Eggplant. That’s what the Italian word Melanzana translates to in English. One of the many reasons this homegrown outdoor company won my heart. They nonchalantly make quality gear – not taking themselves too seriously, but putting their whole hearts into their products. Eggplant, their original name before a trademark issue required them to use the Italian translation, was an effort to be “the opposite of every ultra-cool outdoor company.” If you haven’t heard of Melanzana, make sure to check them out. They hand make their clothing right here in the good ol' U. S. of A - out of Leadville, Colorado.
This past week, between hiking and snowboarding, I got in a few good cold weather test trials of my “Micro Grid Hoodie” and I have nothing but good things to say about this company and product.
What they say: "Lightweight Polartec Micro Grid fleece has a tight thermal-style grid of open channels that greatly enhances breathability. Breathable enough to work as a base layer, or wear over a wicking layer for hard active use. 100% Polyester.
Women's Medium = 259.4 grams (9.15 oz)
Men's Large = 345.86 grams (12.2 oz) "
With a few fun color combinations, the Fabric and Micro Grid texturing gives a stylish, but functional, feel to the Micro Grid Hoodie. Which makes it an ideal layer for transitioning from running down a mountain to grabbing dinner in town. Actually, I barely took mine off for the first week. The polyester fleece is soft, cozy and does a great job keeping the heat trapped up close to your body. However, I will say that for the first day of wear, the loose fleece sheds - so when you see little colored balls all over your car, don't fret it's temporary.
What they say : "Fairly close fit for easy layering and multi-sport versatility. Men's sizes have a slightly boxier fit with a shorter torso and longer sleeves. Women's are contoured to fit close. Women's XS - XL and Men's S - XXL. "
Personally, I usually go for a Medium - I'm 5'11 and Medium is my normal sizing. However, my Micro Grid Hoodie is a Large which leaves it fitting a tad loose. As a result, I mostly wear it as a mid-layer. Really it's up to preference. If you want to layer underneath - order one size up. If you would rather it be tight fitting - order true to size.
What they say: Our ever-popular Micro Grid fleece combined with our simple yet highly-functional hoodie design. The hood tightens up close around the face and over the chin for awesome protection. It also opens up wide enough when worn down to provide good ventilation without any bulk to get in the way. This versatile top can be used as a light-but-warm mid layer under a shell, or a as highly breathable outer layer.
The fit of the Micro Grid fleece hood (which is a component in several other Melanzana products) is my favorite aspect of this mid-layer. The long neck and cinched hood give a little extra fabric for keeping as much face surface area as possible nice and warm. It easily pulls and stays up over your nose. Helping to minimize frozen snot and burning lungs- always a plus.