There are some features on gear that are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. For me, Lycra bound hoods fall into this category and turn otherwise great products into less than ideal ones. Why do otherwise sensible companies persist with this design flaw?
PHD produce some really excellent insulative clothing. I have the Minimus and Yukon down jackets. Both are superb, except the hoods are Lycra bound rather than having an adjustable cord. The hoods just about work if you don’t want to move. Once you move they have a tendency to pull down over your eyes.
For the sake of a few grams and a little extra work, an adjustable elastic cord would enable the hood to fit a greater variety of head sizes and shapes. I’ve just bought a PHD Sigma thinsulate smock in the sale with a hood. It’s Lycra bound as well and possibly worse. I’ve thought of a small mod, which should make it fit better.
It’s not just PHD. Rohan make a very good windproof jacket, the Windshadow. It has a foldaway hood. You guessed, it’s Lycra bound. It’s even worse than the PHD hoods as it is far too loose and practically useless in a strong wind. Again I’ve made a mod, which is a bit Heath Robinson, but makes it serviceable.
I see that Montane have caught the bug with the new Minimus smock following the Spektr with an elastic trimmed hood, as does the the Slipstream Quantum smock. It looks like Rab have seen sense and dropped the Cirrus wind top which also had an elasticated hood.
My plea to manufacturers is by all means think about a Lycra bound hood, but then reject it in favour of an adjustable one even if it weighs a few grams more. Unless your head is exactly the right size, THEY JUST DON’T WORK! Don’t put weight saving above function. BAN LYCRA BOUND HOODS, YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE.