keep up with other hoodies in price ranges beyond itself. The fabric resists pilling and weighs in at nearly 10 ounces for year-round wear. Plus, the jersey-lined hood ensures that wind stays out and keeps you warm.
Carhartt Midweight Hooded Zip Front Sweatshirt
Stalwart workwear brand Carhartt’s hoodie is, like the rest of its range, built to last. The 50/50 cotton-poly fabric is a hardy blend that doesn’t sacrifice on comfort and it won’t break the bank, either.
Filson C.C.F Waffle-Lined Full-Zip Hoodie
Though Filson's C.C.F. line is its more-affordable label, it's nothing to scoff at. Its Waffle-Lined Full-Zip hoodie is built like a tank, but feels like a luxury hotel robe. With an 8.8-ounce cotton-poly shell and 12.7-ounce all-cotton waffle-knit lining, its satisfyingly heavy and comfortable.
Handvaerk Alpaca Cotton Zip-Up Hoodie
While most of the hoodies on this list use some form of loopback terry, Handvaerk’s zip-up is a luxe rib-knit made with a blend of alpaca and cotton. The royal mix of alpaca gives the hoodie a cashmere-like feel with the versatility of cotton you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
John Elliott Flash 2 Relaxed Fit Zip Hoodie
Though it’s labeled as a relaxed fit, it really is the perfect-fitting zip-up hoodie. The premium loopback French terry, two-way zipper and substantial kangaroo pockets are three cherries on top.