Lets face it, there is a lot of fleece out there, and its a confusing world with its own language. To help you figure this mess out, I, Jasper the dog, have recruited an expert on the subject, Dr. Rahm McSheepy (pictured below with his wife Ewellen), to shed some light on the subject.
J:Hello Dr. McSheepy, Thanks for joining us on today’s Q and A session.
R: Ahh yes my boy happy to be here, and you may call me Dr. Rama.
J:Okay, Dr. Rama, what is fleece?
R: Zat is a good question, the fleece you are thinking of is a very lightweight sheet fabric made from synthetic polymers.
J:What does multiple wives have to do with anything?
R:Polymers, Jasper, not polygamy. A synthetic polymer is a man made material. The term is generally used in reference to plastic.
J: You mean like water bottles?
R:Well yes, and actually a lot of fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles.
J: So what makes fleece so good for outdoor gear?
R:A couple reasons. First, fleece traps a lot of warm air, which keeps you warm, without being bulky. Fleece is hydrophobic, meaning it doesn’t soak up water. So as you sweat, it vents that moisture, and if you happen to get wet, it dries quickly. Fleece can also compact very well so it is very packable.
J: Sweet! I just got excited…I am a dog. Okay next question. How warm is it?
R:That depends on its gram weight.
J:Small words doc.
R: Those words are literally small words.
J: You know what I mean.
R:Fleece is sold by how much it weighs per square yard, generally in multiples of 100. For instance the TKA 100 Glacier is a fairly light weight fleece, good for layering or lounging. The Khumbu is a 200 gm fleece and is a little warmer but a little more of a jacket, and the Denali is a 300 gm fleece and is for very cold days or to be worn on its own, as a jacket around town.
J:Interesting. A fleece for all seasons! So whats with those names?
R: Well Khumbu and Denali are exotic mountain locales. Many Outdoor gear companies use the names of these untamed places to lend credit to their products. The TKA monacher is essentially a brand name of sorts.
J:I like Butterflies.
R: I see I’ve lost you, but I will keep going anyway. There are a number of fleece producer in the world. The North Face uses two primary types; TKA fleece, which is their proprietary brand of fleece and Polartech, an outsourced material.
J: There’s no fleece Czar!?!
R: Ha. Far from it. But The North Face uses these two as they are the best. TKA is a high grade in house fabric so it is affordable, and the Polartech product is lighter and warmer than anything else on the market.
J: Mmm I like warm and light.
R: Well, you should look into the Aurora fleece or the Denali fleece if you want something a little warmer.
R:Jasper you are drooling.
J:Oh right, sorry, Well that’s about all the time my attention span has for me so I am going to say thank you and good bye and go chase that chipmunk out there.
R:Annnd he is gone.
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