13 Best Fleece Jackets In Australia For 2024

Perfecting the best layering system for your adventures can be a frustrating task full of sweaty days on the trails and freezing nights at camp. And in that, one of the most challenging layers to perfect is the fleece jacket.

A fleece jacket comes in many styles, from the iconic fluffy and cosy fleece pullovers to a lightweight and ultra-thin fleece jacket that is boss at keeping your core temperature regulated while you’re gallivanting across the outdoors.

But the question is, which is the best fleece jacket for you and how do you even begin to sift through the multitude of options available?

That’s where we come in! We’ve spent many days in the outdoors testing various fleece jackets and fleece pullovers and have compiled our experience with deep research to bring you the ultimate guide to choosing the best fleece jacket in Australia for 2024.

In this post, you’ll find a list of the best fleece jackets for 2024, plus we’ve included simple explanations about the components of a fleece jacket and handy tips to help you make your decision.

Hiking through the thick Myrtle Forest on Cradle Mountain wearing Retro Fleece Jumpers

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How To Choose The Best Fleece Jacket For Your Adventures

What Is A Fleece Jacket?

Simply put, a fleece jacket is a lightweight and breathable mid-layer that keeps you warm and comfortable while you’re adventuring. Fleece, aka polar fleece, is predominantly made of synthetic polyester and is designed to mimic the qualities of wool without the weight or itchiness.

Wearing a winter fleece jacket in the snow

A fleece jacket or pullover is a staple item in any outdoor adventurer’s wardrobe. It excels in wicking moisture, keeping you warm even when wet and dries incredibly fast compared to cotton. There are various styles of fleece jumpers to suit all needs, making it the ultimate mid-layer, especially due to their comparative affordability and ability to keep you comfortable in every application from hitting the town to the trails.

Define Your Adventure Style

The first step in choosing the best fleece jacket is to determine the intended use for your new fleece. Along with a number of styles, there are also different weight categories that will influence the overall warmth and performance of a fleece jacket.

Questions to ask yourself before diving into the deep pool of fleece options.

  • Where do you predominantly intend to wear your fleece?
  • What are the most common climates you expect to find yourself in?
  • What are the main activities you will be engaging in with your fleece?
  • Are you looking to buy a fleece for hiking or casual wear?

Understanding what you need out of your fleece jacket will help you narrow down your search and ultimately find the best-performing choice for your adventure style.

Hiking in Mt Aspiring National Park wearing a performance fleece jacket

Quick Buyers Guide For Choosing The Best Fleece Jacket Of 2024

  • Look for a fleece jacket that has been constructed with recycled polyester for a more sustainable option
  • Fleece Jackets are categorised into three weights that depict the warmth of the fleece, these are lightweight, midweight and heavyweight
  • A high loft (soft and fuzzy) doesn’t necessarily mean more warmth but it can mean more comfort
  • Performance fleeces often provide more weather resistance with the addition of a durable outer layer
  • High Loft Fleece Jackets generally provide more comfort but don’t pack down as small
  • Full Zip Fleece Jackets are generally easier to manage on backpacking trips
  • Look for a Fleece without a hood if you plan to wear it as a mid-layer underneath your down jacket and rain jacket

Types Of Fleece Jackets

A fleece, aka polar fleece, can come in many styles and categories. The styles range from a fleece hoodie to a pullover and can be designed with high loft (fuzzy, thick and cosy) or low loft for a more brushed and streamlined style. 

The main two categories for a fleece jacket are performance and casual. While each style of fleece can essentially be divided into these two categories, there will be some overlapping.

Performance Fleece

Fjallraven Keb Fleece Jacket, a great all-round fleece for hiking and casual wear

A performance fleece, or technical fleece, will often be designed to fit snugly and have added stretch for increased mobility. The overall weight of a performance fleece is generally lower and a strong focus will be put on breathability, making technical fleeces the ideal choice for hiking or backcountry skiing – basically any high-energy outdoor sports.

Casual Fleece

The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket

Most fleeces you come across will fall into the casual category, some slipping into both casual and performance. A casual fleece jumper is generally focused around comfort and warmth while continuing to stay lightweight and breathable – especially compared to cotton.

The best thing about a casual fleece is its versatility, you can happily transition from the mountains to the streets thanks to the stylish designs and layering capabilities.

Fleece Jumper Warmth And Weight Ratings

The warmth capabilities of a fleece jacket can be determined by the fabric weight. Just like you’ll find with base layers, a fleece is often categorised by the density of its fabric. These categories are lightweight, midweight and heavyweight.

Standing on the deck of Liverpool Hut in Mt Aspiring National Park

Lightweight

A lightweight fleece jacket will range from 100 – 190g. You’ll find most performance-based fleeces are lightweight, making them ideal for high-exertion activities where breathability is paramount.

