Fleece has a tendency to be clammy against the skin when it gets wet, but wool’s natural properties prevent that not-so-pleasant feeling by keeping moisture away from your skin. If you’re searching for a full zip secondary layer that’s both protective and comfortable, look no further than the Icebreaker Sierra Hood ($200), which we had the chance to review just as the weather turned chilly in Chicago. One thing is for sure, we’ve loved Icebreaker merino wool clothing ever since we got our grubby mitts on them and the Sierra Hood does not disappoint.

First of all, it drapes well, unless you’ve got a major beer gut. The thick wool isn’t body hugging but does feel well-fitted. And how does it perform? Well, we got semi-soaked on one outing and though we were wet, we certainly did not get the least bit uncomfortable or thermally challenged. The best part? The brushed Realfleece merino interior is so luxurious, you’ll swear you were being cloaked in felted yak fur — far more plush than mere fleece. Time and time again, we found ourselves turning to the Sierra over other secondary layers. It’s just that comfortable. Also, we loved the raglan sleeve design, which is much more accommodating for the curvature of your shoulders than standard seam sleeves and adds to the upscale look of the Sierra. The zipper protector on the interior prevents you from snagging your fancy base layer, and the zippers are high-grade and solid. In addition to full zippered front pockets, there’s a convenient sleeve pocket to hold your phone, mp3 player or that box of mints you so desperately need. Just don’t call it a sweatshirt because it is most assuredly so much more.

Buy Now: $200