Gear Review: Chrome Industries’ Merino Cobra Hoodie

Recently I had the opportunity to try out Chrome Industries’ Cobra Hoodie. The Cobra Hoodie is a 100% merino wool hoodie that is designed for an urban cyclist to be worn all day.

First off, I have to be honest. I was biased before I even got to try the product. I love hoodies. I love Chrome Industries’ style. And merino? I have a merino problem. As you all know, merino comes from the Lambicorn, which is a cross between a sheep and a unicorn. Its fur is softer than a newborn baby lamb and it has the magical soul of a unicorn. When they are shorn, the result is merino: a magical textile which is both soft and performs magically. I couldn’t wait to try a hoodie imbibed with these properties.

Chrome Industry's Merino Hoodie for urban cycling

Tested in: Everyday fall wear in the Wasatch. Biking, lounging, and living (and almost sleeping).

Cost: $160.00

Best use: Fall/spring/mild winter when you want a stylish hoodie that performs admirably. Intended for urban bike commuters but useful across the spectrum.

Selling points:
The Cobra is an amazing blend between style and performance.

From a style perspective, it is a form-fitted hoodie with clean lines and hoodie comfort. I get lots of comments about how good it looks — a little atypical for a hoodie. I think it is because of how great the material itself looks and how well it maintains its shape. Most everyone was surprised to hear it was merino — it looks and feels like high-quality finished cotton.

True to its magical heritage, the hoodie itself performs. I wear it while working. I wear it while biking to meetings in temperatures from 40 degrees to 70 degrees. It doesn’t smell after sweating in it. It sheds water (and mud). In fact, after riding on a rainy day I just toweled off the mud-drops off the back of it (they had just beaded up…naturally) and it was still clean.

Chrome Industry's Cobra Hooodie - Lower back for coverage at the belt line.

It is also very well thought out. It has a wrist-pocket with a lanyard to hold a key, a pay-wave credit card or train pass. The pass-through pocket across the back lets you carry a ton of stuff comfortably on a bike. While it is very form fitting, it isn’t short — the back covers your belt line even when bent over on a bike while the front doesn’t bunch up….awesome.

Chrome Industry's Cobra Merino Hoodie gear review

Chrome Industry's Cobra Merino Hoodie wrist pocket for key or credit card

Relevant specs:
100% pure (magical) merino wool
Athletic fit

Sizing / fit:
The online size guide told me that I was a ‘medium’, based on both chest size and height/weight. (6’1″, 175lb) It is a very slim fit (I’ll notice if I gain weight) but it fits well. If it shrinks in the wash, I’ll start crying.

Desired improvements:
For both my wife and I, we found the sleeves to be a little short when using the thumb-loops on a bike. Another inch would have made a huge difference. However, when not using the thumb loops the sleeve length is great.

Bottom line:
I love this hoodie. For some (most?) people $160 on a hoodie will seem outlandish. And, if you want one to just sit around the house in, it is. However, this is not just a basic hoodie. It is functional beyond its peers and performs better than most technical jackets. And it looks sharp. As long as it holds up (only time will tell), I’d drop the cash on it.

Chrome Industry's Cobra Merino Hoodie thumb loops

4 comments on “Gear Review: Chrome Industries’ Merino Cobra Hoodie
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  3. So I also bought the Chrome Cobra hoodie and had a negative experience, more specifically with Chrome customer service. The first hoodie I received was sewn cheaply and incorrectly; the sleeves were twisted, the zipper pulled to one side, the loop for hanging unspooled the first time it was used, and within a few days of wearing it seams started coming apart along the side. Once I became aware of all this I filled out the warranty replacement form, which took a series of back and forth emails asking for pictures, questioning me about how I used it, etc.. After a few weeks I finally got the okay to send it back, and as it was close to their black Friday sale I asked if it was possible to get a price match on it. My customer service representative assured me I could get a match and that another hoodie was coming. Weeks go by, no price match, no hoodie. I email them back and eventually my representative emails me a gift card for their website so I can order another myself. Finally I get the hoodie, this time in quite good condition (and by all means a nice piece of clothing). I decide to ask about the price match and I get a reply from a different customer service representative and he informs me there will be no price match (after the other guy already said they would honor it). At this point in frustration I give up and let it be. I thought I was done but then I get an email telling me my return has been rejected because the product was too worn, (after only a week of wear) and they want to send it back to me.
    All in all, if you get a well constructed shirt it’s nice, but if for some reason you have to deal with Chrome customer support brace yourself. As another little warning; when I was looking into this hoodie I read a review by a customer that experienced almost exactly the same thing as me which I figured was fluke. Not so. Would I purchase again? For a product I want to love, unfortunately I have to say no.

    • Oh man! We’ve had none of those experiences and can honestly say outs have held up fantastically through a ton of wear. Sorry you had that happen and thanks for sharing!

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