Picture this: it’s a crisp, 60-degree spring day– still too cold for a t-shirt, but far too sunny to spend the day cooped up inside. So what do you reach for? A blazer is way too formal, there’s no need for a raincoat, and in a sweater, you’ll be, well, sweating. Your closet is missing what could be considered the most versatile of outerwear options: the zip-up hoodie.
We know what you’re thinking, but hear us out. The zip-up hoodie has garnered a bad rap, whether it’s from the same non-believers who wrote off sweatpants as lazy, or from their unfortunate association with a particularly awkward tech billionaire.
As the streetwear and athleisure game evolves, so has the humble zip hoodie. Long gone are the days when the only options available sit stacked in plastic packaging in the back of a Walmart. Now, the zip-up hoodie provides not only an extra layer of comfort and warmth but an extra layer of casually cool style.
Still not convinced? That’s why we’re here. Keep reading to discover the world of elevated zip-up hoodies, and hopefully find one you want to add to your wardrobe for when your Prada is at the cleaners.
Our Top 10 Picks
When it comes to a piece of clothing, there’s probably nothing more reassuring than durability. With the 10-Year zip-up hoodie, the folks at Flint and Tinder put their money where their mouth is. Specially crafted with the blend of style and durability in mind, the 10-Year Hoodie promises a fashionable companion for the next decade.
Made of heavy Southern California fleece, reinforced seams, and quality metal zippers and drawstring tips, this sweatshirt can get you through any tough conditions you may encounter. Roomy pockets as well as a hidden inside pocket ensure comfort and utility, truly making this a zip-up hoodie for all seasons. We’ve noticed that this hoodie has a more relaxed fit, so be sure to double-check your measurements before you order–after all, you’ll have it for ten years.
Material: 70% cotton 30% polyester | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: Black, Gray, Orange, Green, Navy, Cream | Size Range: XS-3XL
Since its founding in 1901, Hanes has made itself a top name in keeping people comfortable. That’s why it’s our favorite pick for men on a budget. The Hanes Eco-Smart zip-up hoodie takes things back to basics with a split pocket, shoestring-style drawcord, and a casual, relaxed fit.
The anti-pill fabric and machine washability make it durable and incredibly low maintenance, so you can take it anywhere. The waist and wrist hem have a looser fit, so you may want to look elsewhere on this list if you’re looking for a more tailored or fitted silhouette.
Material: 50% cotton 50% polyester | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: Black, Gray, Red, Royal Blue, Light Blue, Green, Navy, White | Size Range: S-3XL
There’s no wrong place to add a little bit of luxury into your life, including in your sweatshirt drawer. The Luca Faloni Pure Cashmere zip-up Hoodie fits that bill – plus some. Made in Bergamo, Northern Italy from prestigious, pure cashmere, this hoodie will make you feel like a true jet setter. This sweatshirt has all the features of a standard hoodie, with deep front pockets, a sturdy zipper, and an adjustable drawstring hood.
The upscale look and feel make this a perfect option for an evening out, whether you pair it with casual jeans and boots or under a blazer to add a cool factor to your business casual efforts. The tailored fit of this sweatshirt means that the sleeves may feel a bit tight when you first start wearing it, so we recommend sizing up if you’re in between sizes..
Material: 100% cashmere | Fit: Tailored | Colors: Black, Navy, Gray, Light Blue, Green, Beige | Size Range: XS-3XL
If you’ve ever ventured into the fitness realm of social media, you probably recognize the name Gymshark. This athletic brand is the favorite of gym influencers, and lucky for you, with good reason. The Gymshark Essential Oversized Zip-Up Hoodie is the best hoodie option no matter how intense your workout regime.
The breathable cotton fabric and oversized fit ensure mobility and comfort as you work out, while the tight wrist cuffs and hem keep the design out of your way while you move. Roomy front pockets leave room for your phone, earbuds, and any other gym essentials you may need. Pair with your favorite sneaker and shorts and get to work.
Material: 100% cotton | Fit: Oversized | Colors: Black, Navy, Gray | Size Range: XS-3XL
When you’re in the zone on a run, moments away from that runner’s high, you need a jacket that has your back. Literally. Look no further than the aptly named Adidas Own the Run Hooded Wind Jacket. Made of water-repellent fabric with reflective details, you never need to worry about the forecast or visibility issues on your path of choice.
The sweat guard chest pocket allows you to safely stash all of your essentials so that the only thing you need to worry about is the road ahead. We’ve noticed that this jacket has no hood drawstring or elastic cuffs, so if adjustability is a concern for you you may want to look elsewhere. Though we still recommend this jacket for runners who need their outer layer to get them through some seriously tough conditions.
Material: 100% recycled polyester dobby | Fit: True to size | Colors: Black | Size Range: XS-3XL
When it comes to outdoor sporting, there may be no more recognizable name than Patagonia. The Patagonia R1 Techface zip-up hoodie certainly lives up to that reputation. The outside layer of this hoodie is made of tough, abrasion, and water-repellent materials, while the inner layer is made of warm, stretchy fleece, making it the perfect blend of comfort and durability.
