When you go hiking, whether it’s just around your neighborhood or on longer backpacking trips, you need a good jacket to keep you warm without weighing you down.
A fleece jacket is great because it’s not too heavy but still keeps you cozy.
But there are lots of fleece jackets out there, so how do you know which one is best for you?
In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best fleece jackets for men. We’ll consider things like how heavy they are, how well they let your body breathe, and how good they are at handling different kinds of weather.
Let’s find the perfect jacket for you!
Weight: 8.53 ounces (242 grams)
Material: 100% polyester
❌ Finicky zipper
The versatile Rab Ascendor Light Hoody proves itself as an essential midlayer for active pursuits. Its ultralight design provides vital insulation without overheating, making this jacket ideal for fast ascents.
The Thermic S construction strikes an optimal balance of warmth and breathability. The stretch hood seals in heat when buffeted by wind. The slim and stretchy fit layers smoothly under harnesses and outer shells.
The single chest pocket allows access to essentials. Despite minor zipper issues like being finicky to fully open, the jacket’s lightweight stretchiness earns top marks.
In summary, the Rab Ascendor Light Hoody’s blend of warmth, weather resistance and unrestrictive mobility make it a midlayer ready for varied mountain adventures.
Just be prepared for the zipper to catch temporarily when fully opening. Otherwise, this jacket delivers impressive versatility at an ultralight weight.
Weight: 11.88 ounces (337 grams)
Material: 94% polyester, 6% spandex
✅ Good odor control
❌ Arms can be a bit short for some
The versatile Patagonia ultralight hiking fleece keeps you warm and comfortable when temperatures drop. Crafted from soft, stretchy recycled polyester, it feels great against the skin and resists odors during active use.
With hand pockets and offset shoulder seams, it layers smoothly under a backpack. The material even wicks moisture in high-sweat zones to prevent chill. The trim fit offers cozy warmth, though the sleeve length may run long on some frames. Still, this fleece’s lightweight warmth and quick-drying comfort make it a compact yet cozy choice for the trail.
The stretchy athletic cut accommodates muscular builds well. Despite my wide shoulders and slim waist, the fleece’s give allows freedom of movement. It lacks excess material around the midsection that could lead to bulk and overheating.
In summary, the Patagonia ultralight hiking fleece combines versatile insulation, unrestrictive stretch, and effective moisture wicking in a thoughtfully designed technical package.
The athletic cut suits muscular hikers who need a trim yet flexible warm layer. Just be prepared to roll up the sleeves if the arm length is too long for your frame.
Weight: 15.16 ounces (430 grams)
Material: 96% polyester, 4% elastane
✅ Good fit
❌ Not the warmest option
❌ Relatively heavy
The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Hoodie blends comfort and casual style in a versatile fleece package.
Crafted from soft fleece fabric, it features an attached hood and raglan sleeves for a full range of motion. The zippered chest pocket and hand warmer pockets add functionality.
The Canyonlands’ attractive design makes it a go-to hoodie for reliable warmth with an outdoor-inspired look. It layers smoothly under a jacket shell while also wearing well on its own. Just note the fabric runs on the thinner side, so it may not be the warmest option in frigid conditions.
The attached hood doesn’t stay in place well when it gets moderately windy. This could limit the hood’s usefulness in exposed mountain settings.
In summary, The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Hoodie balances fashion and function in a soft fleece build.
Weight: 12.87 ounces (365 grams)
Material: 100% polyester
✅ Good moisture control
❌ Relatively heavy
The Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket M proves itself as a packable, comfortable layer ready for fast-paced adventures.
The recycled polyester fabric wicks moisture and dries quickly during aerobic activity. The full-length zipper, adjustable hem, and convenient pockets provide customizable comfort.
The slightly relaxed fit features a long body and arms for easy layering. However, the looser lower torso can lead to fabric bunching at the hipbelt.
The grid-backed fleece provides warmth down to milder winter temperatures. It also works well into summer over a base layer during cooler weather. Sweat wicks quickly, keeping you dry when working hard.
After regular use, signs of wear are visible through pilling and abrasions at pack contact points. Also inspect for any small fabric tears.
The thumb loops on the snug cuffs excel at sealing in warmth. But rolling up the sleeves is difficult. The tall stand-up collar and inner zip placket prevent chin abrasion.
In summary, the Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket delivers packable warmth and agile comfort ideal for ultralight trekking.
Weight: 9.52 ounces (270 grams)
Material: 93% polyester, 7% elastane
❌ Material is not the strongest
The budget-friendly Mountain Equipment Lumiko jacket makes a valuable layering piece for outdoor pursuits. Lightweight and packable, it provides sufficient warmth for active use without overheating.
The built-in hood offers extra coverage during belays, while the zippered chest pocket stores small essentials securely.
The Lumiko strikes a solid balance of functionality and streamlined form. However, note the material may not be as robust as some competing options.
The jacket fits nicely as a midlayer or lightweight outer piece on warmer days. But the thin fabric developed holes in the sleeves after only 2 weeks of use. This fragility could limit the Lumiko’s durability for the long haul.
In summary, the Mountain Equipment Lumiko jacket delivers tidy warmth and features at an affordable price point. Just be prepared for the thinner material to potentially show wear sooner rather than later.
Fleece jackets play a key role in maintaining warmth, breathability, and versatility in your clothes. Warmth is important, trapping your body heat to keep you cozy when it’s cold. But they aren’t just for warmth. Midlayers also let moisture, like sweat, escape so you stay dry and comfortable.
Fleece Jackets are versatile midlayer options, providing different insulation levels for active and stationary use. When picking a fleece, look at:
The ideal fleece balances warmth, breathability, weather protection and packable versatility. Try different styles to find the best features and fit for your hiking.
If you want to become an expert in picking the right hiking midlayer, take a look at our detailed post for all the details.
When selecting a men’s fleece jacket, prioritize warmth, weather protection, and breathability for your intended activity. For aerobic sports like hiking and snowshoeing, choose lightweight and midweight fleeces that insulate without overheating. Seek windproof and water-resistant outer shells and adjustable hoods to seal out elements. For sedentary cold weather use like camping or belaying, opt for thicker heavyweights with looser casual fits.
Evaluate technical features like thumb loops, chin guards, and zippered pockets that help retain interior warmth. Breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics with venting regulate temperature during high-exertion activities like skiing or mountaineering. The ideal balance of packability, durability, and flexibility of movement makes fleece an adaptable midlayer for travel and winter recreation. With the right windproofing and fit, fleece jackets deliver customizable insulation across a variety of cold-weather pursuits.
When picking a fleece jacket, the material affects warmth, weather protection, breathability and durability. Polyester fleece is affordable, dries quickly and comes in different weights. Wool adds natural odor control and moisture wicking. Proprietary fabrics like Polartec regulate warmth well. Look for windproof or water-resistant shell fabrics to block elements. Check the density – tight weaves resist abrasion but can overheat. Overall, the best material balances packable insulation, breathability and weather protection for your needs.
The warmth of a fleece jacket depends on the thickness, or loft, of the insulation. Heavier, thicker fleeces provide more warmth for inactive use. Lightweight and midweight fleeces are ideal for aerobic activity. Check the fleece weight – 200-300 gsm is lightweight, 300-400 gsm is midweight, and 400+ gsm is heavyweight. You can also look at the insulation quality measured in grams per square meter. Additionally, features like zippered pockets, adjustable cuffs and hoods seal in heat.