Performance Fleece Roundup
Published on 03/05/2012
By Mallory Ayres
In days past, fleece referred to shorn sheep's wool, but in the late 1970's Malden Mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts created Polarfleece and completely changed outdoor sports apparel. Today, fleece comes with an armory of high-tech features and is a staple in most outdoor sports. We've put together a list of our favorite performance fleece picks from the 2011/ 2012 season. On it you'll find fleece of all shapes and sizes for a variety of activities, so whether you are skiing or just going for a light hike on a sunny day, we've got you covered.
Marmot Flashpoint Hooded Fleece Jacket - Women's
This Polartec Classic 100 Micro-fleece jacket is perfect for a little protection hiking in the spring or fall or as lightweight mid layer for snow sports. It features an attached hood, a drawcord hem, Lycra cuffs with integrated thumbholes and a wind flap behind the front zipper for extra protection. It also has zippered hand warmer pockets, an interior electronics pocket and a chest pocket with a concealed zipper.
Icebreaker RealFleece 260 Sierra Full-Zip Jacket - Men's
Icebreaker's RealFleece is made from Merino wool that is brushed to feel like traditional fleece. Because it's made from Merino, it's breathable, odor resistant and incredibly warm. It makes a perfect mid layer and fits sleekly under any hardshell. The jacket also features articulated raglan sleeves, zippered hand pockets and a droptail for extra coverage.
Patagonia R2 Fleece Jacket - Women's
Patagonia's soft, fur-like Regulator fleece is made from hallow fibers that help conserve body heat and wick moisture. It's also breathable and stretchy for ease of movement, and is highly compressible so you can take it with you to the most far-flung places. This fleece is the perfect companion to a hardshell jacket and offers unfailing insulation in the coldest weather because it traps body heat so well. It's also pack compatible with forward-set shoulder seams and features a chest pocket and two handwarmer pockets. Plus, it's made from recycled materials.
Arc'Teryx Hyllus Fleece Jacket - Men's
The high-loft Hyllus Fleece Jacket is made with Polartec Power Shield 02, which is an insulating fleece layer with a breathable, smooth outer surface. The jacket is perfect as a winter mid layer and features articulated elbows, gusseted underarms and stretch wrist gussets for a perfect fit. It also has plenty of pockets, a laminated hem with an adjustable hem drawcord and a full front zipper with a chin guard.
The North Face TKA 100 Microvelour Glacier 1/4 Zip Fleece Pullover - Women's
TKA is The North Face's Thermal Kinetic Advancement fleece. It's made with lightweight thermal fabrics that provide warm insulation and durability without the bulk. It's also warm when wet, launders well and resists pilling. The 100 weight is an excellent cool weather layering piece or can be worn alone during aerobic activities because it's breathable and dries quickly. It also has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 30, is backpack friendly and has a shape that flatters the female form.
Under Armour Dervos Fleece Jacket - Men's
This jacket will keep you warm and dry no matter how much you sweat. It features a brushed inner layer that traps body heat for extra warmth, but also wicks moisture to the smooth outer layer of the fleece where it evaporates. The fleece also features zippered hand pockets, a chest pocket and a left MVP player pocket to keep your tunes on hand.
Mountain Hardwear Pyxis Fleece Jacket - Women's
The Pyxis Jacket is made from Mountain Hardwear's Voluptuous Velboa, which is an incredible luscious high-loft fleece that is very soft to the touch. It works as a light layering piece in the winter or alone in the fall or spring. It features handwarmer pockets, a dual draw cord hem and a fleece-lined chin guard to prevent chafe. It also has a feminine fit and comes in 13 juicy colors.