The Wister Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best fleece jackets for 2020.
Historic Range: $44.99-$224.95
Reviewers Paid: $125.00-$140.00
Historic Range: $54.83-$225.00
Historic Range: $54.95-$85.00
I ordered the Cloudveil Gridlock and the Wister jackets to see how they compared. I wanted something to layer inside of my Cloudveil Spacewalk Jacket when traveling to cold countries in winter. The latter is my favorite jacket of all time, but that's another story.
I found the Gridlock fairly ordinary. Basically a 200 level fleece with a nobby exterior and pull cords at the bottom. Not terrifically handsome, though not terrible.
The Wister is a different story. It is clearly made for active wear. It is much more stretchy and flexible, goes on easier and goes under other things easier. Its venting stretch fabric at the pits works pretty well. Really comfortable. Something you can slip into and wear anytime.
Not that great looking. Not bad but not terrific, but that's not what it is made for. It's really made for cross-country skiing or something like that. I used it hiking and found it vented and dried well. Seems to be treated so it doesn't smell that much either.. though maybe that's more review than readers want.
Bottom line: buy the Wister. Much nicer.
Note that neither is terrifically warm. Just a good modest layer.
Fabric: Polartec Windbloc with hard surface
Price Paid: $125
I put this jacket on every morning during the winter, and don't usually take it off till I get home at night.
The smooth, "hardface" fabric is wonderful, as cat hair does not stick to it and it blocks the wind better than any other fleece I have ever worn. I can wear a long sleeve t-shirt and fleece pullover and be comfortable outside in 30 degree weather, and when it gets colder the smooth finish of the fabric makes it easy to throw on my shell or my primaloft jacket.
The fit is more relaxed than other more technical gear. The sleeves are longer than usual, but I flip in the cuffs and it works out well. This jacket does not taper much, but it does cinch down at the bottom on either side of the jacket, which is useful.
I do now know how well the Powerstretch fleece panels on the sides of the jacket will work in lieu of pitzips, so this may not be the jacket for everyone.
Price Paid: $140