The fleece jacket or pullover is a versatile, temperature-regulating garment that can be worn during activity or while sitting around the camp table. Look for garments with recycled content to minimise the product’s environmental impact.
Fleece jackets and pullovers are made from polyester fabric and should be anti-pilling. Many manufacturers now source their material from post-consumer waste and recycled products.
Most fleeces don’t block wind, though some colder-weather garments may have a windproof lining to help trap warm air next to your body.
Heavier-weight fleeces are thicker and warmer and suited to very cold conditions. They may also have reinforced areas to better cope with abrasion and wear and tear. Lighter fleeces are better as a shoulder-season garment or mid-layer where a more robust insulated jacket or raincoat is worn over the top.
A loose fit will allow you to wear layers underneath. A tighter-fitting fleece is used as a base or mid-layer.
A Raglan sleeve is a single piece of fabric that extends from the collar of the jacket to the underarm to create more space for layers and allow greater freedom of movement.
The front zipper should flow freely and have a storm flap running behind the zip to help block wind and prevent heat loss.
Heavy, outer-layer garments will have a drawcord hem to seal in warmth.
Jackets and heavyweight pullovers will most likely have handwarmer pockets. Lighter garments designed to be worn as a mid-layer may just have a Napoleon chest pocket or no pockets at all.
Macpac Nitro Polartec Alpha Pullover $169.99
Versatile midlayer for high-exertion activities, made from Polartec Alpha Direct fabric (78% recycled content), discrete elastic thumb loop, slim fit, packs into hood, breathable and quick-drying. 140g (m), 110g (w). www.macpac.co.nz
Earth Sea Sky Highfalutin $249
Using new Polartec 200 Thermal Pro fleece made from 100% recycled polyester. Non-brushed jersey knit outer for durability and wind resistance. Zip-up handwarmer pockets, drawcord hem. NZ made. www.earthseasky.co.nz
Marmot Pisgah $179.95
Active-wear fleece with PFC-free DWR treatment, handwarmer pockets, internal zippered stash pocket, full length centre front zip with wind flap, Angel-Wing Movement. 326g. www.marmotnz.co.nz
The North Face Shelbe Raschel Hoodie $260
Wind-resistant exterior with a soft Raschel fleece-lined interior, attached hood, exposed reverse-coil centre front zip, covered secure-zip hand pockets. 840g. www.thenorthface.co.nz
Marmot Annie Pullover $149.95
Hiking fleece with quick-drying and bluesign-approved moisture-wicking fabric, quilt pattern, raglan sleeve for increased range of motion, flatlocked seams, stretch construction, droptail hem, kangaroo pocket, cowl neck, drawcords. 417g. www.marmotnz.co.nz
Patagonia R1 Air Hoody $249.99
Breathable and quick-drying technical fleece for high-exertion activities in cold conditions. Made with Polartec Power Grid fabric, 100% recycled polyester, Polygiene permanent odour control, smooth face fabric, open-grid pattern next to skin for warmth. Fair Trade Certified sewn. 366g (m), 309g (w). www.patagonia.co.nz
The North Face Denali 2 Hoodie $330
Constructed with recycled fleece and with a relaxed fit, it features a set-in hood with elastic drawcord, zip-in-compatible integration with complementary TNF garments, reinforced shoulders, chest and forearms, secure-zip chest and hand pockets, stretch fabric cuffs, hem cinch-cord. 480g. www.thenorthface.co.nz
Macpac Accelerate PrimaLoft $259.99
Insulated fleece jacket for cold-weather hikes. Mid-weight fleece and quilted PrimaLoft Silver Hi Loft Ultra insulation, DWR coating, full front zip for temperature regulation, stand up collar, zipped chest and hand pockets, thumb loops. 470g (m), 350g (w). www.macpac.co.nz
Macpac North Col $199.99
Cold-weather hiking jacket with 100% recycled polyester fabric, zipped hand warmer and chest pockets, stand up collar, elastic-bound cuff. 620g (m), 500g (w). www.macpac.co.nz
Marmot Rocklin Half Zip $109.95
A 100-weight fleece for lightweight warmth, pullover style, flatlock seams, half zip at front for temperature regulation. 354g (m), 315g (w). www.marmotnz.co.nz