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Mid-Layer / Fleece Group Test: The Results!

Patagonia - R1 Hoody
Patagonia – R1 Hoody
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Its been a very warm and cuddly month with all the fleeces arriving and being tested. They’ve all been worn in wind and rain, around town, and over downs. The test starting ironically with a heat wave hitting the UK which set us back a few weeks, but in the end we did some very early morning and late night treks to fully test the performance of these excellent fleeces.

The leaps forward in fabric technology is evident in many of the fleeces we have tested. Items like the Paramo Summit Hoody are very impressive, with a fabric that is water resistant, breathable and warm. Sadly, not every item can win in this test, so we have broken the test down to three winners: The Ultimate Travel Fleece, Ultimate Travel Fleece Runner Up, and Best Value For Money.

Thanks as always to all the manufacturers that worked with us by sending us their fleeces so that we could put them to the test. It’s always encouraging to deal with companies who believe in their products to the point that they are prepared to pit them against their competitors in an open and independent test.

The Ultimate Travel Fleece

Patagonia - R1 Hoody

Patagonia – R1 Hoody

The R1 Hoody was a hit from the time it first arrived. Stylish, warm, lightweight and comfortable, this is an item that should be on the packing list for every trip. Whilst the pull over we also received from Patagonia has the same fabric and function as the hoody, we would plump for the hoody every time. We loved the thumb loops whilst wearing a pack, as it prevents movement of the sleeves, keeping your hands warmer in the cold.

The Ultimate Travel Fleece Runner Up

Paramo - Summit Hoody

Paramo – Summit Hoody

We had a genuine dilemma as to which should win first place amongt the Patagonia and Paramo fleeces. Paramo’s fleece is full of features and is very comfy, whilst looking superb. In the end, it was the aftercare that decided who would win this test. The need to wash with a waterproofing product to maintain the performance of this fleece is not a problem at home, but on the road it is something that is likely to be forgotten, causing the fleece to eventually lose some of it’s water repellent performance. If, however, I was climbing Everest, this is the fleece I would take, as you would need the extra performance this Summit Hoody could provide. A great product from Paramo and a very worthy runner up.

Best Value For Money

Craghoppers - Fusion Fleece

Craghoppers – Tiki/Fusion

The price of these fleeces from Craghoppers were a real surprise. Amazing warmth and wicked style for a quarter of the price of some of the others in this test. The quality and attention to detail of this fleece is not something you would normally see at these price from any manufacturer, let alone from such quality designer like Craghoppers. These fleeces have really excited us about Craghoppers, and we hope to get more of their stuff in other tests over the next year. Well done Craghoppers!

If you have a suggestion for any products or groups of products that we should test then post a comment and we’ll do our best to satisfy!

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