View Full Version : Fleece/Pile Over Synthetics?
What do folks use from experience, a fleece or pile jacket as a warm layer or of the jackets filled with synthetics like Snugpak? Anyone switch from one to the other and why?
I use fleece as a warm layer because I feel that for bushcraft that filled jackets are prone to rips, tears and burn holes causing the filling to pour out. Also, once wet, it takes a long time to dry out.
I can recomment the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Phur (furry fleece) or the Karrimor Hurricane Force 2.
Hehe, this doesn't really follow your question, but my one and only synthetic jacket has a wool liner.
Fleece makes an excellent layer for warmth, but something a little more fire resistant as your outer layer is best. Myself, I use either my M65 field jacket as my outside layer, a long wool coat made in Norway, or a wool cruiser made here in the States and as a layer of warmth underneath, I wear a reversible thinsulate lined fleece vest, which by itself is perfect for stalking in the fall months before the real cold settles in.
I use fleece for sport, for several reasons:
It's light, so I don't really feel it when it's on, nor when it's in my bag when it starts getting warmer.
It stretches, perfect for moving around.
It breathes really well, which is nice after having overheated down that bad snow.
It dries fast, if it's gotten damp in my bag during a snowstorm and I decide to put it back on because I'm getting a bit cold, it just dries on me in a few minutes.
It isn't bulky like snugpack jackets (Polartec Thermal Pro is only 2-3mm thick, but the snugpack ones I saw were really bulky).
And yes, according to the temperature ratings of Snugpack jackets, fleece is as warm (well can be according to the type, mostly the fluffy ones)
I can recommend Polartec fleece, especially Thermal Pro, even nicer, softer, warmer and lighter than the classic stuff!
My fleece jumper combined with a base layer and my Helly Hansen jacket have kept me warm and happy all winter, in temperatures ranging from -15° to +5°, with sometimes strong winds, in snow storms or sunny weather :-D (well, that's in the colder temperatures ; I only wore a T-shirt under the shell when it was +5, what a horrible temperature to ski in :-( )
I don't know how it would be for anything fire-related, since I can't bring myself to do anything else than ski in Winter...I must be addicted to snow :-) But with something ontop to stop wind and protect it from the fire it should be fine. (off topic: is the M65 wind proof?)
Oh yeah, I prefer the non-windproof type, they're lighter, dry faster and are more supple, and you can use the vents of the jacket to cool down a bit (with a windproof fleece they would be useless).
Down is also nice as an insulation layer, I use a down vest in summer for walking, because they pack down really small and are very light for the warmth, which is ideal since it lives in my bag most of the time (I only get it out at cold summits. I wouldn't like it for skiing though...
Schöffel make nice fleece jackets, and Haglöfs look and feel nice too (I've got a Corniche jacket in Thermal Pro, which is softer and lighter than my mother's Schöffel (also Thermal Pro), but I haven't tested it yet in cold conditions, so for the moment it just looks and feels nice, and is well designed. Beyond Fleece (http://www.beyondfleece.com/) make custom fleeces and softshells for a nice price (less than most production ones), but only have Classic 200 as non-windproof fleece. Land's End make very well priced stuff, which is good quality in my experience (it's where my mother orders most of our clothes...), and have their own fleece made by Malden Mills (Polartec). They also sell the overstocks really cheap, my down vest only cost $20 and my mother got herself a 700cuin (I think) down jacket in Dryloft, ripstop construction with reinforced shoulders, a snow skirt and all the things you could want for less than $40 (plus it outperforms her best friend's that cost ten times that [with no exageration]), and also a few windproof fleece things (marinac vest and jacket) for not much either. Well anyway, the overstocks are worth a look! (and their fleece jacket (http://landsend.com/cd/fp/prod/0,,1_2_1931_2312_59387_41843_5 :view=59,00.html?CM_MERCH=PAGE _62&sid=6979028641203156070) even when not on sale only costs $40.
Lots of stuff to choose from out there!
Too many of my fleeces have hard little burn marks on them! :cry:
I use both, but for most of my outdoor activities I favour my Snugpak "Airpack" jacket - a lighter weight version of the Sleeka. It's light, water resistant, stays warm when wet, dries easily, packs down small, got decent pockets, is reversible (combat green/black) and gives instant windproof warmth. But I'd never take it near a fire!!!
Has anyone tried the Karrimor Bearfur jacket that is on the PRI website? It looks very capable but is it any good? Any idea of the prices?
ps be VERY careful about searching for 'bearfur' on google - I just did it and got some distinctly dubious results :shock:
Have you got a link?
If this is a furry kind of Polartec it is like what I have and very warm and lightweight.
The only drawback (other than looking like you are wearing a yeti costume) is the fact that I'm sure a spark would damage it.
Here's a link to the bearfur kit from PRI / Karrimor
Doesn't look too Yeti like either...
I think that's furry on the inside, not outside. I think that furry fleece has it's place for sure.