Too much for an insulating layer, but not quite outwear…
Fabric: Polartec 300 BiPolar
Price Paid: $110 paid, $175 retail
Too much for an insulating layer, but not quite outwear either...
The material for this is Polartec 300 BiPolar, a fleece with a fine 100 weight fleece outer and a bulky shearling lining. This is quite a bit warmer than a standard 300 gram fleece, as well as lighter (compared to their Denali Fleece). It is also more wind resistant than standard fleeces. A great concept. However, it is wind-resistant enough to be an outwear piece.
Yet it has several features that add bulk that are more common on outwear, such as heavy duty reinforcements on the shoulders and elbows, and two very large chest pockets. I think these add unneccasary weight for an insulting layer. This leads me to wonder if TNF designed this to be outwear or insulation?
It does make an excellent jacket if you are not too worried by the extra bulk of the features. The zippers always run smoothly and never snag, and the jacket is extrodanarily warm as an insulating layer, the pitzips are a nice feature, however I understand the '99 models have large chest core vents. I generally think highly of it.
If you want a similar warm fleece, try looking at TNF's St. Elias jacket. It made of 200 BiPolar Fleece (said to be as warm as standard 300) and is stripped of reinforcements and has only one chest pocket.
This fleece jacket is great. It is very warm, and…
Fabric: Polartec 300 BiPolar fleece
Price Paid: $175
This fleece jacket is great. It is very warm, and durable. It has abrasion resistant patches on the shoulders and elbows, which are nice. The only complaint is the selection of colors. It is only available in a few colors. In all it is fantastic.