Roomy pockets as well as a zipped chest pocket ensure that you’re able to store all of your essentials while keeping them safe from the elements. We’ve noticed that this jacket lacks some reflective materials, so it may not be ideal for night or early morning runners. Pair this jacket with your favorite pair of joggers and sturdy hiking boots and start your adventure.
Material: 92% polyester | Fit: True to size | Colors: Black, Navy, Light Blue, Royal Blue, Yellow Gray | Size Range: XS-2XL
When the colder months roll around, every fashionable person faces the same difficult question: how do I express my style while staying warm? The
Material: 66% cotton 34% polyester | Fit: True to size | Colors: Orange, Pink, Gray, Navy, Black, Green | Size Range: XS-4XL Tall
Sweden-based clothing label,
Material: 100% organic cotton | Fit: True to size | Colors: Navy, Green, Black | Size Range: XS-XL
Just because something serves a purpose doesn’t mean it can’t look cool. The Wales Bonner Stereo Zip Up is the ultimate proof of this. The beige and blue color block pattern gives off a retro look close to a vintage letterman jacket, with fitted cuffs and hem that provide a tailored look.
The Stereo Zip Up Doesn’t sacrifice functionality for fashion and also has roomy pockets, a durable zipper, and an adjustable drawstring hood. While this men’s zip-up hoodie is definitely a splurge at just over $500, can you really put a price tag on such a timeless look?
Material: 100% organic cotton | Fit: True to size | Colors: Beige | Size Range: S-XL
Not all zip-up hoodies are created equal. Some, like the Carhartt Rain Defender Full-Zip, are committed to helping you get things done, no matter what. The Rain Defender Full-Zip is constructed for rugged conditions, with a combination of heavyweight cotton, quilt lining, and an outer layer of durable water repellent.
Side pockets with flaps and a chest pocket that zippers shut ensure that all your essentials can be safely stored while you get the job done. This men’s zip-up hoodie is definitely in the heavyweight category, make sure to consider the added bulk when purchasing. Pair this with a pair of blue jeans (paint stains optional), lace up your work boots (or some nice Timberlands) and get to work with this hoodie (or simply enjoy the workwear aesthetic like us).
Material: 54% cotton 46% polyester | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: Black, Gray, Navy | Size Range: S- 3 XL Tall
The Buck Mason Brushed Loopback Full Zip sweatshirt makes any day an okay dress-down day. The Faded Black Venice Wash provides a vintage, lived-in look that adds a level of style to your casual wear, and the cream adjustable drawstring adds to the timeless, beachy style that will look great even a decade from now.
The Buck Mason Full Zip-up hoodie is made of a looped, French terry fabric that makes it perfect for lounging without overheating, and its roomy pockets have room to store everything you need when you leave the house (or snacks if you’re not leaving). We’ve noticed there are issues with sizing for this zip-up lightweight hoodie, so it’s important to check your measurements if you want the perfect fit (we suggest going slightly oversized with this one). Time to throw on your favorite pair of sweatpants and get cozy.
Material: 100% cotton | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: Gray | Size Range: XS-2XL
Add an easy and comfortable pop of color to your spring wardrobe with Bonsai Heavyweight Nautical Zip-Up Hoodie. Its brown options make it the perfect thing to snazz up your plain khakis and white tennis shoes. This men’s zip-up hoodie lives up to its name, with heavyweight being the operative word. This sweater is the perfect thing to throw on during cool weather outings, bonus points if it’s on the water.
Material: 100% cotton | Fit: Fitted | Colors: Blue | Size Range: Sm-L
Since its origin in the early 1900s, Champion has made a name for itself in performance and comfort, so it makes sense that Champion’s Reverse Weave Full Zip Hoodie is our ideal choice for the best heavyweight zip-up hoodie. Made with Champion’s signature heavyweight fleece and equipped with a durable, double-stitched hood, this hoodie has got you covered comfortably.
The tight-fitted cuffs and hem ensure that the zip-up hoodie keeps its shape, and the kangaroo pockets can comfortably fit your wallet, keys, and any other essentials. We noticed that this fabric is a little less than breathable, great at keeping you warm but not great at keeping you an even temperature. We don’t recommend using this for workouts.
Material: 82% cotton 18% polyester | Fit: True to size | Colors: Black, Gray | Size Range: XS-3XL
Sometimes grown-up fashion just doesn’t cut it. On days where you wish you could blast pop-punk in your room and hit the skate park, reach for the Comme Des Garçons SHIRT + Christian Marclay Printed Cotton-Jersey Zip-Up Hoodie. The graphic design incorporates the perfect amount of post-teen angst while still sticking to a sleek, black and white design that pairs well with a plain tee shirt and your coolest sneakers.
