View Full Version : Fleece Clothing

Yukon Hunter
03-10-2003, 05:46 PM
Howdy, all-
Just signed up, and I'm from the Yukon. Love my Moose hunting, but had my first Dall Sheep hunt this year, and I'm hooked.
I'm looking for something pretty specific. Anyone know where to find Polartec 300 fleece with Windstopper in a decent camo pattern? No luck at Cabela's, Northern Outfitters, etc.
Thanks in advance.

03-11-2003, 06:59 AM
Just buy the fleece you want and wear a windstooper layer underneath. I like Cabelas Berber outfitter camo.

03-11-2003, 08:23 AM
I have taken to buying black or green fleece, and then adding a camo outer layer. That way, I can change the camo to suit the area, which tends to be important. I hunt a lot of aspen groves, so archery season is two seasons, leaves on the trees and leaves on the ground. The new 3d suits look pretty interesting....

03-11-2003, 09:42 AM
Try Day One Camoflauge or Kathy Kelly. They may have what you are looking for.

Yukon Hunter
03-11-2003, 03:53 PM
Yo, BobMN-
Funny- that's exactly what I have picked out. So far, it seems to be the best of the lot. I was kinda wondering how warm it was, though, compared to Polartec 300.

03-12-2003, 05:28 PM
Yukon Hunter: I wear Patagonia Capilene lightweight long underwear,Cabela's microtex pants and shirt(lightweight,drys fast, burs don't stick, does not itch and very tough), berber fleece vest with windstopper lining, Berber fleece jacket. When cold, wet or windy (especially while glassing), I add a gore-tex 3/4 length parka and rain chaps made from gore-tex pants.This allows sweat to evaporate around midsection as gore-tex fabric becomes overwhelmed from water vapor during heavy exertion. Same reason for windstopper vest instead of windstopper jacket-it does not breath enough during heavy work. I avoid wool because it itches (I am allergic), it is heavy and will not dry overnight hanging in tipi above stove.I add and subtract layers as needed and stuff unused clothes in pack. The drawback to synthetic fabric is it fuses to skin in a fire. Makes me nervous in bush planes, but I still use it because of other attributes. This system good to about 0 degrees F. Brooks range sheep, Mulchatna caribou and Admirilty bear. Minnesota deer muzzleloader late Nov. I add a blaze orange coat for stand sitting.

03-12-2003, 05:35 PM
Personally for warmth I haven't been impressed with wind stopper as an inside layer. Putting the wind barrier on the outside and fleece on the inside is a warmer arrangement. Have the Cabelas outfitters jacket with wind stopper. Very quiet. Good wind block, but not that warm in wind chill weather compared to it's weight. Here is a site for fleece that has the wind barrier between two fleece layers, haven't tried their products though ($$). http://www.ravenwear.ca/

03-13-2003, 05:20 PM
BobMN -
Looks like we posted at the same time - I wasn't commenting on your post, just two people with somewhat diferent ideas. I have both the berber vest and jacket with the wind stopper. I use the vest a lot, but don't make much use of the jacket except around the house. To me, with the wind stopper the jacket is too heavy for the warmth I get out of it as an outside layer. Wind seems to stip any heat stored in the fleece fiber so all you have left is the wind stopper layer. Instead, I use a lighter fleece jacket and a coated parka. That chaps idea sounds real interesting for managing mositure. Did you leave the pant leg intact and just cut away below the waste belt? I got a pair that I wouldn't mind operating on!

03-14-2003, 05:56 PM
Mike: The rainchaps started out as pair of gortex rainpants. They were modified with a nylon belt loop on the outside seam to keep them up. The inseam stops at crotch level. If you need a pattern, look at the chaps upland bird hunters use. Needless to say, they only work with a 3/4 length parka. Cabela's has a dark green 3/4 length goretex parka on sale for $109.00. The 3/4 length parka is just about extinct. "Sheep Hunting in Alaska" by Tony Russ describes the concept in detail. As you walk, the hot air gets pumped out the top of each leg, but the lower edge of the parka stops the rain.
My experience with windstopper makes me think that it's effectiveness derives from trapping body heat, not from protecting the insulating layer from convective heat loss. Consequently, the vest allows your armpits to breath but traps the heat around your torso. Discussions with W. L. Gore & Associates indicate that windstopper is more permeable than goretex but not as permeable as fleece in releasing body heat and humidity.

