Peter Macfarlane recommends the Haglöfs ROC Flash Mid Hood, saying it is both comfortable and sustainably made.
The Haglöfs ROC Flash Mid Hood is the only top I reviewed in our guide to the best fleeces, that has a hood, which proved to be excellent. It has a sculpted, close-fitting shape that moved with my head without restricting the movement or obstructing my view. The warmth was enough to replace a beanie or Buff, plus there’s the added convenience of it always being there. The light fabric means that the hood doesn’t bunch up annoyingly when rolled down under a shell. It also acts well as a collar when the zip is pulled up to the top, where there is welcome chin protection detailing.
Price: not available in the US | £110.00 (available to buy from Haglöfs) | Weight: 372g size L | Materials: recycled polyester grid backed fleece | Hood: Yes | Front Closure: full zip | Pockets: two zipped mid height | Hem: plain | Cuffs: plain | Sizes: S to XXL | Women’s version: yes
The fabric is a mix of 100% recycled or 38% recycled polyester knits, both of which are Bluesign approved, offering some assurance of sustainability in the manufacture. It’s a light grid backed fleece fabric with good stretch. Insulation levels are usable on cool to warm days as an outer layer and the ROC Flash has worked well under a shell on cold days over a long-sleeved base layer. The light fabric can wet out quickly with sweat when working hard but it does dry very fast.
The fit is slim but not tight with good length in the body and arms. Articulation is very good with almost no hem movement with both arms lifted above my head and it sat well under a shell for layering in wild weather with minimal riding up. The hem is nonadjustable, but the closer fit helps keep it in place. The fabric shows some catches from contact with trees and rucksack buckles, but in general, abrasion seems to be low. The zipped chest pockets are positioned well above a pack hipbelt and are a good size with suspended inner mesh pocket bags. The pocket bags don’t drop below the bottom of the zips by very much, so the pocket contents tend to shake themselves out of an open zip quite easily when you’re on the move.