Hardcore Luxury® -- Always 100% USA

CPO Shirt Reviews

The best places to see independent WeatherWool reviews, lots of them, with new ones coming out steadily, are Instagram, Youtube, Facebook and the many websites and web forums. But I put a review here from time to time.

Please note that reviews prior to 2023 talked about the ShirtJac but this is now the CPO.

Please click here for the main CPO Shirt page.

2023-02-04 ... Rob Brummett sent me the following email:

Hi Ralph!
I wrote the following review of the CPO shirt but couldn’t submit it to the website due to length.
So I’ll park it with you as I don’t think I can edit this particular review to 1500 characters. :-)
Warmest regards,Rob
P.S. Have I mentioned that I’m *really* looking forward to the ShirtJac? I’m think it’s gonna be a real “go to” piece! 
CPO Shirt Review
I’ve had the CPO shirt for several months now. It has been a daily companion and I have enough time in it that a review seems appropriate.
BOTTOM LINE: Buy it—it does not disappoint in any way. The garment is flawlessly executed in a unique and remarkable fabric. It’s performance is stellar.
Construction: Superior. Can’t find a misplaced stitch anywhere. Sleeves and shoulders utterly symmetric. Detailing around hems, buttons, pockets is flawless.
How it feels: I have quite sensitive skin and found merino to be unacceptable as a next-to-skin layer until about 8 years ago. I tolerate current merino just fine. I can actually wear the CPO shirt next-to-skin! Unheard of for a woolen of this weight! It’s not what I do in practice as I don’t want the WeatherWool to be my next-to-skin sweat handler—see Layering 101. :-) The fact that you *can* wear it next to skin at all is amazing…..particularly if you’ve experienced wool garments from days past.
Fit: Size MEDIUM fits perfectly for me (5’6”, 160 pounds, more details below). I wear a 32/33 sleeve in a dress shirt and I’d describe the CPO sleeves as “sensibly long”. With the least tight button engaged the cuff stays off my hand and on my wrist but there is enough length that if I let the garment ride over my wrist—the natural hang is at mid-finger knuckle.  This reduces need for gloves. At tightest button setting, I get a pleasingly tight seal at the wrist over an insulated leather glove. Fit in the body is ample but not excessive; I can wear base layer of any thickness I would want. Shoulders are such that I find very little to zero restriction of arm motion. Pockets are deep enough to accommodate my cased iPhone 10….but only just.
Performance: I need to tell you a bit about myself so my comments have some context. I am: 56 years old, 5’ 6”, weight ranges between 155 and 165 pounds. Average to better-than-average fitness, medium build, average temperature tolerance (as compared to friends/family). I live in a farmhouse heated only by a freestanding wood stove; temperatures in the cold season vary in the house from 80 degrees F (stove room) to 40 degrees (workroom).  My outdoor activities consist of: (1) brisk day hikes on the AT wearing 20-30 pound backpack, (2) Upland bird hunting carrying game vest and shotgun, (3) processing firewood. The difference between hiking and hunting is carrying more weight while hiking and hiking being constant movement where hunting has more periods of being stationary. (To date my use of the CPO with firewood has been limiting to throwing pieces into the tractor bucket from the storage rick then unloading them into the rick outside the house—no splitting as I do that in warm weather. It’s a fair upper body workout.) “Sedentary” means inside the house, 40-80 degrees.
So, with a very lightweight long sleeve merino 1/4-zip  undershirt next to skin and NO additional baselayer, here’s how the CPO performs for me (all degrees are Fahrenheit):
60-80 [16C-27C] degrees—comfortable sedentary; at 80 degrees I wouldn’t want to do anything but read a book or throw the occasional log into the stove
50 [10C] degrees—comfortable hunting with sleeves rolled up, too warm for hiking, still comfortable sedentary
45 [7C] degrees—comfortable hunting, hiking is a bit warm but acceptable with sleeves rolled up; if sedentary will add a vest
40 [4C] degrees—comfortable hunting, comfortable hiking with sleeves rolled up; comfortable firewood handling here and at all the colder temps as well
25-35 [-4C-2C] degrees—comfortable hunting and hiking (appreciate addition of merino lower body base layer—“long John’s”)
20 [-7C] degrees—comfortable hiking, hunting is a bit cold but tolerable (prefer adding merino lower body BL; need watch cap, gloves)
15 [-9C] degrees—need heavier base layer for hunting, hiking OK if pace brisk (*Need* to add merino lower body BL, watch cap, gloves)
“Comfortable” means never feeling cold OR hot……always “just right”. 
I believe I could shift all of those numbers down 5-15 degrees by increasing the thickness of the baselayer. I can’t comment on the CPO shirt as a mid layer—haven’t used it enough in that position. Initial testing suggest it will be sublime in that role. Can’t really comment on the CPO’s rain performance other than to note that I hiked in a light rain at 35 degrees for about an hour and didn’t feel wet or cold. Won’t be doing much intentional rain testing of the CPO shirt as I virtually always have a shell I can throw on.
Would I change anything in the shirt’s design and execution? No, I don’t think I would. Perhaps cartridge loops/pen holder as an option in the pocket? Would I buy it again? Yes……and did.
Bottom line, reprise: I’ve had a lot of gear……some excellent, some not so good. The WeatherWool CPO shirt is in the former category. And, frankly, it’s at the very top of that grouping. I can’t say this is the only piece of “heirloom kit” I own, but it’s sure as heck the only wool shirt that qualifies. If you appreciate fine gear both—functionally and conceptually—you owe it to yourself to give the CPO shirt a try. Hardcore Luxury indeed!
Robert G. Brummett, M.D.
Allcare Family Health, P.C.
855 Tuck Street, Suite 1
Lebanon, PA 17042




