They (Berghaus) sent me a Berghaus Spectrum Fleece which looks just like this, except that it’s two-tone blue.
The deal is, of course, as many other bloggers know, that if you write a review with a link (see link above), that you get to keep the fleece and I notice that in the blogosphere, this isn’t the only recent review of this fleece. But I don’t mind – I’ve got a fleece after all – a small reward for all that slogging at blogger. Anyway, what of the fleece?
It’s a micro-fleece and, for me, where it wins over all my other micro fleeces (all of which I had to pay for by the way…) is that it’s got a full-length zip and two hand-warming pockets with zips. This gives me somewhere safe to keep my valuable stuff that i don’t want to lose on a hill – keys, credit card wallet, phone, fiver, small portrait of Kylie – that sort of thing. And, unlike many of my other fleeces, the zips are hefty and robust.
The Spectrum Fleece is made from AWL 100 micro fleece and weighs 430 grammes and the idea is that you can zip it into a Berghaus waterproof jacket as part of a layering system.
It appears to be very well put together and some thought has gone into the siting of shoulder seems, for instance, which are off-the-shoulder, presumably to prevent any discomfort when carrying a heavy pack. And it zips up toastily high up the neck.
And it looks quite smart – could be worn whilst Christmas shopping or even dahn the pub.
How have I used it so far?
It’s main “serious” use has been as a mid-layer on the very stormy walk I did at the back O’Skiddaw last week – the one where everything went wrong (except the fleece, which was fine). I had a merino wool baselayer underneath it and a Paramo waterproof over the top. Unfortunately, I got really wet. (Somebody send me a Berghaus jacket!). This walk involved several hours of driving hail/sleet/snow and rain and some hefty gusts of wind and, frankly, wasn’t all that much fun, specially the part where the dog panicked and the GPS wouldn’t work..
The second occasion was a sub-zero (maybe just sub-zero) walk in snowy and icy conditions from Dent to the summit of Whernside and back down Dentdale. Conditions were mainly sunny, very cold, and with a nithering wind (more than a breeze) coming from somewhere over by Norway. It was, in fact, perishing – but nice. Again, I used it as a mid-layer and with a Berghaus Akka duck-down vest over the top. This worked well, although I had to remove the vest for the big uphill bit to Whernside summit – much too warm – but I put this back on and added a Paramo windproof smock on the shivery top of Whernside.
I tend to run quite cold and, as many of my walking pals will attest, I have a habit of wearing lots and of layers and, it seems I can get another micro fleece underneath this should I want to!
For future use, it’s likely that I will use this fleece quite regularly – mainly on backpacking trips in spring and summer. If I get chosen for next year’s TGO challenge, for instance, I could well include this in my kit, along with the Akka vest which will keep me warm whilst camping.
I’ve not washed it yet. The washing instructions specify washing at 30C, presumably to support it’s anti-pilling properties, or maybe just so as not to damage it. This is OK, though, since merino wool baselayers and woolly socks are washed at the same temperature.