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fastfoxengineering
01-23-2018, 07:16
I'm looking to pick up a new fleece midlayer. I'm replacing my beloved Eastern Mountain Sports polartec powerstrech hoody. I got that bad boy on a clearance rack for $40 before hiking the Long Trail in 2014. The zippers broke and I have completely shredded the sleeves/thumbholes. It's time to retire it. It's no longer fixable. It's one piece of gear that somehow always finds it way into my pack for backpacking trips. It weighs 13oz on the dot. I like the weight of it.

I went to EMS to buy a new one and I would have dropped the $90 they were asking but the construction of the hoody isn't the same as the one I have and did not like it.

I'm currently really liking these two pieces from Montbell. Actually really liking the specs of alot of their gear.


https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25016&p_id=2306105&gen_cd=1

https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25016&p_id=1106599&gen_cd=1

I'm looking at the combustion parka and the warm up parka.

Looking at the specs the materials seem to be made of the same fleece. Comparing these jackets side by side. Assuming the extra weight on the combustion is from the cut of the parka and the addition of a chest pocket which I really like. Also these two jackets have hand pockets which my EMS did not have. The warm up parka looks a little slimmer/trim fit. I'm happy with the price of either piece too.


I also like how they're not super technical looking pieces. I'm not a fan of a Patagonia R1 for example. Too techincal for me.

Any input on clothes from Montbell or these two pieces specifically?

I'm working on putting together a new upper body layering system. Possibly gonna look at utilizing a Montbell tachyon wind breaker over the fleece. I however, very rarely hike in my fleece hoodies for long. But I've never been in conditions where I'm hiking in cold for multiple days. Worst I've been in is 38-50 degrees. Pouring rain. 4.5 days straight. Northern Vermont. I was chilly at times. But hiking strong kept me warm enough. Put on a rain jacket and needed to vent within a half mile. It was also a down pour. Soaked through to the bone.

In the spring I'll run up some smaller peaks when it's in the 30 low 40s. I'll typically wear my polarstretch hoody alone. I really like it for that. On the summit I'll throw on my helium ii. Not warm. But able to handle the cold wispy summits.

Would anyone be able to give advice on how a piece likes this would work in a layering system?

What about pairing it with a warm down vest for colder conditions. Or a down jacket.

I typically hike in a long sleeve button up. And carry either a long sleeve or t-shirt baselayer top.

And I'll be honest. Im a big fan of fleece. I have a down jacket and a synthetic jacket. I find the fleece more comfortable to wear day in and day out. Softer fabric. I also like how fast it dries. It never really feels clammy to me.

Maybe I just realized from living in the Northeast where its wet and humid all the time that fleece performs better for me in wetter/ always damp conditions.

So... What's your thoughts? And I've read a few times pairing a proper windshirt with a fleece midlayer is an excellent combo. I've just never done it.

Planning on thru hiking the AT nobo this year. Will start the trail with said fleece and probably my synthetic LL Bean jacket. Will drop one of them when the weather warms.






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egilbe
01-23-2018, 08:16
Ragged Mountain Equipment in Interval. Go check out their fleece hoodies

Cheyou
01-23-2018, 09:27
Fleece and wind shirt works great for me. The wind shirt has to breath . All my rain jacket for wind jacket tests show I’m more comfortable and dryer ,when not raining in wind jacket. You can test a wind jacket by trying to blow through the fabric. Some air goes through is good. My regular hiking setup. T shirt , fleece 100w ,hoodie windshirt,down vest, rain jacket on top of all if needed. Wind shirt 4.4oz silpoly rain jacket 4.4oz. I like kangaroo pockets

Thom

Martzy13
01-23-2018, 11:23
http://melanzana.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/22/products_id/34

These fellas are getting pretty popular on the trails, 12.2 oz, very soft and you can actually access the pocket with a pack on. You might check then out.

Cheyou
01-23-2018, 12:41
http://melanzana.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/22/products_id/34

These fellas are getting pretty popular on the trails, 12.2 oz, very soft and you can actually access the pocket with a pack on. You might check then out.


My brown color is 10.2 oz

blue indian
01-23-2018, 13:16
My melly is closer to the 10oz range as well.

Good lucking getting one though

QiWiz
01-23-2018, 13:55
The Patagonia Nano Air Light Hoody has been dubbed the "fleece killer" by Dave Chenault. I have to agree. You can find them at half price if you are lucky (I did). Quite expensive if you can't get a deep discount. I've now worn this garment on 2 weekend winter backpacks and an off trail day hike and love it. Best hood of anything I've ever worn. Warm, light, breathes like you won't believe. No regrets.

fastfoxengineering
01-23-2018, 14:53
The Patagonia Nano Air Light Hoody has been dubbed the "fleece killer" by Dave Chenault. I have to agree. You can find them at half price if you are lucky (I did). Quite expensive if you can't get a deep discount. I've now worn this garment on 2 weekend winter backpacks and an off trail day hike and love it. Best hood of anything I've ever worn. Warm, light, breathes like you won't believe. No regrets.That's interesting QiWiz I'll look into that more.

