Product: Mountain Equipment Touchstone Fleece Jacket
Available at: Go Outdoors
Materials: Main – Recycled POLARTEC Thermal Pro, Inserts – POLARTEC Classic 100M panels
My Rating: 8.8 out 0f 10
Every camper knows that a fleece is an essential part of one’s camping gear – a good fleece will keep you warm and protect you from the wind, while at the same time not being too heavy or cumbersome.
I’m going to be taking a look at the Mountain Equipment Touchstone Fleece Jacket to see if it meets these requirements.
- Recycled POLARTEC® Thermal Pro® for warmth without weight
- POLARTEC® Classic 100M panels
- Grown-on hood with integrated collar
- Coverstitched seams throughout for next-to-skin comfort
- 2-way YKK® moulded centre front zip
- 2 pockets and 2 Napoleon chest pockets
- Shaped cuffs
The Touchstone Fleece Jacket is a mid-weight fleece that Mountain Equipment claim is ideal for cold weather.
The main body is Polartec Thermal Pro – which is advertised as giving great warmth to weight ratio, while the underarm panels are made of Polartec Classic 100 to allow plenty of ventilation.
There are two chest pockets and two pockets on the sides of the body, which are positioned not to interfere with rucksack straps.
The jacket has a hood, also made of the Polartec Thermal Pro that the main body is made of.
There is panelling on the inside of the front part of the main body, to give extra wind protection.
The cuffs are extended to give extra warmth to the hands
and there are thumb holes to stop the sleeves from riding up.
I’ve had this jacket for several years now and used it on many camping trips and hikes in the cold.
I really like the style and fit – I find a lot of fleece tops can either be a bit too tight or a bit too baggy – but the Touchstone Fleece seems to give a perfect fit and has a nice amount of stretch to it… whether I’m wearing it over a t-shirt or layering up underneath, it still feels comfortable.
The four pockets are really useful for storing small items of gear – I find that one chest pocket is not enough for me… I put my mobile in one and like to have another for other things that I need easy access to.
For me the hood is a bit useless – it can’t be adjusted and leaves big gaps on the sides of your head, allowing the slightest wind to get in… it just sits on your head making you look like a Jedi.
The Touchstone Fleece has always kept me warm, even when the temperature has dropped below freezing – however, the wind protection, that it claims to have is not great… you don’t feel it too much on the body, but you can really feel the wind through the arms, especially if you’re only wearing a t-shirt underneath.
The fleece drys out very quickly after becoming wet, which is really useful if you’re caught in a downpour.
This is the area where this fleece really stands out – breathability is great.
It copes really well with high-intensity physical activities that result in a lot of sweating.
I noticed that while performing these types of activities, I didn’t overheat or get cold – even in windy conditions.
So it seems that this jacket functions best when you are generating you own body heat – it gets the balance right between keeping you warm and allowing moisture out.
The Mountain Equipment Touchstone Fleece Jacket is a decent fleece for winter camping in the UK, but you will need layers underneath for when it’s windy.
It’s ideally suited to high-intensity physical activities, such as mountain climbing or cycling – where it gets the balance right between warmth and breathability.
It’s my go to fleece for when I’m camping or hiking in the cold seasons, even with its drawbacks – I just love the fit, style and comfort of it along with its two chest pockets…
You can get the Mountain Equipment Touchstone Fleece Jacket from Go Outdoors.
I hope you’ve found this review helpful.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll try to respond as soon as possible.