Midweight

A midweight fleece jacket ranges from 200 – 290g. It’s the most popular and versatile choice, providing a good warmth-to-weight ratio and sufficient breathability while keeping you warm on cool days as an outer layer or as a mid-layer under a shell for cold weather.

Heavyweight

A heavyweight fleece jacket has a fabric weight of 300g and above and is the ideal choice when warmth is the greatest concern. While the overall weight is often higher, this is the fleece you want as your mid-layer when you’re camping in near-freezing temperatures or as an outer layer for cool Australian winters.

As you may have guessed, there are various other components that contribute to the overall warmth and breathability of a fleece jacket. But this is a good starting point and even if you can’t find the fabric weight information, checking the overall weight will also give you a basic guide to the potential warmth and breathability of the jacket in question.

Overall Weight And Packability Of Fleece Jumpers

Hiking a rocky ridgeline in Tasmania

The overall weight of a fleece jacket can vary drastically, ranging from 150g to 600g. As an example of the fluctuation, a basic budget-friendly lightweight fleece jacket will be between 200 – 300g but a lightweight performance jacket will almost always be upward of 300g due to increased durability and wind resistance. Though there are some exceptions such as The North Face Summit Futurefleece which is a performance lightweight fleece weighing an impressive 176g.

Weight isn’t much of an issue if you’re simply planning to wear your fleece casually. However, if you’re searching for the perfect fleece for hiking and backcountry expeditions, it’s worth factoring in the weight and packability of the fleece.

Generally, the lighter the fabric weight, the lighter the overall weight of a fleece jacket. But there will be exceptions and unfortunately, the weight doesn’t necessarily reflect packability either.

Packability is most commonly linked to the loft of the jacket and how tightly woven the fabric is. For high loft (fuzzy and cosy jackets) you’ll often receive a bulkier garment, but if the fabric is tightly woven and brushed (most common with performance jackets) then you can expect the overall packed size of the fleece to be smaller.

Materials

The most common material you’ll notice – other than simply 100% polyester – is various Polartec technologies. Polartec invented the modern fleece in 1981 and since then has created countless technologies for a range of applications. You can find additional information on some specific technology listed in the materials of each fleece below by following the link provided.

For the fleece jackets that don’t use Polartec, you might find additional materials such as elastane/spandex for increased stretch to allow better movement or a wool blend for added warmth. 

Weather Resistance Of Fleece Jackets

Hiking in bad weather wearing a fleece pullover

The general purpose of fleece hoodies are to be worn as a mid-layer to increase warmth without sacrificing too much on breathability. While it’s common to wear a heavyweight fleece as a stand-alone for mild to cool conditions, fleece jackets are not designed to protect from wind or rain.

That said, there are exceptions to this rule. Some fleeces, such as the Mammut Aconcagua ML, are constructed with a tougher fabric or nylon outer layer for increased protection from wind. And some are coated in DWR (durable water repellent) to prolong dryness in sudden rain. 

However, even the most protective fleece jacket is no substitute for a rain jacket, which should always be included in your layering system for protection against wild weather.

Breathability

Hiking up Mt Victoria in Tasmania wearing a performance fleece jacket

By nature, fleece jackets offer superior breathability due to the tiny air pockets that sit between the threads – this is also the reason for their lack of protection against wind. 

As a general rule of thumb, a lightweight fleece will be more breathable compared to a midweight or heavyweight fleece – unless the lightweight fleece in question has been designed for wind resistance.

Fleece’s with added wind-resistant fabrics will almost always cause lowered breathability.

While some jackets attempt to provide the best of both worlds when it comes to breathability and weather resistance, it’s best to decide which factor is more beneficial to you and make that your number one priority.

Durability Of Fleece Jumpers

Showing the durability of a performance fleece while pushing through thick Tasmanian scrub

Fleeces are relatively tough – especially compared to down jackets – and will withstand a fair amount of abuse before beginning to show signs of wear. If durability is one of your highest priorities, choose a fleece jacket with a nylon outer layer or durable overlays on high-wear areas – as you’ll find on The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket.

On another note, fleeces are susceptible to pilling, which is more noticeable in high-loft fleece jackets. This doesn’t necessarily affect the durability of the jacket but can affect the look. The only way to prevent pilling, as much as possible, is to care for your fleece and follow the wash instructions on the garment.

The Fit

Hiking in the snow wearing a casual cosy fleece pullover jumper

Fleece jackets vary in style and cut depending on the intended use. Most performance jackets will be form-fitting with added elastane for better mobility and stretch. Casual fleece jackets are often designed with a loose fit for increased comfort.

