Dave tests the new adidas Terrex Fleece in variety of mountain activities to see if it helps him become a German über climber!
Specifically designed for high-performance outdoor comfort, the men’s adidas Terrex Fleece Jacket keeps you going strong with a stretchy FORMOTION® fit, allover moisture-wicking, and breathable insulation. The Cocona® fabric has a hydrophilic finish and is rated for 50+ SPF UV protection.
In 2012 we reviewed the adidas Terrex Hybrid Softshelland Adidas continue their assault on the UK Outdoor Clothing market with a full range of climbing and mountaineering clothing. In our 2012 review we predicted that we would see more Adidas apparel in outdoor retailers as well as their dedicated shops around the UK.
The adidas Terrex Fleeceis not what you would consider a normal ‘furry’ fleece. I would say it’s more of an expedition weight midlayer: I wore it as a midlayer, usually over a thin t-shirt. On colder days I wore it over a lightweight merino wool baselayer.
I received a sample sized Medium (40/42) for testing, I am up to a 40” chest and the fit was nice and athletic. The overall length of the arms and body was a little large, but not overly. This shouldn’t be a problem as there is a great size range of 8 sizes to choose from. No weight was given but the trusty GCR scales weighed it in at 400g, so it’s not an ultralight top, but it’s not marketed as that.
The materials are Cocona (a USA based company) that has been working with many high profile manufacturers. This provides the main fabric with its wicking and anti-odour technology and Pontetorto Technostretch; a fabric made by Italian based Ponterato. This was highly breathable and was sitiated in all the main high sweat areas (back of the neck and under the arms). The zip was a standard YKK.
The fleece as a full zip jacket, I found this extremely useful for extra venting and removing or putting on the top as the base of the route (there’s nothing more unnerving than hopping around at the belay of Point Five trying to get a sweaty baselayer off and looking at the monumental slide you are in for if you trip up!). So getting the fleece on and off was a breeze, The zip was easy to use and had a nice, large tab that made it easy to work with thin gloves on. There was a draught guard to help keep the warthm in; I had no problems with the zip.
The collar had plenty of extra material to keep it in position and worked really well when it was windy and I needed to keep the wind out. In the late spring winter climbing we have enjoyed I found the combination of light merino baselayer adidas Terrex Fleece and a Hardshell perfect, I was plenty warm enough climbing and just popped a belay jacket on for belays. It would be a good choice for continental icefall climbing.
The wicking worked very well with the gridded, terry pattern on the inside and flat faced outer. I did keep out a slight breeze, but nothing stronger. I often used it in combination with the adidas Terrex Hybrid Softshell Vest (this is also on test) which was just about a perfect combination for winter approaches. The top dried out quickly, even under the hardshell. I would walk in with the combo described, open the jacket to vent and begin drying it as I was sorting out gear. Then pop on an outer shell and I was pretty much dry.
The odour wasn’t too bad after several days of wear. It wasn’t as good as Merino but it wasn’t too bad that I couldn’t go to the pub for a beer after a day out. It washed really well, I just chucked it with everything else on a 40 degree wash, no special washing was needed.
The styling was very good, nice and athletic with the Adidas stripes under the arm and down the sides of the torso and a bright Adidas logo on the left chest. Nice, discreet and not at all flashy. All seams were flatlock both inside and out and the stitching looked very high quality. Strangely the Adidas website only offers black for sale but my sample was a lovely deep red.
The sleeves had elasticated cuffs and could be pulled up to half my forearms for rock climbing, the top was very nice for rock climbing with great freedom of movement and no rise under a harness. I would have liked to see thumb loops just to help my hands a little warmer under gloves.
The jacket had 2 hand warmer pockets, situated at abdominal level. They were too low to be accessible under a harness and I found them pretty much redundant for all the activities I used the fleece for. I would have much preferred a single, large Napoloen style pocket on the chest area. This would have been much more useful for storing my camera, compass or energy bar to be accessible en route.
I have used the adidas Terrex Fleece for Winter Climbing, Trail Running, Hiking and Rock Climbing and found it a highly versatile top. Stylish, functional and it has performed really well in all my mountain activities. If Adidas could ditch the pockets and replace them with a single napoleon, add thumbloops to the sleeves and add a hood then it would certainly be up there with the main climbing mid layers and be a brilliant top.