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Fleece replacement

3:41 p.m. on March 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I am looking for something a little more compact to replace my fleece mid layer. Would something like the Patagonia Nano or REI Revelcloud jacket compress more and have comparable warmth to a 200 wt. fleece?

11:02 p.m. on March 16, 2011 (EDT)
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either of those jackets will be as warm as polartec 200 - warmer, really, because they loft more and stop the wind.  it really depends on what functions you want, though, because these jackets are a lot different than fleece.  i tend to see the nano and similar jackets as lightweight insulators for morning or evening, rather than something that would replace a fleece mid-layer.  i wouldn't want to hike anything strenuous wearing these jackets because i would overheat pretty quickly, whereas fleece does a much better job allowing air flow and wicking.  

a lightweight alternative that packs better than polartec 200 and still offers some layering flexibility might be patagonia's R1 or R2 paired with an ultralight shell, eg the patagonia houdini.  probably not as warm standing still as the jackets you mentioned, but i think this combo would be a better fit for active hiking.  

 

1:53 a.m. on March 17, 2011 (EDT)
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If you can find them, Lowe Alpine (try Sierra trading Post) of Italy made (until March 2011) Zone technology fleece midlayers. They are extremely warm for their weight (less bulky than 200w fleece) and are designed w/ varying fabric weights for different areas of the body.

A polartec powershield / pro soft shell can make a great mid or outer layer (highly water resistent) but has high breathability. Mine compresses very well. Polartec Thermo-Pro High loft fleece is super compressible while retaining all of the breathability and wicking characteristics of traditional fleece. It is warmer than 200 or 300 wt but lighter and more compressible. Also significantly more expensive.

4:06 p.m. on March 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Thank you much for your replies. I went with a Mountain Hardware Monkey Man jacket made of thermal pro. Your replies were very helpful.

April 25, 2014
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