This subject is entirely subjective and the choice you make will likely depend on where you plan to wear your jacket. But ultimately, stretchy form-fitting fleece jackets are ideal for high-exertion activities as they allow the best mobility and layering potential. But if you predominantly want to wear your fleece around town and the campfire, a generous fit is often most comfortable.

Features Of A Fleece Jacket

A fleece jacket is quite a basic design with minimal features, but there are a few that deserve an explanation to help you make the best decision for your adventures.

Sunset at Lake Oberon in Tasmania's South West

Pockets

Zippered pockets are extremely useful whether you’re exploring the backcountry or the streets. In most cases, fleece jumpers will be equipped with hand-warmer waist pockets and sometimes an added chest pocket for your phone.

For climbers and mountaineers, look for zippered pockets that are situated above the waist, as you’ll find on the Mammut Aconcagua ML Jacket, so they’re accessible when you’re wearing a harness. This is also handy for hiking so you can warm your hands while wearing your backpack.

Thumb Holes

You’ll often find thumb holes on the sleeves of some performance fleeces for increased warmth or to prevent the fleece from riding up during your adventures. While thumb holes aren’t overly necessary, I have used the ones on my XTM Backcountry Hybrid Jacket on a few occasions for extra warmth, and they work a treat.

Zips

Hiking at sunset near Frenchmans Cap, wearing the best fleece for hiking

The most common fleece’s are either a fleece pullover with a half zip or a full zippered fleece jacket. While there are other options available such as fleece hoodies, the former dominate the hiking market.

A fleece pullover is generally slightly lighter in overall weight and more affordable, while a full zip fleece jacket often has additional features such as stretchy side panels and hooded options.

This is another component that is solely based on personal preference but we have found that a full zip jacket is often easiest to take on and off while hiking.

Hoods

Most full zip fleece jackets will have a hood or no hood option. I’m a big fan of hoods as I find they’re fantastic at increasing warmth and comfort. However, if you’re planning to wear your fleece as a mid-layer underneath a down jacket and rain jacket then three hoods might be a bit cumbersome. In this case, I’d certainly rather forfeit a hood on a fleece over a down jacket.

Loft

The amount of loft varies considerably between each fleece design, with the highest loft (remember, fuzzy and soft) found most commonly in casual fleece jackets. Generally, performance fleeces will have less loft and more of a brushed look.

Again, this is a personal choice that matters very little to the overall performance of the jacket. In saying that, high-loft jackets will often be thicker and less compressible compared to a low-loft fleece jacket, hence affecting the packability characteristics.

Technical hiking in my performance fleece

Sustainability

By nature, fleece jackets are not sustainable. They are traditionally made of synthetic petroleum-based polyester that sheds microplastics (through pilling) into the environment over its lifetime.

That said, we’re noticing more and more brands producing fleece jackets made from recycled plastic bottles rather than raw materials. While this isn’t perfect as the production still creates greenhouse gases, it does reduce them drastically and helps remove additional waste in the world.

To choose the most sustainable fleece jacket, keep an eye on the material used – recycled is best and Bluesign Approved fabric is second. Take a look at our guide to the best sustainable outdoor brands next to learn more about how you can shop sustainably.

Fleece Jackets Vs Down Jackets

Layering in winter with a fleece pullover and a down jacket vest

While a fleece jacket and a down (or insulated) jacket are both marketed as mid or outer layers for outdoor adventures, they are considerably different in our opinion.

A down jacket is an essential piece of gear in the great outdoors, offering a superior warmth-to-weight ratio compared to fleece. However, it’s worth noting that down jackets are less breathable and more fragile, making them less suitable for hiking but more favourable during rest stops on mountain peaks or at camp.

On the flip side, a fleece jacket provides excellent breathability and durability, designed to withstand encounters with rocky terrain and branches. This makes it an optimal choice for hiking as it offers better resilience and allows for temperature regulation.

Personally, when embarking on outdoor trips, we equip ourselves with both a fleece jacket and a down jacket. During cool hikes, we layer the fleece jacket over our 170 merino tees, and once we reach camp, we add the down jacket for added warmth. In case of challenging or freezing weather conditions, we complete the ensemble with a waterproof jacket to shield against wind and rain.

