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Best Fleece Jackets

Best Fleece Jackets

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This is a gear review about the best fleece jackets for hiking and backpacking in 2022.

When you are out hiking or backpacking, sometimes you need a fleece jacket that will keep you warm. While also keeping you warm, fleece jackets are generally lightweight, take up very little room in your backpack and works as a great mid layer for backpacking between your Base Layers, Down Jacket and Rain Jacket.

In this article, I will uncover the best fleece jackets that you should be looking at in 2022.

Best Fleece Jackets for Backpacking 2022

The Best Fleece Jackets for Backpacking in 2022 are:

Best Fleece Jacket 2022– Overall

Patagonia Better Sweater

> 100% recycled fabric
> Flat seams are used to reduce bulk and seam chafing
> Comfortable
> It’s Patagonia!

> Not Windproof – This jacket is best worn as a mid-layer alongside something else.

Patagonia is a well-known company in the fleece jacket industry. They have lots of designs and of their most popular designs in the Better Sweater.

This jacket is suited for daily wear and more extreme outdoor activities. These jackets are also the perfect mid-layer choice when backpacking.

The Better Sweater is made with 100% recycled polyester knitted fleece that also has a fleece interior. The cuffs are made with shape-holding micro-polyester jersey trim, alongside flat seams that eliminate chafing and bulk.

These jackets come with two zippered hand warming pockets and a security pocket too.

Overall, this jacket is comfortable to wear, comes in a range of colors to suit everyone and is the best fleece jacket on the market.

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Mountain Hardwear Polartec High Loft

> Soft to touch and is very comfortable to wear.

> 64% Recycled Materials
> Warm

> Some people think the arms are too long
> Not Windproof

The Polartec High Loft fleece jacket by Mountain Hardwear is lightweight and easy to pack jacket. It retains warmth and is also super soft to the touch.

This fleece jacket is made with a blend of 97% polyester and 3% Elastane, which are made with recycled materials. This jacket has a standard fit, with integrated stretch fleece panels down the sides, cuffs, and hem of the jacket.

Therefore, this allows the wearer more movement while wearing the item of clothing.

Zippers are used to do the jacket up and are also used on the chest pocket to keep your belongings safe. The Polartec High Loft fleece jacket is ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or just running general errands.

Overall, this is a very high quality fleece jacket for hiking, backpacking and traveling.

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Kühl Interceptr Jacket

> This jacket has four pockets

> The Interceptr Jacket has thumb holes on each sleeve
> This jackets has a good fit for most people

> Good mid layer but not suited to very cold weather

> Not windproof

The Interceptr Jacket by Kuhl is ideal for mild fall to spring weather conditions. However, once the weather really drops or the winds really pick up, this is where you need another layer. This is the same for all the jackets in this review.

This jacket is made up of a mixture of polyester and acrylic, alongside Dynamik stitching, which reduces the bulk of the garment and less chance of rubbing.

With this jacket, there are a total of four pockets, all with zippers that allow you to store all your belongings safely. I like the addition of a couple of extra pockets.

Also, another feature that you will find on the sleeves of this jacket is thumbholes to keep the sleeves pulled all the way down.

Overall, this is one of the best fleece jackets on the market.

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Outdoor Research Vigor Plus Full Zip

> This jacket has a hood to keep your head warm
> Lightweight
> This jacket uses a hybrid construction. The upper half of the jacket is made with a spandex/polyester mix, while the lower half of the jacket has a grid-style fleece.

> This jacket is quite thin

The Outdoor Research Vigor Full-Zip Hoodie is a lightweight fleece jacket that has been designed with thermoregulation ActiveTemp technology.

This means that this jacket has been designed to manage the body temperature of the wearer and adjust the temperature in the different climates that they are in. 

Like the previous jacket, the Outdoor Research fleece jacket also comes with thumbholes to keep the sleeves pulled all the way down and help keep the hands warm.

Alongside that, this garment also has a hood which is a personal opinion as to whether it is better or not.

As well as that, there are your typical two zip hand pockets and a security zipped chest pocket for you to put your personal belongings into.

From our test, we believe that this jacket is great to wear alongside another garment. This jacket can be worn by itself, but in colder conditions, the jacket does struggle to retain heat in very cold weather which is the same as all the other fleece jackets in this review.

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Best Budget Fleece Jacket 2022

REI Groundbreaker Fleece 2.0

> Good fit
> Durable and well made
> Affordable

> Very thin

The REI Groundbreaker Fleece 2.0, is a very affordable fleece jacket that is also lightweight and easy to pack for any journey.

This is a durable jacket that will last you a couple of years of hard wear. You can wear this jacket all year round in a range of temperatures and weather conditions.

This is a thin jacket, made from polyester, with stretch binding cuffs and hem. This allows you to keep the warmth in and the cold out.

