ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST FLEECE JACKETSCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST FLEECE JACKETSFLEECE JACKETS REVIEWSTHE NORTH FACE DENALIARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGANPATAGONIA BETTER SWEATER QUARTER-ZIPARC’TERYX DELTA LTTHE NORTH FACE DENALI 2THE NORTH FACE OSITO 2PATAGONIA RE-TOOL SNAP-TMARMOT REACTORHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST FLEECE JACKETSMATERIALSVENTINGWEIGHTLIGHTWEIGHT FLEECEMID-WEIGHT FLEECEHEAVYWEIGHT FLEECE Have you ever wondered how to find the best fleece jacket to suit your lifestyle? Maybe you live in a cold climate and could use some warmth or only need a specialized one just for outdoor sports. Whatever the reason, a fleece jacket is an essential layer of clothing that comes in handy for all types of environments and activities. But with hundreds of different makes, thicknesses, and materials to choose from, how do you pick the best fleece jacket from the bunch? One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to gearing up for the outdoors. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose the best fleece jacket and show you the top models of the year. For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Tents | Hammocks | Bivy Sacks | Tarps Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Pads | Stoves Backpacks | GPS | Headlamps | Poles| Watches Boots | Shoes | Sandals | Pants | Shorts Base Layers | Fleeces | Down Jackets | Rain Jackets QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST FLEECE JACKETS 1. THE NORTH FACE DENALI VIEW AT AMAZON 2. ARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGAN VIEW AT REI 3. PATAGONIA BETTER SWEATER ZIP VIEW AT REI 4. ARC’TERYX DELTA LT VIEW AT REI 5. THE NORTH FACE DENALI 2 VIEW AT AMAZON 6. THE NORTH FACE OSITO 2 VIEW AT REI 7. PATAGONIA RE-TOOL SNAP-T VIEW AT REI 8. MARMOT REACTOR VIEW AT BACKCOUNTRY COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST FLEECE JACKETS PICTUREFLEECE JACKETBEST FORZIP DOWNWEIGHTPRICERATING PICTUREFLEECE JACKETBEST FORZIP DOWNWEIGHTPRICERATING The North Face DenaliOverallYesMedium$$$4.4 Arc'teryx Covert CardiganOverallYesMedium$$4.5 Patagonia Better Sweater ZipOutdoorsNoMedium$$4.6 Arc'teryx Delta LTOutdoorsYesLight$$4.3 The North Face Denali 2OutdoorsYesHeavy$$$4.8 The North Face Osito 2WomenYesMedium$$4.8 Patagonia Re-Tool Snap TWomenNoMedium$$$4.7 Marmot Reactor MenYesLight$$4.5 MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails. FLEECE JACKETS REVIEWS THE NORTH FACE DENALI Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Layering and all-around wear WOMEN’S VERSION: The North Face Denali FLEECE WEIGHT: Medium FEATURES: Two chest pockets, zip-in compatible, abrasion-reinforced shoulders and elbows PROS: Durable, lightweight yet warm, stylish, easy to layer CONS: The sleeves are a loose fit with elastic around the wrist, an awkward fit for many people ARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGAN Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Wearing both on the streets and on the trail WOMEN’S VERSION: Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan FLEECE WEIGHT: Medium FEATURES: Stretch cuffs, flatlock seams, Alpenex polyester PROS: Breathable, perfect for everyday wear CONS: Not heavy enough to withstand serious chill PATAGONIA BETTER SWEATER QUARTER-ZIP Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Those of us who just can’t ditch our favorite sweater and backpackers WOMEN’S VERSION: Patagonia Better Sweater FLEECE WEIGHT: Medium FEATURES: Raglan sleeves perfect for pack wearing, chest zip pocket, stand-up collar PROS: Not your everyday fleece pullover, comfortable, can wear it anywhere CONS: Fully zipped, the neck opening of the sweater can feel a bit snug ARC’TERYX DELTA LT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Aerobic activities in chilly weather WOMEN’S VERSION: Arc’teryx Delta LT FLEECE WEIGHT: Light FEATURES: Front zipper with chin guard, droptail hem, laminated sleeve pocket with laminated zipper PROS: Breathable, stylish, perfect for layering or wearing on its own CONS: Sleeves might run a bit too long THE NORTH FACE DENALI 2 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Adventurers