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The Best Fleece Jackets In Australia For 2024

Fleece Jacket Comparison Table

HIking ShoePriceCategoryWeightFleece WeightMaterialSustainable
Fjallraven Keb Hoodie$385Casual / Performance430gMidweightPolyester / Wool BlendPartly Recycled
North Face Summit Futurefleece$300Performance176gLightweightFuturefleece45% Recycled
North Face Denali$300Casual479gHeavyweightPolartec recycled polyester-knit fleece100% Recycled, PCF Free
Patagonia R1 Techface$250 $180Performance336gLightweightPolyester / Spandex Blend69% Recycled, Blue-sign Approved
North Face Alpine Polartec$220 $176Casual480gMidweightPolartec recycled polyester100% Recycled & Recyclable
Mammut Aconcagua ML$330Performance317gMidweightPolartec Power StretchBlue-sign Approved
XTM Performance Solo$90
$55
Casual456gHeavyweightRecycled Anti-Pill Fleece100% Recycled
Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover$180Casual363gMidweightRecycled Polyester Fleece100% Recycled, Fair Trade
Macpac Ion$230 $115Performance390gLightweightPolartec Power Grid60% Recycled, Blue-sign Approved
XTM Performance Wanderer$100
$89
Casual / Performance430gHeavyweightRecycled Anti-Pill FleecePartly Recycled
Macpac Tui$150 $65Casual / Performance230gLightweightPolartec Micro Fleece100% Recycled
Mountain Designs Navis/Bruck$100Casual262gLightweightPolyester Fleece100% Recycled
Mountain Designs Galena/Fairbanks$200CasualN/AHeavyweightPolartec Thermal Pro100% Recycled

1. Fjallraven Keb Fleece Hoodie

Best All-Rounder Fleece Jacket

The Fjallraven Keb fleece hoodie bridges the gap between performance and casual perfectly in this toasty warm midweight jacket. The Keb fleece hoodie is made up of a polyester/wool blend that results in an increasingly cosy and warm jacket without sacrificing moisture-wicking or range of movement.

While you will pay a premium for the Fjallraven Keb, there’s no denying that the build and style are high-end and there are no cut corners in quality.

What they’re good for

The Fjallraven Keb fleece hoodie is the ideal choice for those that wish to have just one jacket for adventures and everyday life. This jacket will keep you sufficiently warm (but not too warm) as a mid-layer for snow sports or as an outer layer on cool autumn and winter hikes in Australia and New Zealand.

Price: $385 AUD
Fleece Weight: Midweight
Overall Weight: 430g
Material: Main: 73% polyester, 20% wool, 7% elastane | Shoulders: G-1000® Eco: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
Category: Casual/Performance
Sustainability: Partly recycled fabric, traceable wool
Other Style Options: None

Fjallraven Keb Fleece Jacket, a great all-round fleece for hiking and casual wear

Features

  • Form-fitting style with flat-knitted outer for ease of layering
  • Comfortable well-fitting hood with elastic edging for extra warmth
  • Zippered hand warmer waist pockets and a zippered chest pocket
  • The front zipper is equipped with a chin guard for extra comfort
  • G-1000 reinforcements on the shoulders for extra durability when wearing a backpack
  • An elastic edging around the cuffs and the hem increase wind protection and warmth

Positives

  • Very versatile and stylish
  • High-quality build
  • Great warmth-to-weight ratio

Negatives

  • Expensive
  • Not completely made of sustainable material

2. The North Face Summit Futurefleece Jacket

Best Ultralight Performance Fleece Jacket

The North Face Summit Futurefleece jacket is the ultimate lightweight jacket with a staggering overall weight of just 176g! This performance fleece jacket boasts an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio and has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a mountaineering and climbing-focused mid-layer.

The only downside to this North Face fleece jacket is the lack of pockets, but as its primary function is as a mid-layer, this can be overlooked in favour of the lighter weight.

What they’re good for

The North Face Summit Futurefleece is the ultimate lightweight jacket for high-exertion activities. No matter if you wear it as an outer for cool autumn hikes or as a mid-layer for alpine adventures, you’ll stay thermoregulated and comfortable thanks to the innovative technology and flat-lock stitching.

Price: $300 AUD
Fleece Weight: Lightweight
Overall Weight: 176g
Material: 124g/m² Futurefleece – 55% polyester, 45% recycled polyester
Category: Performance
Sustainability: Partly recycled
Other Style Options: None

The Summit Futurefleece North Face Fleece Jacket, a great fleece for hiking

Features

  • Slim fit with flatlock seams in key areas for increased comfort when layering
  • No shoulder seams to reduce bulk and increase comfort while wearing a backpack
  • Underarm gussets for improved mobility
  • Pre-tensioned elastic hood for a secure fit beneath a helmet
  • Zippered chest pocket with internal mesh
  • Flat-sewn elastic cuffs with thumb holes for extra warmth and comfort

Positives

  • Very lightweight
  • An incredible amount of warmth for its thin design
  • Provides exceptional comfort as a mid-layer without annoying bulk

Negatives

  • Getting expensive
  • No waist pockets

3. The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket

Best Fleece Jacket For Warmth

For the ultimate comfort and warmth, you can’t beat The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket. This iconic jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester with 100% recycled 70D nylon overlay over the most highly worn and exposed areas for increased protection and durability.

