Lifestyle

It’s Always Gym Hoodie Season. Here Are the Best You Can Buy

Really, it's always gym hoodie season.
By Will Price
January 3, 2024

Our product recommendations are selected by editors, tested first-hand, or expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.

Why do people wear hoodies to the gym? Because they want to look like Rocky climbing the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Could be. Maybe they like starting a workout in a hoodie because they warm up faster. What about us self-conscious types who don’t want anyone to see our body—ever—but still want to hit the gym? Hoodies help with that, sure. 

There are a zillion reasons hoodies have been popular gym dress for decades, but the simplest answer is so often the right one: hoodies are damn comfortable, and working out isn’t.  Whether you’re looking for something rugged enough to handle heavy weight lifting or you want a lightweight style that you don’t even notice, these are the best gym hoodies you can buy. 

Complete the kit

The Best Gym Hoodies on the Market

Rhone Essentials Training Hoodie

Rhone, a fitness and athleisure label somewhere between a budget brand and Lululemon, is best described as making good products at fair prices. Its training hoodie is on the lighter side from a weight perspective but, because it’s largely made of recycled polyester, does a solid job keeping the heat in once you’re warmed up. This makes it a great hoodie to throw on at the start of lifting sessions if you like getting warm before getting into your working sets. Because it’s light and has a lot of give, it’s also perfect for a brisk morning run.

Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie

The classic Champion hoodie is the Levi’s denim trucker jacket of athleisure. If that analogy doesn’t make sense to you, let me be more direct: Champion’s 80-plus-year-old Reverse Weave Hoodie is the hoodie upon which 95 percent of hoodies are based. The hood is double-lined for warmth and durability. The arm holes fit loose—for comfort or to make room for your python arms. The wrist cuffs are fitted and stretchy so the sleeves don’t slide past your hand. The waist is cuffed as well, so it doesn’t hang around and risk getting caught on something. And finally, the namesake reverse weave—a method of cutting across the cotton grain rather than with it—ensures the hoodie doesn’t shrink in the wash. On top of all of that, the brushed fleece interior is cozy as hell and the price—usually about $65, and occasionally on sale as low as $40—is more than reasonable. If you’re looking for a gym hoodie, the search starts with Champion.

Russell Athletic Men's Hoodie

If Champion is the staple gym hoodie for gym goers looking for a mix of style, performance, and price, Russell Athletic’s hoodie—which is nearly as old—is the option is for anyone keeping a close eye on their budget. These things are $25 at full price and often marked down to $15 on sale. The material isn’t breathable, advanced, or “tech-forward” in any way, but it’ll keep you warm as you get your limbs moving.

NoBull Arctic Pullover Hoodie

We love NoBull’s no-nonsense design policy (especially how it manifests in its CrossFit-friendly training shoe). This design policy doesn’t necessarily extend to its hoodie, though, but that’s OK. You might not need zippered hand pockets or a zippered interior chest pocket, but they sure are nice to have if you’re working out in the great outdoors when the temperature drops. It may not be 100-percent necessary for your hoodie to be wind- and rain-repellant, but the fact that it is might prove useful. The silhouette sits between fitted and relaxed and the fabric has a little give to it.

Reigning Champ Lightweight Terry Classic Hoodie

If you like the simplest idea of a hoodie, buy Reigning Champ. Launched in 2007, the Canadian brand doesn’t stray far from its mission: “Respect the details. Master simplicity.”

You won’t find any marketing-driven “performance” language here. This is a 100 percent cotton, regular-fit hoodie handcrafted in Canada. It’s one of those products that, once in your hands, you can feel the quality—it’s heavier than a cheap hoodie, the seams are less prone to fraying than a cheap hoodie, and it’s made by folks who care more about making something good than making something for profit.

Alo Highline Hoodie

This is basically an upgraded Champion hoodie. The material isn’t the same—Alo uses French terry cotton—but the cuffed sleeves and waist and the fit are similar. The differences are in the details. Alo’s gym hoodie comes with a zippered kangaroo pocket, which is perfect to leave your phone in at the gym. The three-panel hood also fits around your head a bit more snugly, making it genuinely useful in cold weather months—or just the walk from the parking lot to the gym in January.

Uniqlo Sweat Hoodie Pullover

Uniqlo’s hoodie isn’t “designed” for the gym, per se, but most hoodies aren’t. The reason for it being on this list is its price—just $50, and regularly on sale for less—and the gym-perfect fit.

It’s got the high wrist cuff of the Champion hoodie to keep the sleeves from getting in the way, but a nice loose fit in the torso so you don’t feel trapped. It’s also a bit lighter than many loose-fitting hoodies out there, so you can get warmed up without baking inside your hoodie. We recommend sizing up once whether you plan to wear it to the gym or out running errands, though—Uniqlo clothes are typically more fitted than equivalent budget clothing brands.

Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Hoodie

This is more of a warm-up or cool-down hoodie than it is something you’d don during a brutal HIIT session, or a big weightlifting day. The material is freakishly soft and light to the point that it feels like it’s almost floating on your body. It usually retails for about $90, but Outdoor Voices does run sales and promotions often enough to get it at a better price.

Everlane The Track Hoodie

A cozy, affordable hoodie that comes in a bunch of colors. What more do you want? Everlane’s hoodie is frequently marked down way beneath the $78 list price—as low as $35 at times—and, like all Everlane products, is unbranded and simple-looking. The kangaroo pocket is bulky, the weight is nicely mid-level, and the color options are many. We recommend sizing up once for gym uses, though, as Everlane typically leans toward a more fitted look.

Lululemon Relaxed Fit Training Hoodie

You should really stop underrating Lululemon’s gym gear. Its shorts are a favorite of ours, and its hoodie is too, especially if you appreciate a bigger fit. The arms, chest, and back feel like they’re barely there, and even when you are pushing up against them—maybe during a barbell row or deadlift—it stretches in literally every direction. The snaps at the neck of the hoodie are also useful when you’re outdoors and the cold winds are a blowin’. If there’s a problem with the hoodie, it’s that it may be too comfortable. The fabric is soft and stretchy, but did show signs of wear after a heavy lifting session with knurled barbells and whatnot.

Nike Therma-FIT ADV A.P.S.

Nike makes cheaper gym hoodies—the classic Nike Dri-FIT Pullover is a must for gymgoers everywhere—but none are as performance-minded as this one.Needless acronyms aside, the key difference between this Nike hoodie and other hoodies is its ability to keep you warm without sweating you out of the hoodie. It’s made with multiple layers of breathable, stretchy fabric so you can move freely without your teeth chattering, and you can do so without sweating so much you start pruning. It’s also got handy side vent zippers in case you want a more relaxed fit, or if the sun pokes through on a cold winter day.