Summer Fleece Blog 1 Main Header Logo

The Summer of Fleece

<i>The best lightweight and breathable Polartec fabric technologies for the summertime.</i>

It’s no secret that a fleece midlayer is the best companion for cold-weather conditions. But when the weather starts to warm up, that fleece will come in handy more than you think. If you’ve ever been out in the summer sun all day then you know summer nights can feel extra chilly. Polartec fleece is such a versatile fabric that it can actually help keep you comfortable on summer days while giving you the right amount of warmth at night.

We know what you’re thinking, “but isn’t fleece too hot and heavy to wear in the summer?” Not always. Polartec uses the Science of Fabric to knit, shear, and construct fleece into hundreds of different weights, thicknesses, and characteristics dedicated to keeping you comfortable no matter how warm. We can knit fleece so that it’s smooth and not fuzzy, light and not heavy, and breathable beyond belief. And UPF protection? We got you covered.

Polartec fleece is truly an all-season solution to comfort. When it comes to summer activities, you’ll need it by the campfire, after a dive in a glacial lake, as a pillow on a backpacking trip, and when day turns to night. We curated a list of lightweight and highly breathable Polartec fabrics we call Summer Fleece. Ideal for fun in the sun: Microfleece, 100 Series Fleece, Power Grid, and Alpha Direct.

Summer Fleece Blog 2 Micro Fleece Header

The buttery soft feel of Polartec Microfleece fuses luxury and performance in the lightest weight possible. Premium polyester yarns deliver breathable performance, soft comfort, long-lasting durability, and warmth without weight. It’s a fantastic lightweight companion for any outdoor occasion.

Summer Fleece Blog 4 Micro Fleece REI

REI Co-op - Trailsmith Fleece

A classic REI jacket designed in 1992 modernized for this era. Made with 100% recycled PET bottles and designed with a relaxed lightweight fit for night time campfires.

Summer Fleece Blog 3 Micro Fleece Athleta

Athleta - Balance Microfleece Sweatshirt

Super soft and designed for casual layering or after a workout. Made with 100% recycled PET and built for lightweight warmth in any occasion.

Summer Fleece Blog 5 100 Series Fleece Header

We’re Polartec. We’re known for making the original fleece. Our 100 Series Fleece line takes the best qualities of classic fleece in complete lightweight style. With 100 Series, you get the soft and fuzzy feel with breathable, thermal comfort. Great for camping and evening hikes, and extremely packable.

Summer Fleece Blog 6 100 Series Fleece Lands End

Land’s End - Thermacheck 100 Fleece Jacket

A lightweight and super soft jacket from the Midwest-based outdoor brand. The Thermacheck is a great casual jacket to put on when the sun starts to set at the beach or when there’s a windchill on a nautical afternoon.

Summer Fleece Blog 7 100 Series Fleece Pas Normal

Pas Normal Studios - Escapism Fleece Jacket

Originally developed for mountain biking and post-ride comfort, this lightweight classic fleece jacket adds a touch of warmth and breathability when day turns to night. From the Copenhagen-based contemporary cycling brand.

Summer Fleece Blog 8 Power Grid Header

Polartec Power Grid changed the game when it launched in 1998. To this day, gridded fleece is a hot commodity for outdoor activewear. Its geometric construction maximizes breathability and provides fast-drying comfort during activity. A staple for hikes, climbs, and just about anything.

Summer Fleece Blog 9 Power Grid MAAP

MAAP - Thermal Base Layer Tee

As a versatile moisture-wicking fabric, Power Grid also makes a great base layer as shown by the Thermal Base Layer Tee by the Australian cycling brand. Highly breathable, quick-drying, and great for even hot weather activities.

Summer Fleece IG Post 4 1 Power Grid Patagonia

Patagonia - R1 Fleece Pullover

One of the most iconic pieces in outerwear history. Polartec originally developed Power Grid fabric technology in partnership with Patagonia, debuting the R1 in 1998. Power Grid has gotten a power up since then, but this classic piece brings versatile comfort as it did back in the day.

Summer Fleece Blog 11 Alpha Direct Header

What if you’re doing an all-day activity? What if it’s really hot then really cold? Polartec Alpha Direct was constructed for this very reason. Originally developed for US Special Forces, Alpha Direct provides ultra-light warmth regulation for start/stop activities. It maximizes cool when it’s hot and keeps you warm when it’s cold, not to mention it dries really fast if you’re putting in a hard sweat. Alpha Direct is great for backpacking, climbing, hiking, mountaineering, and everything in between. It’s a truly special and versatile fabric.

Summer Fleece Blog 12 Alpha Direct Dyna Fit

Dynafit - Free Alpha Direct Jacket

Incredibly light and breathable option for mountain activities. The European alpine brand’s insulating jacket keeps you warm when it’s cool and cools when it’s hot. Made of 100% recycled materials.

Summer Fleece Blog 13 Alpha Direct Senchi Designs

Senchi Designs - Lark Hoodie

Ultralight hoodie made for active pursuits, Portland-based Senchi Designs features an exposed Alpha Direct for an amazing warmth-to-weight ratio. The Lark Hoodie resists moisture and dries fast so you’re never uncomfortable. Check their website for when they drop as they have limited availability.

Related Articles

Made To Partner

Featured Partner: Vollebak

Press Releases

Introducing Milliken & Company 2023 Sustainability Report

Made To Partner

Partner Product Release: Norrøna

Welcome in.

From Industry insider access to community updates, stay in the loop with everything we do.