The North Face Denali fleece jacket is built to last with thick and durable material and is packed with warming features such as a pull cord on the hem, elastic cuffs and medium to high loft. 

What they’re good for

While the Denali North Face Fleece jacket isn’t the best option for a multi-day hiking trip as its packability and weight are quite cumbersome, the Denali will be your favourite go-to for everyday wear and camping trips throughout winter.

Price: $300 AUD
Fleece Weight: Heavyweight
Overall Weight: 479g
Material: Body: 399 g/m² Polartec 100% recycled polyester-knit fleece | Overlay: 100% recycled nylon with PFC-free DWR finish
Category: Casual
Sustainability: Recycled material
Other Style Options: Women’s Denali Fleece Cropped Pullover, Women’s Denali Hooded Jacket, Men’s Denali Fleece Vest

The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Relaxed fit
  • Dual zippered waist pockets and a zippered chest pocket
  • 70D nylon overlay over arms, chest and shoulders for increased durability and weather resistance
  • 399g/m² heavyweight fleece
  • PFC-free DWR finish over the nylon overlay for extra protection
  • 100% recycled material used
  • Hem cinch cord and elasticated cuffs for extra warmth

Positives

  • Extremely warm
  • Highly durable
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • A little stiff in the beginning, especially in the collar
  • The shape and sizing can be a little off for some

4. Patagonia R1 TechFace Fleece Jacket

Best Overall Performance Fleece Jacket

The Patagonia R1 TechFace Jacket is the answer to your technical adventuring needs. Constructed with an abrasion and weather-resistant outer and soft and cosy fleece inside, you’re afforded the best of both worlds with this high-performance lightweight fleece jacket.

You’ll find all the necessary features in this stretchy and breathable jacket, including an adjustable hem and harness-compatible hand warmer pockets. Not to mention, the R1 TechFace contains 69% recycled fabric and the whole product is Fair Trade certified sewn and Bluesign-approved.

Note: The R1 TechFace has been discontinued in the women’s version, but a very similar version has been released in its place called the R1 CrossStrata. As far as we know, the men’s R1 TechFace is still being produced.

What they’re good for

The Patagonia R1 TechFace Jacket is your ultimate go-to for high-intensity activities such as climbing and hiking. The highly breathable and stretchy material allows for exceptional range of movement, while the abrasion and weather-resistant outer fabric allow for high versatility in the ever-changing mountain conditions.

Price: $250 $180 AUD
Fleece Weight: Lightweight
Overall Weight: 326g
Material: 147g/m² 92% polyester (69% recycled)/8% spandex breathable stretch double weave with a DWR finish
Category: Performance
Sustainability: Recycled material, Bluesign Product, Fair Wear
Other Style Options: R1 Crossstrata Hoody

Patagonia R1 Techface Performance Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Slightly slim fit for ease of layering over or underneath
  • Zippered harness-compatible waist pockets 
  • Stretch fabric and design allows for a wide range of movement, including stretching overhead
  • The hem is equipped with a dual-adjust cord lock system for extra warmth
  • Snag-resistant low-profile cuffs provide versatile coverage and comfort
  • DWR finish and abrasion resistant outer for extra durability and weather protection
  • Grid fleece on the inside of the jacket increases moisture management by wicking and drying

Positives

  • Weather resistant without the added bulk
  • Highly versatile and comfortable
  • Sustainably made
  • Extremely durable

Negatives

  • Sizing can be a little off for some
  • Discontinued the women’s version

5. The North Face Alpine Polartec 200 Hooded Fleece Jacket

Most Sustainable Fleece Jacket

Sustainably made and recyclable at the end of its life with you, The North Face Alpine Polartec 200 fleece jacket not only provides exceptional comfort but will also make you feel good about your purchase.

The TNF Alpine Polartec 200 is a midweight fleece jacket that boasts 4-way stretch and woven overlays in high-wear areas for increased durability and range of motion. Add a PFC-free DWR finish over the shoulders and you’ve got yourself the perfect outer layer when the temperature starts to dip.

As part of their Circular Design, your Alpine Polartec 200 is created using recycled materials and can be given back to TNF when you’re done with it so it can become something new. Unfortunately, this is only accessible in North America and Europe so far, but we hope to see this opportunity spread to Australia and New Zealand soon.

What they’re good for

The North Face Alpine Polartec 200 fleece jacket is the ideal companion for camping in cool climates or road-tripping through New Zealand. While it is on the heavier side for a midweight fleece, if you value comfort and warmth over a few extra grams, it’s also a great choice to stuff in your pack for those overnight hikes.