2020-11-16 Arrio Farugie again ... Arrio previously sent us his thoughts on the 5th of this month (please see previous entry, below). Here are notes received from Arrio on the 14th and the 16th:

Hey Ralph and the WeatherWool crew! 

Feel free to use my comments, I'm happy to tell the world about how much I enjoy your products and how they work for me.

There is something so serene about being content out in the freezing cold.

I've been thinking that I should get an AAJ as well. I don't think I can choose just one garment between the AAJ and an Anorak, but I'm planning ahead now so that I should be able to afford them both when the time comes.  I think I'll get the AAJ in the Lynx pattern and the Anorak in FullWeight Drab.  The Pants are high on the list too, and I think the Poncho would be great to have as well.  

And from Saturday the 14th:

I know you know all about how your clothing performs, but I like talking about wool and so I thought I'd share some of my recent WeatherWool experiences with you.

I've spent about 24 hours in the cold over the last 5 days with my WeatherWool (CPO, Neck Gaiter and Watch Cap).   The coldest it's been was 18 degrees [-8C] with ~12 mph [18 kph] wind gusts, which I was very comfortable in with two merino wool layers under my CPO (moving very slowly, stopping frequently to observe and enjoy nature). 

The first day was 40 degrees [4C] and rainy with a little wind, and I was comfortable getting rained on for 3 hours with just the CPO and one merino wool base layer underneath.  I never once felt wet or cold.  

The next day was 30 degrees [-1C] and windy, and for the first 3 of 4 hours outside I was getting rained on.  The rain eventually turned to sleet and then snow, so it was a very wet day.   I had two merino wool layers underneath and again was very comfortable the entire time.   When I finished my walk there was a coat of ice covering my entire car (and the rucksack I was wearing), which took me by surprise because apparently I was blissfully unaware of how nasty the weather actually was.  That was a pretty cool moment.   A couple hours after I got home from that walk, I suited up again to go build quinzee with the fresh snow fall.   Surprisingly my CPO was already dry to the touch.   That evening I spent 3 hours in a snowy and somewhat windy 25-20 degrees [around -5C] shoveling snow (for the quinzee) and was comfortable with just one smartwool shirt and my CPO (and Neck Gaiter & Watch Cap). 

Yesterday I set out for a walk with 2 layers underneath my CPO. It was about 36 degrees [2C] with light wind, after a mile [1.6 km] I had to remove one base layer and was comfortable for the last 4 miles [6.5 km] of my walk.   This morning when I went out to my sit spot, it was still around 35 degrees [2C] but now with 15-18 mph [25 kph] winds. It was actually one of the colder feeling days this week despite being above freezing.  After a few minutes I decided to layer up a bit more, and then with 3 merino wool layers under my CPO I was comfortable sitting perfectly still for 30 minutes.  I wasn't just 'warm enough', but very comfortably warm. 

