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    Tell me about fleece.  
    The biggest factor when buying fleece garments (IMHO) is that the fleece fabric is Polartec (sic), made by Malden Mills in New England. It is much less important what company stitched the garment together. Polartec does not pill - fleece from other companies may or may not. They make at least three weights (100, 200 and 300) in many varieties - stretchy, not stretchy, windblock, etc.

As an added bonus, Malden Mills is a very socially responsible company. They are worthy of our support.

Eric Rutz

I like the Polartec fleece, too. If you are going for quality they are worth pursuing (even though you may have to check closely with the label to know what you are getting).

However, if you see some fleeces that look nice -

You may not care that it pills - this often takes a year or so of wear and you may not want to spend that much. Most of our fleeces are cheapies... The kids wear them out too fast!

Make sure whatever fleece you buy is double-sided. Some fleeces are smooth on one side and are not near as warm.

Some of the fancier, heavier fleeces have slippery sleeve linings and are more like jackets. They weigh more, but that may be okay. Robbin has one he wears to school that he really likes. It was too heavy (weight) to take on CO.

Check to see that whatever elastic is in the cuffs and hem (if it has any) is not too tight. I have had trouble with some wrists.

I have found a full-front zipper much handier than buttons.

Rox Heath

As an employee (read slave) for an apparel manufacturer that does a LOT of fleece I guess I should respond.

Polartech has been mentioned and this is a very good product. What you want to find is a fleece garment that has good compressibility so you can pack it in a small space, yet provides a "loft" when uncompressed for warmth.

Fleece by itself provides no wind protection so a shell of some sort is essential, although many of the newer fleece "jackets" come with a nylon "wind front" barrier. This does add bulk however.

Several years ago, Columbia integrated their warterproof (Omni-Tech) membrane into a close sheared fleece and named the product Omni-Stop fleece. Its superb at wind blockage and provides enough loft for warmth under severe cold. That being said, I left mine at home this year because of its bulk and available space in my bag. (I really wanted to be able to take it but)

I have used one of my pull over versions of this for extreme winter riding with nothing more than a Kodiak lite shirt under. It lacks enough breathability however for riding in temps above 40 degrees. (for my blast furnace metabolism)

I use a Pearl Izumi bike fleece under my poly shell for breakfast and pack it in the bag (cause for me its too warm to ride in) before I break camp. Its highly compressible and yet provides great loft. I have some cheaper bike sweaters but they lack the compressibility.


At a dog show earlier this year I bought an item for removing dog hair from furniture. It has a handle and its surface consists of the loop side from velcro! Swiping this across a pilled fleece surface removes all traces of the pilling! (this is large loop stuff not the tiny pin prick velcro stuff).

Don "I have been fleeced by my employer" Bolton

I also have one of those things Don is talking about. It does a great job, but beware-I pulled mine apart. Glued it back together with super-glue. Works really great with dog hair.


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  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
    CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > What to Take > Clothes > Fleece  

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