ProView – Mountain Hardwear Men’s Cragger/2 Hoody
As a climber, layering can be tough, especially during the Fall season’s freeze-or-fry conditions. You need something that helps keep you warm without the bulk, weight, or without being one-sided. The Cragger/2 Hoody from Mountain Hardwear became my go-to piece this Fall while I spent time in the sandstone mecca of Moab.
Mountain Hardwear Men's Cragger/2 Hoody
Product Description: Packing for a day of climbing when the crag is miles out from camp, there's a lot to round up⏤rope, rack, fuel, friends. Your kit should be the easy part. Let's make it simple: All you need is a T-shirt and this hoody and you're ready for the approach. (Just don't forget your climbing shoes...)
Offer price: $85 MSRP
The Cragger/2 Hoody made me fall in love with this type of layer. It is an incredibly comfortable hoody that provides full range of motion no matter your activity.
- Super comfy
- Simple: no draw cords, only 1 pocket
Great layering piece
- Due to the stretchiness of the fabric, the chest pocket will sag with a larger phone or heavier objects
- Seemingly no sustainable manufacturing processes used for this hoody
- I think it runs small instead of the advertised “standard fit”
I typically run hot while I am outside recreating which means I have never really paid much attention to the mid-layer category of clothing. I am usually in a t-shirt or a bigger down jacket – nothing in between. I was quite skeptical about the Cragger/2 Hoody from Mountain Hardwear as I honestly did not think I would wear it all that often: it is a half zip, polyester hoody with a single chest pocket. When would I wear this? As it turns out, all the time.
The hoody is very wearable with a super soft feel and a great fit. I found the large to be a bit snug (as compared to other Mountain Hardwear jackets and hoodies) which made it tough to wear over a relaxed fitting t-shirt but that snugness helped it layer flawlessly under just about anything. I found myself leaving the house in the morning with just this hoody over a tank top as I knew the 35-degree morning was soon to turn into a 70-degree day. It kept me warm enough until it was time to shed the hoody. It then took up no space in my pack once I stuffed it away until the sun dipped below the canyon walls.
Due to the tighter fit it layered remarkably under a down jacket without making you feel bulky – that bulkiness is something that I really despise. I appreciated this fact once the daytime temps started requiring a down jacket during the day because I could just throw the down jacket on over the Hoody in between climbs and didn’t have to be bothered with taking the hoody off in order to remain unencumbered.
The Hoody does not boast a whole lot of features, which I enjoyed because it kept the piece simple. The non-adjustable hood fits comfortably over a helmet and the chest pocket is over-sized, meaning it can store anything from a key to some food bars. The hood fabric is slightly different than the rest of the hoody which I thought was more for accent than anything but it does seem to be a bit more wind-resistant than the more open-weaved, moisture-wicking fabric of the chest and arms.
I found that this hoody performed the best while climbing, especially on multipitch climbs. It hugs your body wonderfully while providing full range of motion and never making you feel bulky or covering harness gear loops. The length is quite sufficient to fit nicely under the harness without constantly pulling out from it. Because it is lightweight and not bulky, if you had to shed this layer while on a climb you could easily clip it to your harness or tie it around your chest like a bandolier and it would not take up too much space or be in the way. It packs down tiny in your summit pack, too, which means you have more room for food, water and snacks.
Friendliness to the Earth
Mountain Hardwear boasts a lot of sustainability efforts on their website: flame retardant tents, solution-dyed Gore-Tex, blue-sign fabrics, and recycled materials to name a few. The Cragger/2 Hoody, however, does not seem to fall into any of their sustainability categories which was a bit disappointing to find out. However, Mountain Hardwear is one of the few major companies that offers and advertises their “Repair Over Replace” agenda. I think this is a fantastic option that I wish more companies would follow as there is not often a true need to throw a piece of apparel in the trash.
The Final Word
I never saw the benefit of a mid-layer piece before I wore the Cragger/2 Hoody and that is because I do not think I had ever found one that checked all the right boxes for me: comfortable, functional, and a great fit. I really did think that this hoody was going to live in the drawer but instead, it lives in the car or backpack as I always feel it will be useful.
About the Gear Tester
Patrick Betts is the Technical Director at Front Range Climbing Company and is based in Moab, Utah. He has been in the Outdoor Industry since 2009 and guides year-round in Colorado, Utah, and beyond. When he is not guiding, you will find him traveling to climbing destinations around the world. Patrick is an experienced adventure photographer who enjoys taking photos of people pushing their own limits and capturing the landscapes of the areas that rock climbing takes you. Follow along @adventurethrulens