- 1 Berghaus Spitzer Hooded Fleece Jacket
- 2 Arc’teryx Proton FL Hoody
- 3 Columbia Drammen Level Fleece
- 4 Mammut Aconcagua Professional
- 5 Rab Alpha Flash Jacket
- 6 Alpkit Griffon
- 7 Adidas Terrex Polartec Energy Air
- 8 Houdini Energy Air Houdi
Berghaus Spitzer Hooded Fleece Jacket
The Spitzer Hooded Fleece Jacket from Berghaus bridges the hole between a standard fleece and one thing slightly extra technical. With this, Berghaus claim that they’ve made a midlayer that’s designed for the good climates. Whilst we wouldn’t agree that that is the warmest in this roundup, Berghaus has definitely achieved a powerful quantity of warmth for its weight.
The outer of the Spitzer consists of a tighter and denser weave in comparison with most of the other more light-weight offerings on this roundup. This not only provides the fleece a simple, conventional look, but in addition barely improves wind resistance.
You’ve acquired a pair of handwarmer pockets on the Spitzer, which are nicely lined with a delicate materials to warm your digits while you’re protecting them tucked away from the elements. There’s also a primary hood that may fit comfortably underneath a helmet.
Berghaus’s description that this fleece is ‘cut for comfort’ is spot on. I found the Spitzer provided a much roomier fit than a few of the different fleeces in the roundup. That’s to not say it’s too saggy, and it’s under no circumstances a grievance. I typically recognize having a fleece that doesn’t really feel like some type of lycra catsuit, notably when popping right down to the pub for the publish climb/walk beers.
S – XXL / two neat hand pockets / close-fitting hood / 90% bluesign permitted materials / underneath helmet hood.
Arc’teryx Proton FL Hoody
All new from Arc’teryx for 2019. This midlayer admittedly blurs the road between fleece and fill insulation with using Arc’teryx’s extremely lightweight and breathable Octa Loft fill. Still, we’ve included the Proton into this fleece round-up slightly than our greatest insulator round-up because of the superb ranges of breathability it presents. I felt like I used to be capable of hold persistently shifting quick by way of the mountains while this stored shifting moisture away from my physique when worn next to a baselayer.
Arc’teryx have managed to realize this spectacular amount of breathability by pairing the insulation with a highly porous, but frivolously wind resistant Fortius Air outer material. This outer shell can also be DWR treated, so as long as you take care of the fabric, it’s going to maintain off mild rain/snow showers.
The Proton jogs my memory of a lighter weight and extra technical version of my previous Rab Vapour-Rise Jacket, a jacket that I virtually lived in through the years I spent snowboarding and climbing in Scotland. That was a superb midlayer, and this one is even better.
A notable second using the Proton was whilst I used to be ski touring in the Alps at a fairly excessive tempo (around 70% heart price range) over a continuing period. I ended on the prime of a hill and realised that I hadn’t felt the necessity to unzip it to let any scorching air escape at any level through the ascent.
All of this breathability and wind-proofing is paired with a reasonably athletic match and a barely dropped back, with a low profile hood that may fit beneath a helmet. While this jacket has been stripped down on weight, it still boasts 4 nice outer pockets; two on the chest and two on the hip.
S – XXL / The Fortius Air 20 material / Octa Loft breathable insulation / low profile, fitted, adjustable beneath helmet hood / two zippered chest pockets / two zippered hand warmer pockets.
Columbia Drammen Level Fleece
You possibly can definitely tell Columbia’s American heritage with this fleece – ‘roomy’ is the most effective description relating to the fit. Nevertheless, in case you measurement the fleece appropriately, based mostly on the generous fit, you’ve obtained an amazing fleece that can do it all. It’s snug, breathable and heat and simply does its job properly. Smaller details embrace a single chest pocket, handwarmer pockets, and elasticated cuffs on the sleeves and hood. There’s also a nice, clean weave used for the outer materials which, while feeling good to the touch, additionally helps with the general aesthetic – it’s another a type of ‘on-and-off-the-hill’ midlayers.
General, we felt that the Drammen Level Fleece was a worthwhile contender in this round-up primarily as a consequence of its low worth and respectable warmth-to-weight ratio.
S – XXL / entrance zip / zippered chest pocket / zippered hand pockets / beneath helmet hood.
Mammut Aconcagua Professional
The Aconcagua fleece from Swiss manufacturer Mammut utilises two fleece supplies strategically designed to assist your body manage its local weather successfully. Briefly, the secret here is top-level temperature regulation.
It makes use of Polartec’s now basic Power Stretch Pro material, an ingredient that has turn into a mainstay within the midlayer market. Work exhausting and these things breathes with you. That’s particularly because of the added bonus of having Pontetorto Technostretch panels on the edges and on the back – those locations where your body is going to be making an attempt to expel air probably the most.
The Aconcagua has also been designed with a classically European slim match. I found this to be the closest becoming of all of the fleeces that I tested on this roundup, so I’d recommend to measurement up in the event you often want a more conventional match.
