- Jun 26, 2018 at 6:26 pm #3543893
I’m new to the forum (first post) and tried to search this topic to which I found a few already made but all were 2+ years old and lots of the items I saw were discontinued or new versions were different than described so I thought I’d start a new one to see the latest gear.
I’ve semi-new to lightweight backpacking and working hard to get my weight down. My base weight is around 18-19lbs right now but I’d ideally like to be around 11ish.
I don’t own a great warmish weather mid-layer right now. I currently have a heavier under armor fleece but it’s bulky, heavy, and too warm if temps are above 45ish.
So that all being said, I’m looking for some of the lightest weight fleeces out there. I prefer a 1/4-1/2 zip pullover. I’ve searched and searched but half the companies don’t list weight and the other half I’ve found are too heavy. I’ve seen some older no longer available items (like REIs 1/4 zip fleece) that are sub 8oz. So ideally I want a fleece below 8oz which I can’t seem to find, but know it has to exist. Any recommendations?Jun 26, 2018 at 7:56 pm #3543905
My North Face TKA 1/4 zip is just under 8 ounces in size large. They go for about $50 on Amazon last I checked. I love it.Jun 26, 2018 at 8:38 pm #3543913
Erik GBPL Member
@fox212Locale: Central Coast
Mountain Hardwear MicroChill Lite comes in at 4.8 oz and $45. I have not used it personally but it does seem to be very well reviewed. I’m gonna pick one up soon (hopefully!)Jun 26, 2018 at 10:22 pm #3543922
I have a Microchill Lite and it is around 7oz but is only single sided fleece. I would recommend the TNF TKA 100 or Patagonia Micro D (Polartec).
That being said if you are looking for an insulating layer for camp, you might find a UL Down Jacket just as light but warmer and more compressible.
Fleece is amazing as a versatile layer that can be used for active pursuits as well as camp, but it is completely outclassed as a static insulator compared to down.
For what it’s worth, I have a 100wt fleece pullover from Lands End that uses Polartec Fleece (Not sure if they still do) and is 8.8oz, that I have used for two trips to Alaska. I normally don’t take it for use in more arid locals like the rockies or sierras.Jun 26, 2018 at 11:26 pm #3543936
I really like the Patagonia thermal weight grid hoody. My XL weighs 8.5 oz…I bet the non-hooded version is 1 oz lighter. It’s pricey, but super high quality (will last forever), very warm when worn under a wind blocking layer and easy to vent heat by removing/opening up said layer.
Also heartily second looking at a UL puffy like the Montbell Plasma 1000 (again, pricey but totally worth it), worn togrther those two items easily take you into the mid 20s around camp.Jun 26, 2018 at 11:37 pm #3543939
Paul SBPL Member
Microchill-lite hoody = ~ 8 oz according to my scale.Jun 26, 2018 at 11:55 pm #3543941
Garrett TurnerBPL Member
I bought my TKA100 for 35$ shipped on Amazon earlier this year. Prices fluctuate daily. The day after it was selling for $55.Jun 27, 2018 at 2:15 am #3543968
Graham FBPL Member
@02174424Locale: Victoria-Southeast Australia
230 grams in Large -I own three. A veritable bargain!
They are quite large, I normally wear Large but bought in Medium -bonzer. Pair it with a nice very thin Patagonia Lightweight T shirt (70 grams) and you will be fine down to about 0C (ACTIVE) walking. Huge front zip and NO elastic around bottom of torso or cuffs for effective venting. Above 4C plus you could wear it alone ACTIVE and be comfortable.
Jun 27, 2018 at 2:20 am #3543971
- This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Graham F.
You can get one for $30 on Amazon at the moment if you’re not particular about the color.Jun 27, 2018 at 1:22 pm #3544019
You guys are awesome, thanks for the suggestions.
@matthewkphx is this really only 8oz? TNF site has it listed as 13.05oz for the “TKA 100 Glacier 1/4 Zip”. I do like the look, price, and weight though if it really is 8oz. Also, would you recommend the Large? I’m always inbetween M-L, I’m 6ft and 170lbs.
@mocs123 I also like the microchill Lite T, it says it’s 4.8oz online but maybe that’s only for the XS or something, I really wish companies were better with posting weights. Enough people care about it that it should be worth it for them. Why do you recommend the TNF TKA 100 over this? Is the Microchill meant to be more of a base layer or can it be used for both?Jun 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm #3544020
The Microchill I have at least is single sided fleece, so the inside isn’t fleecy at all. I think mine is 7.2 or 7.4oz so not much lighter than the more substantial Polartec 100 used in a lot of other brands. I have 100wt Polartec pullovers from Lands End and two from Rab. I also have a Lowe Alpine one, but I am not sure if it’s Polartec brand fleece.
I have found overall that Polartec fleece is superior to non polartec branded fleece and other than cut, there isn’t much difference between brand X and Y in this case. There aren’t many features on these things so there shouldn’t be a lot of weight variation. My suggestion is to get the Polartec 100 pullover that you can find on sale in a color you can stand.
