Sprayway’s fleece buying guide January 27, 2023 It’s Winter, and that means bracing the cold whether we like it or not. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll still want to be heading out on the trail even with the chilly weather. But as any experienced hillwalker knows, you need to be prepared if you’re taking a Winter walk. Fleeces are some of the most essential pieces of clothing you’ll want to bring with you to keep yourself warm on a hike. Layering is important, and these will ensure you can wrap up whilst staying comfy. Don’t be fooled, though! Fleeces can be just as useful during Spring and Summer as during the colder months. We know it’s not always easy to pick the right equipment. That’s why we’ve put together our fleece buying guide. What is a fleece? A fleece is as the name suggests; it’s like the fleece of a sheep. It’s typically woolly and a bit thick, providing extra protection compared to other types of clothing. Some fleeces, particularly the more lightweight ones, are pullovers with a half or quarter zip. But you can also get a fleece jacket, with a full zip. These are usually a bit thicker and are generally used for your outer layer. However, on particularly cold adventures, some fleece jackets (and pullovers) can be used as a middle layer underneath a regular jacket. So what different scenarios might you find yourself in that would call for a fleece? And in those situations, which one should you buy and bring with you? A warm but breezy day Just because it’s sunny doesn’t mean there’s no weather you need to take into account. It might be t-shirt weather at the base of a hill, but the further you head upwards, the lower the temperature will get and the more likely it’ll be to be windy. For that, you might want to bring with you something that can be packed easily, is lightweight, and is long sleeved to protect you from the wind. We recommend a half-zip fleece pullover like the Dornie Half-Zip. This can be easily put on and removed, and the zip means that you can quickly ventilate if you’re feeling a bit stuffy from the sun, but it’s not warm enough to just wear a t-shirt. The Dornie Half-Zip is made with our stretch CoreC Grid fabric, which is great for high intensity activities due to its wicking abilities. Our stretch CoreC Grid fabric combines a smooth pill resistant outer face with warm and high wicking gridded back. This creates a fabric that provides exceptional freedom of movement and keeps you comfortable at a range of temperatures and activity levels. The gridded fabric also creates a highly breathable garment that helps to regulate your body temperature - making it the perfect addition to your outdoor layering system. For him: Dornie Half-Zip For her: Effra Half-Zip Alternatively, the Maol Half-Zip is also a great warmer weather fleece. It provides enough warmth to take the chill off when you've gained some elevation or if you're taking a break. But it’s also light and small enough to be packed away in a rucksack without taking up too much space. A slightly colder, but not freezing, adventure Fleeces like the Dornie Half-Zip are great for days when you need a little bit of extra protection, but don’t want to overheat. But other fleece pullovers can be used as an outer layer when it’s just a bit colder. That’s because some of our pullover fleeces are made from Polartec Micro 100 fabric. This works by trapping warm air produced by the body. We recommend something like our Storr Micro Snap, which is warm but still lightweight for slightly chilly days when you don’t need a jacket or other insulated outer layer. It also features a snap fastening neck, so the area around your neck can be covered to stop cool air from flowing through. For him: Storr Micro Snap For her: Atlanta Half-Zip A freezing day up the mountain when it’s time to layer up Let’s talk about one of the most useful scenarios to wear a fleece in. That’s when you need a bit of extra insulation, on top of an under layer and beneath an outer layer. This is where our fleece jackets come in. Jackets provide extra versatility and ease of use, compared to half-zip pullovers which are typically lighter and save more space when packing your bag. Fleece jackets are sometimes easier to use because their full-zip means they can be easily put on, but they can also quickly be fully opened for extra ventilation if you’re overheating from all of your layers. You might find yourself on the trail in freezing cold temperatures, but also be fighting off other elements like wind and rain. In these situations you might want an additional jacket like a waterproof over the top of your fleece. That’s why we recommend the Santiago I.A Fleece Jacket. This features an interactive zip, which allows it to easily be joined onto our Santiago I.A Jacket which uses our own waterproof membrane, HydroDRY. For him: Santiago I.A Fleece Jacket, interacting with Santiago I.A Jacket For her: Atlanta Fleece I.A Jacket, interacting with Atlanta I.A Jacket When you need something versatile Sometimes you just need something which covers all bases. Whether it’s a warmer day with few layers required, or a cold, rainy day when you need to layer up. For that, our Sarn Hoody is a great honourable mention. It can be worn on its own as an outer layer on warmer days, or it can be used as part of a layering system with a waterproof or insulated jacket over the top. With its hood, thumb loops, and adjustable hem, this is a very versatile jacket for days when your activity level or the weather is changeable. For him: Sarn Hoody For her: Clee Hoody Find your next favourite fleece We’ve only just scratched the surface of what Sprayway offers. If you’re looking for a fleece, take a look at our collections for a wide selection of clothes to keep you warm and comfortable during a day on the trail. And if you find yourself out and about wearing some Sprayway gear, let us know! Send us a picture of yourself on the trail on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #Sprayway for a chance to feature on our social media.