Fleece Jacket Ultimate Guide 101 - How to Choose a Perfect Fleece Jacket

Choosing the perfect fleece jacket depends on your definition of perfect and how much you know about the material and its uses. To pick the right kind of fleece jacket, you must know what it constitutes, its features are, and what weather it is suitable for.

Fleece is an incredibly popular choice today for backpackers, hikers, and general lovers of the outdoor. It also has an intriguing history, so if you fancy a little insight into the brain behind fleece and how to choose one continue to read on.

What is Fleece Jacket?

At the start, a fleece jacket was a jacket constituted of 100% fleece or polyester. Today’s fleece jackets can have various materials blended into for enhancing their intended use, like nylon, wool, and recycled fibres.

It is a jacket intending to provide warmth and comfort for different levels of cold weather. You can recognize a fleece jacket through its lightweight yet cosy feel and typical features like a full, half, or quarter zipper.

For the longest time ever, wool was the only material known to keep humans warm. But it came with some disadvantages like being heavy, water-absorbent, moisture-inducing, and animal-sourced. Fleece replaces all those disadvantages by being lightweight, breathable, yet warm.

What is Fleece Fabric Made Of?
Believe it or not, a fleece jacket is made from reconstituted petroleum jelly. The first creator of fleece – Malden Mills – reacted two different derivatives at high temperatures to form a polyester polymer. The polyester is woven and brushed into a dense yet lightweight fabric called fleece. Polartec LLC then took over the original company. The company went on to revolutionize and introduce over 400 varieties of fleece.

Fleece jackets were created to imitate wool in a partial form. So, over the years, its variations aimed to retain wool’s insulating properties and eliminate its drawbacks.

What are the Types of Fleece Jackets?
To understand the types of fleece jackets available, it is necessary to know the role weight plays in a fleece fabric. Fleece is measured in grams per meter square (gsm) and is of three types – lightweight, mid-weight, and heavyweight.

A lightweight fleece jacket is anywhere between 100 to 200 gsm, a mid-weight fleece jacket is between 200 to 300 gsm, and a heavyweight fleece jacket is 300 gsm and more.

There is also a new ultralight type of fleece jacket that is below 100 gsm. Depending on its weight, fleece gives off different degrees of warmth and protection.

What are the Features of a fleece jacket?
Depending on its weight, a fleece jacket has versatile features. An ultralight or lightweight fleece jacket is extremely light, breathable, and moisture-wicking. A fabric’s breathability is determined by its ability to allow moisture to leave the body. So, the lighter the fleece, the lesser your sweat will remain on your body and the faster it will evaporate.

A mid-weight fleece jacket has medium thickness and strikes a balance between providing sufficient warmth and lightness. Heavyweight fleece jackets, as the name suggests, are the heaviest type of fleece. They are the best insulators but aren’t very lightweight as expected. Apart from the warmth and weight quotient, some shared features in a fleece jacket are softness, plushness, durability, and flammability.

Is Fleece Jacket Good for Winter?
Again, the weight of the fleece jacket decides what weather it is suited to. An ultralight or lightweight fleece jacket is great for mild and pleasantly cool weather. It allows for the maximum level of flexibility and movement while keeping you warm, which makes it is suitable for walks, hikes, outdoor exercise, and other active pursuits. Moreover, this type of fleece jacket leaves room for breathability, making space for heat to release quickly instead of building up and causing sweat.

Mid-weight fleece does a better job at keeping you warm but offers less flexibility than lightweight fleece. You can wear it as an outer layer in chilly weather and perform high-output activities or use it as a middle layer in colder climates. Heavyweight fleece, as the name suggests, is heavy. It provides the maximum level of warmth but is movement restrictive. It is best for harsh and cold climates like the arctic weather.

Are Fleece Jackets Waterproof?
Fleece is hydrophobic by nature, which means its finest threads can repel water, at least to some extent. So, you can wear fleece jackets and expect it will not get wet under light rain or little