Yes we have matching fleeces, so what, fight me.
Apart from that, I’ve become an increasingly devoted fleece disciple. I used to wear it all the time, 200 or even 300 weight in the case of my original TNF* Denali and then 100 weight or powerstretch up to now unless I was wearing some fancy do it all midlayer that was the best new thing ever.
While some of these things work fine with the various combinations of shell, light insulation, wicking layer etc, I always found their window of perfect operation to be much narrower than having an adaptable modular system, that is, base, mid, optional insulation, shell. You know, old fashion stuff.
I have completely returned to my original system and I am so very happy with it. Today in strong winds and subzero temperatures I had a modern TNF Denali in 255 weight recycled fleece over a merino long sleeve and I was supremely comfortable until around the 1000ft line where the wind which I had been feeling just a little through the upper arms of the Denali was starting to chill me rather than cool me so I pulled on an old pertex smock. Sorted and happy again.
I know I’m a bit older now so my metabolism will be different but I’m not overloading fleece like I think I did back in the day, or maybe the publicity for modern multilayer creations told me my fleece was always wet with sweat and I was a fool for using it. Hmm.
Anyway, I’m mixing 100 weight and occasionally heavier with shell as well as on its own and I’m just not having any bother, and I’ve putting the miles in during my quest to get back to full fitness.
It’s interesting, I turn it over in my head quite a lot as I expect to reach a point where I go “Ah right, that was why. I’ll go back to the new stuff…”. But no.
Fleece reviews coming I think.
*The North Face hated when I said that, I was in fact told at one point not to do it when I was writing about them. Ha. Good luck with that.