Fleece jackets are a popular choice amongst adrenaline junkies who like to participate in adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, camping, biking, etc. Fleece jackets, as the name suggests, are made of a synthetic fiber called fleece. Fleece is a comfortable and breathable fabric that has a soft and fuzzy kind of sensation when touched.
They are commonly made of synthetic polyester, woven together to give an illusion of a sheep-like look.
The process of using synthetic fabrics to make wearable items gained popularity in the 20th century. The development and popularity of fleece clothes have to be credited to the growing popularity of polymer chemistry and technology at that time.
While fleece jackets do have their fair share of advantages, are they the best jackets for adventure ? or are they better off in the fashion and style industry? We have come up with the ultimate article for you to decide whether or not to purchase a fleece jacket for your next hike!
Are fleece jackets warm?
When we take a deeper dive at the working mechanism of fleece fabrics, we can understand that fleece is woven in such a way that air is trapped inside the layers of fiber, which creates a layering of insulation, which furthermore helps to trap the body heat and keeps the body warm. The very origin of fleece revolved around mimicking the warming property of a natural sheep’s wool.
Fleece contains moisture-soaking properties, which is also known as moisture-wicking in the technical terms of the textiles industry. This property of fleece fabrics allows fleece jackets to soak any kind of moisture from the body, like sweat or water droplets, and fleece’s quick drying property compliments its moisture-soaking characteristic, which also makes fleece jackets a very good choice if one encounters damping surroundings or even rain in their trips.
5 Best Fleece Jackets for Trekking
The fabric advantage
The overall warmth and appeal of fleece jackets are credited to the way they are produced. The original synthetic materials like polyester fabrics are crafted in such a way that they can imitate the properties of a sheep’s wool, whether it be the outer appearance or the warmth sensation. Fleece jackets provide a certain level of comfort due to their body-hugging appearance, where the placebo effect also comes into play.
Are fleece jackets the best choice?
For the above question to be answered, context, needs, and preferences are required.
Fleece jackets do offer a lot of advantages, but are they optimal for all conditions? Let’s find out!
Here are the factors that can solve your queries regarding fleece jackets and help you find the best fleece jackets .
Fleece jackets are comparatively less weighted than other popular jackets like puffers or downs.
While the best fleece jackets offer moisture-wicking properties, they might not be the better choice in extreme monsoon and rain. You might want to opt for water-resistant puffer jackets in wet conditions.
Fleece jackets may not be the ultimate choice for windy and chilly surroundings. Jackets with wind-resistant or windproof outer jackets should be used in such conditions.
If you are looking for a jacket to wear in a moderately cool temperature, then fleece jackets are the best for you. Still, if you intend to indulge in heavily adventurous activities like mountaineering, cold weather camping, etc, then fleece jackets may not be quite beneficial for you.
How long does a fleece jacket last?
There is not a one-fit answer to how long a fleece jacket lasts on average. There are various conditions and factors that should be considered before concluding the answer to the above question; the below mentioned factors will help you find the best fleece jackets!
Quality of Jacket
There are multiple qualities of fleece jackets available in the market, depending upon prices. The more the price, the better the way it has been manufactured. A better quality fleece jacket is made with high-quality craftsmanship and experience with high-quality raw material fibers used. The durability is directly affected by the quality of raw materials and the craftsmanship. The best fleece jackets are always made of top tier quality.
Care and maintenance
After a jacket is purchased and brought to the home. The care and maintenance becomes a crucial factor that determines the durability and wearability of the best fleece jacket. Often, proper instructions are provided by the textile manufacturers on how to take care of the item, which includes guidelines and instructions on washing, storing, wearing, and drying the jacket. Each and every guideline should be strictly taken into consideration. One must understand the best fleece jacket is in fact also a result of care and maintenance.
Frequency of use
Every item of clothing has its own “best-before” date, which depends upon the frequency of use of the item, and so do fleece jackets. More wear and tear can be caused by frequent use of fleece jackets. Taking a turn between wearing different jackets can help the fleece jackets last longer and look better even over time.
On average, fleece fibers can last anywhere between 3 years to 10 years. Depending on the manufacturers and the type of raw materials and craftsman involved in creating the particular fleece jacket.
While there is a huge availability of different kinds of fleece in markets, a fleece jacket may not provide you the same warmth for over 15 years, even if it is the best quality or the most expensive one in the market. Over time, even the “best” fleece jackets start to lose their insulation and warming properties.
Finding your “perfect” fleece jacket
Like every other textile, fleece jackets are woven and tailored in multiple different ways, catering to different customers with different preferences and different needs and demands.
Let’s discuss the different quality of fleece jackets usually available in markets:
Microfleece jackets are the most popular and commonly worn jackets in the market. Microfleece jackets are woven in such a way that they provide enough warmth for cold to moderately cold weather. Although these types of jackets are not beneficial and fit for extreme cold, wind, or wet conditions.
