Fleece - one of the most versatile materials used by the outdoor industry


Nowadays, you can find fleece garments in pretty much every wardrobe. That is because of the outstanding properties of this material. Fleece is very lightweight and yet still provides incredible warmth. It is also highly breathable and wicks moisture away from the body. And fleece also dries quickly and is incredibly flexible.

Fleece clothing has become indispensable in mountain sports, and it is available in a range of material thicknesses and models.

Various fleece material thicknesses and uses

Fleece is available in different material thicknesses. These are designated as 100, 200 and 300 fleece. This value states the material weight in g/m². A 100 fleece, as you would expect, is quite thin and is often called micro fleece.

Micro fleece is especially suited for thin inner layers, during sweat-inducing activities like ski touring, or for summer evenings in warmer climates.

A 200 fleece therefore refers to a material weight of 200-299 g/m². This means that it is warmer, and suited to a wide range of uses, as well as being ideal for wearing during the transitional seasons.

Fleece with over 300 g/m² is suitable as a sturdy insulating layer or as a single layer of clothing. Ideal for cooler climates or long evenings in the open-air.

Fleece - the ideal inner layer

Its good insulating and moisture wicking properties make fleece well suited for use as an intermediate layer, because the material quickly reaches its limits in adverse weather conditions. It only has a limited degree of water resistance, and so is not at its best in heavy rain.

In addition, clothing which has very good moisture wicking abilities is always susceptible to wind. In strong, cool wind there is always a danger of quickly getting cold, despite its good insulation capacity.

A windproof and waterproof hardshell or a strongly water-repellent and virtually windproof softshell is the best choice in these conditions. This way, you can have clothing which can be quickly adapted to every situation and ensure a comfortable body temperature.

Fleece outdoor clothing

Fleece keeps you warm and is comfortable to wear. Along with the other qualities mentioned above, this makes fleece a common feature in many types of clothing. It has also come to be used by nearly all manufacturers; first by the heavy-weights like Mammut, The North Face, Patagonia, and Haglöfts, and then also by the small traditional labels like 66° North or Rab. It is mostly found in the following categories:

  • Fleece Jackets and Fleece Jumpers: The categories where you are most likely to find fleece are: Fleece Jackets and Fleece Jumpers. These products are available from nearly all manufacturers and in many different cuts and colours for both men and women.
    The different models are suited to different uses. In some styles, varying thicknesses of material are used. The result is that those areas which are more prone to cold are more strongly protected from, rather than affected by, the cold.

  • Fleece trousers and fleece underwear: Fleece is also outstanding as insulation for the legs. You can choose close fitting but thin functional fleece base layers or Fleece Trousers made from sturdier and thicker material.

  • More outdoor clothing: Fleece is a real all-rounder and as such it is used a in many different types of clothing, including beanies, headbands, gloves and socks.

Polartec fleece products

Polartec has become a byword when it comes to fleece. From the beginning, this company has supplied the majority of manufacturers with different fleece raw materials, from micro fleece to waffle fleece, all the way up to high loft fleece. They have three main types of material available.

  • Polartec Classic: This is of a high standard, has an exceptionally long life span and has for many years been the preferred choice of insulation layer for many outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Polartec Thermal Pro: This fabric is the most sophisticated and high-tech variation in the Polartec range, and it is used in many different types of clothing in various material thicknesses.
  • Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft: When you want to achieve maximum warmth with the lowest possible weight Thermal Pro High Loft fleece materials are the right choice. They are light, highly compressible and have very good breathability.

Fleece kids' clothing

Fleece clothing is a great choice in clothing for kids that enjoy outdoor and mountain sports. It is very robust, warm and simple to clean. Many brands have noticed these qualities and are using fleece in their kid's clothing ranges.

A very well-known example is the distinctive fleece clothing from the Finnish brand Finkid, which features striking designs along with impressive functionality. But many other manufactures like The North Face, Marmot, Vaude or 66° North also produce stylish and practical clothing pieces made from fleece, which will quickly become kids' favourites.

Fleece is one of the most versatile materials for outdoor clothing for young and old.

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