A mid layer or second layer piece of apparel is arguably the most versatile and useful piece of clothing that is used whilst pursuing sport in the mountain environment, whether hiking, climbing or skiing a good mid layer will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the day, all the way from peak to pub. Now when it comes to gear I’ll have to admit I’m a bit of a geek, always searching out the latest and greatest new items to test whilst I am out in the mountains. Having owned a lot of different types of mid layers I have seen my fair share of the good the bad and the great, and one such great, is the Bionassay 500 Stretch hoodie designed by mountain sports giant Quechua.
After purchasing this hoodie in early wintertime last year I have used it skiing, hiking, climbing and just for cruising around the city, during this time it has become my go to piece of gear that I can rely on in any situation that arises, so much so that I purchased all four colours that are available and have subsequently brought it on a year long trip with me around the world. Now just over two months into my year long trip I thought I should share my thoughts on this quality piece of apparel and how it’s many features have helped me out so far.
What Does It Offer?
The Quechua Bionassay 500 Stretch Hoodie is a slim fitting garment with a technical style, it is designed to be an all round second layer to keep you warm whilst still breathing enough to allow you to stay sweat free and comfortable during your mountain endeavours. Constructed using medium weight 230g/sqm polyester micro fleece the Bionassay 100 contains thousands of brushed fibres that when next to the skin provide optimum insulation alongside a comfy fine feel. It’s polyesters hydrophobic nature also allows the transfer of moisture thus preventing it from becoming cold and wet when next to the skin during intense exercise.
With the fleece featuring 4 way stretch material you can be sure that when climbing, hiking, skiing or commuting you are comfortable and can manoeuvre easily no matter what the situation. It’s unique flat seam construction also ensures that when the hoodie is worn as apart of a slim fitting layering system (base layer, mid layer, protective layer), the seams do not rub against the skin and cause annoying irritation. The exterior of the fabric is designed to be very smooth, this allows the hoodie to sit very well underneath an outer layer removing the common problem of layers sticking together and causing discomfort.
Available in four colours including black, orange, blue and green you will be sure to find the perfect colour for your layering system. The Quechua Bionassay 500 stretch hoodie is a warm, comfortable and functional piece of mountain apparel for the serious mountain athlete, but how has it performed during my rigorous testing?
How Did It Perform?
Like I said earlier the Bionassay 500 stretch hoodie became my go to piece of gear during the wintertime due to both its versatility and also it’s large amounts of technicality. From first trying on the hoodie you immediately notice it’s slim but snug fit that hugs your body providing the optimum amount of comfort. The brushed fibres are very soft and give a high loft of insulation trapping your body heat in small pockets and thus keeping you at the most adequate temperature. The two thumb loops at the end of each sleeve allow the compatibility of the hoodie with gloves (very useful when skiing) allowing you make sure that your body heat does not escape, but rather circulates and again keeps you nice and warm.
The other function of these thumb loops is their prevention of the sleeves rising up your arms during movement which can often be quite annoying. Whilst using the hoodie in New Zealand hiking around Mt Doom it was extremely cold during the early morning due to the lack of sun, the Bionassay 500 however kept me perfectly warm and comfortable allowing me to enjoy the surrounding views, at midday when the sun was high in the sky the temperature began to rise and the hike began a steep incline, the nice thing about the hoodie in this situation was its wicking abilities through transferring the moisture and thus preventing that horrible sweaty feeling, whilst still keeping me protected against the harsh wind chill.
When trekking the Franz Josef glacier I wore a hardshell jacket on top of the hoodie to protect against the snowy conditions that we encountered, the hoodie in this situation sat perfectly underneath and did not bunch up and become uncomfortable, this is largely thanks to its slim fit and also it’s smooth exterior. My only negative about the Bionassay hoodie during my usage so far would be that it only contains one pocket on the chest, I think a nice improvement would be to place two more pockets at the hips allowing for more storage space and also for warming cold hands. Overall I have been incredibly impressed with the Quechua Bionassay 500 hoodie and will continue to use it as my go to mid-layer, it is comfortable, technical, functional and comes at a third of the price of competitors products whilst still maintaining a robust quality about it that is backed up with a large warranty from Quechua. If you are looking for a versatile mountain garment this season be sure to give the Bionassay 500 a try.
So there it is, a full in depth product review of the super technical new Bionassay 500 Stretch hoodie from Quechua. For more information and expert advice why not head over to www.decathlon.co.uk to discover our full mountain sports product ranges and to find many other products that will help you pursue your passions.
(Notes on the author – Joe Broadhead is an avid climber, hiker, skier and snowboarder from our Sheffield Decathlon branch. In the past he served as our UK mountain sports expert product trainer and ensured that each of our mountain sports teams were fully trained to advise our customers professionally with sound expert knowledge. He is currently on a years travelling trip testing many products along the way. Are you interested in a job that lets you pursue your passion? Why not scoot over to our careers site and discover the many positions available – http://www.decathlon-jobs.co.uk/)