User Review: Cabela's Polartec 300 Hooded Jacket
Fabric: malden mills polartec 300
Price Paid: $64
This is a jacket made from polartec 300 classic - the term Malden Mills uses to describe their thick, standard (not windblock or power stretch) fleece. The same fleece that North Face uses in the amazingly popular Denali fleece jacket. This does not have nylon-reinforced elbows or shoulders like the North Face.
this fleece jacket fits true to size for the most part. it is slightly longer than waist length, plenty of room through the torso, with sleeves that are just right but definitely not long. i'm five foot ten; if you are looking for a longer fit in the length or sleeves, consider ordering in a tall size.
it has two hand pockets and one chest pocket, all close with coil zippers. the front is a full zip and also closes with a coil zipper. many competing brands have a more robust zipper in the front, but it has not been an issue. the jacket is unlined except for a layer of micro-mesh behind the hand and chest pockets. the hem along the bottom has an elasticized drawcord with toggles on either side, a great feature that i use regularly in cold weather. the wrists are elastic, a little cumbersome because the thick fleece wraps around a thick elastic. Patagonia and North Face do a better job with this, the elastic wrists are much thinner yet just as functional on those brands.
i bought this fleece because i wanted a hood - it can be a great thing to have in a pinch, especially under a hard shell hood in a storm. it does not have a collar that zips up high around your neck, though the non-hooded version has that. the hood closes with drawstrings. i added toggles to keep the hood cinched tight; Cabela's should consider adding that as a feature. the hood is a great feature, though, and it's hard to find a heavy polartec fleece that has one.
finish is very good, consistent with my experience with other Cabela's products. this is a solid fleece that is built to last. the color selection is pretty good, several to choose from.
the bottom line - this jacket lacks the style and some features you will find in more expensive jackets, but it has other features (hood, adjustable drawstring along the hem) you won't find in more expensive and popular brands. the big plus? competing jackets from better-known name brands cost more than twice as much, almost three times as much in some cases. a fine jacket, a killer value.