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  1. #1

    Default Decided on a new fleece layer...

    So I hesitantly will be replacing my heavy knit wool sweater (18oz) with a new layer.

    After much research I purchased the newest revision of the Patagonia R1 full zip fleece.

    Seems like a very popular and beloved shirt.
    I should have it in the next week just in time for a 3 day trip up into desolation wilderness in the Sierras; I do this trip every year with a couple of buddies and we have experienced temps in November ranging from 65 and sunny down to 0 with over 100 mph winds, we even got a couple feet of snow last year.
    I will let y'all know what I think of it once I get it but until then I would love to hear experiences with this piece of gear if you care to share.

  2. #2
    Registered User Martzy's Avatar
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    Default Decided on a new fleece layer...

    I just bought one from Praha here on Whiteblaze, and I couldn't be more pleased with it. It fit exactly into my layering system, I was missing a layer between my thin base and my puffy. Haven't had a chance to field-test it yet, but I walked to and from class in 55*F damp weather and was a bit too toasty. I think that bodes well. Let me know when you get a chance to put it through its paces.
    Side note: Praha is selling some solid gear right now, if I could rate the buying/shipping experience, it'd be a 5 start for sure. Thanks!
    ~March 5th, 2017~

  3. #3
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    As a more or less UL hiker, I've never understood the role of a fleece jacket. It's too warm to hike in most of the time (a rain jacket or windshirt usually works fine, and my rain jacket and windshirt combined weigh 3 oz. less than the R1. If I wear both together, I can hike down to well below freezing comfortably). But a fleece is not as warm as a puffy jacket, which will serve you better for hanging around camp or sleeping and probably weigh less than the R1 if you get a lightweight model.

    The R1 sounds like an improvement over the wool sweater, but if you really aspire to go UL, you can probably do better. In the future, I would suggest thinking more about clothing systems (like a windshirt + rain jacket) and less about replacing individual items.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like an interesting system Burger, care to let us know what specifically you are using?

  5. #5
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    Burger, I, too, am interested; however, I do not hike in freezing weather. I hike in late spring (in Michigan) and summer in Michigan and on the A.T. I am trying to go more U.L. - without breaking the budget.... Currently, I am down to 26.5 # skin out with 1 day of water and 5 days of food...

  6. #6
    Registered User Martzy's Avatar
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    Default Decided on a new fleece layer...

    Neither I nor poolskater mentioned UL though.....just that we both decided on a new fleece layer.
    ~March 5th, 2017~

  7. #7
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    My windshirt is a Patagonia Houdini--several years old now. Maybe 3 oz.
    Rain jacket is an O2 Rainshield--fragile but very light and breathable. 6 oz. iirc.
    Puffy is a Patagonia Nanopuff pullover at 9 or 10 oz., I think. I don't even bring it with me unless I'm expecting cold nights. And I almost never wear it hiking--maybe just for the first 10 minutes of the day on a very cold morning before I warm up. It's pretty much just for use in camp and while sleeping.

    As for breaking the bank, the Patagonia jackets weren't cheap. I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives, but I haven't been in the market for a new jacket for years, so I can't help with specific suggestions. The O2 Rainshield is like $30. FroggToggs jackets are made from similar material and similarly priced.

    There are loads and loads of good resources for UL hiking on and offline. Backpackinglight.com is one place to start (though the site isn't as good as it used to be). There several books, too.

    Martzy, the OP's profile says "UL wannabe," so I thought I'd chime in. I won't be offended if you ignore my unsolicited advice.

  8. #8
    Going for A walk left52side's Avatar
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    Zpacks just came out with A full zip fleece I am looking into to replace my mountain hardwear micro lite.
    http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/fleece_jacket.shtml
    If I die trying now I wont die wondering how life could have turned out.....


  9. #9
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    I just use a cheep 9oz fleece 1/4 zip. No need to spend big money item. Works great under a wind jacket .

    thom

  10. #10
    Registered User jjozgrunt's Avatar
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    I bought a couple of different White Sierra fleece 1/4 zips that were very cheap but very warm as part of a layering system. I've used them alone as a long sleeve shirt on cold windy days or over a merino t-shirt.

    https://www.whitesierra.com/collections/mens-tops

    That's their website but I bought them cheaper on Amazon.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

  11. #11
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martzy View Post
    Neither I nor poolskater mentioned UL though.....just that we both decided on a new fleece layer.
    Since this is posted in the Ultra-Light Hikers forum section, I'm sure people assumed that UL was implied. Grats on the new gear.
    AT: 274.5 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  12. #12

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    I'm another who carries a fleece in cooler weather and a long-sleeved synthetic t-shirt in warmer weather, as well as my puffy. My puffy is generally only used morning and evening and thus buried with my sleeping bag. I use the fleece/synthetic layer when I stop for lunch...sometimes a t-shirt just isn't enough in the mountains, and a puffy is too much when all you're doing is trying to cut the effects of the breeze, especially when the sun goes behind clouds or you are under tree cover.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    As a more or less UL hiker, I've never understood the role of a fleece jacket. It's too warm to hike in most of the time (a rain jacket or windshirt usually works fine, and my rain jacket and windshirt combined weigh 3 oz. less than the R1. If I wear both together, I can hike down to well below freezing comfortably). But a fleece is not as warm as a puffy jacket, which will serve you better for hanging around camp or sleeping and probably weigh less than the R1 if you get a lightweight model.

    The R1 sounds like an improvement over the wool sweater, but if you really aspire to go UL, you can probably do better. In the future, I would suggest thinking more about clothing systems (like a windshirt + rain jacket) and less about replacing individual items.
    your take is interesting as almost everyone, including some who really have earned their stripes in the UL community, recommend a light fleece in a clothing layering system...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by poolskaterx View Post
    So I hesitantly will be replacing my heavy knit wool sweater (18oz) with a new layer.

