Insulation reviews and fabric technologies have now become a regular feature in our work. A few days ago we featured the Polartec® Alpha® Insulation, in which we looked at its characteristics, the way it works and its composition.
Today we will look at another Polartec® fabric, the Power Grid™ fleece.
Fleece fabrics are versatile and widely used when it comes to jackets and other technical garments. They insulate well, are breathable and very lightweight, making them a great addition to jackets that are meant for high-performance and comfort.
We have looked into fleece and fleece jackets in the past, but today’s pick is not just your average fleece.
Let’s take a look!
- 1. Fleece and Its Characteristics
- 2. Polartec®: The Brand
- 3. The Polartec® Power Grid™ Fabric
- 4. Products that use the Power Grid™ Fleece Fabric
- 5. Conclusion
1. Fleece and Its Characteristics
We quickly touched on the reasons why fleece is used, but let’s now go a bit further and understand its characteristics better.
Fleece is a synthetic fabric, made from Polyester. Its texture is created in a way that resembles wool and because of that it shares some similarities with wool in how it performs. We have looked at these similarities and differences before, which you can find here.
As a synthetic fiber, it has high durability and is also long lasting, which are key reasons for it being used both on its own in jackets and as a lining layer for insulation.
Fleece is woven in such a way that it allows moisture to pass through the fibers, also known as moisture wicking or breathability, thus leaving the inside of the garment dry.
Even when it gets wet, fleece is quick-drying, which is why it works so well as a mid layer.
Aside from its physical and chemical qualities, fleece is also very affordable when compared to most fabrics. A few options can go quite up high in price, but overall the price is reasonable.
2. Polartec®: The Brand
Before we move on to today’s chosen fabric, let’s learn a bit about the history of the brand that created it.
Polartec was established in 1906 as Malden Mills, in America.
The objective was to create fabrics that could perform impeccably in a variety of conditions. Their popularity really kicked off after 1981 when they created the synthetic Polartec fleece.
Polartec fleece, designed specifically for athletic wear due to its great comfort and added breathability, has become a staple in many brands’ products and it is considered to be the best-performing fleece fabric for athletic garments.
Throughout the years the brand has developed a number of other types of fabrics, insulations and fleeces, one of which is the Power Grid™ fleece.
3. The Polartec® Power Grid™ Fabric
Power Grid™ is regarded by the brand as the “evolution of fleece fabric engineering”.
It was developed and patented by Polartec® with the purpose of improving not only the performance characteristics of their fleece, but also its physical and practical aspects.
In order to do that, they developed a grid design structure, which simultaneously increases the ability to insulate, while reducing the weight of the fabric and making it more compressible.
The reduction in weight and added compressibility make it a great choice for those out on the trails and who value performance above all, as it adds both comfort and practicality, making it easier to carry.
Aside from enhancing the insulating ability, the grid design helps make it more efficient at breathing, by allowing greater moisture wicking through the touch points designed, which allow for faster moisture evaporation by absorbing and diffusing it at a quick rate.
Just like the classic Polartec fleece, it is quick drying, too, making it suitable to wear in unpredictable weather.
Does Polartec® Power Grid™ Fabric Work?
Power Grid is a bi-component design, which is comprised of different yarn lengths on each side, in order to help with moisture wicking and faster evaporation.
Considering that its primary purpose is that of adding to the breathability of the traditional Polartec fleece, it does indeed work commendably.
The way it achieves this fast moisture wicking and evaporation is through the touch points, as we mentioned previously. The touch points are connected to open air channels, which not only allow moisture wicking, but also help with releasing excess body heat generated during activity.
Its light weight and added insulation are bonus qualities that make this fabric all the more versatile and high performance.
4. Products that use the Power Grid™ Fleece Fabric
Marmot Neothermo Fleece Hoody
Men’s version (check it out on):
Women’s version (check it out on):
The first product we picked is by Marmot, the Neothermo Fleece Hoodie. It comes with an attached hood, which is elasticized to provide a better fit and to also prevent it from coming off.
The design is slim fit with a drop-tail hem, which provides better coverage for the back when you move and bend. The sleeves are also slim fitting, with thumbholes integrated into the sleeve cuffs. Thumbholes not only make the sleeves fit better by keeping them in place, but they also help to keep the hands warmer.
It comes with a zippered chest pocket on the outside and is available in different colors and sizes, for both men and women.
Burton Men’s AK Grid Hoodie
Check it out on:
The second design is Burton’s Ak Grid Hoodie, a 95% Polyester / 5% Spandex hoodie made from Bluesign approved materials that are free from harmful chemicals.
It has a pull-on design, with an attached hood that is made to fit perfectly under heavier jackets. The hem is in a drop-tail design, providing coverage to the back and its sleeve cuffs are standard.
This hoodie comes with an articulated fit, which is made to not only wear and move better during activity, but to also layer easily without becoming a hindrance.
It has a next-to-skin comfort feel due to the Power Grid fleece, and it comes with a left-sleeve pocket.
Power Grid™ is an innovative fleece that comes with improved breathability, insulation and compressibility. Its light weight and design make it a great choice for mid layers and hoodies, as we saw above.
It is warm, it is comfortable at it helps excess body heat escape, thus preventing overheating and excessive perspiration.
It dries quickly and comes with all of the renowned characteristics and qualities of the original Polartec fleece, which are also the reasons why it is used by name brands such as The North Face, Marmot, Burton, Norrona, etc.
This is the second Polartec® fabric we have looked at and we have to say that the design on Power Grid™ is quite interesting and impressive.