I don’t think there is anyway you will find a 4.5oz fleece. It wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t even find a longsleeve baselayer that light. Most of the ones I see are between 8-9oz.Jun 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm #3544023
Okay thank you, sounds like the TNF TKA 100 is starting to win since it’s very comparable to others but only $40 on Amazon (depending on color). Just need to make sure the weight is actually around 8 and need to check my size!Jun 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm #3544031
Garrett TurnerBPL Member
My large (grey asphalt) TKA100 fleece weights 7.62oz. Go for the large, as the arm length can ride short for some.
Jun 27, 2018 at 2:56 pm #3544033
- This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Garrett Turner.
My TKA is 226g on my scale (just under 8 ounces). Size large.Jun 27, 2018 at 3:34 pm #3544042
I have TNF TKA 100 non-zip and can attest to it’s quality and performance. That said, I’m taken aback at all the reviews on Amazon saying that the fabric and construction are cheap, not what they expected from TNF and at how many people are openly questioning if the product they received is a knock-off.
Further, a search on thenorthface.com for “TKA 100 Glacier” returns no results. Google finds this page which says it is unavailable!
Edit: It appears that they can be found on Backcountry.com and Zappos (and likely others), both of which I would trust much more than Amazon to not deliver counterfeit product.Jun 27, 2018 at 3:43 pm #3544046
Erik GBPL Member
@fox212Locale: Central Coast
Bummer that the MicroChill Lite is so far above stated weight. Maybe I’ll pass after all. Indeed it is frustrating that weights get mis-stated or unclearly stated so frequently. It ain’t rocket appliances!
I have some women’s stretchy fleece leggings – ClimateRight by Cuddl Duds – they are super comfy, albeit cut a bit weird for my male physique :) I like ’em a lot! I’m pretty sure they only weight about 6 oz in size large (will check later), and they make a top in the same material. Best of all they were like $8. They’re used by some fairly popular thru hikers as well, for what that’s worth. They are definitely warmer (and more comfy) than my older Patagonia Capilene 3 long johns. I use them mostly for warmth around camp and sleeping.Jun 27, 2018 at 4:21 pm #3544053
I could find the TKA glacier on the north face site but it was all out of stock so for some reason searching it not thru google it doesn’t come up.
I just bought the TKA 100 off amazon (from “The North Face” seller) for $39.99. I did read the bad reviews claiming it was fake but I think they probably didn’t know what they were buying, I can’t imagine the North Face selling fakes of their own gear. Plus on Amazon (cheapest price I could find) has an awesome return policy so kind of a win-win.
Thanks for the help all! I’m sure I’ll be spending lots of time here doing some reading.Jun 27, 2018 at 6:45 pm #3544076
Cheerio – you just have to be careful on Amazon as the seller of a product can change almost from one min to next as somebody runs out of stock and another seller is rotated in. Agreed that if the seller is “The North Face” one should be able to trust the quality.Jun 28, 2018 at 5:45 am #3544201
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Haglofs LIM microfleece full zip hoody at ~ 8 ounces depending on size. I pair it with a full zip windjacket hoody (EE in 10 denier) since the material when poked easily gets holes.Jun 28, 2018 at 6:08 am #3544207
Heh I got my TKA in 2016 using a Nordstrom’s gift card I had been given for my birthday in the early 2000s that I found in a drawer. I’m assuming Nordstrom’s sells legit merchandise. Even if it’s a fake it’s a nice fleece.Jun 28, 2018 at 6:14 pm #3544292
@pastyj-2-2 Well you are correct in saying that the seller can switch last minute. When I pressed “add to cart” the seller was “The North Face” but after going back in my email and looking at the order confirmation the seller had somehow switched to “Zappos”. At least it’s still what I believe to be a reputable dealer so I shouldn’t have any issues.Jun 30, 2018 at 12:59 pm #3544594
So just to update anyone else who may see this. I received the Large TKA100 Glacier from Amazon yesterday and unfortunately the size is too big. I’m 6ft and 170lbs and the large just doesn’t feel right, sleeves are a tad long, shoulders seem big, and even the length is a little long. I’ll be returning (for free, thank you Amazon) and getting a medium. Other than the size, it’s extremely soft and comfortable and seems high quality. I tried it on in my 78deg house and after 60 seconds was burning up haha seems great for warmth.Jun 30, 2018 at 5:25 pm #3544614
Thanks for the update and I think I forgot to say earlier….welcome to the forum.Jul 1, 2018 at 1:16 am #3544655
michael adamskiBPL Member
Amazon owns Zappos.Jul 1, 2018 at 7:53 pm #3544726
Lorenzo MBPL Member
I’m a massive fan of montane’s allez micro (grid) fleece hoody. 180g in a large. I use it as a base layer in winter, nothing else I’ve used wicks like it. Sometimes combine it with a berghaus hypertherm smock <160g the combo breathes very well and sees me down to freezing if hiking.
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