Overall, this jacket is built well and is very comfortable to wear and one of the best budget fleece jacket on the market in 2022.


Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T

> Extremely comfortable to wear
> This jacket is very thick and warm
> Versatile enough to be used in almost any outdoor excusion

> This is a very simple jacket and basic looking fleece jacket

As mentioned above, Patagonia is a well-known brand in the fleece jacket market. The Synchilla Snap-T is easy to throw on before heading out for a bike ride or a hike.

It is also a great piece of gear to put on after a day of skiing, or just something to use when traveling.

You shouldn’t expect any fancy features or added extras with this product. It is simply a thick and really warm yet cozy fleece jacket. This is a loose-fitting jacket, with a snap shut front pocket.

However, other than that, this jacket will definitely keep you warm and comfortable while you are out and about in those cooler climates.

Overall, a nice warm fleece jacket.

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Buyers Guide

A fleece jacket is a great item of clothing to own. Not only are they comfortable to wear, but they provide warmth to the wearer in colder climates. They are ideal to either wear by themselves on those crisp mornings or as another layer while up on the slopes.

This is a casual piece of clothing, and if you are known for your outdoor activities, you most likely have a fleece jacket that is your go-to when the weather starts to get colder.  And most of them are made from recycled plastics. Ever wonder where your recycled plastic water bottles might end up!

In this buyer’s guide, we have mentioned a couple of things to look out for when you are buying your fleece jacket. 

Full Zip or Pullover

In this article, we have given you examples of both full zip and pullovers. When it comes to a full zip fleece jacket, you do have the option to have more pockets on your jacket. Which you don’t commonly see many on a pullover.

However, pullovers are popular as they are normally more lightweight than a full zip and pack down a lot smaller for carrying. When it comes to a full zip or a pullover, this is down to personal preference.

Both have their pros and cons, but it depends more on your personal style which one you choose. Both styles will help you keep you warm. In my opinion full zip is better and gives better options to vent heat on warmer days or when hiking up a hill.

Wind Proof

A fleece jacket is usually worn when layered with a waterproof jacket or coat. As when they are worn by themselves, most of them aren’t very windproof. Very few use a windproof membrane to keep the wind from taking away the heat.

Fleeces are considered very breathable, yet a lot of them let the wind in, which causes the wearer to lose any heat they had created to keep themselves warm. Best to use a windbreaker or ultralight rain jacket to stop the wind.

Therefore, it isn’t the end of the world if you buy a fleece jacket that isn’t windproof, as you will most likely be pairing it with another jacket.

However, you do need to remember that it isn’t windproof when you decide to wear it by itself. You don’t want to wear it by itself on days when it is cold and there is a strong breeze in the air, as the jacket will give you no benefits. 


When it comes to any item of clothing, the fit is really important. When it comes to fleece jackets there are different fits that you can buy, therefore, it is critical to see what fit your jacket is that you are buying and make sure that the fit will match up with its intended use.

If the jacket has a more casual use, then you may want to look into a roomier fit, that isn’t too tight. While if the jacket is meant for bike touring or skiing you may want to look for a better fitting jacket.

That will help keep in your heat and is easier to move in.

As a result, when buying your fleece jacket, think about what use it will get. If you aren’t sure, then try and find a middle ground where the jacket is still well-fitting, but also a tad loose.

You may find in this instance that a pullover is much more preferred in this scenario. 


A fleece jacket is a key item of clothing when taking part in outdoor activities, as it will help keep you warm and comfortable.

In this article, we have suggested the best fleece jackets that you can get your hands on right now. Out of all of these jackets, you will find the perfect one to fit your needs. 

The Best Fleece Jackets for Hiking in 2022 are:

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Look For In A Fleece Jacket?

There are a lot of things to look out for when buying a fleece jacket. However, the main ones we would suggest you look out for are the following:

Weather Resistance

A lot of jackets will have added extras like thumbholes, pockets, and hoods. These are also great things to look out for, but you don’t want the extras to be more important once the main thing this jacket should be doing is keeping you warm.

Therefore, once you have found some fleece jackets that will keep you warm, then you can look into the added features the jackets pose. 

Should A Fleece Be Tight Or Lose?

A fleece jacket is normally worn over items of clothing, so it should be easy to wear over them. However, the jacket shouldn’t restrict any movement.

Usually, a fleece jacket will be worn as a mid-layer, therefore it should be a snug fit, but not too tight to restrict movement and to be uncomfortable. 

Why Do People Wear Fleece?

Typically, people wear fleece as it is a really soft material, which is very comfortable to wear. Not only is it soft to wear, but it helps retain heat, but also is moisture resistant.

Therefore, fleece is comfortable to wear and should keep you warm, but not overheat you. 

Read More:

Best Mid Layers for Backpacking
Best Base Layers for Backpacking
Best Ultralight Rain Jackets

Best Fleece Jackets

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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