Sambob: Colorful, Customizable Fleece Hoodies Made in Maine

Maria Weidich


Sam Roberts, the force behind Sambob fleece hoodies, has spent over 15 years as a wildlife biologist studying and counting songbirds across North America. While the variety of songbirds he studies are remarkably vast, even more so are the iterations of the custom fleece hoodies he crafts at Sambob.

Spending his days as a biologist stewing over songbird statistics, Sam spent a lot of time outside, but missed having a creative outlet. “I didn’t really have something to put creative energy into.” 



While living in Utah, Sam dove into backpacking, which organically led to an obsession with ultralight gear, and ultimately got him behind a sewing machine during the pandemic lockdown in 2020.

A friend taught him how to read a pattern, thread the machine, and off he went. After sharing a few pictures of his early creations on his Instagram page, Sambob gradually and organically grew to where it is today.

“The creative side has been the most fun,” Sam said. “I could have gone more technical, but I stuck with one or two products diversifying the clothes we see outdoors.”



The diversity of Sambob hoodies comes from the variety of Polartec fleece and array of vibrant color options. While ready-to-ship hoodies are available, the handcrafted, ultralight mid-layers are fully customizable making them truly one-of-a-kind.

With Sambob’s cutting-edge, online visualization tool, customers are able to select colors for every element of their hoodie and see it come to life on the screen.  Want a hoodie with mismatched sleeves, custom cuffs, a vibrant kangaroo pocket and asymmetrical hood panels? Sambob has you covered.

“It’s certainly not often I’ve made two of the same,” Sam laughed. “The number of iterations is in the millions, and odds of people coming up with the same one is pretty low.”



With the gender-neutral and inclusive fit, Sam aims to make Sambob a welcoming place to find a hoodie that fits everybody.  “My goal from the beginning is to get a hoodie to whoever wants a hoodie. From the sizing perspective, the fit is loose fitting and boxy, which gives them a more unisex feel.” 

By far, the best part for Sam is the customers. As a cottage brand that launched in the middle of a global pandemic, Sambob was physically isolated from his customers in its infancy. “This was a cool way to connect with the community, digitally, with lots of enthusiasm,” Sam said.  “Hearing people’s enthusiasm is what keeps me going.”

Sambob is unique in more ways than offering customizable fleece hoodies. “A lot of people are making alpha hoodies,” Sam agreed, “but every company offers something different.”

We're excited to be carrying small batches of microgrid hoodies from Sambob at Garage Grown Gear in both their wide and narrow fits.



One way Sambob stands out is through its pledge to sustainability. All of their Microgrid and some Alpha fabric are labeled as “seconds” by Polartec, but are second to none in Sam’s eyes. “It might be made for a company, and the color is not what they wanted, but for me, that doesn't matter at all.”   

Sam also uses up the large volume of scraps that accumulate for “scrap” garments and new products in the Sambob pipeline. In addition, Sambob is proud to partner with other growing brands like Montana-based Youer, and gives new life to their discontinued Pillow Line fabric.



Everything, including the Alpha and Microgrid fleece, is manufactured in the USA. Now located in Portland, Maine, Sambob employs three part-time cutters and sewers and is not shy about sharing what he pays them. 

“I pay them a livable wage, and I feel good about that,” Sam said. “People deserve to be paid well, and I want people to want to work here.” 

When customers support Sambob, Sam takes it personally. “I have gratitude towards folks for choosing Sambob. They’re supporting Sam. They’re supporting me,” he said. 

“If you’re buying a custom hoodie, you know I’ve had my hands on it and have the best intentions.” 

Originally from Alaska, Maria currently resides in Montana with her husband, two young daughters and chocolate lab named Echo.  When she’s not chasing her kids or that next running goal, you can find her weekend-warrioring in the mountains or thinking about her next cup of coffee.



Microgrid Hoodies by Sambob on GGG Garage Grown Gear
Microgrid Hoodies by Sambob



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