Not a huge fan of the mellys. Really like full or half zip. They are a nice piece though. I've given a few out as gifts.

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gbolt
01-23-2018, 19:50
I had three or four different choices for a Fleece Midlayer. After gear reviews by three thru hikers, I purchase a Patagonia Thermal Weight 3/4 Zip Hoody. http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-capilene-thermal-weight-zip-neck-hoody/43667.html

I have used it for a year getting ready for my attempt and now don’t carry any other Mid Layer. Combined with my Down Jacket, I have been comfortable in camp down to 15 degrees. I am sure I could combine my Houdini under and my Marmot Pre Cip over and be fine down to below 0* in Camp. Hiking Wise, I slide this on when temp is under 32* because of the versatility of the Houdini Windshirt. Without the windshirt, this may work under 40*. I love the hood and combined with a Buff means that my Mtn Hardware Microdome Beanie doesn’t get used as much.

Just another her option worth checking out. I was surprised that I enjoyed this piece of clothing as much as I did. My Houdini is still my favorite but this along with my Buff is close.

fastfoxengineering
01-23-2018, 23:29
I had three or four different choices for a Fleece Midlayer. After gear reviews by three thru hikers, I purchase a Patagonia Thermal Weight 3/4 Zip Hoody. http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-capilene-thermal-weight-zip-neck-hoody/43667.html

I have used it for a year getting ready for my attempt and now donít carry any other Mid Layer. Combined with my Down Jacket, I have been comfortable in camp down to 15 degrees. I am sure I could combine my Houdini under and my Marmot Pre Cip over and be fine down to below 0* in Camp. Hiking Wise, I slide this on when temp is under 32* because of the versatility of the Houdini Windshirt. Without the windshirt, this may work under 40*. I love the hood and combined with a Buff means that my Mtn Hardware Microdome Beanie doesnít get used as much.

Just another her option worth checking out. I was surprised that I enjoyed this piece of clothing as much as I did. My Houdini is still my favorite but this along with my Buff is close.Bought one and returned it. I think it's tight for a midlayer. It fit snug like a baselayer. Wanted to love it like everyone else. But I don't like the way it fits/looks.

I had some points to Montbell. I just ordered a new pair of chameece inner liner gloves to upgrade from my classic usgi wool glove Liners. and a tachyon anorak. Both cam "swami" approved. For the weight of the wind shirt, it's so light I don't mind bringing it along to see if I like it.

So now I have a proper layering system for my hands. Chameece liners and MLD rain mitts. I doubt I'll need a midlayer for the AT on my hands.

Right now I plan on having a short/long sleeve baselayer. A light fleece. Windshirt. Synthetic puffy. Lightweight rain jacket.

Just gotta decide on the fleece. Thanks for your input. I'm really liking the Montbell warm up parka. I feel I could send either the fleece or puffy home when the weather gets warm.


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MuddyWaters
01-24-2018, 03:41
My melly is closer to the 10oz range as well.

Good lucking getting one though
Ive worn out two.
The hood design is what makes the melanzana so great. Unequalled by any other.
I live in mine on trail in shoulder seasons or high altitude hiking, often wearing it instead of wind layer because the flow-thru ventillation is more comfy than windshirt , even if not as warming as a total windbloc layer. Always goes on in evening, and sleep in it . Only takes off in heat of day...if warm enough.

QiWiz
01-24-2018, 12:18
That's interesting QiWiz I'll look into that more.

Not a huge fan of the mellys. Really like full or half zip. They are a nice piece though. I've given a few out as gifts.

Reviewers note that the cut of the Nano Air light Hoody is trim; I agree. I ordered one size larger than normal (XXL instead of XL) and that was just right for me. YMMV.

Vanhalo
01-24-2018, 14:20
Bought one and returned it. I think it's tight for a midlayer. It fit snug like a baselayer. Wanted to love it like everyone else. But I don't like the way it fits/looks.

I had some points to Montbell. I just ordered a new pair of chameece inner liner gloves to upgrade from my classic usgi wool glove Liners. and a tachyon anorak. Both cam "swami" approved. For the weight of the wind shirt, it's so light I don't mind bringing it along to see if I like it.

So now I have a proper layering system for my hands. Chameece liners and MLD rain mitts. I doubt I'll need a midlayer for the AT on my hands.

Right now I plan on having a short/long sleeve baselayer. A light fleece. Windshirt. Synthetic puffy. Lightweight rain jacket.

Just gotta decide on the fleece. Thanks for your input. I'm really liking the Montbell warm up parka. I feel I could send either the fleece or puffy home when the weather gets warm.


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Just ordered the Chameece Liners and the 3L Thunder Pass Over Gloves. I couldn't decide between them & the MLDs.

