Gear Review: 100 weight fleece pullover

I’ve previously extolled the virtues of the humble fleece.

Durable, works well when moving in both cold/dry and cold/wet conditions and dries out quickly.

The fleece is worn while moving; a puffy is worn while stationary.

Over the years, I have gravitated to one piece in particular – the 100 weight fleece.

I find it is one of my most versatile pieces of clothing for the outdoors.

In winter, it is worn with a mid-weight baselayer top and is great for all but windiest and/or sub-zero conditions.


It is always stashed in my car for the quick after-work hike.

Many times I can wear it under a rain jacket and it is warm enough for the temperatures.

It is durable, takes a beating, bunches up nicely and effective.

The particular one I use is one form Sports Authority that I paid less than $10 on clearance.  I am sure there are “better”…but this clearance item has worked rather well.

A full zip fleece would be ideal, but the long length of the pull-over zipper works well on this particular model.

Sleet, drizzle, fluffy snow…it is an integral part of my four season kit.

I wear while hiking in cold and windy conditions and is pretty much worn 24/7 while out ski touring and winter backpacking.


Near Jones Pass. The superhero spandex is perhaps a subject for another article… 🙂 PCO The Hiking Life

Mine is sized up a bit for loose fit and ventilation. But is still thin enough to fit under a shell when conditions warrant.

Overall, the 100 wt fleece has earned a place in my kit similar to my liner gloves or balaclava. Mainly an indispensable piece of clothing that, for me, I can’t imagine not bringing on any backcountry excursion.

So consider purchasing a 100 wt fleece.

A simple piece of clothing that works very well for many different environments and uses.

In this day of exotic fabrics and expensive pieces of gear, not many items purchased can fit such a broad base of use.


15 Replies to “Gear Review: 100 weight fleece pullover”

  1. Fleece are among the absurdly most overmarked items of outdoor gear. All you really pay for is the fit and the label on it. The material is so cheap to manufacture and doesn’t have much variance between brands.

    The only label I’ll pay top dollar for is Melanzana because it reminds me of home.

    Also it’s a shame to see fleece falling to the wayside with the hype of wearable down. Fleece is so much cheaper but so much more versatile. It’s just heavier but you get 2 out of 3.

    I completely agree, I only sleep in down, rarely wear it.

    1. Hi,

      I am thinking winter layering – midweight merino base layer – 100 wt pant – Shell pants – any idea of how warm this combination would be.


      1. Too hard to tell as everyone is different in terms of metabolic rate, what you’ll be doing (ski touring? Light hiking?), conditions, etc. I do know a similar set up kept Joan warm snowshoeing in single-digit temps (F) while moving.

  2. Paul,
    I completely agree. Some version of 100 wt. fleece goes with me on every hiking trip as well as every business trip and vacation. For hiking it is a half zip. For work or business/vacation travel it is a full zip version, which frankly can be hard to find. My favorite pullover is a Rab which has been discontinued and my favorite full zip is a Marmot, although the one I wear for work the most is a cheap $20 or so version I found on Amazon. Like the American Express Card, “I never leave home without it”!

  3. I am planning for a Thru hike of the AT in 2017. I own a Ghost Whisperer down jacket. I also own a 100 weight fleece 1/4 zip. (Bought the Ghost Whisperer on a huge sale and the fleece for $17.00 from Lands End. I won’t feel its a bad investment if I leave one or the other home.) I am planning on leaving mid March, going North. Which do you recommend taking? I know I will need to be flexible with gear and use according to the seasons, maybe you recommend taking one piece for spring and fall and a different for summer?

  4. Paul, my plan was to take a light weight merino and a mid weight zip merino. Should I leave the mid weight merino home and use the fleece in its place? I’m going out this weekend for an overnight on the Bartram trail so will get a chance to try out whatever you recommend. No, you won’t be held responsible for my safety. 🙂

    1. I would..but I don’t know your personal comfort level or hiking style. And I am not sure what the weather is like where you are going next week. 🙂 When solo, I tend to move all day with little camp time. With my wife, less hiking and more camping. With friends? Somewhere in the middle. My gear reflects these differences often times.

  5. Thanks Paul, you’re making me think, and that’s a good thing! I’m not sure I know those answers myself. I will be hiking with some people new to me. We have a general plan but am not sure if it will be adhered to. Based on that, I will prepare for slow going with more camp time than I would for a thru hike. In any case, it will be good experience for the thru hike.

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