Captain Bob's Outdoors Logo
This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We are reader-supported. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. This doesn't affect which products are included in our content. It helps us pay to keep this site free to use while providing you with expertly-researched unbiased recommendations.
The Best

Hiking Fleece

Columbia Women's Standard Benton Springs Soft Fleece Vest, Black, X-Small
  • LAYERED COMFORT: Soft and warm, the MTR filament material is the perfect outer or mid layer for any winter activity.
  • VERSATILE WARMTH: A modern classic fit and with a soft, lightweight feel make this vest a staple for comfortable outdoor activity.
  • PLUSH FILAMENT FLEECE: The Columbia Women's Benton Springs Vest is crafted of soft filament fleece for ultimate warmth and comfort...
  • HANDY FEATURES: This fleece vest provides two two zippered hand pockets, and an interior drawcord adjustable hem.

Buyer's Guide: Hiking Fleece

Best Hiking Fleece Jackets - How To Find The Best Hiking Fleece Jacket

Hiking Fleece Vs. Regular Puffy for Backpacks: What's the Difference? Most hikers don't carry a regular puffy and a fleece at once. If you plan on taking long hikes in bad weather or if you tend to become chilled easily, then you should carry both at all times. Puffy, particularly those insulated with down, also have a much higher heat-to-weight ratio than fleece. However, if you're just hiking around the park and going for a casual stroll, then you can probably skip the puffy. On the other hand, if you plan on climbing some hills or even walking long distances, I highly recommend the fleece.

Breathability and Physical Activity Level: Hiking Fleece has excellent breathability and can dry very quickly. It holds in moisture so your feet don't stay wet even when you're walking for a long time. A high-quality hiking fleece has a lot of open cells to allow for airflow and wicking which makes it a good choice for people who are active or plan on moderate physical activity throughout the day.

Protection For Your Clothing: When you're taking a hike in bad weather or high winds, a great thing to have is a pair of hiking fleece jackets. These will provide exceptional protection from the elements. They are typically waterproof and windproof as well, which means that they can keep you warm even when the outside temperature is warm or cold. Additionally, they usually have some type of protective lining in case your skin gets really wet. So not only can you wear your fleece as a protective layer during the day, but also at night.

Another major benefit of these jackets is how light they are. In addition to being extremely lightweight, you won't feel like you're lugging around a heavy coat or heavy hiking pants. The materials used in the construction of hiking fleece make it extremely soft and heat resistant. In fact, some types are actually designed to stay waterproof up to a certain depth of water. They are made out of polyester, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers, which give them strength and breathability. They are a popular choice for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts because of their extreme comfort and waterproof qualities.

Comfort: Another major benefit of using hiking fleece is the fact that it is extremely comfortable and allows for great airflow. Many of them feature an adjustable chin strap which allows for an increased level of comfort while keeping the neck warm and out of the cold. Many of these come with an internal layer of padding that stays warm and provides additional comfort on the outside of your body, which helps to reduce the physical effort required to keep warm.

Warmth And Comfort Another important quality to look for in the best hiking fleece jackets are breathabilities and warmth-to-weight ratios. The ability to breathe is important when you are hiking in colder weather conditions because you don't want to overheat. The warmth-to-weight ratio is simply the measure of how warm your clothing feels; the higher the weight, the warmer it should be. Many of the better brands will have a wide range of weights so you can find one to fit your needs.

Protection: One of the main features of any jacket is protection from the elements. A high-quality jacket will provide a number of layers of protection, from a rain jacket with a face-lift to a water-resistant shell. The best ones will have several outer layers, with a mid-layer to protect your inner layer against the elements and a liner to wear during your outdoor activities.

Finally, ease of use and comfortability are important characteristics to look for in a good product. Many of the better jackets have a zipper or an adjustable clamshell that allows you to easily get your items out of them. You'll also want to make sure that the jacket fits properly. Many people forget to do this step and end up with sore necks or other problems that may end up needing more treatment than a simple zipper would.