The best sweatshirts are both comfortable and durable. It’s a balance not every brand gets right. Thankfully, there are plenty that do make a good sweatshirt — enough to make a list out of it, anyway. We’re focusing our attention on our favorite crewneck sweatshirts, the ones we’ve been living in. Options you can wear with every outfit, whether it’s jeans and a T-shirt or atop draw-string pants in your home office. (Kudos to you for kind of dressing up.)
Your favorite sweatshirt doesn't have to be expensive, but it also doesn’t have to be cheap. Simply good, and sometimes even that can be a tall order. Trust this list, though. We've vetted every option for you and also have a guide on the best hoodies and the best zip-up hoodies.
Best Overall Crewneck SweatshirtOuterknown Sur Sweatshirt Read More
Adsum Logo Crewneck Read More
Best Affordable Crewneck SweatshirtL.L. Bean Classic Crewneck Sweatshirt Read More
Buck Mason Interloop Crew Sweatshirt Read More
Gildan Heavy Blend Crewneck Sweatshirt Read More
Sweatshirt Terms to Know
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.
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.
Loopback sweatshirts are flat on the front, while the loops are on the underside. This means the fabric won't pill or, if made well, shrink.
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.
Learn more about terry, fleece-back, loopback and double-face in our guide to sweatshirt fabrics.
Early sweatshirts saw the V-insert at both the front and the back of the collar while others would just have one at the front. It was used to wick sweat and keep the neck from stretching. Eventually, the detail became merely decorative as companies began to stitch a V at the collar without the ribbed material.
Learn more about this inconspicuous addition in our guide to V-inserts.
How to Style a Crewneck Sweatshirt
American Trench owner Jacob Hurwitz says he doesn't like wearing hoodies in formal settings, but a crewneck proves more versatile. That's because crewnecks should be both thinner and more form-fitting than hoodies, he says.
"When I am going to a nice restaurant, I want to wear tailored clothing," he explains. "I want to wear a blazer. But that doesn't mean I have to abandon comfortable knits — [the] hoodie's cousin, the crewneck, can look great in a setting like that."
It does well just about everywhere else, too — it's an easy match for blue jeans and basic chinos, no matter whether the outfit is topped off with your trusty boots or brand-new sneakers.
How We Tested
Our tester put several crewneck sweatshirts to good use, wearing them as top layers when the weather peaked and as mid layers when it was, well, not so nice. They, a true size large, assessed how each fit and how they differed, but also what about each stood out most, whether it was the raglan sleeves, hefty cuffs or hidden hip pockets.
Outerknown Sur Sweatshirt
Outerknown’s Sur Sweatshirt sticks out for good reason. The hemp and organic blend terry fabric make it a hefty-yet-soft option, not to mention one of the most eco-friendly on the market. It's also one of the most comfortable, our tester found. The raglan sleeves offer full range of motion, while collar is neither too wide nor too tight. It wraps comfortably around the neck, leaving little room for a T-shirt underneath to show through, all while avoiding being tight enough to have to stretch when pulling it over your head.
It does run slightly slim through the body, though, our tester found. So if you like your hoodies hefty and oversized, you should size up with this crewneck in order to remain comfortable in it.
Adsum Logo Crewneck Sweatshirt
Adsum's simple Logo Crewneck is just how a sweatshirt should be: slightly oversized, soft and super-minimal — small chest text logo aside. It's preshrunk so it won't seize up on that first wash, and it comes in six colors, each made from 400 GSM combed cotton heavyweight Canadian fleece. The fabric itself is the star of the show, but the fit proves nice, too, our tester found.
It does run slightly long, though, not in the sleeves but in the body, which means the bottom hem hits well below the waist, a style some might find a little bit off, especially if they constantly layer their crewnecks under shorter trucker jackets, for example.
L.L. Bean Classic Crewneck Sweatshirt
L.L. Bean doesn't just make Boat and Totes. But you knew that, right? The brand's classic crewneck sweatshirt isn't anything to scoff at. It's a comfortable, 91 percent cotton, 9 percent polyester option that clocks in under $60. That's rare for a sweatshirt, especially considering most on this list cost an upwards of $100.
It comes without super-noticeable logos or graphics, which is good, and mirrors the fit of more famous styles, which means it's slightly oversized with plenty of room in the armpits and through the arms.
Buck Mason Interloop Crew Sweatshirt
Buck Mason's dense, midweight fleece sweatshirt eschews modern flair in favor of a more timeless look. It's tailored, the right tone and the cotton was cut on the cross-grain to prevent shrinkage. (Plus, it looks pretty damn good with the sleeves rolled up.)
Gildan Heavy Blend Crewneck Sweatshirt
You can't go wrong with Gildan. The basics brand makes sweatshirts in several different weights — this one is dubbed the Heavy Blend — and 26 different colors. Sure, the sweatshirt will feel a little thin, and wear significantly less warm than most others on this list, but that's to be expected for a sub-$30 sweatshirt.
Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Sweatshirt
Reigning Champ’s Midweight Terry Sweatshirt is what the company was built upon. It’s made in Canada — where some of the best sweats are made; see: Adsum — and designed with quality details like inset-raglan sleeves and flatlock stitching for seams that are flush against the skin.
The style does run slim, though, our tester found, both in the arms and through the body. That's not a bad thing for folks who wish to pair their favorite crewneck with form-fitting trousers, but for others who prefer to workout in theirs or wear them with baggy sweat bottoms, this is going to be an issue.
