Snug Sherpa Styles For Winter Summits
With winter settled in and temperatures dropping, many hikers will be heading out to tick off some summits. It's a favourite time of the year for Mountain Designs Adventure Ambassador Harrison Candlin to do exactly that, although his partner Madison is not the biggest fan of the cold so they have to make sure they're prepared. We kitted them up with our new Fairbanks and Galena fleece jackets to make sure they were comfortable while reaching new heights.
Fairbanks & Galena Fleece Jackets
A few weeks ago Madison and I climbed one of south-east Queensland's finest peaks - Mount Maroon - where it was a brisk 15°C on top with considerable wind chill. It was the perfect chance to put the new Fairbanks and Galena fleece jackets to the test to see what they're capable of. Made with Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric, we were expecting good results, given Polartec's® reputation for outstanding fleece products.
The warm and snug Galena fleece jacket. (Image courtesy of Harrison Candlin)
The fleeces were warm and comfortable all day long on the skin and didn't cause any irritation. We also found that they didn't leave any 'fluff' on our clothing underneath (whereas some other fleeces can). The high collar is lovely and soft around the neck when zipped all the way, and just really makes you feel cosy. You might think that 15°C wasn't that cold for our field test - don't worry, I got to test it again on a recent overnighter with some other mates to tackle the Montserrat Lookout summit. This adventure got much colder, even down to 0°C at one point, so I got to use the fleece as a layering piece underneath my Advance 600 down jacket which was a great 'warmth-without-the-weight' combo.
The Fairbanks fleece combined with an Advance 600 down jacket proved to be a nice lightweight layering solution for hiking in temps that hit single digits. (Images courtesy of Harrison Candlin)
Back to the Fairbanks and Galena, and the durability has been great so far. I haven't noticed any pilling from the Polartec® fleece yet, but I'm guessing that if you wore hiking packs for extended periods of time, then like most fleeces you may get some on the shoulder/back area. Other than the high durability, we love the look! Sherpa-inspired and super snug looking, we've already had so many compliments on the jackets in photos we have posted. Having gear that performs but also looks good is key to a good time outdoors. One thing that could be improved in the design would be having fleece-lined pockets - when your hands are cold it's always nice to have them in some fleece pockets but unfortunately that's one thing these jackets are missing.
Given that the fabric is polyester, it can get a little stuffy when you are moving a lot but once you unzip to get some airflow it's more than fine. And speaking of the polyester fabric, we are always trying to make an effort to be more sustainable so when we aren't wearing natural fibres we try to at least wear recycled. It's great to know that these jackets are made from 100% recycled polyester.
Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric technology gives the Fairbanks and Galena fleece jackets superior insulation, wind resistance and breathability. (Images courtesy of Harrison Candlin)