Price: $220 $176 AUD
Fleece Weight: Midweight
Overall Weight: 480g
Material: 258 g/m² Polartec – 100% recycled polyester fleece | Overlay: 75D 100% recycled polyester plain weave with PFC-free DWR
Category: Casual
Sustainability: Recycled material, recyclable product
Other Style Options: TNF Alpine Polartec 200 Fleece Pullover, TNF Alpine Polartec 200 Fleece Jacket

The North Face Alpine Polartec 200 Hooded Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Relaxed, standard fit
  • Three piece hood with durable woven overlays and a drawcord for better adjustability
  • Zippered hand warmer waist pockets
  • Zipper garage at the chin for extra comfort
  • A drawcord at the hem increases adjustability and warmth
  • PFC-free DWR finish and woven overlay over the shoulders and hood for extra protection against the elements

Positives

  • Sustainably made and recyclable at the end of its life
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Extremely comfortable with high-loft

Negatives

  • Sheds quite a bit
  • A little on the heavy side for a midweight fleece

6. Mammut Aconcagua ML Hooded Fleece Jacket

Best Winter Performance Fleece

When you’re searching for a robust and durable mid-layer for cold weather pursuits, look no further than the Mammut Aconcagua ML Hooded Jacket. This highly breathable midweight performance fleece is constructed with Polartec Power Stretch Pro which allows for unrestricted movement and offers exceptional moisture-wicking abilities.

The feature-rich fleece jacket is warm and soft on the inside, with a tough abrasion-resistant nylon finish so you can feel confident using it as an outer layer when the going gets technical. While the price is starting to creep up for the Aconcagua ML, the stylish form-fitting jacket is highly versatile and built to last.

What they’re good for

The Mammut Aconcagua ML Hooded fleece jacket is first and foremost a performance fleece that boasts an exceptional weight-to-warmth ratio and will be your go-to for all your alpine pursuits. From winter hiking to mountaineering and climbing, the Aconcagua is designed to keep you moving freely and moisture-free.

Price: $330 AUD
Fleece Weight: Midweight
Overall Weight: 317g
Material: Polartec Power Stretch Pro – 52% Polyester, 39% Polyamide, 9% Elastane
Category: Performance
Sustainability: Bluesign Product, Fair Wear
Other Style Options: Mammut Aconcagua ML Fleece Jacket

Mammut Aconcagua ML Hooded Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Close-to-body fit with exceptional stretch for mobility
  • Attached fitted hood for additional warmth that can fit beneath a helmet
  • Harness and backpack-compatible zippered waist pockets
  • Raglan sleeves avoid pressure points on the shoulders
  • An elastic border on the cuff, hem and hood provides a closer fit to prevent wind from getting in
  • UV 50+ protected
  • Soft-brushed chin guard and zip underlay for extra comfort
  • Thumb holes for extra warmth and to keep the sleeves in place

Positives

  • Exceptional range of movement and comfort
  • Very lightweight for its warmth
  • Highly durable

Negatives

  • Getting expensive
  • Sizes run a little small
  • The tight fit may not suit everybody

7. XTM Performance Solo DWR Fleece Pullover

Best Budget Fleece Pullover

The XTM Solo DWR is a heavyweight fleece pullover that offers incredible comfort and a style that suits both the trails and the town. The 100% recycled fleece offers all the comforts you would expect from a heavyweight fleece in a comparatively light design.

This has been our go-to fleece jacket for over two years now and has held up incredibly to some serious abuse – which is especially impressive due to its ridiculously low price!

What they’re good for

The XTM Solo Fleece Pullover performs exceptionally in a number of applications from a warm mid-layer in snowy conditions to a breathable outer layer for winter hikes. It’s also stylish enough for everyday use with a timeless design that goes with everything.

Price: $90 $55 AUD
Fleece Weight: Heavyweight
Overall Weight: 456g
Material: 300g/m² 100% recycled polyester anti-pill fleece
Category: Casual/Performance
Sustainability: Recycled material, certified carbon-neutral product
Other Style Options: None

XTM Performance Solo DWR Fleece Pullover, a great fleece jumper

Features

  • Relaxed fit
  • Zippered hand warmer waist pockets and a zippered chest pocket
  • PFC-free DWR coating for increased weather protection
  • Zipper garage at the chin for extra comfort
  • 100% recycled material
  • Elastic cuffs and hem for increased warmth and wind protection

Positives

  • Very durable
  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Sustainable

Negatives

  • A little pilling has shown after two years of heavy use
  • Could have a little more length in the back

8. Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Best Pullover Fleece

It doesn’t get more iconic than the Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover. This well-loved midweight fleece is a staple item among many wardrobes and for good reason. 

