Adam our Bristol Assistant Manager give his thoughts on this lightweight mid-layer option:
When I think of a fleece, it brings back memories of the fluffy, ill-fitting tops my Mum used to make me wear as a kid so that I didn’t catch a chill. So when I recently had the opportunity to test out the Protium Pull On Fleece by Montane, I relished the opportunity to be sent out in a fleece without my Mum first spitting on a tissue, wiping the chocolate off my face and telling me to be back home by 7 for supper.
Montane claims the Protium Pull On Fleece to be ideal for mountain walking, climbing, trekking and fastpacking, providing lightweight warmth that actively manages moisture during high-output activities.
The versatility of the Protium Fleece hoodie allows it to become your travel companion during the warm and cold seasons, either wearing it as a layering piece or as an outer layer. So, is this all just marketing jargon or is this new generation of fleece a real candidate for a mid layer that can do it all?
The first thing I notice when I slip into the Protium Pull On Fleece is the active mountain fit is really nice. It’s nice and snug in all the right places whilst being stretchy enough that my movement isn’t restricted. I usually teeter on the edge of medium and large and found that the medium works well for me. It’s fairly snug around the arms and shoulders with a slightly looser fit around the midriff. This worked for me with my current body shape but for those with bigger arms or shoulders, I would suggest sizing up unless you’re into the ‘spray on’ look. The half length zip feels comfortable in all positions and creates a comfortable seal when done all the way up without feeling too restrictive.
The fleece has a Thermo Grid brushed back on the inside of the fabric which is supposed to manage moisture and to regulate heat . This grid pattern allows air flow to keep you cool when you’re on the move which to my surprise worked adequately. On a recent trip to Dartmoor, I had a chance to test the fleece in both hot (by British spring time) and cold temperatures.
It performed really well as a mid layer in the cold early mornings as we got moving. It’s a fairly lightweight garment at 335g but it feels more substantial and almost like I had a soft shell on at times.
This is about the time that I’d usually talk about features but the simplicity of the Protium Pull On means that there really aren’t any. No pockets, no hood, nothing. But that’s a big win for me, I don’t want multiple hoods stacked up each time I throw a few layers on which makes me automatically reach for this whenever I need a mid layer now.
I think montane has got a winner here. It’s warm, versatile and light.
It may not work for a lot of people that need pockets or a hood for a top layer, however, if you’re a runner, mountain biker or climber, you’ll benefit from the lack of snagging points. This makes it the perfect choice if you’re just looking for a layer to keep warm and wick the moisture in colder weather.