Richer Poorer Recycled Fleece Sweatshirt
This eco-conscious sweatshirt comes by way of California clothing company Richer Poorer. Constructed from a near-even mix of cotton and recycled polyester, this option prevents roughly 40 water bottles from reaching landfills. Righteousness aside, it's a solid sweatshirt with an added incentive.
As for fit, this one works well as both a top layer or something tucked underneath a jacket, thanks to its relatively straight fit. It does have slightly dropped shoulders, though, a feature often save for graphic streetwear iterations, like the options from Supreme or Off-White. It's not all that noticeable on, but it'll be different from true-blue vintage designs.
Taylor Stitch The Fillmore Crewneck
Heavyweight ribbing at the neck, cuff, hem and side panels prevent Taylor Stitch's The Fillmore Crewneck from losing its shape over time. That makes this a sweatshirt you should own forever, and you will, if the reviews are any indication.
Reviewers love the medium-weight warmth it delivers, the prominent V-insert and the hefty cuffs, which don't stretch out, even if you mess with them. They do point out a few problems, though, like the boxy fit and the not-so-soft inside.
Sunspel Loopback Sweatshirt
Sunspel's lightweight Loopback Sweatshirt is luxe. It fits well in the sleeves and the torso while breaking in nicely with routine wear. It stands up to the wash, too, our tester says.. It's a little thin, though, our tester found, especially for the price, which is almost double (or triple) that of options from Buck Mason or Champion. It's a great sweatshirt, they say — don't get them wrong — but there are better options at better prices.
American Giant Lightweight Crew Sweatshirt
Basic, at least according to the Internet, is not a complimentary adjective. But there's no better way to describe American Giant's classic crewneck. It comes in one signature color, black, but a few limited edition iterations, too. It wears well, is 99 percent cotton and is handmade in LA.
The fit is fairly standard — tight but not too tight, our tester says, flattering without feeling overly tailored. It's still a sweatshirt after all, but it's better-fitting than the voluminous ones you wore in highschool.
Pangaia 365 Sweatshirt
Available in over two dozen colors, Pangaia's 365 Sweatshirt is a piece I could wear every single day — hence the name. There's a small text logo printed onto the chest that reads: "This sweatshirt is colored with an environmentally friendly dye, created using a recycled water system. The fabric is made from organic cotton."
The tagline might read a little too cliche for some folks, who prefer their sweatshirts say nothing at all, but reviewers found the sweatshirt to be soft and the perfect size almost every time.
Champion Reverse Weave Sweatshirt
An icon. What more is there to say about Champion's category-defining crewneck? Sure, other brands have surpassed them stylistically, but the venerable Reverse Weave still does its job: It fits nicely and will never shrink. Plus, it's oversized enough to offer a space to escape to, whether you're wearing matching sweatpants (and snacking on the couch) or trying it on with trousers and wearing it to work.
Learn more about Champion sweatshirts.
Todd Snyder x Champion Midweight Pocket Sweatshirt
This one is a modern-day classic. Todd Snyder’s Pocket Sweatshirt is one of the best designs to come out of his ongoing partnership with Champion, which is nearing its 10th anniversary. It’s substantial, it’s super cozy and it can hold your wallet, thanks to its single chest pocket.
The primary complaint comes at the neckline and waist, which are too wide and too short, respectively. That leaves a lot showing underneath at both ends, since the wider neck lets a T-shirt poke through, and the shorter hem rides up, revealing whatever you have on underneath.
Colorful Standard Classic Organic Crew
Colorful Standard does the bare minimum but better, if that makes sense. Its Classic Organic Crew is easy, fits well and wears in nicely. Plus, the cotton it's made from is 100 percent organic and dyed using environmentally-friendly formulas.
J.Crew Heritage Fleece Sweatshirt
New despite the name, J.Crew's Heritage Fleece Sweatshirt weighs 14 ounces and is made from a 86-14 percent cotton-polyester blend. The sleeves are nice and long; there's a V-insert at the neck and the cuffs can actually be, well, cuffed. And in true, new J.Crew fashion, the cross-grain cut sweatshirt is neither too slim nor too oversized, leaving the style somewhere in the middle — a perfect fit from the first wear, reviewers say.
Knickerbocker The Standard Crew
These take after vintage sweatshirts of the midcentury, featuring a year-round fleece, a classic V insert and a mounted collar. They come in a handful of colors as well as with graphics.
Uniqlo Long-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Better basics at a solid price Uniqlo's thing. So it's no surprise that its Long-Sleeve Sweatshirt made it to our list. It's inspired by vintage designs and features a sturdy but soft all-cotton fabric design.
Our tester found it fit well and survived the wash. It quickly became a staple in their closet, they say, despite being, now, several years old. As evidenced by how it's held up, Uniqlo is more than fast fashion, as similar options from Zara or H&M would've faltered long ago.
David Gandy Wellwear Ultimate Crewneck Sweatshirt
With hidden pockets at both hips, David Gandy Wellwear's super-soft Ultimate Crewneck Sweatshirt runs slightly oversized, but in the right way — the way a sweatshirt should fit. It has raglan sleeves so you can comfortably raise your arms above your head, our tester found, and two treatments (anti-microbial and anti-odor) help it stay fresh for longer. And it actually works, our tester found, who wore this one non-stop for a week.
Learn more about David Gandy Wellwear.