Pontetorto Tecnostretch, 93% Recycled Polyester, 7% Elastane, very elastic 4-way stretch fleece, with excellent wicking properties due to its construction, 238 g/m², bluesign approved
Hiking, Climbing & Mountaineering, Skiing & Snowboarding
Expensive, but comfortable and well-featured, fleece jacket. Warm for its weight.
- Storm flap behind zipper
- Long zipper pulls
- Large elevated side pockets
- No hem pull cords
The Haglofs Heron is a midweight fleece jacket which comes with or without a hood. I chose the hoodless version.
At around €100 ($120), the Heron is expensive considering that some fleeces can be had for a quarter of the price. For its price the Heron comes with a storm flap behind the main zipper, superbly smooth-running zippers with long zipper pulls, a beard guard at the neck to stop the zipper chafing your skin, and side pockets big enough for a UK ordnance survey map.
The jacket oozes quality: there is hardly a loose thread anywhere, and its material feels luxurious to the touch with a smoothly woven outer face coupled with a fluffy finish on the inside. The fabric stretches nicely.
The jacket pockets are elevated for compatibility with rucksack hipbelts, though I wish they were higher because they can still be partly blocked by the hipbelt pockets on some rucksacks. Moreover, the jacket pockets extend downwards from the openings. This means you cannot stow a map in your jacket without undoing your rucksack hipbelt, even if the pocket openings themselves are unobstructed.
I tend to take the weight of a garment as an indication of how warm it is. The quoted weight of the Haglofs Heron in size large is 370 grams. I was therefore expecting it to be less warm than my bog-standard Craghoppers Kiwi midweight fleece, also in size large, which weighs 411 grams. On receiving the Heron, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that its material does not feel any lighter than that of the Kiwi.
Having worn the Heron on walks I consider it just as warm as my Craghoppers fleece, and with its densely woven outer face it appears to do a better job of blocking wind. In terms of its warmth I would definitely classify the Heron as a midweight fleece, notwithstanding the weight difference.
I think three things account for the difference in weight between the two garments. Firstly, the Kiwi has a much chunkier main zipper than the Heron. Secondly, the Kiwi is far more generously cut, so it has plenty of excess material by comparison with the Heron. Thirdly, the Heron has no pull cords to tighten the hem—an odd omission on the face of it, given the price of this jacket, but one that makes sense when considering its narrow cut.
Haglofs describes the Heron as regular fit, but I would describe it as very close-fitting. Close-fitting garments help wick sweat away from the body, but Haglofs has overdone it with this fleece. I am 6 feet 1 inch tall with a 41-inch chest, and according to the Haglofs size guide my size is large. However I found the Heron in this size uncomfortably tight across my chest.
Luckily I had ordered both the large and the XL because I was uncertain about the fit, so I returned the former and kept the latter. Even the XL is a substantially narrower fit than my size large Craghoppers Kiwi fleece.
The one area where the Heron exceeds the Kiwi in its cut is in the length of its sleeves. However, the Heron has no thumb holes and its sleeves do not extend far enough to make them useful were they present.
All in all I believe this fleece will be my mid-layer of preference for walks in cooler weather.
I have had this fleece since May 2020 though I only began wearing it on walks in autumn 2020, but I have been wearing fleeces on walks for years.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: €103