One thing I noticed during the first day I got rained on is that my Neck Gaiter (and Watch Cap, but that wasn't as noticeable) was putting off a strong sheepy smell once it got decently wet.   I hand-washed both garments that evening with some Dr. Bronner's soap and haven't had any issues with smell since.  [I personally kind of like that smell, because it reminds me of sheep. I believe it's caused by water breaking some sulfur bonds in the wool. -- Ralph] I really like the Watch Cap & Neck Gaiter combo, on colder & windier days wear the Neck Gaiter higher up to add a second layer around my ears and cover some of my face.  

I actually wear my CPO inside at home almost all the time now, unless I'm eating or sleeping.  It's really that cozy.   The handwarmer pockets and hood attachment buttons will be great additions to your next batch of these FullWeight ShirtJacs.    Also I can see the appeal in having one of these made with your lighter MidWeight fabric, although I wonder if I'd prefer it without the bulk of the chest pockets to make it more layerable.  Maybe I just haven't learned to appreciate those pockets, but I don't think I've ever used them on any shirt. 

Lastly, looking at your CPO side by side with my King of The Mountain gear, the KOM's sewing job looks like child's play compared to yours.  That gear will definitely be sold to fund more WeatherWool purchases. 

Stay warm and healthy, Arrio


2020-11-05: Arrio Farugie gave us permission to use this letter he sent today. He's not been out in the cold yet ... the letter describes his initial impressions:

Hey Ralph,
I just got home from work and tried on my CPO, It's everything I wanted it to be, and more. I've been very into wool (I'm trying to avoid saying obsessed) for about the last decade. I have a nice collection of Icebreaker, Smartwool, Darn Tough (socks) and other miscellaneous wool clothing. In my mind, I've always wished there was clothing made of a thicker, tougher merino wool. This is literally what I've been dreaming of all these years.

It's not going to cool down here in Minnesota until Monday unfortunately, but it'll be in the mid 50s in the morning when I go out for my sit spot, so at least I'll get to enjoy it then. I still haven't taken it off and I'm perfectly comfortable indoors at ~68/70 degrees, I have a feeling I'll be wearing this all the time.

I really like the buttons and I love that it's pure wool. The craftsmanship is very, very very nice. I was a little concerned that the size small would be too small, but I think it's a great fit (I'm about 5'7" ~160lbs, athletic build). I can hardly wait to buy more WeatherWool- pants, anorak, AAJ, mouton vest, and more. It may take a few years to afford it all, but one day I will have a serious collection of your clothing. I'll definitely be putting some content out on Instagram/YouTube about it, it's just too good to not show and tell.

Thank you for the free upgrade to 2-day shipping and for making the wool of my dreams!

Until next time, in warmth, Arrio

This YouTube review of our FullWeight CPO in Lynx Pattern is actually from 2019, but I just (1 November 2020) thought to link it here.

Great note from Ron Espenschied (11 June 2020), who works outdoors professionally, year-round, in a lot of places:
I can't say enough good things about my CPO!

This spring I drove from Boston to Cabo San Lucas in a vintage truck, no heat, no air, and the CPO was my only outer garment.  During the trip I was rained on, snowed on, and used the CPO as insulating layer in my swag bag which I camped in from temps in the single digits [-15C] to the low 50's [12C], not only did the CPO keep me warm and dry, but the Lynx Pattern did not look out of place in a Boston pub or Cabo beach. This is one quality garment that I will depend on for many years to come! Thanks again for working with me on my custom CPO.


PS please feel free to use this email as a comment on your products.   

Feedback (AAJ and CPO) from Sam Matte as of 8 May 2020:
I’ve been loving my All-Around jacket, I’ve used it literally everywhere. It really is a functional piece both in the presentation room and outdoors. They were presentations for my college classes where I was required to wear business casual clothing. The AAJ is particularly handsome over a button down shirt and vest. I’ve also used the CPO in the Lynx Pattern for multiple presentations last school year and this school year. At the end of this week I will graduate from the University of Houston with a bachelors degree in public relations! 

My friends and co-workers could not resist the urge to touch and comment on both garments. I also used both on a recent trip in December to Big Bend National Park and the McDonald Observatory. I wore both the CPO and AAJ over a Merino Henley Sweater at the Observatory where the temperatures were just above freezing, around 38 F. Everyone around me was freezing, I was extremely comfortable and warm. I’ve never been that warm in wool without using any synthetic insulation! 

