Top 5 Ultralight Hiking Fleeces for Men (2023)

Hiking Midlayers: Smiling male hiker in a forest wearing an ultralight hiking midlayer

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

When picking an ultralight hiking fleece, think about stuff like how warm it keeps you, how heavy it is, if it works for different activities, how comfy it feels, if it fits well, and what it’s made of. These things matter for staying cozy while hiking.

But watch out – if you choose the wrong one, it might not keep you warm enough, be uncomfortable, or make you too hot.

No worries, though – our guide is here to help you pick the right one and avoid these problems.

Top Ultralight Hiking Fleece Picks

  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

Ultralight Hiking Midlayers for Men: Rab Ascendor Light Hoody

Key Specs

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


✅ Ultralight

✅ Comfortable


❌ Finicky zipper

The Rab Ascendor Light Hoody proves itself as a versatile and valuable midlayer. This ultralight hoody provides essential warmth and efficient moisture-wicking, making it ideal for fast-moving ascents.

With its Thermic S construction, it strikes the perfect balance between insulation and breathability. The hood offers extra warmth against the wind, while its stretchy and slim fit ensures comfort under gear and harnesses.

We can highlight its comfort, making it a reliable second layer for exposed conditions. It has good performance even in light rain and a convenient chest pocket. Despite minor zipper concerns such as being a little finicky, this jacket earns high marks for its lightweight, stretchy nature.

2. Best Overall
Patagonia R1 Daily

Ultralight Hiking Midlayers for Men: Patagonia R1 Daily

Key Specs

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


✅ Comfortable

✅ Good odor control


❌ Arms can be a bit short for some

The Patagonia ultralight hiking fleece keeps you warm and comfy in the cold. Made with soft, stretchy recycled polyester, it feels great and fights odors.

With pockets and offset shoulder seams, it’s practical under a pack. It even wicks moisture in high-sweat zones. The fit is nice and warm, though the arms might be long for some. Still, it’s a cozy, compact choice.

3. Best Value
The North Face Canyonlands Fleece Hoodie

Ultralight Hiking Midlayers for Men: The North Face Canyonlands Fleece Hoodie

Key Specs

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


✅ Good fit

✅ Comfortable


❌ Not the warmest option

❌ Relatively heavy

The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Hoodie is a fantastic choice for those seeking both comfort and style. Crafted from soft fleece fabric, it features an attached hood and raglan sleeves, offering mobility and versatility throughout the year. The secure-zip chest pocket and hand pockets add practicality.

We can highlight its attractive design, making it a reliable and fashionable hoodie option. It’s worth noting that the fabric is quite thin, which could be a consideration.

4. Most Comfortable
Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket

Ultralight Hiking Midlayers for Men: Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket

Key Specs

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


✅ Good moisture control

✅ Comfortable


❌ Relatively heavy

The Fjallraven Abisko Lite Fleece Jacket M is a fantastic choice for your outdoor adventures. It’s packable and comfortable, making it perfect for fast-paced ultralight hikes.

The jacket is made from recycled polyester that wicks moisture away from your body and dries quickly. With its full-length zipper, versatile design, and convenient pockets, it’s a must-have for various outdoor activities.

5. Budget Option
Mountain Equipment Lumiko

Ultralight Hiking Midlayers for Men: Mountain Equipment Lumiko

Key Specs

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


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable


❌ Material is not the strongest

The Mountain Equipment Lumiko jacket is a valuable addition to your outdoor gear, even on a budget. As part of a layering system, it’s light and compact, providing sufficient warmth for active use without causing overheating. The built-in hood offers extra warmth during belays, and the zipped chest pocket keeps your essentials secure.

From our perspective, it strikes a fine balance between form and function. However, it’s important to note that the material might not be as robust as some competing options.

How to Buy the Right Ultralight Hiking Midlayer

Midlayers are like the middle soldiers in your clothing team, and they have an important job to do.

Think of warmth as the main goal of midlayers – they keep your body heat close to you so you feel cozy when it’s chilly. But they’re not only about warmth. They also let the sweat from your body escape, so you don’t get all wet and uncomfortable.

Now, there are different types of midlayers for hiking, and each has its own special qualities:

  • Fleeces (highlighted in this guide) function as versatile multi-tools, providing a range of options. Some are thin, perfect for staying active in the cold, while others are thicker and ideal for more laid-back moments in chilly weather.
  • Merino wool, which is usually used for base layers, is also awesome as a midlayer. It keeps you warm, fights off bad smells, is good for the environment, and helps your body breathe.
  • Softshell jackets are somewhere in between waterproof outer jackets and fleeces. They’re perfect for when you’re not sure what the weather will do during your outdoor adventures.
  • Insulated jackets are like your go-to heroes in cold weather. They use either synthetic polyester or down fibers, giving you a lot of warmth without adding much weight. Plus, they’re easy to pack. Keep in mind, though, that they can be a bit heavier than some alternatives.

When you’re shopping for a midlayer, remember to look for certain things to make sure it works well and lasts a long time.

Check if it lets your body breathe, if it’s tough, flexible, and keeps you warm. Also, see if it can handle moisture and dries quickly, has good pockets, looks good, regulates temperature well, can resist water and wind, and isn’t too heavy.

If you want to become an expert in picking the right hiking midlayer, take a look at our detailed post for all the details.

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