Golden Fleece

8 Lightweight, Warm Men’s Fleeces For All Your Weekend Adventures

The best fleeces move and breathe like a summer T-shirt and keep you warm like your best sweater. Here’s where to get them.

by Doug Schnitzspahn
Arc'Teryx Covert Pullover Hoody, Cotopaxi Otero Fleece Half-zip Pullover, and Patagonia Men’s R1 Air...

Nothing fights a chilly day like the right fleece. It’s the symbol of dads standing around the campfire, staying warm during soccer games, or wrangling kids out on the trail. Soft, warm, and insulating, the fleece has attained its reputation for good reason.

Fleeces have changed a lot since their fuzzy, soft ’90s heyday. Synthetic fleece is the backbone of technical outdoor apparel — with recent advances, they move and breathe like a T-shirt, keep you warm like a sweater, and are sustainably made.

Still, the quality of the fleece can vary greatly. Performance depends on the brand’s yarns and construction in crafting the fleece fabric and the yarns that repel or absorb moisture. Where to start? With reliable brands. We’ve tested fleeces from each of the brands represented in this list, and everything we’ve tried has been durable and comfortable, and has lived up to the hype. The eight layers we’ve chosen have features that stand out in one way or another, whether in the form of breathable panels, excellent stretch, or responsible sourcing. They’ll keep you warm, allow for airflow when you start moving, and look damn good while doing it.

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