When temps creeped up to 78F/26C at Big Bend National Park, I wore just the CPO and did not expect to be comfortable in wool at such heat. WeatherWool is incredibly versatile stuff, and I can not believe I can wear it next to my skin. Please feel free to quote anything I say, these garments are worth every penny.


8 April 2020 ... Outdoor Pro Matt Mercer
"WeatherWool represents the very best quality in wool outerwear! I own the Full Weight CPO and have been nothing short of amazed with it’s performance. As a professional survival and bushcraft instructor, I spend a good deal of time out in the elements. Having the proper clothing many times makes the difference between success and failure. In the worst of situations it could mean the difference between life and death. WeatherWool indeed provides the best quality wool clothing to ensure your success. Ralph and his family run a first class business and will go out of their way to help you. I wholeheartedly recommend WeatherWool."

Outdoor Professional Matt Mercer, an instructor with Dave Canterbury's Pathfinder School, "wholeheartedly" recommends WeatherWool


18 October 2019
Customer Ziad "Z" Kerala just sent us a great review of his CPO ... Z has several pieces of WeatherWool but focused on the CPO here:

Hi Ralph,

First, I wanted to thank you and your family for the great product you folks are putting together. When I first got your Anorak in Full Weight, I couldn't believe how warm it is. I liked the functionality of it and the easy to wear it comparing to another wool anoraks.
But what I liked the most was the fabric and the fact that everything is made here in the USA! it is soft, yet it is strong and DENSE!

Fast forward, I ordered a CPO in FullWeight about a month ago for the purpose of wearing in the deer stand where it can get cold and freezing sometimes (here in upstate NY)... Since then, I never stop wearing it. I first wore it to work after picking it up from the mail, and got hooked.

I thought I am wearing a real jacket but without looking or feeling bulky. I got to wear it in up north in the duck opening weekend, in the camp where we sat and hang out outside all the time.
The temp at night dropped around low 30s and everyone was wearing their heavy weight waterfowl jacket, except me - I had a cotton shirt under that CPO and I was warm!!

Even the guys start giving compliments about the "coat", they even start feeling it. It was weird, since that was the first time, we (the boys) do that hahaha. We never cared about the cloth or the outfit, but this shirt (or the coat as they described it) brought their attention.

I have a long hunting season a head of me and I will be reporting more but I have not even a slight doubt about its performance.

I know some will find it expensive, but look at other wool Shirts around and you find yourself stealing it for what you are getting.
It is very important that we understand the wool fiber and how it is becoming a fabric before making the garment. This fabric is THE top notch!! it is a real 100% wool - and not just any type of wool, it is from the finest of all sheep breeds.

Ziad "Z"

16 February 2019
I should have posted this back in November, but anyway ... Here is correspondence between me and customer Jim Bonney: 

November 9, 2018
Hi again!

Just got my medium weight CPO about an hour ago. It’s perfect. The cut is amazing. You lengthened what needed to be lengthened, the buttons are rock solid, the medium weight fabric is perfect for my needs and the Lynx pattern is nothing short of extraordinary. I’m keeping the three business cards of yours I have in the chest pocket so when I’m asked about this shirt I can hand them out. Simply fantastic. Can’t wait to test the performance of the fabric in the rain.

Thanks a lot! This will be my go to woolen for the rest of my life or until you release more [Hooded Jackets]. Truly well done!

Jim B

On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 12:57 PM <ralph@weatherwool.com> wrote:
THANKS JIM! --- Can we put this on the website? With your name? 

Either way, we really, really appreciate the feedback and the support! It makes a big difference to a small family company.

We hope you wear the CPO in great health for many years! ---- Ralph & Family

From: Jim Bonney <jimbobonney@gmail.com> 
Sent: Friday, November 9, 2018 4:51 PM
To: ralph@weatherwool.com
Subject: Re: WeatherWool

Please do!

I’ll touch base with you after the first of the year and I’ve used it in the rain, snow and sleet we get in winter around here. For Christmas all I’m asking for is WeatherWool gift cards.

I expected high quality but I have to admit I feel like I robbed you.


On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 2:01 PM < ralph@weatherwool.com> wrote: 
Ohhhhh …. That last line is a killer!!