While you won’t find many features, including no hand pockets, the Synchilla Snap-T fleece is incredibly comfortable and warm. Plus, it’s constructed with 100% recycled synchilla fleece so you can feel good about your purchase.

What they’re good for

The Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover is a favourite among outdoor adventurers as their everyday fleece. Its stylish and no-nonsense design makes it an easy item to throw on no matter the occasion and the low overall weight will make you forget you’ve even packed it in your day pack!

Price: $180 AUD
Fleece Weight: Midweight
Overall Weight: 363g
Material: 226g/m² 100% recycled polyester fleece
Category: Casual
Sustainability: Recycled material, Fair Trade certified sewn

Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Features

  • Relaxed fit for extra comfort
  • Nylon chest pocket flap and snap closure
  • Nylon trim on stand-up collar reinforces Snap-T classic look
  • 100% recycled materials
  • Elastic cuff and hem for increased warmth and wind resistance

Positives

  • Extremely cosy
  • Sustainably made
  • Very durable

Negatives

  • No waist pockets
  • Sheds a bit

9. Macpac Ion Fleece Jacket

The Macpac Ion fleece jacket is a lightweight performance fleece that’s constructed with Polartec’s Power Grid technology. This basically means that the fabric has open air channels that increase breathability, assist in dispersing moisture and decrease bulk.

The slightly form-fitting fleece jacket offers incredible mobility due to its high stretch and allows for easy layering when the weather turns nasty. While it won’t provide the same warmth or softness compared to a high-loft traditional fleece, you’ll be thankful for the breathability and streamlined design when the trails get vertical.

What they’re good for

Built for high-intensity activities, the Macpac Ion Fleece Jacket will keep your temperature regulated and moisture-free while adventuring in cool conditions. Plus, with the addition of Polygiene odour control technology, you can feel confident throughout a multi-day mission in the mountains.

Price: $230 $115 AUD
Fleece Weight: Lightweight
Overall Weight: 390g
Material: Polartec Power Grid – 93% Polyester, 7% Elastane
Category: Performance
Sustainability: 60% recycled content, Bluesign-certified
Other Style Options: None

Macpac Ion Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Regular to slim fit
  • Attached hood for extra warmth
  • Zippered hand warmer pockets and zippered chest pocket
  • Gusseted underarms and raglan sleeves for increased mobility and easy layering
  • Polygiene odour control technology keeps you fresh for longer
  • Thumb holes for extra warmth and to keep the sleeves down when adding layers
  • 60% recycled content and Bluesign-certified

Positives

  • Great breathability and moisture-wicking abilities
  • Super comfortable for high-exertion activities
  • Affordable for its features

Negatives

  • On the heavy side for a lightweight jacket
  • The centre zip is a touch flimsy
  • Only comes in a hooded option which may not suit everyone

10. XTM Performance Wanderer Fleece Jacket

For a budget-friendly fleece that doesn’t sacrifice on quality, you won’t find a better choice than the XTM Wanderer Fleece Jacket. This heavyweight fleece offers exceptional comfort with a brushed anti-pill construction and a competitive warmth-to-weight ratio.

We’ve been wearing the XTM Wanderer fleeces for over a year now and love the durability and functionality of these jackets. They’ve not lost a single shred of warmth since the moment we got them and have kept us warm on many freezing mountaintops!

What they’re good for

The XTM Wanderer Fleece Jacket is a fantastic choice for winter adventures on and off the trail. The relatively lightweight design in comparison to its warmth allows you to easily throw it in your pack for when you reach the summit.

Price: $100 $89 AUD
Fleece Weight: Heavyweight
Overall Weight: 430g
Material: 300g/m² recycled polyester anti-pill fleece
Category: Casual/Performance
Sustainability: Recycled materials, certified carbon neutral product
Other Style Options: None

XTM Performance Wanderer Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Relaxed, slightly form-fitting cut for ease of layering
  • Stretch fabric for increased mobility
  • Zippered hand warmer waist pockets
  • PFC-free DWR coating for increased weather protection
  • Zipper garage at the chin for extra comfort

Positives

  • Relatively lightweight for its warmth
  • Very durable
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • A little wide at the bottom with no adjustability

11. Macpac Tui Fleece Jacket

The Macpac Tui is a no-nonsense fleece jacket that is equipped with everything you need and nothing you don’t. The lightweight and sustainably made jacket is the second lightest on this list and provides great value for money while continuing to offer the high level of durability we can expect from Macpac.

The slightly form-fitting and block colour design make the Macpac Tui the perfect fleece for many occasions and allows for ease of layering when winter sets in.

What they’re good for

The Macpac Tui fleece jacket is the perfect budget-friendly fleece for hiking. The lightweight and basic design provides enough warmth as a stand-alone jacket in summer and spring or as a mid-layer for colder expeditions.