03-15-2003, 07:25 AM
Cabela's Spring Turkey catalog shows their "berber" camo fleece (1/2 thick, I think similar to 30-wt Polartec) in a Windstopper model.

Yukon Hunter
03-15-2003, 09:04 AM
Hmmmmm.... Now you've gone and gotten me all confused.
When I hunt sheep, the wind seems to howl all the time. Even around Aug 1st last year, despite the warmish temps, the wind sucked every bit of heat out. I ended up wearing a Woolrich fleece jacket with a Camo Goretex jacket over top. The problem there is that the Goretex jacket weighs about 150 lbs. I suppose this wouldn't be a problem for some, but I'm kinda old. And kinda fat. And did I mention kinda out of shape?
I like the Yukon jacket and pants, along with the 3SP set in the Northern Outfitters catalgue. Again, though, no wind protection.
Dang. Can't seem to get it all- light weight, warm, windproof, waterproof.

04-26-2003, 10:34 AM

I think getting some spear clothing and then wear hunting clothing according to the wether.Thanks,Kev

04-26-2003, 02:01 PM
Try wearing a Marmot Driclime Wind shirt under your cammo> The Dryiclime is the most usefull single layer I have found.

04-26-2003, 06:32 PM

I have been looking on the net for a long time for clothing that is in this topic. I wanted clothing that is water proof, but is also quiet and will keep someone warm. I have found something of interest that I've never seen or heard about.It is at Riverswest.com, it sounds unbelieveable, it saids it is better then goretex, and guaranteeds to keep you dry or your money back plus 20 more bucks toward another product.I am going to call them and check it out, I know it must cost alot but if it works it will be worth it.Also it is quiet it has a fleece outershell. Thanks,Kev

Yukon Hunter
04-27-2003, 12:05 PM
The only problem with that is that I think I'd rather wear the fleece between me and the wind/rain proof layer (I assume that's what the Marmot is), than the other way around. Having the fleece closer to your skin helps it trap warm air. Is this sound logic?

04-27-2003, 08:39 PM
For everyone that likes to wear pop bottles you might want to take a look at the April/May issue of Traditional Archery. Article by Paul Brunner describing the fire he was in on a Canadian hunt last fall. He spent several months in burn ICU and one of his hunting partners died. I don't think you'll ever see Paul in synthetics again. Food for thought.
Personally, I like polyester underwear, pick your brand. Filson Twill pants, Pendleton shirt, Ibex (Schooler Skifans) technical Jacket and Goretex for the really wet weather. The latest ski/mountaineering technical fabrics are pretty impressive. They have recognized the shortcoming of Goretex's failure to pass moisture in high aerobic activity and they are 80-90% waterproof/windproof, yet ultra breathable, light, abrasion resistant and stretchy. The idea is to wear it close to your skin for moisture management to work effectively. I haven't seen any camo patterns yet, but expect them. You still need something for heavy rain with these new fabrics but I am sure they would dry quickly in a stove fired tipi.

04-30-2003, 07:50 AM

Fleece, while comfortable and quick to dry (slow to saturate) is rather heavy for the amount of loft (therefore insulation) that it offers. When you apply a windstopper layer to it, you reduce convective heat loss, but degrade breathability. I have two different windstopper fleece garments, both are comfortable, very wind resistant, and moderately water resistant. However, neither is really warm nor do they breathe well.

IMO the best use for fleece is in layers under some form of outer shell. Ed mentioned the superb Marmot Driclime shirt, and there are others as well, (I have a Patagonia).

I'd suggest a modular system including the following. Wicking layer next to skin is a given.

(2) 100 wt. fleece garments. One s/be normal polartec, the other could be the same, or "wind-pro" (not windstopper). Be careful to try these on and size them so that both can worn at once if needed. (2) 100 wt. garments would be warmer than (1) 300 wt. (which I'm not sure I've ever seen anyway???)