heading into very cold weather WOMEN’S VERSION: The North Face Denali 2 FLEECE WEIGHT: Heavy FEATURES: Reinforced material around shoulders, chest, and the forearms, zip-in compatible, stretch fabric around the cuffs, hem cinch cord PROS: Durable, comfortable, and known to last many seasons CONS: Does not offer very much protection against the wind THE NORTH FACE OSITO 2 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Cool weather walks and low strain activities MEN’S VERSION: N/A FLEECE WEIGHT: Medium FEATURES: Zippered hand pockets, stretch cuffs and hem, high-pile raschel fleece PROS: Cozy, soft, comfortable, simple CONS: Material tends to shed – especially the black version PATAGONIA RE-TOOL SNAP-T Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Multisport activities in chilly weather MEN’S VERSION: N/A FLEECE WEIGHT: Medium FEATURES: Kangaroo style handwarmer pockets, deep-pile fleece, microfleece trim on cuffs, nylon chest flap PROS: Versatile, comfortable, known to last a long time CONS: The colors featured online are not always true to what you get MARMOT REACTOR Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry BEST FOR: When you need just that extra bit of warmth WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A FLEECE WEIGHT: Light FEATURES: Chin guard, Polartec classic 100 microfleece, windflap backs for the zipper, stretch material PROS: Very soft, stylish, the perfect outer layer for cool weather CONS: Arm pocket too small to be useful LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSE HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST FLEECE JACKETS MATERIALS Fleece jackets are often made with a combination of synthetic and natural materials. The reason behind the invention of Polar fleece was to offer all the same benefits of wool but at only a fraction of the weight. It is also hydrophobic, meaning the material won’t absorb water like down or wool would. Today, most fleece is still made by Polartec out of petroleum derivatives. In the past, fleece used to cause your sweat to pool between your skin and the fabric, leading to some sexy stains. Today, fleece is much more breathable and is even often made from recycled materials. VENTING Lightweight fleece jackets with retractable vents are the best for athletic activities because you can regulate your body temperature easily. Windproof fleece jackets, however, are great for protecting against wind and rain but can trap heat, causing you to sweat more. Zip jackets also generally make for more adaptable jackets, where you can adjust air flow as needed. Another great feature that many fleece jackets have are mesh pockets that can be unzipped to cool down if it starts to get too warm. The thing to keep in mind is that breathability is often the counter to wind and water resistance. Are you planning to go hiking in the wind and rain? Then it might be better to sacrifice some air flow for protection and opt for a jacket with tightly woven fabric with a membrane. Likewise, the grid style fleece works great for highly active people. WEIGHT Like base layers, fleece jackets come in a variety of thicknesses and weights. But though it can be tempting to grab the thickest jacket on the shelf, you should consider going lighter if you plan to wear your new jacket for strenuous activities. While the thickness generally correlates to warmth, tight woven fleece or fleece with vent pockets can affect the coziness as well. LIGHTWEIGHT FLEECE Lightweight fleece jackets are best for those of us who are very active, like runners or endurance athletes who train in frigid temperatures. Lightweight fleece jackets still allow the skin to breath but add an extra layer of warm comfort. MID-WEIGHT FLEECE Mid-weight fleece jackets are perfect for those who are moderately active, like trekkers or casual cyclists. These jackets can be helpful if you train after sunset or have poor blood circulation. Both mid-weight and lightweight fleece jackets are the best for layering. HEAVYWEIGHT FLEECE Heavyweight fleece jackets are thick, extremely insulated, and work best if you’ll be doing a stationary cold weather activity – like camping or sitting on a ski lift. HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.