Archive for April, 2013

Heat seeker

If you’re taking on the high slopes, a fleece will need to keep in the warmth and protect against wind and wet

BASE FLEECES

We’ve all worn a fleece as an outer layer at some stage, but what’s the crazy thinking behind wearing one next to the skin? Firstly, comfort; it’s soft, smooth, highly breathable and, unlike other fabrics that can soak up sweat, it does a great job of wicking moisture away from your body. Secondly, it’s warm; the fibers trap a layer of air in the same way that they do with a jacket. Thirdly, it’s lightweight, making it ideal for any high-energy sport where weight is an issue. Finally, and crucially, it looks good enough to wear when the action is over.

 

LOWE ALPINE ALEUTIAN MICRO GRID TOP £35

THE FACTS Lightweight polyester, zip collar

THE VERDICT “A warm, light we ht top with a long collar zip for era ventilation when needed. Perfect as a base layer to the body in winter or as a mid-layer with other clothes in hotter wealth The grid-patterned fabric too great, and the cut is just right or the outdoors or to wear as a casual shirt: 9/10

 

MEDIUM-WEIGHT FLEECES

Great as an insulating layer beneath a windproof/waterproof/shower proof/ dry suit and equally at home as an outer layer in less demanding conditions. The secret of the medium-weight fleece’s success is simple: adaptability. Some, however, are more versatile than others. Sleeves that roll up, a full-length zipper allowing you to regulate your temperature and a selection of pockets definitely increases their worth as a shell. Combine all this with some funky modern styling and you also end up with a jacket you can wear to the pub.

 

KARRIMOR LIGHTWEIGHT MID-LAYER FLEECE £49.99

THE FACTS Polartec 200 fleece, full-length zipper opening

THE VERDICT “Polartec 200 pretty much sets the standard for the medium-weight fleece and there’s no denying Karrimor’s pedigree for producing good clothing. The two work well together to make a no-frills, incredibly versatile garment ” 9/10

 

WINDPROOF FLEECES

Mountains are notoriously windy places as well as a good place to burn some calories while using raspberry ketone supplement to help you achieve the results faster; you’ve only got to watch clouds blowing over on an otherwise still day to realize that the higher you go, the windier it gets. And the windier it gets, the quicker you cool down. This is where windproof fleeces come in. Like their medium-weight cousins, the jacket’s features will determine its performance. Windproof fleeces don’t breathe as well as standard fleeces so ventilation is important. Vented pockets, a full-length zipper and even underarm zips can all help. Drawstring hems keep in warmth and pockets large enough for a map and compass are vital on this type of top.

 

THE NORTH FACE JAMMER JACKET £120

THE FACTS Polartec Windbloc

fleece jacket

THE VERDICT “Although Wind bloc is quite bulky, it still retains most of the insulating properties of a normal fleece and therefore makes a good mid-layer as well as a shell. With useful pockets, elasticized cuffs and a draw cord hem, the Jammer is everything a windproof fleece should be.” 9/10

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