Follow this with a windshirt like the Marmot.

Have a good piece of well vented raingear.

If you need more insulation than this, add the lightest weight synthetic fill vest you can find (Patagonia "puffball" or ...???).

This does not address the fire issue or your need (?) for camo. This system will however, allow you to mix/match the components for almost any condition you are likely to find short of a tidal wave or the next ice age.


Yukon Hunter
04-30-2003, 10:10 AM
I'm with you. I've given up on the ideal bit of clothing idea. I'm going with 2-200weight fleece jackets (after all, this IS the Yukon)- one by Woolrich that I absolutly LOVE, and the second I got this past weekend is in Canadian CADPAT Camo. I believe I'll forego the wind shirt, and just stick with a single piece of vented wind/rain gear to save weight, as I'll be hiking.
Please, feel free to set me straight if this isn't the answer.

04-30-2003, 12:18 PM

Two-200 wt??? Yikes!!!!! does your spit crack all year???........ /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

The very best of W/B is not very B. I think that the really good windshirts are a far more versatile and comfortable garment and you'd wear one of those more readily than your raingear. You can get a really good windshirt (and) a really light rain jacket for about the total weight and cost of a top of the line vented W/not-so-B.

Given the severity of your conditions, the two layers of 200 may be right. My thinking goes toward one 100 wt, one 200 wt. and a vest. You can get a 100 wt and a vest for the same weight as a 200 and have better core insulation. (less in the arms though)

Anyhow, my thinking goes toward more (thinner) layers within a given weight limit rather than fewer, (thicker) ones simply because more different combinations are more versatile.


Yukon Hunter
04-30-2003, 01:54 PM
Yeah, but the thinner layers make my nipples poke out... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

04-30-2003, 03:57 PM
JF is right on as far as layering. I field test clothing year around and i have found that a wind barrier is as effective near the base layer as it is as an outter layer. Also the Driclime or what ever brand windshirt slides into a heavier layer easier.
The problem with W/B fabrics like Gore-Tex is the lack of breathability. Many time what is thought of as leakage is actually condensation from your own sweat.
I also second elmbow's recomendation of the Ibex Schoeler Fabrics or Cloudveil. My favorite is the Climawool.
One other note, try merrino wool as a base layer. Ibex, Ulfrotte' and Smartwool all are very good. I'll bet if you try the merrino you won't go back to Capaline type base layers.
Here in Montana it isn't as cold as the Yukon but I am out in the outdoors 365 a year and we do get cold. In face the record cold for the lower 48 is about 10 miles from where I live. Minus 70 on Jan 20, 1954.

04-30-2003, 09:53 PM
Ed, thanks for getting the spelling right on the Schoeller. BTW, that's the mill not the clothing mfg. I 2nd you on the Ullfrotte stuff too, pricey, but excellent underlayers. I guess I'm old fashioned, I use synthetics but always in combination with wool. You got us by 10 degrees down here in Utah, we get 60 below pretty regularly in a place called the sinks up by the Idaho line. You don't see the power cords for plugging vehicles in at all the motels down here like you guys have. I imagine you get that in spades up in AK.

Yukon Hunter
05-01-2003, 04:08 AM
Sorry, boys- we gotcha.
Snag, Yukon Territory
Coldest Temp ever recorded in North America

05-01-2003, 07:01 AM
As elmbow said, Schoeller weaves fabrics like Dryskin, Climawool etc. Some of the clothing manufactures using Schoeller are Ibex, Cloudveil, Mamaut and Arcterrex. The stuff is amazing. I have a pair of Ibex Backcountry pants that I have wore hunting from 45 degrees to 20 below.

A lot of the mountaineering and adventure racing gear is ideal for the backpack hunter.

05-01-2003, 05:33 PM
Have you tested any King of the Mountain clothing?