I am fond of the Montbell Trail Action Parka - Stretch CLIMAPLUS jacket. I wear it everyday over Merino 150.

Shrewd
01-25-2018, 11:20
Iíd say get whatever fleece floats your boat for now, but maybe go back and give the patty thermal weight another look for your thru.

Itís meant to be a base layer but a lot of thru hikers, gbolt and myself included, wore it as a midlayer simply because itís good active insulation that weighs little and compresses better than a standard fleece.

I actually also carried a windbreaker (Patagonia Houdini full zip) and loved it. After the cold of the first few weeks I rarely used the thermal hoody and just tossed the windbreaker on. Wore it over the hoody when it was real cold.

I never wore my rain jacket unless I really had to because any time you put on of those on just means youíre already miserable.




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fastfoxengineering
01-25-2018, 23:24
Iíd say get whatever fleece floats your boat for now, but maybe go back and give the patty thermal weight another look for your thru.

Itís meant to be a base layer but a lot of thru hikers, gbolt and myself included, wore it as a midlayer simply because itís good active insulation that weighs little and compresses better than a standard fleece.

I actually also carried a windbreaker (Patagonia Houdini full zip) and loved it. After the cold of the first few weeks I rarely used the thermal hoody and just tossed the windbreaker on. Wore it over the hoody when it was real cold.

I never wore my rain jacket unless I really had to because any time you put on of those on just means youíre already miserable.




Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkYeah I'm pairing my windshirt with fleece.

I'm also carrying a waterproof NON breathable rain jacket.

I feel this will be the best compromise for me and work better in adverse conditions. It has pitzips as well.

In warm weather I may switch to a poncho.

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Shrewd
01-26-2018, 00:17
Yeah I'm pairing my windshirt with fleece.

I'm also carrying a waterproof NON breathable rain jacket.

I feel this will be the best compromise for me and work better in adverse conditions. It has pitzips as well.

In warm weather I may switch to a poncho.

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The concept of breathable with regard to rain gear is laughable. In hard rain itíll wet out, and in hard hiking youll sweat. Thatís just how it is.

chiefduffy
01-26-2018, 10:19
Marmot Ether Dri-clime

Cheyou
01-26-2018, 10:41
Reviewers note that the cut of the Nano Air light Hoody is trim; I agree. I ordered one size larger than normal (XXL instead of XL) and that was just right for me. YMMV.

That looks like a very nice piece. Iíll b looking for a sale . Could still bring my wind jacket to layer over it without any weight gain.

Thom

Shrewd
01-26-2018, 11:03
Wind jackets for life - after the AT Iíll never not bring one


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colorado_rob
01-26-2018, 11:19
http://melanzana.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/22/products_id/34

These fellas are getting pretty popular on the trails, 12.2 oz, very soft and you can actually access the pocket with a pack on. You might check then out. That hoodie looks like a fantastic piece of clothing. Thanks for the link. Both my wife and I currently use a merino wool hoodie (can't remember the brands, I think mine is an Icebreaker) and I use a non-hooded pull over zip neck lightweight fleece on top of that, with good results.

However, the fleece has seen better days, so I might switch "hoods", meaning a non-hooded merino wool base with this Melanzana hooded fleece mid-layer.

In any case, I've been using lightweight (100-wt) fleece for a second-layer for years, this really works for me, then a UL wind jacket for next layer (as others have raved about) followed by a froggtogg/driduck outer rain jacket. Nice versatile 4-layer combo.

BAck to original OP, I own a number of Montbell jackets, I love them all (2 down jackets, one synthetic jacket, one vest). They do tend to run a tad small; normally a large is plenty large for me, but in Montbells, they are quite snug.

JJ505
01-26-2018, 12:39
I have a Mountain Hardware MicroChill Lite jacket, which I am really liking. Got on sale, which was even nicer I thin the Melanzana looks very nice-- I believe Chris outdoors has those. Never even heard of them before.

fastfoxengineering
01-26-2018, 15:32
I have looked at the melanzanas. I got one for someone two years back as an Xmas gift. Was very nice. However, I much prefer something with a full/half/1/4 zip. I found it like to be able to vent in the front if hiking in a fleece layer.

Thanks for the input. I'm still deciding on a fleece. I have a windshirt coming from Montbell. I have a feeling I'm going to really like a fleece/windshirt combo. I don't see myself hiking too much while wearing both unless its really cold.

I'm going up to Ragged Mtn Equipment and Minus 33 this weekend to check out some layers.



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tryterry
02-06-2018, 15:39
I've gotten good mileage out of my Patagonia Better Sweater fleece. Happy about their attitude towards returns as well.

TheMidlifeHiker
02-15-2018, 23:03
Not a fleece but I love my North Face Ventrix as a midlayer. Works well between 15F and 40F... below I add layers underneath, above I toss it in my pack.


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