It’s not easy to make a fleece gilet ‘technical’ but The North Face have managed it with Aurora. Polartec microfleece is teamed with stretch side-panels to give a close, stretchy fit with less insulation where it isn’t needed (under the arms). It is best worn over a base layer and under a mid-layer or shell, as the cut at body, arms and collar is too snug to fit over anything else. But that’s exactly how I’d wear a lightweight fleece gilet, creating core warmth without restricting movement. The stretch side panels remove the need for hem drawcords, and the same fabric is used as zip backing, rising to form a chinguard. The only snag, in my opinion, is that the collar is rather high. It rises to just below my ears, so zipped to the top it presses under my chin, with insufficient width to go over it (top measurement: 42cm). Consequently, I have it leave it slightly unzipped which creates collar clash with other layers. Otherwise, Aurora is soft, supple, warm and stretchy, and a treat to wear.
29th July 2013