05-02-2003, 05:07 AM
I haven't tested any of the King of the Mountain clothing. It appears to be high quality but also kind of heavy.
Most of the gear I review is running-adventure racing-mountaineering related. I have found that for the most part, what works well for those activities also works well for hunting.
I hope to be reviewing more hunting specific gear soon.

05-02-2003, 07:17 AM
Ed- I'd be interested in any write ups you may have on your reviews.

05-02-2003, 07:48 AM
The King of the Mountain gear is warm, sturdy and heavy. With a set of expedition weight long underwear underneath, it's good for about any weather in Colorado, at least for me.

Wool is old, low tech in comparison to the newer stuff out there. While it works, and works well, the newer synthetic gear is lighter and easier to pack.

05-02-2003, 08:32 PM
Kevin, I agree that wool is old, low tech is another story. You obviously aren't using the Schoeller fabrics that Ed and I have been referring to on this post. It doesn't get any high techier and is "the" fabric of choice for cutting edge high exertion mountain sports like technical climbing, off-piste skiing and high altitude expeditions. These new wool/synthetic blend fabrics weren't designed for hunting but they work beautifully because hunting has the same demands. The modern fabrics industry wishes it could develop a plastic fabric that has the microscopic structure, moisture management, durability, flame retardency and wearing characteristics of old "low tech" wool. The only negative to it, at least in my mind, is its weight and I think that to be a minor one. Another big plus to wool is its ability to absorb perspiration and dirt without becoming nasty and ineffective. Ever smelled yourself after a week in synthetic underlayers? And don't get too close to the campfire in the stuff either.

Yukon Hunter
05-02-2003, 10:39 PM
How does it stack up against the synthetics for drying time?

05-03-2003, 06:44 PM
Yukon, you got me on that one because wool does absorb moisture to a point before it begins migrating it and the synthetics don't absorb water.
True,that makes wool even heavier when wet; but it doesn't lose its insulative qualities when wet and its a comfortable wet if that makes sense to you.
I no longer use heavy wool outergarments like the Filson cruiser as protection against wet weather. I do like their twill pants because they are such a tightly woven knit twill that is tough as H*** and can't absorb a lot of moisture. (I hate wearing noisy chaps that don't breathe.) I prefer using lighter layers of wool combined with synthetics. I guess for me the bottom line is I just enjoy wool. I enjoy the smell of lanolin when it's wet and I enjoy the quality of a well made shirt that can last nearly a lifetime. In fact, at 54 yrs, I'm still wearing wool shirts that belonged not only to my dad but also my grandfather. I've actually taken some old Pendletons up to their factory in Oregon and shown them the difference in quality between what they were making in the 30's and 40's compared to what they produce now.

05-04-2003, 09:39 AM
The Schoeller fabrics have been around for years. The newest generations are very interesting. I have seen the offerings from Ibex, Arcty'rex, and REI. My impression would be that they might offer a tougher or quieter outer shell than my currently favored Patagonia windshirt. My guess from looking at them is that the nice light versions of this fabric would work as a nice windshirt, but not provide much insulation. I do not (think) that they would be any more water resistant than a quality nylon windshell, however the Schoeller might be tougher and quieter although heavier.

The use for the windshirt is over your favored insulating system (say fleece). The best windshirts of course repel wind, but also turn back misty rain or a light dusting of snow (at least for a while). Your W/B rain shell would do all this of course, but as Ed mentioned, the breathability part is really mostly a myth.

I was on a jog yesterday, and was caught about 4 mi. from home by an unexpected snow flurry. I was wearing a m-weight Capilene zip-neck, my windshirt, and a ballcap. I had a light fleece beanie and fleece gloves in my pocket. During the outbound leg, I had the shell mostly 1/2 zipped and I was not building a lot of moisture and was very comfortable. (I'm slow)

When the wind, and finally snow kicked in, I put on the gloves, and beanie. I did not zip up the shell until I turned back into the wind. The shell turned the wind the whole time, and it turned the snow until my body heat warmed up the shell enough that the snow started melting when it hit the warm fabric. When I got back home, I was not a lot damper than on the outbound leg. I suspect that I might have been just as wet had I been wearing my W/B "storm jacket"

Everybody absolutely needs a good rain jacket in the pack. I believe however, that the windshell is a more versatile and useful garment 90% of the time. The light snow, cold wind, blowing fog are far more common than the heavy rain or snow that the rain jacket is best at repelling. Whether a 14 oz. Schoeller garment will replace my 9 oz. windshell remains to be seen, but it definitely has potential.