It can still handle light drizzle or little damp surroundings. Depending upon manufacturing companies, microfleece jackets may be a more affordable and easily available kind of fleece jacket in the market.
Mid-weight fleece jackets
Mid-weight fleece jackets are a combination of versatility and comfort. They are made of such materials, which provide more heat-retaining quality than lightweight fleece jackets. These jackets are better for relatively colder conditions as they are crafted in such a way that they can trap more heat inside of them, which makes them warmer.
They might be slightly more expensive than lightweight fleece jackets, but they are more versatile and can be used in many adventurous activities as compared to the lightweight ones.
Heavyweight fleece jackets
Heavy-weight fleece jackets are usually manufactured with the best quality synthetic fibers, making them the most durable ones out there. It is also warmer compared to lightweight and mid-weight fleece jackets in the market.
They are also more durable because of the careful craftsmanship of the workers and more manufacturing costs. Heavy-weight fleece jackets become more efficient as they can be worn in highly cold areas and can also be extremely effective in monsoon as they can handle rain and moisture better than other fleece jackets.
Heavy-weight fleece jackets are obviously more durable, but as every better thing comes with an extra cost, these are the most expensive types of fleece jackets available.
Are fleece jackets limited to adventure junkies?
While fleece jackets are extremely popular in the adventure area, one must know that they are extremely versatile and can be used on multiple occasions.
Fleece jackets provide a sufficient amount of warmth, comfort, and mobility to indulge in activities like hiking, biking, cycling, light trekking, etc.
Fleece jackets are also extremely popular to be worn casually while running errands or just doing household chores as they are comfortable, lightweight, and extremely breathable. Not just indoors, fleece jackets can also be worn for casual outings.
If you are participating in a lightweight sport, fleece jackets will keep you comfortable and warm.
Fleece jackets Vs. Puffer jackets
Lets see how the best fleece jackets compete with the best kind of puffer jacket.
Both fleece jackets and puffer jackets are extremely popular amongst cold weather fabrics, but both of these have different characteristics and different abilities to perform depending on the situation and wearer’s demands.
If you are looking for a jacket that can be enough to save you in moderately cold surroundings, then fleece jackets should be your go-to choice. They are quite effective at retaining and maintaining body heat but not at the same level as puffer jackets.
But when it comes to comfort, fleece jackets are more breathable, which makes them more effective for activities involving a lot of movements and exertions.
Puffer jackets provide a certain “quilted” appearance, which can make them look more fashion-forward as compared to fleece jackets.
Fleece jackets VS Down jackets
|Qualities||Fleece Jackets||Down jackets|
|Warmth||Uses of fibers to trap air inside to provide insulation and sensation of warmth.||Usage of down feathers to provide heat .|
|Heaviness||It is lightweight but when compared to down it can be slightly bulky.||Lightweight as compared to fleece jackets .|
|Cost||Market cost is lower as compared to down jackets .||Market cost is higher due to manufacturing cost and weight to warmth ratio.|
|Comfort of fabric||Relatively more breathable than down jackets, high mobility of body due to light fabric.||Less breathable fabric can become uncomfortable to work in. Lots of sweating and can result in being overheated.|
How to store your favorite fleece jackets?
Fleece jackets have gathered popularity over the years and have become frequently bought kind of jackets, but are they taken good care of?
Proper storage of a fleece jacket is extremely useful to maintain the durability of the jacket.
Carefully following the below-mentioned guidelines, the longevity of fleece jackets can be maintained properly :
Proper cleanliness and hygiene
Using your favorite fleece jacket over time can collect a large amount of body moisture and external moisture, and the fabric becomes dirty, especially with the dirt accumulated on the surface. Properly laundering the fabric is extremely important. Using a non-harsh chemical or a detergent is crucial. Dry cleaning is also another way of cleaning your fleece jackets.
Hangers are your enemy.
Hanging your fleece jackets on a hanger over an extended period of time because of the stretchy nature of synthetic fiber used in making the fleece jackets, especially around the shoulders. To prevent the stretch, fold the jacket and store it in a cupboard or a drawer.
Dark and dry locations
A well-ventilated, cool, and dark area must be utilized to store your favorite fleece jacket. Try to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible.
Protective jacket covers
The use of garment and fabric covers helps to increase the durability of the fleece jacket as it does not allow the accumulation of dust and moisture on the surface.
In conclusion, fleece jackets have captured a certain kind of market due to easy availability, affordability, and comfort. It is a good-to-go jacket for outdoor activities as well as for adventurous sports junkies.
The ultimate decision to whether to buy a fleece jacket or not depends upon individual needs and conditions. Understanding the advantages and limitations of a fleece jacket allows you to make an informed choice!
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