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Gadling Gear Review: Burton's Sleeper Hoodie

We finally got our hands on the Sleeper Hoodie made by Burton, the zip-up hooded sweatshirt designed for use while jetsetting around the planet. Long-time readers might remember our good friend and editor-at-large Justin Glow fawning over the hoodie several times -- and for good reason: it's kind of sweet.

With the popular zip up chronically out of stock, the Sleeper Hoodie fell off our radars in months past, but by sheer chance and a giant stroke of luck one of the garments landed at Gadling Labs this spring. So we took it out for a test flight.

And how does she ride? Well,the proof is in the details. On first glance, one might shrug the Sleeper Hoodie off as a regular snowboarder's or skiier's loose fitting, casual garment. Look closer, however, and the features start to show.

As far as general construction, the Sleeper Hoodie is completely lined with mesh fabric, which serves to both wick sweat and add an extra layer of warmth. On a long, cold redeye, this could be the difference between freezing and sleeping cozily for four long hours.

Outside, draw strings, zippers and other accoutrements are designed in the normal hoodie fashion with the welcome addition of thumb holes for keeping your palms warm when outdoors. Or when holding an ice hold malt beverage.

There's also a cable eyelet to go from your iPod in your outside pocket in through your warm body and up to your ears. When riding through the back country or moving out doors it's always nice to have those cables tucked away from snagging branches or passers by.

The biggest trick with this sweatshirt though is the inflatable pillow in the neck. You know those silly "U" shaped pillows that you occasionally see passengers carrying through the airport? An inflatable version of one of these is tucked into a zippered, internal compartment right below the hood. All one has to do is crane a bit to the right to find the valve, huff a few breaths and the pillow is inflated.

Comfort wise, the pillow isn't as cozy as a regular neck pillow (for whatever that's worth,) but the added support is definitely useful and when deflated it's hardly noticeable -- so overall it's nice have around. But for those completely against the concept, it's easy to remove and discard.

Speaking of the hood, there's also a visor tucked into the cornice of the hood. This is a great replacement for an eyemask on a fully lit flight, and despite looking kind of ridiculous the better sleep is probably worth it.

Summing things up:

Pros:
  • Built in, inflatable neck pillow
  • Mesh lining
  • Sleep visor
  • In-pocket cable eyelet
Cons
  • At $99 MSRP the hoodie isn't the cheapest on the market, but for the included features, it's not too outrageous.
It's also worth noting that the hoodie is a bit baggy. My lanky 6'3" frame barely fills the sweat shirt in, and if I were to buy another it would definitely be a medium. On the whole, however, the Sleeper Hoodie is an excellent choice, the perfect balance of form and function. I look forward to trying it out on my next redeye.

Filed under: Gear, Airlines, Transportation, Budget Travel, Gadling Gear Review

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