Ed C
05-04-2003, 06:52 PM
Ed and Everybody
Where can a guy look at these products Ibex Cloudveil Mamuat Arcterrex? Does anyone have web sites? Does REI carry them? I am especially interested in the Ibex Mountain Pants.

I can answer the drying time question. My smartwool longunderwear takes about twice as long to dry as my fleece. I noticed that last year in my tipi. So I was thinking about getting fleece long underwear. After reading these posts I'm rethinking that. I forgot why I got the smartwool in the first place. It doesn't absorb odor and it wicks well, and I don't get chilled.

Ed C

05-04-2003, 10:29 PM
Ed c. 3 very good reasons for using the smart wool. Most high end specialty outdoors shops will carry these brands: Ibex, Arc'teryx, Marmot and there are others using these fabrics as well. All three that I mentioned do have web sites. A google search will find them. Each Mfg has their own philosophy on which fabrics work best. You need to do your own research here..
JF, I believe the advantage of the fabrics we are talking about over your typical windshirt is their superior breathability over broad ranges of temperature. I too have found that they lack somewhat in insulative qualities and I like to add/shed layers under them as needed.

05-05-2003, 05:44 AM

How's the hand coming along? I ask because it seems like you're just about back to normal, activity-wise. Glad to see that, BTW.

05-05-2003, 08:53 AM

I still have "issues" and the hand will probably never be 100% but it is coming along (slowly). I'm able to run again now (read jog) w/out the heavy swelling that I mentioned, so I'm assuming that backpacking is in the picture for this summer/fall. BTW the Rem. action you saw will be a rifle in a couple of weeks.....can't wait!! It's a 284 probably about 5 1/4 scoped.

Also BTW....what paint do you use on your stocks?


I (think) that some of the fleece products would breathe better than my windshirt. I'd guess that a 100 wt. in Polartec "wind-pro" might do so for example. OTH "windstopper" is NOT very breathable and is pretty heavy. A recent review in this months' "Backpacker" leads me to believe that Schoeller is not as breathable as we might hope. However, I have no real evidence either way.

At this point, I have a collection of layers of very light gear that works pretty well. If one garment would take the place of two, (say my 100 wt. insulating layer and my windshirt) I'd be all over it. The challenge for that one garment is for it to be as versatile as two.

What I mean by this is that a 100 wt. "wind pro" would probably insulate and turn wind as well as my windshirt and my 100 wt. fleece worn together. But!! with the windshirt over my base layer (or) the 100 wt. w/out windshirt I'd be cooler while hiking in moderate temps. I also think that my windshirt would turn light misty rain or light blowing snow, better than fleece because I think that the "nap" of the fleece snags flakes and allows them to melt.

This is all speculation of course, because I have not tried wind pro or schoeller, I am very tempted...... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif


05-05-2003, 07:39 PM
Ed C, Here are a couple web addresses if you haven't already found them.
Ibex: <a href="http://www.ibexwear.com" target="_blank">http://www.ibexwear.com (http://www.ibexwear.com)</a>
Cloudveil: <a href="http://www.cloudveil.com" target="_blank">http://www.cloudveil.com (http://www.cloudveil.com)</a>

05-05-2003, 07:45 PM
Most of my reviews have been in UltraRunning magazine, Trail Runner magazine, Sea kayaker &amp; Climbing. E-mail me if there is anything specific you are interested in and I will try to dig it up for you.

05-06-2003, 02:44 AM

Good to hear about the hand. The paint--the name of which I can't remember at the moment--is the type used on pick-up bed liners. Very tough. Holler if you can't find it and I'll dig at the office.

05-06-2003, 02:59 PM
I'm getting ready to refinish a fiberglass stock. What is that paint?