Fleece is a great outer layer if you’re a sheep and stuck on a hill somewhere in the rain. But for us non-woolly types (assuming here that you’re not actually a sheep reading GearWeAre) fleece is more suited to being a mid-layer.
Polartec’s Classic 100 fleece is used on the Mountain Equipment Micro Jacket to good effect. It’s a lightweight microfleece (microfleece meaning that it’s thin, densely packed with fibres and has a lower warmth rating than medium-pile fleece. See Gear Glossary) which sheds light drizzle and keeps a light breeze off. It is not however waterproof or windproof, hence this jacket is designed to be a mid-layer.
The fit is great on me. I’ve been wearing it pretty much non-stop since it arrived through the letterbox last week and it’s been great under a waterproof jacket, down the pub, walking up hills in today’s sun and whilst tinkering in the garage.
It’s very comfy and well designed with good deep pockets. Mine is black, with just enough patches of grey detailing to make it look stylish and break up the dark masses of fabric.
It has a fairly high neck with double thickness fleece and a tucked away zipper, so it’s really easy to bury your chin down into the fleece when you’re taken by surprise by the cold. And to keep some of those breezes out it has a drawstring waist.
There’s not much more to say really, except for to take a deep breath and tell you the price. £50.
And yes, that surprised me too.
I can find them online for £30, which is what I would have expected to pay for a simple fleece and is comparable to the price of a North Face 100-weight fleece of similar design. But at £50 I can’t help but think that Mountain Equipment have missed the mark on this one on their own site.
Would I pay £30 for this fleece versus the competition – yes.
Would I pay £35? Mmm, yeah. It’s a well-made piece of kit.
Would I pay £40. Nope that’d be up against some serious competition.
SUMMARY: Mountain Equipment’s Micro Jacket is well made, stylish and warm. It uses Polartec’s proven Classic 100 fleece so wicks well, dries fast and seals in some warmth as a mid-layer. Nothing particularly raises this above the competition but it’s easily as good as similar fleeces from TNF and Berghaus etc. However, I wouldn’t buy it at the RRP of £50. I’d more readily spend a bit under £40 for it, which you can do online, but £50?… No. And I guess that that has to be reflected in the score. If you can get this fleece for £30, then it’d easily be a 4-hammers.
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