Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Art of Not Freezing to Death - Part Two: The Mid Layer

I've always hated fleeces. Always. 
As a rather portly child growing up (don't), fleeces seemed to be the Grandma-mandated winter item that would ensure you'd arrive at school perfectly spherical.

But it turns out that on the hills, they're a pretty handy piece of kit.

«And bloody dapper.

Apparently you can get a higher weight for a warmer jacket, or a lower weight if you want less warmth. 
So then during Autumn and early Spring you can have some decent protection against the chill that won't make you melt, and that won't weigh you down too much if you need to pack it away.

And, as ever, sweat-wicking properties are a must. 

A huge thing to think about here? The Fit.*
A more fitted fleece means less loose material flapping about when the winds get up and, quite simply, it makes it easier to layer up.  But that said, it's good to have a little give in your fleece to save the material from riding when you stretch your arms out or bend over. So fitted, but not too fitted.
*This tip of tips comes from former hiking buddy and font of all hiking knowledge: Patrick


Now in honesty I only just bought my first fleece yesterday. Online. And I've since been advised that the brand is, apparently, rather shit. Still, it looks as though it'll do the job until I encounter something resembling money.
Though when that day does come and I do have pounds in my pocket, my fleece of choice would probably be something like this...


Haglof's Women's Astro Q Jacket
Oh how I wish I'd seen this first.

But apparently the name isn't the most important thing; at the end of the day, most of it comes down to this fit. That said, the specs don't make this look too terrible an option...

  • In a size medium it weighs only 275g 
  • It's designed to be close-fitting, with flatlock seams throughout to optimise comfort in layering
  • Raglan sleeves make it better-suited for wearing a rucksack
  • It's sweat-wicking.
  • And it has pockets. Zippable ones. 
And best of all?  You can get it for just £35 at Costwold.


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