Polarmax PMX Hoodie

, February 10, 2012

Last season we reviewed Sweet Protection’s unique, full-body Saviour Suit, setting a high standard for our future baselayer evaluations. At the beginning of this season I started doing some research to find other baselayers that made similar claims of performance excellence, deciding upon US-based Polarmax, an environmentally conscious brand with some neat threads to match.

Polarmax’s ‘warmest’ offerings come in a variety of cuts and fabrics suited to winter pursuits. On my quest to find something badass, I settled for the PMX Hoodie, a top that goes beyond the expectations of your typical baselayer.

Beyond fulfilling the aesthetic requirements of garment worthy to be sported in Whistler, B.C., the main requirement of the PMX was that it kept me warm, whatever the weather. At first I feared that the medium thickness of four-way power stretch fabric and brush fleece would prevent moisture flow from skin to surface and so mess up my core temperature between demanding terrain and the lift back up the hill.

During my testings over two weeks in Whistler, Polarmax’s Acclimate Dry polyester and spandex did well to manage moisture transportation, even on days when a thinner baselayer ought to have been selected (we had rain on the lower slopes on one day). The overall shape of the garment is maintained by thumb holes in the extended cuffs which, when used, help lengthen the garment and ensure that air can circulate continuously within the arm cavity. The hood and high neckline also serve to keep the neck and head warm; the hood is thin enough that it can fit beneath a helmet, so stretching the neck fabric over and around the headpiece.

If you’re buying online be aware that you want to go for a normal/loose fit. On first putting on the PMX Hoodie I was surprised by the extra-high neckline when normally a medium in any top usually fits me fine. Though I got used to the tight neckline, appreciating at least its effective seal and wind buffer, I would certainly go one size up to give a little extra length and width, especially in the reduced back panel.

Though this isn’t strictly a unisex product, smalls/mediums would suit a female frame depending on the desired fit. Check out the video below for more on Polarmax’s manufacturing principles from their HQ in North Carolina.

Useful information

Introduction to Polarmax