Product Review: SmartPak Piper Sherpa 1/4 Zip Pullover

Fall is here, and winter is quickly approaching, which means that even if you do have an indoor arena to ride in … it’s COLD out! What does this mean? Besides furry ears, blankets for your horse, and breaking out your warmest gloves, this also means it’s time to go fall/winter layer shopping for yourself. SmartPak has an incredible variety of new layering apparel that fits the bill for my top criteria for cold weather:

  1. Ease of layering and on/off.
  2. Easy to wash without losing any warmth (no one wants fuzziness compressed or down falling out of their coat!)
  3. WARM.

Lynn Mueller on Georgia ODF. Photo by Eileen Mueller.

I had the opportunity to review the Piper Sherpa 1/4 Zip Pullover by SmartPak. Here are my observations based on my top cold weather criteria!

1. Ease of layering and on/off. The Piper Sherpa 1/4 Zip Pullover designed for layering; it is warm enough that it could be a top layer over a base layer or t-shirt, or a mid-layer under a coat when temperatures really dip low. The outside is super plush and feels really soft; the collar is lined with the same fleecy material as the exterior of the shirt so you don’t get that gross, cold, scratchy feeling on your neck that comes when that part isn’t lined. The inside is a flat weave material so it is easy to get on and off when you heat up.  I personally tend to run on the warmer side, so even when it’s around thirty degrees Fahrenheit, I’ll end up shedding a layer.  Some customers who reviewed the product thought the interior was a bit scratchy, but I think it felt smooth.  That being said, I’ve worn the shirt with a t-shirt underneath and have been completely comfortable.

Close up of the material and piping. Photo by Lynn Mueller.

2. Easy to wash without losing any warmth. This point is a deal breaker for me. Have you ever had an instance when you wash a lined coat or vest, totally follow all of the laundering instructions, and still oops, a hole magically developed, the lining fell out, and then your warm coat is not warm anymore? *Raises hand.* I’ve washed this shirt twice so far, and so far – so good! The instructions to wash this are machine wash, tumble dry.  As a general habit, I like to air dry my fleece shirts, so I did deviate from those instructions as far as machine drying goes — but otherwise, I didn’t encounter any shrinkage. Best of all, the fleece stayed intact, which is one thing I was worried about. I was afraid the fleece would leave little fuzzies all over everything else in the laundry — but it didn’t! Success.

Close up of the shirt’s piping. Breeches by Sakkara; boots by Dubarry. Photo by Lynn Mueller.

3. WARM. This shirt is warm — it’s definitely designed for cooler weather!  If it’s fifty degrees out, you’ll likely want to bring it along to the barn in case the temps drop, but you’ll be likely too warm if you wear it during that temperature range.  However, once it gets a little more chilly, or if it rained and was damp outside, this is perfect for keeping you comfortable.  I’ve worn it in thirty-forty degrees with no coat over top and been totally fine riding outside and hacking on the roads when it was windy out.  Remember, of course, sherpa/fleece isn’t waterproof, so if it’s drizzly you will get wet — that’s when you’ll need to break out another jacket like this one by SmartPak for more protection against the elements.

Last but not least, the style of this pullover shirt is super cute. The color of the shirt that I received was “Ivory with Barn Red,” which is a cream color with red piping. It doesn’t show stains too much, and though inevitably horse fur gets stuck to it (it’s the nature of our sport!), any dirt/fur washes out just fine. Do keep in mind that the style is a relaxed fit so you can fit more layers underneath. I am 5’2″, 110 lbs and had a size Small. An Extra Small I think would have been a little more flattering because I’m pretty short/small all around. To make this perfect for me, I also would tailor the sleeve cuffs to block out more wind, so the opening is a little smaller (I have small hands/wrists).  But that’s being nitpicky!

Lynn Mueller on Georgia ODF. Photo by Eileen Mueller.

All in all, if you’re looking for a warm layer for the barn or even just for running around doing errands, the Piper Sherpa 1/4 Zip Pullover is a great piece to complement your wardrobe.  To purchase the Piper Sherpa 1/4 Zip Pullover, click here!

This product was sent courtesy of SmartPak in exchange for an honest review.