S – XXL / YKK Vislon entrance zip / elastic Pontetorto Tecnostretch on back, beneath arms, hips and hood / Pontetorto Tecnostretch waffle structure on inside / Polartec Energy Stretch Professional / beneath helmet hood.
Rab Alpha Flash Jacket
The very first thing that you simply’ll discover whenever you decide the Flash Jacket up, is the load (or lack of). At just 273g and packing a fair bit of warmth, Rab have introduced a couple of nifty options and fabrics to the basic fleece design.
Initially, they’ve used Polartec’s Alpha Direct material. In case you’re not yet accustomed to this, it’s somewhat extraordinary stuff. It has a very conventional really feel, virtually like pile fleece, however there’s way more to it than that. The temperature regulation it offers is actually wonderful, after which there’s the warmth-to-weight. For those who hold this as much as a light-weight, you possibly can actually see how skinny the Polartec Alpha Direct material is, however then there’s also that pretty warm and cosy really feel to it.
Stretch panels flank the edges of the fleece to additional enhance breathability and guarantee there’s no restriction of you’re motion once you’re reaching upwards for a maintain or at full stride while operating. There’s also that helpful zipped pocket for stashing away, say, your telephone or GPS.
The one slight niggle that I had with the Alpha Flash Jacket was that it seemed to have excess material around the wrists, simply before the cuff elastic pulls it all in. That’s it although.
S – XXL / Polartec Alpha 178g m² / Polartec Alpha Direct 120 insulation / Polygiene Stays Recent Know-how / slim fit / Half hem drawcord.
One other extremely light-weight fleece, the Griffon by Alpkit utilises an analogous (but decrease bulk) grid design to Polartec’s Power Air. This sample creates pockets of warmth while additionally expelling any sweat vapour by means of small channels.
Alpkit have designed the Griffon with a close-to-skin fit, which signifies that it may also be used as a heat base layer, should you don’t mind the sensation of a full length zip subsequent to your skin.
At only 250g and with a £40 price tag, this can be a onerous to beat fleece with nice value for cash. Whilst it’s never going to be as heat as most of the other fleeces on this roundup, it can make an awesome summertime companion.
S – XXL / Alpkit’s three yr alpine bond / full length Vislon zip / comfortable fitting lycra sure hood / exterior chest zip for valuables / two-tone clean face.
Adidas Terrex Polartec Energy Air
If you first check out the Adidas Terrex Polartec Energy Air, you might assume that it’s only a stripped down, primary midlayer. Nevertheless, throughout use, I was stunned to seek out out that it has some useful options to make life within the mountains that little bit extra snug.
The first thing value noting about this is that Adidas splits every measurement (S, M, L and so forth) into two separate chest measurements. This is truly actually useful in terms of your general layering system as it provides you the selection of both having one thing unfastened enough you can put on over other layers or one thing shut sufficient to fit underneath a layer or two.
The new Polartec Power Air material is an evolution of their previous Energy Grid material that was used, for instance, in the Patagonia R1. It options the identical waffle-like grid sample of fleece with tons of of little pockets that lure heat air whereas expelling any moisture-heavy vapour, however now it’s much, much hardier and not sheds any of its microfibres.
In an aesthetic sense that’s good in fact, nevertheless it’s also pretty essential should you’re desirous about longevity. Primarily, this new improvement means the fabric will last for much longer.
Two handwarmer pockets are included, however I want Terrex had added in a single chest pocket as I all the time like storing my telephone there so that my physique heat will help to protect the battery. Still, there’s a really small left arm pocket, which appears more likely to be designed to carry carry passes for ski or alpine walking/climbing use.
I liked taking out and using this fleece. I discovered that although the dimensions I tried had a reasonably close fit all-round, it was capable of stretch and transfer with me when ski touring and climbing and it provided implausible breathability. It’s going to turn out to be an amazing companion for me to tackle climbing trips, the place the long sleeves and elastic cuffs will avoid any cold spots forming when reaching excessive.
XS – XL, with S/M options within every measurement / zip sleeve pocket / aspect zip pockets / full length zip / visor on hood / Polartec Energy Air / excessive neckline / lengthy sleeves.
Houdini Energy Air Houdi
Houdini – Power Air Houdi
Houdini are recognized for creating clean wanting, sustainable clothes and the Swedish firm continue this development with their Powder Air Houdi.
At 706g, that is one other heavyweight fleece that, like the Adidas Terrex fleece above, utilises Polartec’s new Energy Air material. Should you haven’t already, simply learn that evaluation to hear about the benefits of this materials.
In addition to utilizing the identical Polartec material because the Terrex jacket, it’s also designed in a remarkably comparable method. You must rise up near the two fleeces to see the differences. Using a two-way zipper on the complete length zip, thumb loops and a hidden draw twine mark the variations between the two.
XS – XXL / high collar hood / Bluesign certified material / full size zip / visor on hood / Polartec Power Air / excessive collar hood.