Price: $150 $65 AUD
Fleece Weight: Lightweight
Overall Weight: 230g
Material: Polartec Micro Fleece 100% Recycled Polyester
Category: Casual/Performance
Sustainability: Recycled material
Other Style Options: Macpac Tui Fleece Pullover

Macpac Tui Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Regular to slim fit reduces bulk and extra weight
  • Zippered hand warmer waist pockets
  • Men’s version has zippered chest pocket
  • Raglan sleeves for better layering
  • Soft chin guard over zip for increased comfort
  • 100% recycled polyester and Bluesign-certified product

Positives

  • Very lightweight
  • Affordable for what you get
  • Easy to layer
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • The women’s version doesn’t have a chest pocket
  • Sleeves are a little tight for athletic builds
  • The centre zip is slightly flimsy

12. Mountain Designs Navis/Bruck Fleece Jacket

Mountain Designs Women’s Navis Fleece Jacket and the Men’s Bruck Fleece Jacket are classic lightweight fleeces that effortlessly fulfil their purpose. Crafted from recycled plastic bottles, these highly affordable jackets come in a diverse range of colours, catering to all styles.

There is some concern about the overall durability and build quality of this jacket, but if you’re searching for a basic fleece that will keep you warm on summer nights or shoulder-season hikes, then the Mountain Designs Navis and Bruck are worthy opponents.

What they’re good for

The Navis and Bruck lightweight fleece jackets are the ideal choice for summer expeditions when you need a lightweight and warm layer for camp or when the temperature suddenly dips. The light overall weight means you’ll hardly even notice it when it’s stuffed in your hiking backpack.

Price: $100 AUD ($60 club price – free to sign up)
Fleece Weight: Lightweight
Overall Weight: 262g
Material: 100% recycled polyester
Category: Casual
Sustainability: Recycled material
Other Style Options: Navis Half Zip Fleece Pullover, Bruck Half Zip Fleece Pullover

Mountain Designs Navis Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Relaxed fit for ease of layering under or over top
  • Zippered hand warmer waist pockets
  • Side panel detailing for better shape and movement
  • A chin guard over the front zip prevents irritation
  • 100% recycled material
  • Boasts pill resistance

Positives

  • Cheap – especially if you sign up for free for the club price
  • Lightweight
  • Good selection of colours

Negatives

  • Build quality is lacking slightly
  • Sizes are on the smaller side
  • The jacket could do with more length, especially in the back

13. Mountain Designs Galena/Fairbanks Fleece Jacket

For a cosy high-loft fleece jacket that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Mountain Designs Women’s Galena Fleece Jacket and the Men’s Fairbanks Fleece Jacket. Built with Polartec Thermal Pro fabric technology, you’ll feel snug all winter long without sacrificing breathability or adding additional and unnecessary weight.

What they’re good for

The Mountain Designs Galena and Fairbanks fleece jackets are built to keep you toasty warm throughout an Australian winter as a casual outer layer or as a mid-layer for skiing.

Price: $200 AUD ($130 club price – free to sign up)
Fleece Weight: Heavyweight
Overall Weight: Unknown
Material: Polartec Thermal Pro – 100% recycled polyester
Category: Casual
Sustainability: Recycled materials
Other Style Options: None

Mountain Designs Galena Fleece Jacket

Features

  • Relaxed fit for ease of layering
  • Oval-shaped hem for a better shape and fit
  • No side seams for increased comfort and less bulk
  • Two zippered waist pockets with a mesh lining
  • Zippered chest pocket for valuables
  • An elastic binding on the cuff, hem and collar provides increased warmth and wind protection
  • 100% recycled and pill-resistant material

Positives

  • Very affordable for a heavyweight jacket
  • Stylish and cosy with the high-loft design
  • Very warm

Negatives

  • No chin guard for the front zip
  • The length could be longer, especially in the back
  • Unknown overall weight

Final Thoughts

If you can believe it, we’ve only scratched the surface of the multitude of fleece jackets on the market! Which is why it can be so hard to choose sometimes. We hope that by condensing your search to our top choices will help you find the best fleece jacket for your adventures in a fraction of the time!

We’ll leave you with a few things to remember…

Check the fabric weight before purchasing to ensure you’re choosing the warmth that you’re after, a lightweight fleece jacket won’t be warm enough as an outer layer for a winter afternoon. On another note, remember that a high-loft fleece can also mean increased shedding so be aware of this and care for your fleece as per instructed.

Have you got an absolute favourite fleece jacket that you swear by? We’d love to hear your reviews in the comments below, especially if your favourite isn’t on our list! And as always, please feel free to drop any questions you have and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Happy Adventuring 🙂