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Kit review: North Face women’s fleece

Written by Fiona January 14 2011

Women's North Face Khyber 100 fleece

Yesterday I was forced to put my North Face 100 Khyber fleece in the wash. I didn’t like the idea (not one bit) but after a week of almost non-stop wear the time had come to give it a bit of a clean. You see, the minute I lifted the North Face fleece from its packaging I wanted to put it on – and not take it off again. Indeed, if North Face also made pyjamas from their oh-so-soft Polartec 100 fleece then I would have been able to spend every hour of every day and night in Cosy Fleecy Heaven.

The first touch of the soft fleece was all I needed to know this would be a great product. While lightweight enough, the female-fit fleece offered a plush softness that begged to be worn against the skin. (Obviously I have not worn this fleece every day for a week against my skin as that would be a bit smelly but I have spent a day luxuriating in its gorgeous skin-on-skin loveliness!)

As a tall, slim person I am always impressed by manufacturers who make size 10 women’s clothing with a generous length in the arms and body. It’s really annoying to have my wrists exposed to the chills when the rest of my torso is warm. Top marks North Face for making me smile. The shape of the fleece is flattering, too. These days I always buy clothing that has been tailored to suit a female physique. Even if it is outdoors kit I still want to look good.

As well as general going-about-my-life wear I also took the North Face Khyber fleece (mine is a fab Logan Berry Red shade)  for a test walk on snowy  hills near Glasgow. I wore a thin base layer, the North Face Fleece and then a waterproof jacket on top. While the temperature was close to zero (just above the line for once!) my body remained at the perfect temperature. I didn’t feel over-loaded with clothing, yet my core body temperature was still cosy. “Lightweight yet warm,” as the label said.

This is a fleece that will work as one of a number of base layers when it’s really cold on the hills and as a top layer when the spring arrives.

For those who like the technical stuff (I know I do!) the North Face Khyber technical details include:

  • Polartec Classic 100 fleece
  • 1/4 zip
  • UPF 30
  • Pill and fade resistant
  • Maintains shape
  • Quick drying
  • Lightweight
  • Colour blocked panels

I’d always thought of North Face as a pricey outdoor range but at £35.10 from on-line store  Webtogs (who were kind enough to send me the fleece to test) I would definitely buy another. Perhaps I’ll go for one of the other colours next time, Louie Blue or Moonlight Ivory. Again, it’s great to see outdoors clothing in such lovely colours.

I’m just off to have another feel of the fleece, just to see if it’s dried after being washed… so that I can put it on and return to CFH!

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