REI Woodland Jacket
Fabric: Polartec 200 Fleece
Price Paid: $20
I got this jacket on sale at REI and have to say that it is a nice overall jacket. It is a good insulating jacket under other layers and breathes very well. Breathability is very important to me and I like the way this jacket manages my body temperature. I also appreciate the simple and lightweight design of this jacket. The fit of this jacket is very important as it doesn't have a draw-string at the waist to tighten. Sure having a bunch of extra zippers and a draw-string is nice but it also adds weight. This jacket only weighs 12.6 ounces.
So far I've used it for winter hikes here in Colorado and find that this jacket over a mid-weight baselayer keeps me warm as long as I'm active and the wind isn't too strong. The combination of this jacket and a mid or heavy-weight baselayer is resistant to mild wind gusts and very warm. When conditions get colder or I'm inactive I either throw another mid-weight fleece pullover or a hard-shell on top depending on conditions. I'm thinking about using this as a stand alone jacket for summer mountaineering here in Colorado with rain gear for backup. For an insulating layer and cool conditions this jacket works pretty well. This jacket won't keep you warm in extremely windy conditions being a traditional fleece but it will insulate very well underneath a wind or hard shell. It will also breath very well and prevent you from sweating too much.
I've had problems managing my core temperature with wind-blocking fleece and feel that a regular nylon wind-jacket performs the same function yet allows better breathability. This jacket is pretty high quality and is made in Canada unlike other high-end brands that charge twice as much for a similar jacket that is made in China or Vietnam. For the price I paid this jacket was a tremendous value. Another good product from REI. I've had nothing but good luck with REI products. They are affordable, durable, and very functional.