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The Best Fleeces of 2011

It’s getting cold out there, so stay safe and warm out there this winter with our guide to the best fleeces of 2011. Now that the evenings have drawn in and the temperatures are falling, a good quality micro fleece, midlayer of fleece jacket is a much lighter alternative to a woolly jumper when out walking in cold conditions. If you’re coming on one of our walking adventures this winter, we certainly advise wearing a fleece to stay comfortable and warm. So to make choosing easy we’ve put together a short list of our favourite fleeces which are all sensibly priced for casual walkers. The fleeces we’ve chosen are a mixture of micro fleeces, fleece jackets and insulating midlayers that are all light in weight, with a good freedom of movement and plenty of warmth. These come from a variety of well known outdoor brands, but the prices of the products we’ve chosen are fairly sensible. This is because we can appreciate that most of our readers won’t be outdoors experts and are looking for recommendations that offer good value for money as well as comfort, style and warmth for their winter walks. Regatta Thompson Microfleece While most fleeces are ‘polar fleeces’, a micro fleece tends to be softer, thinner and a little bit stretchier than regular fleeces. But that’s okay for everyday wear. This Regatta micro fleece in particular is ideal for casual walks and considering the low price we’ve been impressed with the overall quality. It also features an anti-pill finish which makes it harder wearing for the washing machine while helping it to dry quickly as well. You can probably find it even cheaper than normal at a good Regatta outlet. Hi Gear Bracken Overhead Midlayer Top For just a few pounds extra this Hi Gear fleece is a little thicker with a better fit around the shoulders to improve freedom of movement in the arms. The fitted shoulders allow you to layer up your clothing more comfortably, so you can easily where a waterproof jacket over the top or even a thermal top underneath if you’re venturing out into the coldest weather. Meanwhile the extra anti-pilling makes it easy to throw in the washing machine and dry it off with minimal wear. Berghaus Spectrum IA Fleece Jacket As one of the leading outdoor brands, Berghaus fleeces have a reputation for quality that often sees them favoured by outdoor enthusiasts over more fashionable brands like The North Face. Because it’s a midweight fleece, it’s much warmer for winter, but also features a full length zip, so you can always wear it open if you get too hot. While more affordable jackets often suffer from a poor quality zipper, we haven’t had any problems with the zip on this one. Overall, this is a great fleece jacket for the hills while definitely being stylish enough for the town. It also has two hand warmer pockets to keep your hands toasty. Rab PowerStretch Zip Top Fleece Midlayer A traditional polar fleece, this Rab PowerStretch fleece is made with Polartec fabric for added warmth in winter. It also features a high, scooped hem collar and long cut arms with thumb splits to get your hands into and keep them warm. The deep front zip provides fast fitting or unzipping for warmth or venting when you need it fast. It has also been flat seam sealed for more comfortable layering of garments. While this is one for the more dedicated outdoor types, we can also appreciate that some people would like to splash and bit more cash for quality clothing. This is a great fleece that you can layer up as you need it while being suitable stylish for everyday wear. However, it does have a slim fit. The North Face Windwall 1 Windproof Fleece Jacket If you’ve already got a North Face jacket, then chances are you’ll want a North Face fleece to match. This stylish wind blocking fleece is an ideal partner to the best selling North Face Resolve waterproof jacket and is every bit as comfortable and lightweight as you’d expect. The fit is excellent while the full length zip and brushed mesh lining provides extra breathability. But not only is this fleece jacket warm, it’s also windproof to stop those arctic chills from cutting right through you. All in all, the price tag is more than justified considering the quality of the fit, fabric and features. Conclusion Whether you plan to come on one of our amazing walking holidays or you’re taking a casual winter stroll with friends or walking the dog, we’re confident that each of our five best fleeces will have something for you. Chances are, you already have some idea about what you need from a fleece, but with so many to choose from, you need a recommendation. So if you’re looking to only spend a little and just need the essential comfort for an occasional stroll, the Regatta Thompson or Hi Gear Bracken should be right up your street. But if you’re going to be out in the cold and walking more regularly, or you simply like to treat yourself to good quality clothing, then the Berghaus, Rab or North Face fleeces will definitely meet your needs. Hopefully our guide has given you a good idea of what you can get for your money as well as what you need for your walks. But the most important thing is to stay warm and stay safe with appropriate clothing when enjoying the great outdoors. It can get very cold out there.
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