Reviewed by MTTrailrunner from MT on Saturday, March 09, 2013
This is a pretty heavy fleece..makes for a nice midlayer or probably could serve as an outer piece for dry, colder weather higher output activity. Hood has fleece lining also which adds to the warmth and is nice on the back of the neck when all zipped up. Not windproof though, nor weather resistant, so that sort of limits its usefulness on its own. Mostly this is just a good lounging layer, really. Fit is slightly more snug than I expected. Adidas outerwear has often run a bit big in my experience, so I ordered down in this piece. And, it's serviceable...arms fit just right, length is good, but the torso fit is pretty tight. It has decent stretch, though, so it works. Could slip a thin outer shell over this and be pretty comfy in a lot of cooler conditions. A couple of annoying things start to drop its rating in my book: It has a hem drawcord, which seems ridiculous for this kind of sweater jacket and actually makes the bottom of the jacket more uncomfortable than it needs to be, plus defeats the stretchy drape of the fabric. I find myself tugging at it enough to know that it's bothersome. Also, there is a significant fabric zipper guard on the inside of the main zipper, I'm assuming to block out wind or weather from coming in through the zipper?? Well that'll be the only spot since wind and weather comes in from all other directions on this jacket...it's soft rib fleece for crying out loud. Wouldn't be a big deal except the weather strip is really wide and made of somewhat stiff nylon type material that rubs on your chin all the time due to the somewhat stand-up collar. Plus it forms into a zipper cubby so the zipper is fully protected when zipped all the way up (well thank goodness for that) making the part that whacks your cheek even more stiff and built up. Whole jacket of soft fleece and then you have this big nylon strip scraping your neck and chin. Designers must not have bothered to try on the prototype. Honestly the weather strip thing is almost a deal breaker in itself and has me contemplating returning it despite the good STP price. Another oddity is the napolean pocket area..it's really built up, kind of a bulky area on upper left chest for no real reason. Now, the nylon type material overlay would be much better served on the shoulders, or elbows, or somewhere it could do some good for weather or durability. No biggie, just another weird design feature. Overall a comfortable climawarm piece for the price...but the sort of technical things they throw in on this thing willy nilly do more harm than good IMHO as they serve absolutely no useful technical purpose on a soft layering piece and make it less comfortable to boot. The fleece is warm and looks nice, but I'm concerned the outer is pilling far too easily and quickly and question the durability. Could have been an excellent piece, but it's average. The price at STP (and of course STP's fantastic service overall) is all it has going for it over similar fleeces you see from other companies.