I’m of the belief that everyone should own a hoodie, and I further believe that said hoodie should be full-zip in nature. I, for one, certainly do not look particularly coordinated taking off a pullover hoodie, and thus a full-zip is the correct choice for me. In my search for a new hoodie, Reigning Champ was recommended as a very nice premium feeling take on the classic.
Yes, it is a very nice premium feeling hoodie. After owning this for over a year now, I can confidently say that this is a fantastic hoodie.
This is a 100% cotton hoodie. Reigning Champ makes these in several weights, cuts, and some varied materials. The interior on this is a terry cloth finish, so there’s no real fuzz to this. All of the seams are flatlock and the cut is trim with semi-raglan sleeves. The zipper is a two-way design, and is smooth to operate, but a touch rough to slide your hand against.
The cuffs, hem, and side panels are ribbed and they feel robust and really nice. Perhaps the nicest ribbed material I have on any garments right now. The hood is dual layer with a ribbed interior — this makes the hood quite heavy, so it tends to sit down nicely on your back.
All in all, the materials and construction are top notch. The hand feel on this is perfect, smooth and soft.
Fit & Style
This is a classic hoodie, updated with a trimmer fit. It comes in two cuts: slim and classic. I have the classic cut, and it still wears trimmer than most hoodies you would go out and buy. This is a great look if you want to toss it over a t-shirt and look put together. But a poor fit if you want to layer it, or have something that looks slouchier.
Because of how this cotton material faces up, it looks quite premium in nature. There’s no pill to the face of this, and thus it looks a little more polished all around than a standard hoodie. It’s still a hoodie in formality, but it’s a classier take on a hoodie.
There’s not a lot of performance attributes here, but there are a few points worth talking about more, as items like this can be really hit or miss in quality.
- Fade Resistance: my hoodie is black, and black cotton tends to fade out over time. And all of my black hoodies before this, did just that. Here I cannot detect any fading, and this gets a lot of wearing and washes. I am impressed by the fade resistance of this.
- Stretch Resistance: one thing which can happen with the ribbing on hoodies is that they stretch and deform over time. Or they are so restrictive that you wish they would stretch and deform. Neither is the case here. The ribbing has held its shape and stretch, while also not being overly tight around the cuffs. These are spot on, I wouldn’t change them at all.
- Ease of Care & Durability: I mentioned before, but it is worth mentioning again, there is no pilling on this item. I can’t see any notable signs of wear on this. For some (like me) this is a huge plus, for others this isn’t what they want from this type of item. I’ve tossed this in the wash as normal, and hung it to dry — no issues or fuss for me.
- The Hood: I have a love hate relationship with this hood. It’s very heavy, so when you are walking around, this is great as it lays nicely on your shoulder blades and looks clean. But if you bend forward it tends to flop rather aggressively forward. And if you sit back on the hood, it’s quite bulky. I would much prefer a lighter composition to the hood here.
- The Zippers: yes they are a touch scratchy if you scrape your skin across them, but I am not bothered by them. They move cleanly and offer no issues. What I don’t love is the dual zip nature of them. I find that this makes it a little more fiddly to zip the hoodie up, and a single zipper would be much easier for me to work with.
The warmth rating on this, I would put in the ‘light layer’ section. It’s not adding a ton of warmth, and there is not pile to the fabric to really retain heat. So it’s a solid layer for warmer climates, where you still might want to ward off a mild chill.
I am not sure I would spend the full $160 retail on this, but it’s decently easy to find these for upwards of 20% off MSRP. And if you can get one under $130, it’s spot on for the price. It’s a really nice hoodie, which looks clean and wears well. I’m a big fan of the material, and I’ll keep wearing this for some time to come.