The main difference between garments made from similar fabrics lies in the design and here Mountain Equipment has got it just right with the rather disturbingly named Shroud (I know it’s a famous Alpine climb but there are other meanings!). Firstly the garment combines two of the lightest fleece fabrics, with slightly warmer Polartec 100 on the body and stretchy Power Stretch under the arms and down the sides for freedom of movement and fast wicking. There’s a close-fitting Power Stretch hood too, which is warm and fits neatly under a waterproof jacket hood. The Shroud also has big chest pockets that will hold maps and are at the right angle to make good handwarmers. The pockets are mesh-lined for ventilation. The fit is on the close side and I needed a Large size rather than my usual Medium. The weight is higher than alternatives with simpler designs but they don’t have hoods. There are less expensive fleeces too, but they don’t have the fabric mix or the features of the Shroud.
MATERIALS: Polartec 100 microfleece body, Polartec Power Stretch hood, cuffs, underarm and side panels HOOD: yes FRONT CLOSURE: full length zip with internal flap POCKETS: 2 chest, 1 inner CUFFS: Powerstretch, thumb loops SIZES: Men: S-XL, women: 8-16 WEIGHT: 396g (Large) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: China PRICE: Ј80 WEBSITE: mountain-equipment.co.uk