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Which quarter-zip sweatshirt is best?

A quarter-zip sweatshirt is an excellent compromise between a zip-up and a traditional pullover. It lets you maintain the ventilating benefits of zip-up without removing the option of a front pouch pocket to keep your hands warm. They also come with a wide variety of necklines and styles. The best ones look stylish and are built to last. 

The Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Half-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt is a top pick because it maintains an excellent combination of design, functionality and durability. 

What to know before you buy a quarter-zip sweatshirt

What is a quarter-zip sweatshirt?

Quarter-zip sweatshirts have various silhouettes and necklines. They are much like a classic pullover but have a zipper at the front of the neck. 

Instead of zipping down to the bottom, the zipper can only be lowered to the center of your chest. They are also commonly referred to as half-zip sweatshirts.

Sweatshirt vs. sweater

While sweatshirts and sweaters have similar shapes, they are made differently and serve different purposes. 

A sweatshirt is a thick shirt that comes in various lengths and styles. Due to their durable, tight-knit and relaxed aesthetic, they are ideal for casual wear. They are great for the gym or anywhere that doesn’t have a dress code.

While a sweater can also be considered a type of thick shirt that comes in various lengths and styles, they are made from a looser knit or crocheted material that is far more fragile than a sweatshirt. 

Due to their craftsmanship and the more delicate materials used to construct them, they are typically considered dressier than sweatshirts. Thus, they can be worn to work or more formal events when paired with other dressier pieces.

Sweatshirt materials

Quarter-zip sweatshirts are usually found in fleece and terry knits. Most are made from cotton, polyester or a blend of both with some added stretch from spandex or modal.

What to look for in a quality a quarter-zip sweatshirt

The right neckline

Quarter-zip sweatshirts come with various necklines. To get the one you want, you should know what styles exist. There are five common considerations: 

  • Hoodie: This style has a hood attached to the back of the neck. 
  • Collar: This has a loose neckline that lands high on the neck when zipped up and a wide lapel when zipped down.
  • Cowl neck: This features a loose neckline that drapes around the neck and shoulders whether it is zipped up or not.
  • Turtleneck: This has a tight collar that lands high on the neck and opens to a wide lapel.
  • Mock neck: This neckline lands on the middle of the neck. When unzipped, it opens to a small lapel.

The right silhouette

Quarter-zip sweatshirts come in several styles that have various shapes. There are five standard silhouettes to consider: 

  • Pullover: This classic style is loose through your midsection and lands at your hips. 
  • Oversized: This silhouette is like a pullover but much larger for a cozier look and feel. 
  • Cropped: This youthful design is much like a regular pullover, but its bottom hem can land anywhere between your low chest and your navel. 
  • Fitted: This design hugs your body and shows off your shape. It is an excellent option for those who want the warmth of a traditional sweatshirt but don’t want the added bulk.
  • Tunic: This silhouette resembles a classic sweatshirt, but its bottom hem lands at your hips or high on your thighs. 

Pockets or a pouch

Pockets can make your life easier. They let you take your essentials, such as your keys and wallet, on the go without needing a bag. You can typically find pockets at the hips or on the front in the shape of a pouch. The best quarter-zip sweatshirts have a separate pocket for your phone to keep your device safe and secure.

How much you can expect to spend on a quarter-zip sweatshirt

Depending on the brand, style and details added to the sweatshirt, prices range from $15-$100. 

Quarter-zip sweatshirt FAQ

What is the best way to wash your quarter-zip sweatshirt? 

A. It is always good to check with your sweatshirt’s wash instructions on the label first. However, when you wash your clothes inside out with like colors on a delicate cycle and dry them on low heat, they tend to last longer. 

Can you get rid of pilling on your sweatshirts? 

A. Yes. Consider investing in a fabric shaver that quickly and efficiently removes excess fuzz, lint and pilling.

What’s the best quarter-zip sweatshirt to buy?

Top quarter-zip sweatshirt

Best Carhartt Women's Clarksburg Half-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt

Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Half-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt

What you need to know: This is a well-made sweatshirt that is comfortable and built to last. 

What you’ll love: It’s made from heavyweight fleece to keep you warm. It has a pouch pocket in the front and a hidden media pocket to secure your phone. It comes in three colors and sizes XS to 2XL.

What you should consider: This sweatshirt might be a little too pricey for some people. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top quarter-zip sweatshirt for the money

Best Daily Ritual Women's Relaxed-Fit Quarter-Zip Sweatshirt

Daily Ritual Women’s Relaxed-Fit Quarter-Zip Sweatshirt

What you need to know: This is a classic, comfortable zipped pullover with a flattering fit. 

What you’ll love: This is a slightly flowy but classic-fit sweatshirt with a mock neck. It’s made of a soft terry knit, and its hem lands at the hip. The zipper is durable, and it has pockets at the sides. It also comes in six colors and sizes XS to 2XL.

What you should consider: The material might be a little too thin to keep you warm in cooler months. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Carhartt Men's Quarter-Zip Mock-Neck Sweatshirt

Carhartt Men’s Quarter-Zip Mock-Neck Sweatshirt

What you need to know: This smart sweatshirt isn’t just for looks; it’s also ultradurable. 

What you’ll love: This traditional pullover has a mock neck with inner ribbing. It is made with sweat-wicking material to keep you cool and dry. It is also stain resistant, has a front pouch pocket and comes in sizes S to 4XL in three colors. 

What you should consider: Some might prefer a sweatshirt that has individual pockets placed at the hips. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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