I am seriously impressed with the Regatta brand. They seem to have entered a whole new era… and they have really upped their game. Whoever is behind the product development at Regatta should be very pleased with themselves.
During the 2014 GearWeAre awards weekend we had a lot of Regatta kit to test. And whilst it didn’t always win out against some of the more technically complex gear, it always won out in terms of pricing.
What Regatta seems to have done (just my opinion) is create a market space for themselves where they produce technically decent kit at a brilliant price. So, if you’ve a massive budget and you want the absolute best in terms of technicality you might look elsewhere, but if you want truly decent kit that works well, and you don’t want to break the bank, begin by looking at what Regatta now has to offer.
This women’s breaktrail fleece is a perfect example of how Regatta are doing so well…
A fleece is a fleece is a fleece right?
Well no. Whilst you can buy one for peanuts at one of the well-known cheap high street stores in the UK, and be satisfied with it’s capacity to keep you warm, what you won’t necessarily be getting is a fleece with a brilliant weight to warmth ratio, or one that’s actually been designed with the female form in mind for example! And yes it might be cheap…but it might not wash well…
So, let’s look to Regatta’s women’s breaktrail fleece…what is it about this fleece that makes it so worth buying?
Firstly it’s as light as a feather, so you won’t know you’re wearing it (or carrying it, if taking it as an extra layer in your pack). And yet it offers exceptional warmth. Even as a single layer you’re going to be warm…
So the warmth to weight ratio is about as good as it gets. And it wicks brilliantly, meaning that even if you get a bit hot and bothered, you won’t feel wet and uncomfortable. Also, it washes easily and well, dries unbelievably quickly, and looks good wear after wash after wear. I’ve lived in this fleece since I was given it to test, barely taking it off for a quick turn round the washing machine!
It hasn’t bobbled, it hasn’t shrunk, it hasn’t faded, it hasn’t lost its exceptional softness and it hasn’t lost its shape.
The Regatta women’s breaktrail fleece is really considerately styled too. It tucks in slightly to offer a hint of a womanly curve for example! It has slightly stretchy cuffs to neatly hold it in place too. It also has a chin guard to make sure it stays soft on the face even when zipped to the top.
The fleece has a decent length zip at the front to make it easy to get on and off even over lots of layers/big hair/a made-up face – or as the marketers prefer to say “for easy venting”…
And the best bit for me is that it has a little zipped chest pocket perfect for housing my phone, iPod or keys!
I am handbag-averse at the best of times…and I am certainly handbag-averse when out walking the dogs or hiking! And yet I don’t like to always carry a pack (that’s what my husband is for!) and I hate having bulgy pockets with pokey things in…so this chest pocket was actually specifically designed for ME! And people like me…it is a design revelation and innovation I so thoroughly approve of.
The only thing I don’t like about this fleece is the length. It’s marketed as “endurance fit – outdoor performance fit” – so it only comes to the top of your bum so as not to get in the way of things like a harness for example.
Personally I like my mid layers long enough to always keep the base of my spine warm– and so I have the option of tucking in (I love to be all tucked in)…and whilst this does keep the base of the spine warm as long as you don’t raise your arms or wriggle too much, you can’t tuck it in and if you’re tall I fear you might end up chilling your kidneys.
So, check it out to ensure it’s not too short for your personal preference – and if it’s not, then buy it. I honestly don’t think you will find a better fleece on the market considering practicality, function, style and price.