View Full Version : Fleece is fleece is fleece...or not?

11-24-2009, 12:56
I have been looking for a pair of fleece pants to wear in cold weather and/or under my rainpants or in camp.

Saw a pair in REI. They are 100% polyester and cost about $60 if I recall right.

Yesterday I just grabbed a pair of http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=11599992 these at Walmart, just for lounging around the house. They cost $6.

The REI ones are made a slightly thicker fleece and weigh slightly more so I imagine they would be slightly warmer than the walmart ones. Other than that, what is the difference? Would I be an idiot to buy the REI ones for hiking when the walmart ones are practically the same product?

11-24-2009, 13:01
If the $6 ones are warm and comfortable enough, then just get another pair of those for hiking. If you're still cold and all, consider the REI ones. It's pretty much just personal preference.

11-24-2009, 13:02
I thought about getting fleece pants for the really cold part of my thru- even though I really don't like to support walmart, I might go look for fleece pants there.

11-24-2009, 13:05
I didn't realize they were pajama pants- I bet the REI ones are MUCH thicker and if they aren't much heavier, probably much warmer for their weight.

If there's an REI store near you, check 'em out in person. I might get thick fleece pants, but I think I'll probably stick to long johns.

Sorry for not consolidating the posts!

11-24-2009, 13:21
Malden Mills (Polartec brand) fleece is much better than (cheap fleece) It is thicker, warmer, and more durable than the Chinese made fleece used by Colombia and the like. It can also be found relatively inexpensively (but not $6) at places like Campmor.

11-24-2009, 16:56
I find that the cheaper fleece tends to "pill up" and wears out quicker than most of the name brands. The stitching quality and edge seams quality is usually lower.

It definitely comes down to the law of diminishing returns, you pay a lot more buck to get a small but noticable improvement in quality. If you are going to be hanging around a cracking softwood bonfire, go with teh cheap stuff as they both melt equally well;)

11-24-2009, 17:11
For years, I've used the heavy weight fleece. However, the last couple of years I have discovered "micro-fleece" or 100 weight fleece and found it just as warm as the heavier fleece but without the bulk. Now I seldom wear the bulky fleece anymore. (LL Bean fitness fleece is a favorite)

11-24-2009, 17:46
polar fleece which is a heavier poofier material is what sweaters are made of.

mirco fleece is a lighter weight fabric which is a more solid material which allows you to retain body heat.

REI has a 30% winter sale going until Nov.30th. Don't forget about the store wide clearance sale in January.

11-25-2009, 07:54
Fleece can be judged for quality by examining the inside of the garment. If you see a smooth finish it is the good stuff if you see threads it's the cheap stuff.

11-25-2009, 08:31
In wal-mart they have fleece long johns in the hunting section.They come in different weights... light , Med. and heavy.The heavy ones were 18.00... also have tops to match....Very warm and nice to sleep in.

11-25-2009, 09:07
i carry a $5 pair of fleece jammies to sleep in over my base layer.

11-25-2009, 09:25
In wal-mart they have fleece long johns in the hunting section.They come in different weights... light , Med. and heavy.The heavy ones were 18.00... also have tops to match....Very warm and nice to sleep in.

I agree. they also have in the hunting section wool hiker socks made in North Carolina for only $7.

11-25-2009, 11:34
Actually Polar Fleece come in several weights, but what most people are used to is Polartec 200 Fleece or "midweight" fleece, but they also make Polartec 100 or "microfleece" and Polartec 300 or heavy weight fleece. They also make lots of other fleece vareints such as Powerstretch fleece and regulator fleece. Clo values are as follows:

Polartec 100 "microfleece" 0.30
Polartec Powerstretch fleece 0.49
Polartec 200 "midweight" fleece 0.76
Polartec 300 "heavyweight" fleece 0.92

So despite the poster who felt that microfleece was just as warm as "midweight" fleece, some weights of fleece are warmer than others.

11-25-2009, 20:27
Walmart fleece is polyester.

11-25-2009, 21:49
I don't know much about their fleece stuff, but I have had good experiences with the Starter brand stuff. It tends to be made for harder use than the faded glory stuff. I've been using the dri-star baselayers and the wicking tees for a while now. And, if you buy them out of season you can get them on the clearance rack for $3-$5 each. You might want to check out the Starter Fleece athletic pants next time you find yourself in Wally World.

11-26-2009, 01:34
I like my wool base layer/sleep clothes in camp under my rain pants till bed time. The merino is better than fleece for the weight IMO.

11-26-2009, 11:46
Walmart fleece is polyester.So are the $60 REI ones. 100% polyester, I read the label.

11-26-2009, 11:48
I like my wool base layer/sleep clothes in camp under my rain pants till bed time. The merino is better than fleece for the weight IMO.Can you provide a link? Thanks.

11-26-2009, 12:33
All fleece is 100% polyester, that doesn't make it all the same. The cheap stuff is nowhere near as good as the Malden Mills Polartec Fleece. I think campmor sells Polartec Fleece pants for around $20.

I do like wool to hike in, but it is super heavy to carry for camp/sleep clothes. Of course fleece isn't great for that either, but it is better, and you can hike in it. For camp clothes, I take the lightest synthetic shirt and pants I can find and use down jacket and pants over them. That is the lightest option, but of course you can't hike in down if you need to.

Old Grouse
11-26-2009, 13:03
I try to always buy Polartec brand. My reason? Read this!

11-26-2009, 23:27
The way I understand it is there are:
Microfleece (lightest and sometimes called 100 weight)
200 weight heavier
300 weight heaviest.
200 weight rivals light poly filled shelled jackets (when you use it with a shell).
300 weight is heavier than a similarly warm poly filled ul jacket
100 weight is similar to flannel pajamas and is somewhat fragile.
There are probably cheap knockoffs of all these weights.
I believe that the "fleece by weight" is Malden Mills' product.
There are, of course, windproof fleeces, too, but I suspect that the membrane sandwiched between the two layers of light fleece is only partially effective since the wind can blow through the outer layer, which, at that point, can't hold the heat your body gives off. That's why I prefer fleece with an outer windbreaker. Use both or either.

11-27-2009, 00:41
https://www.smartwool.com/default.cfm#/Mens/Apparel/Bottoms/_/2529/ Smartwool does really nice. It's warm, resists odors comes clean when it does get funky and don't itch. It is pricy but I'm only carrying one pair. It's also heavy? at 8 OZ a pair, ounce for ounce wool is the best, and it keeps you warm if it gets wet. It has a zero (0) carbon footprint for the material unless you count sheep farts. :-?
Also if you got on your rain suit bottoms the windproof is there and it don't matter where you sit, your butts not going to get wet.

11-27-2009, 09:11
Hey check out this gear
one of my favorites http://www.summithut.com/products/driclime-catalyst-jacket/
good stuff