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What should I look for in a fleece jacket?

Fleece is great for lightweight quick-drying insulation and stays warm even if it gets wet. Fleece makes the ideal midlayer to retain body heat and protect you from the cold. Bear in mind that fleece is not windproof in itself though. There is a wide range of options out there. Generally speaking, thicker means warmer.

How to choose a fleece jacket?

Think about what activities you’ll be doing and choose accordingly. Your fleece might end up being the most important piece in your layering system. And what kind of weather are you expecting? Fleece breathes well, this means that you’re less likely to overheat in it. However, in bad conditions, the wind might blow right through a standard fleece, stealing core warmth and energy. Some more technical fleeces have a special bonded smooth polymer outer fabric that provides a barrier against wind and light rain, while others have a bonded construction with an inner wind-blocking membrane.

What are the different weights of fleece and what do I need?

Fleece comes in ultralight, lightweight, midweight and heavyweight versions.

You often hear them described as 100, 200 and 300 weight.

  • <100 g/m² = ultralight
  • 100 g/m² = lightweight
  • 200 g/m² = midweight
  • 300 g/m² = heavyweight

Lightweight fleeces are the most versatile option for active days or technical mountain use. They might not offer as much warmth, but they are more versatile and work well in your layering system in a wide range of weather conditions.

Midweight fleeces are ideal for use as a mid-layer on cold winter days or as an outer jacket in milder temperatures. They are not always the best choice for active use as they are warmer and less breathable.

Heavyweight fleeces are mainly too thick to be layered effectively, which limits their functionality. However, they’re great for cold nights out camping.

SALEWA is known for its hybrid designs. Check out our range of hybrid fleeces that combine elements such as bodymapping for targeted insulation and breathability, weather-resistant overlays, microgrid fabrics for enhanced moisture management, and hybrid wool-blend fleece knits.

Should a fleece be tight or loose?

For active use, we recommend lightweight fleeces with a slim, athletic fit, so that they layer more easily. In colder conditions, when you need to layer up, a looser midweight fleece can be incorporated into a larger layering system or worn as a stand-alone piece.

What size fleece jacket should I get?

The cut of your fleece will affect its performance. You want it to be long enough to work under a backpack waistbelt or climbing harness. The length of the sleeves is also an important factor. If they are too short, you can lose a lot of warmth. Some fleeces also have thumb loops to help keep your wrists warm. Think about if you need a hood too. Thinner hoods work better in a layering system.

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