What’s a Sasquatch have to do with technical apparel? Editor Vince Hempsall gets under the skin of the Voormi Treeline Hoodie to see what the bigfootin’ deal is.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an early 20th Century American writer who loved to tell tales about the bizarre and fantastical. Like Stephen King, he experienced epic dreams and nightmares that he’d then craft into elaborate worlds that spanned over 65 short stories appearing in such dime-store pulp publications as Weird Fiction and Magazine of Horror. In one of these works he refers to the Voormi, a large-footed, fur-covered humanoid that communicates by dog-like howls. Basically it’s a take on the mythical Yeti, Sasquatch, and Bigfoot. Seventy-three years after Lovecraft passed away in 1939, Colorado-based climbers Dustin English and his dad Dan started a company called Voormi and went on to create a new breed of apparel that infuses technology and wool. Today the duo continue to advance the industry, design new wool-based clothing, and love their craft. (See what I did there?)

The author providing an example of why the Voormi Treeline Hoodie is an excellent indoor/outdoor piece: perfect for hanging with the kids indoors and then shovelling some early-season snow during nap time. Top photo by Jordan Rosen.

Snapshot: Voormi Treeline Hoodie

  1. Pros: This hoodie is super versatile: wear it to the crag, the curling rink, the disc golf course…and then wear it to the mid-scale restaurant after.
  2. Cons: Its athletic fit means larger peeps wanting to hide their rolls might want to go with something baggier.
  3. Price: US$199
  4. Who Should Buy: Climbers, resort skiers, hockey moms: anyone who hangs out in chilly temps.
  5. Who Shouldn’t Buy: Walmart shoppers looking for something quick to don before filling their cart with Cheetos.
  6. Helpful Hack: The wool’s treatment allows it to be cleaned easily. Don’t bother throwing it into the wash; simply spot clean with a damp cloth and a bit of soap.
  7. Author’s overall rating: 8.5/10

The Test

I received the Voormi Treeline Hoodie from the company’s head office in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, just as shoulder season was beginning in my mountain home of Nelson, British Columbia. Overall it was appropriate timing given this garment is made for cooler temperatures. I wore it at work, in the house, on short hikes with my kids, while bouldering, at the bar, and on a mellow mountain bike ride on the trails near my house. It’s been puked on, muddied, had food thrown at it, been doused by the rain, and had innumerable wads of snot wiped across its shoulders, compliments of sniffly kids.


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The Verdict

As the father of two boys under the age of four, I have to be prepared for any tiny reprieve in the day-to-day to get my outside fix. Sometimes that means quickly dashing out of the house during nap time to ride the mountain bike trails at the end of my street. Or raking the lawn while they’re busy colouring. Most often, though, I have to take them with me to avoid indoor melt-downs and “run ’em like they’re collies,” which is the advice of a colleague who also has two boys. In those cases, the trick is to get outside as fast as possible even though putting two young children into outdoor clothes is like wrestling octopi into mesh bags. All to enjoy the slowest, toddling trail hike ever. Why I share these tribulations is because during all of them, I don’t have time to search for an appropriate piece of clothing. And that’s why I really like the Voormi Treeline Hoodie – it’s so versatile both indoors and out that it’s become my daily go-to item.

The Voormi Treeline Hoodie is a warm mid-layer that’s perfect for cool summer nights, nippy autumn days, and early winter temps. I wouldn’t have gone near it during our stint of +30°C weather this past summer though. In fact, it was a bit too hot and tight fitting for the one mountain bike sojourn I did with it. Instead, where it really proved its value was on those days when I bounced between the indoors and out, hanging in a restaurant and then walking home in the chill afterwards for example, or stepping out of the house with the kids to spend an hour at the playground in the early-morning mist.

My absolute favourite aspect of the Voormi Treeline Hoodie, however, is its durability. This thing cannot be wrecked! I’ve owned it for three months and had every manner of child effluent on it but I’ve never had to wash the thing. Thanks to the company’s proprietary “surfaced hardened” wool technology, which involves reinforcing wool with an array of outer-facing nylon fibres, as well as the DWR treatment, it’s super-easy to spot clean. The athletic cut is stylish enough to wear to a mid-scale restaurant but it’s also durable enough to take on bushwhacking missions, which is how all my forest forays with the kids end up. The next-to-skin fabric is soft, the three-panel hood is comfortable, and the front kangaroo pocket is perfect for storing Kleenex for the tykes. The one downside of the Hoodie is a minor one: it has an aggressively athletic cut and can be restrictive for some activities, such as when I took it mountain biking. If you’re looking for a loose-fitting hoodie to wear to the skate park, this ain’t it. In fact, if your body shape falls between sizes, I definitely recommend you size up.

Two more things of note about Voormi: its products are manufactured in the States, not overseas, and its staff are constantly inventing new ways to improve on wool, which I’d rather wear any day versus some smelly, slick, and uncomfortable polypro. If you’re someone with an athletic build who wants to support a small, Rocky Mountain-based company and you’re looking for a hoodie that’s ideal for the rigours of indoor and outdoor living, including raising two little boys, I highly recommend the Voormi Treeline Hoodie.

The Deets – Voormi Treeline Hoodie

  • 48% Wool, 39% Polyester, 11% Nylon, 2% Lycra
  • Features the company’s “Surface Hardened” thermal wool technology
  • Relaxed three-panel hood
  • Front kangaroo pocket
  • Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish
  • Fabric Weight: 240 g/m 2
  • Price: US$199

Author’s Note: Mountain Culture Group is not paid for these reviews. They are honest expressions of our opinions. In some instances we are given the product to keep but that does not sway our assessment. If we dislike a product and feel it would score a rating of less than 5/10, we simply won’t review it.