The Comme Des Garçons zip-up hoodie still has all the features of your other favorites, including large side pockets, fitted cuffs, and hem. This zip-up hoodie tends to run small, so we would think about sizing up to get the perfect slouchy look.
Material: 100% cotton | Fit: Small to size | Colors: Black | Size Range: S-XL
L.L. Bean knows a thing or two about comfort and durability, and there’s nothing more durable and comfortable than a waffle knit. The Men’s Signature Waffle Full Zip-up Hoodie hoodie is essential no matter where you’re planning to wear it. The breathable but insulated fabric and sturdy hood make it the perfect choice for outdoor wear, while the tight cuffs and hem are perfect for maintaining shape.
This zip-up hoodie is listed as a slim cut on the website and we noticed that it runs a little small, so taking the time to determine your measurements is recommended. Pair it with blue jeans and boots for an adventure, or your favorite joggers to kick it on the couch.
Material: 100% cotton | Fit: Slim | Colors: Navy, Beige | Size Range: S-2XL
Patagonia stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to outerwear built for the elements. The Patagonia Men’s Houdini Air Jacket lives up to its reputation. This must-have jacket manages to be both ultralight and extremely durable, made of a breathable nylon shell that keeps you cool while protecting you from wind and rain.
Functionality is key with this windbreaker, with an adjustable hood to protect you from the elements and a zip-up chest pocket that allows you to store things securely.
Material: 90% nylon 10% polyester | Fit: Slim fit | Colors: Gray, Green | Size Range: XS-XL
As much as it pains us to say, sometimes when it comes to finding the perfect zip up you have to ditch the hood. Luckily, we have Sandro Half Zip-up Polo Sweater to fill your zip-up hoodie void. This half zip’s streamlined design as well as its chic collar and classic breast pocket make it a perfect choice to elevate a casual night out an outfit or even sport for a casual day in the office.
Sandro is a company committed to lowering its carbon footprint and environmental impact, so not only is its organic cotton fabric comfortable, breathable, and warm, but it’s also sustainable. This half-zip doesn’t have any pockets aside from the breast pocket, so if you’re looking for a classic zip-up hoodie style we recommend looking further up this list.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Fit: True to size | Colors: Black | Size Range: S-XL
There’s nothing better than a two-for-one deal, no matter where it is. With the Mack Weldon Ace full zip-up Hoodie, you can have even more. Mack Weldon’s Ace fabric is super soft French terry, which was specially designed to provide maximum comfort and warmth in your sweat-gear without the bulk of ultra-heavy fleece.
The tight ribbed cuffs and hem keep the shape of the zip-up hoodie and provide a trendy, fitted look, while the stretch rib side panels allow for mobility without restriction, which makes it a perfectly versatile option. Wear it from the gym to the store, even out with friends over a cool tee shirt.
Material: 89% cotton 8% polyester 3% spandex | Fit: Tailored | Colors: Black, Gray, Maroon, Green, Navy, Light Blue | Size Range: S-2XL
What to look for in a zip-up hoodie
The zip-up hoodie has undergone a serious evolution in the past ten years, and as a result now comes in a whole lot of shapes, sizes, materials, colors, and more. In order to pick the right one for you, there are a few things you should consider.
While the zip-up hoodie is a great wardrobe addition largely due to its versatility, it’s still helpful to have an idea of what you need it for. If you want a sweat-wicking, easy-moving hoodie for the gym, you’re most likely not in the market for heavyweight fleece. If you’re someone who loves the outdoors and hiking, you might be looking for something with a little more bulk than lightweight terry.
Just like any of your favorite tee shirts, zip-up hoodies come in a variety of fabrics that accomplish different things. Fleeces are soft and durable for maximum warmth. Cotton and jersey can provide a worn-in, vintage look for casual wear, meanwhile, wicking fabric has the technology to keep you comfortable and dry during your workouts.
There’s nothing sadder than being sold on a cool, comfortable hoodie and then realizing that it doesn’t have any pockets. If you’re looking for a more tailored, elevated look, keep an eye out for zip-up hoodies with ribbed cuffs and hems, which help keep their shape. There are even a wide variety of hood drawstrings across brands and styles. Even with sweatshirts–it’s all about the details.
The simple answer to this question is, any way you want. The zip-up hoodie is an incredibly versatile piece of clothing and can be used just for utility as an extra layer of warmth or as a key part of elevating your outfit. A zip-up hoodie can pair with just about anything from joggers and sneakers for an early morning run to jeans, boots, and a fun graphic tee shirt for a casual night out.
If you’re the kind of person who ends up stuffing your clothes in your drawer and praying when it comes time to put laundry away, this section is for you. Believe it or not, there is an easy and painless way to fold and store your hoodies.
Start with a basic fold by laying your hoodie face down, lining up both sleeves and folding them under the torso of the sweatshirt, then folding the torso up. Then, flip the sweatshirt over and flip the hood inside out so the sweatshirt is compact. Lastly, enjoy all the space in your drawers you didn’t know you had