Have an awesome Holiday season! ---- What a fantastic time of year! ---- THANKS ---- Ralph
On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 3:09 PM Jim Bonney < jimbobonney@gmail.com> wrote: 
Thanks, you too! 

On Nov 21, 2018, at 12:35, Jim Bonney <jimbobonney@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi again Ralph, 

I can’t seem to stop pestering you. So far the performance of this CPO has been what I would normally call unbelievable. For such a thin material this stuff retains body heat to a degree that I would have thought not possible. By itself it’s more effective than two similarly thick smartwool sweaters stacked on top of each other under my waxed Carhartt work jacket. 

Unreal. Happy thanksgiving! 

On Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 9:45 AM Ralph - WeatherWool <ralph@weatherwool.com> wrote:
Huge thanks for these kind words, Jim!!! We really really appreciate it! 
If anything goes wrong, we are here!
All the Best to you and yours for Thanksgiving! ---- Ralph, Debby, Alex, Denali 
26 November 2018
Hi again Ralph,

Got my first opportunity to use WeatherWool in the rain. 40 degrees, 1 hour, light stroll, no problem. Used your ball cap and gaiter as well. This stuff does exactly what you say it does. I’ve never encountered a fabric like this before. It’s truly remarkable and you win, I’ll be a customer as long as it exists.

I know you put me on the waiting list for a [Hooded Jacket]. I had said before I wanted a Lynx fullweight. I don’t know if you’re keeping track of colors but I’d like to switch to black. I’d like to make it my outdoor work jacket. As much I love Lynx I find myself babying the beautiful ShirtJac mainly because of how pretty the Lynx pattern is. I think I’ll be more inclined to wear the [Hooded Jacket] when I need it the most if it’s plain black vs your amazing Lynx pattern. 

I can’t pay you a higher compliment than to say if I’m stuck during the daily grind outside in the wet and cold I want your product. Nobody makes what you’re making. Your [Hooded Jacket] is priced at a bargain considering what else is out there for legit weatherproof work clothes. It’s hardly more than a Filson cotton jacket. 

Maybe I’ll get lucky and win the lottery, then I can buy the whole line of goods. Til then I’ll build my WeatherWool stash like Johnny Cash built his Cadillac.

All the best and can’t wait to get more WeatherWool!


12 February 2019
Jerry Fisk might actually be America's best-respected knife maker, which is saying A LOT!! Jerry has been wearing one of our MidWeight CPOs and he put these words on Instagram a couple of days ago, when he used his CPO as a backdrop for presenting one of his awesome knives:  "The background is a lynx pattern Weatherwool CPO. I am a wool person. It will last 3 to 4 times longer, is absolutely the best material you can wear in the Bush. WeatherWool is the best wool shirts I have worn. And, no, I am not on the payroll. But I do know quality when it is my hands."

11 February 2018
We just got a really nice and surprising review of the CPO from a Commercial Diver who works year round on the lower Mississippi River. He uses the CPO  before and after diving, during construction work, and even WHILE DIVING!

January 2019
Here is a review published by Explore Magazine and written by Kevin Callan, the magazine's field editor and a well-known tester of outdoor products.

And a comment sent to us by Bruce Carlson:  "Received my XL Lynx wool CPO yesterday. Wore it to work today. 5-6 compliments….everyone wanted to 'touch' it!'"

Leo Grizzaffi, writer
Leo Grizzaffi is a very well-known outdoor writer.   He's been testing our CPO and introducing WeatherWool at his many appearances.   On this occasion, he had presented an award of a very valuable historical handgun to this beaming Lady.   The ShirtJac in FullWeight LYNX Pattern Fabric makes a great  substitute for a suit jacket.

Leo commented that the CPO is warm when needed and cool when needed and generates a lot of interest.



December 2015

Garrett Riffle, one of the Founders of Up Mountain Switchel :

“Yeah, you guys really nailed it with the lynx pattern. Non-Camo minded folk don't even see it as camo, more a complex and organic looking pattern … the jacket was a huge hit at the party. Everybody loved it! WeatherWool is breaking into high fashion! I told many people what the jacket was and your website. The compliments keep coming in. Everything from “I like your jacket” “cool coat” to “that jacket is straight fire!!!” fire meaning it’s “hot”. Anyway. Lynx is a hit!”