Armada Rotor Pullover Hoody
Available late-August 2014
The 2014/15 Rotor Pullover Hoody from Armada was my favorite piece of test kit from last winter. That's a bold statement to make about a mid-layer, but it's true.
What I liked most was the built-in balaclava. Instead of having to take off my gloves and dig through my bag when it got balaclava-cold, all I had to do was reach back and pull it up. Plug and play.
There were a couple windy bootpacks where this was especially convenient. On my way up to Kachina Peak at Taos, for example, the New Mexico winds were howling; strong enough that they nearly knocked me on my ass a couple times. Temperatures were well below freezing, but all I could think about was how warm my face and cheeks were thanks to the Rotor.
This piece is more than just its hood, or course. It also adds a huge amount of warmth to your core with almost no bulk thanks to the lightweight Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency fabric. Worn over a baselayer and under a good waterproof jacket, I was able to ski with the Rotor in all but the most bone-chilling, "why am I out here?" temps. When you're working, the Power Dry High Efficiency fabric breathes well and wicks sweat so you stay regulated and dry.
I admit that until I tried the Rotor, I'd never really thought of Armada as an apparel company. They make great skis, but I thought their clothing was just an add-on. I'd like to say for the record that I was wrong, and now I can't wait to see what they come up with next.