Best Fleece Jackets for Men in 2024

Best Fleece Jackets for Men: A hiker wearing a fleece on a forest trail

In this post, we'll take a look at:

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!

What Are the Best Fleece Jackets for Men?

  1. Most Ultralight: Rab Ascendor Light Hoody (8.53oz/242g)
  2. Best Overall: Patagonia R1 Daily (11.88oz/337g)
  3. Best Value: The North Face Canyonlands Fleece Hoodie (15.16oz/430g)
  4. Most Comfortable: Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket (12.87oz/365g)
  5. Budget Option: Mountain Equipment Lumiko (9.52oz/270g)

1. Most Ultralight
Rab Ascendor Light Hoody

Rab Ascendor Light Hoody

Key Specs


Weight: 8.53 ounces (242 grams)
Material: 100% polyester
Price: $

PROS


✅ Ultralight

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ 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.


2. Best Overall
Patagonia R1 Daily

Patagonia R1 Daily

Key Specs


Weight: 11.88 ounces (337 grams)
Material: 94% polyester, 6% spandex
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Comfortable

✅ Good odor control

CONS


❌ 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.


3. Best Value
The North Face Canyonlands Fleece Hoodie

The North Face Canyonlands Fleece Hoodie

Key Specs


Weight: 15.16 ounces (430 grams)
Material: 96% polyester, 4% elastane
Price: $

PROS


✅ Good fit

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ 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.


4. Most Comfortable
Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket

Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket

Key Specs


Weight: 12.87 ounces (365 grams)
Material: 100% polyester
Price: $$$

PROS


✅ Good moisture control

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ 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.


5. Budget Option
Mountain Equipment Lumiko

Mountain Equipment Lumiko

Key Specs


Weight: 9.52 ounces (270 grams)
Material: 93% polyester, 7% elastane
Price: $

PROS


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ 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.

How to Choose the Best Fleece Jacket for Hiking

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:

  • Weight and thickness – Light and midweight fleeces work well for aerobic activities. Heavyweight options are better for just staying warm. Choose based on how active you’ll be.
  • Fit – A trim technical fit allows layering under a shell. A looser casual fit gives stand-alone warmth. Consider how you’ll layer it.
  • Features – Look for an adjustable hood, thumbholes, and zippered pockets to hold in warmth. A chin guard prevents zipper rubbing.
  • Fabric – Different fleeces have unique feels and performance. Polyester is affordable, warm and dries quickly. Wool resists odor and manages moisture. Proprietary fabrics like Polartec regulate warmth very well.
  • Breathability – Thick fleeces can overheat during intense activity. Seek breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that vent excess heat and sweat.
  • Durability – Heavier fleeces are more durable for abrasion resistance in rough conditions. But they’re less packable.

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.

FAQ

How to choose the best fleece jacket for men?

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.

Are there specific fleece materials that are better than others?

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.

How to determine the warmth of a fleece jacket for men?

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.

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