    After much research I purchased the newest revision of the Patagonia R1 full zip fleece.

    Seems like a very popular and beloved shirt.
    I should have it in the next week just in time for a 3 day trip up into desolation wilderness in the Sierras; I do this trip every year with a couple of buddies and we have experienced temps in November ranging from 65 and sunny down to 0 with over 100 mph winds, we even got a couple feet of snow last year.
    I will let y'all know what I think of it once I get it but until then I would love to hear experiences with this piece of gear if you care to share.
    I've been using mine for about 6 years in all conditions and wear it religiously both frontcountry and backcountry.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  15. #15

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    I enjoy all the input! The R1 is replacing the wool sweater that I ONLY would use in camp when it is really cold but was always too much for any active use. I think I'll be able to use this new fleece over my base layer when it is cold when hiking without wind and I have a marmot essence 7oz jacket I use for wind and rain. The wool sweater is the last piece out of my original kit that I am replacing, it was not dual purpose enough (and pretty heavy, bulky, and takes forever to dry if it gets wet; I admit it has been my security blanket as I know that I would be warm when I brought it... time to try something new. I can't wait to get out and use this new piece.

  16. #16

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    sounds like you are just going to use the fleece the way people use a light down puffy or a synthetic jacket (eg: thermoball)
    Slightly heavier than some options, but a nice upgrade from what you had, and full zip will allow you to moderate temps a lot better than a 1/4 zip

  17. #17
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondmouse View Post
    your take is interesting as almost everyone, including some who really have earned their stripes in the UL community, recommend a light fleece in a clothing layering system...
    I just did a little searching on BPL and a few other sites, and it's definitely not true that "almost everyone" recommends a fleece. You can find plenty of 3-season UL gear lists where the only insulated clothing layer is a puffy jacket.

    My philosophy is that a warm "mid layer" is not necessary at all unless you're hiking in winter. For other times of year, you probably already have a rain jacket with you. Add a 3-oz. windshirt to your rain jacket, and you have a versatile and extremely lightweight layering system that can take on a wide range of conditions, from warm+buggy to cold+wet. Fleece is just too warm to hike in most of the time since your body is producing heat. Plus, you can also modulate your body temperature with gloves, a warm hat, or the hood of your jacket(s). I am continually amazed at how much warmer I feel while hiking when I pull up the hood on my windshirt.

    If it gets really cold, you can always hike in your insulated jacket (some people with down jackets worry about getting the down wet from sweat or rain, but I've known others who regularly hike in their down puffies). But I wouldn't consider a fleece jacket for my insulation layer--fleece is heavier and less warm than a good synthetic puffy or almost any down puffy.

    Clothing is very individual, so I do not claim to speak for everyone, but I suspect that a lot of hikers would be surprised to discover how warm you can stay hiking in a windshirt or windshirt + rain jacket. The weight savings make it more than worthwhile. YMMV.

  18. #18

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    Yeah I went with full zip for two reasons, first for hiking I can regulate temps as at high elevation; a cloud covering the sun can change temps 20+ or - degrees, and second because I think I will use this piece around town for casual wear because "I" think it looks pretty nice. (even more dual purpose)
    I did forget to mention that I bring along a 6oz puffy down vest too, so really I have: base layer (smartwool or synthetic), vented LS hiking shirt with UV and bug protection, the new Patagonia fleece (instead of my good ol' wool sweater), light down vest, along with my wind/rain jacket... I also have a frogtogs poncho just in-case I have to hike in the rain. I am pretty certain this will be a pretty bombproof 3.5-4 season set up. When hiking I am never too concerned with warmth with the exception of wetting out in icy/snowy conditions.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    I just did a little searching on BPL and a few other sites, and it's definitely not true that "almost everyone" recommends a fleece. You can find plenty of 3-season UL gear lists where the only insulated clothing layer is a puffy jacket.

    My philosophy is that a warm "mid layer" is not necessary at all unless you're hiking in winter. For other times of year, you probably already have a rain jacket with you. Add a 3-oz. windshirt to your rain jacket, and you have a versatile and extremely lightweight layering system that can take on a wide range of conditions, from warm+buggy to cold+wet. Fleece is just too warm to hike in most of the time since your body is producing heat. Plus, you can also modulate your body temperature with gloves, a warm hat, or the hood of your jacket(s). I am continually amazed at how much warmer I feel while hiking when I pull up the hood on my windshirt.

    If it gets really cold, you can always hike in your insulated jacket (some people with down jackets worry about getting the down wet from sweat or rain, but I've known others who regularly hike in their down puffies). But I wouldn't consider a fleece jacket for my insulation layer--fleece is heavier and less warm than a good synthetic puffy or almost any down puffy.

    Clothing is very individual, so I do not claim to speak for everyone, but I suspect that a lot of hikers would be surprised to discover how warm you can stay hiking in a windshirt or windshirt + rain jacket. The weight savings make it more than worthwhile. YMMV.
    Keeping warm when hiking is not generally my issue, just fine tuning the gear I bring to have more purpose. I am pretty lean and if I get cold my body does not work well and it is difficult for me to get warm again so I probably am more cautious than many about warmth; my goal is to have a use for everything in my pack this next trip.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by poolskaterx View Post
    Keeping warm when hiking is not generally my issue, just fine tuning the gear I bring to have more purpose. I am pretty lean and if I get cold my body does not work well and it is difficult for me to get warm again so I probably am more cautious than many about warmth; my goal is to have a use for everything in my pack this next trip.
    This is generally the same issue for me...lean and have a hard time getting warm again.

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