Friday, 18 November 2011

Gear Review - Men’s 100 Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Top by The North Face

I’ll admit it.  I’ve never been a fleece fan.  There – I’ve said it.  I’ve always been walking shirt then walking jacket man – if you’re too cold, put on the jacket, if you’re too warm, take off the jacket.

But then I was introduced to the Men’s 100 Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Top by The North Face – and I must say I’ve changed my mind.

To start with, the fleece has a great feel to it.  It’s very soft, yet you instantly know it’s going to keep you warm.   My example was in Weimaraner Brown – which I think is the more desirable colour of the 5 on offer.

My experience with The North Face is their sizes are always quite generous, so you may need a different size to your usual.  I preferred a slightly baggy fit, yet one which still provided me with the benefits of the fleece.

The Glacier is made from the Polartec Classic material, supposedly maintaining its insulation and feel even after years of washing.  Well, I can’t vouch for years of washing, but my example has been washed many times and it does look as good as it was when new.  As yet, it hasn’t been reduced to a baubly mess as some cheaper fleeces inevitably do.

The lightweight nature of the fleece makes it ideal for walking, biking, or running and I tried it out on several journeys out.

Now, as autumn and winter kicks in, fleeces come into their own.  I go out walking my Border Collie twice a day, and there’s often times when it’s too cool for shirt sleeves – and the Glacier is fantastic for these occasions, providing a comfortable and warm fit.  The one thing you notice within minutes of putting on the Glacier is how warm you’ve become.  With the ¼ zip right up, you’re protected from the wind with its high neck, and the well-fitted sleeves ensure your arms are toasty too.

When biking, the Glacier is a great top layer – enabling sweat to pass through so keeping you cosy, but not smelly.  Getting too warm?  Drawing the zip down allows a channel of air to give your top half a refresh.

I think the real test of any piece of outdoor clothing is whether it migrates into regular life – the life outside the days of walking and cycling.  The Glacier has definitely achieved that – its styling is not out of place on a leisure evening out.  Mine has become such a part of my kit I don’t resort to a jacket first of all when I’m going out – I wear the Glacier.

What's good...
¼ zip allows for ventilation
Great quality
Light but very warm too
What's bad...
Be very careful whilst ironing - must be on a cool iron

Men’s 100 Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Top by The North Face - Rough Price - £40
Walks Around Britain rating  8/10

Product sample was provided by Webtogs, and as always with Walks Around Britain, we are independent in what we say.  Have a look at the Glacier here on the Webtogs website.