The Columbia Men’s Heat 360™ 1/2 Zip fleece is a lightweight, long-sleeve fleece that will take the chill off when the sun dips below the horizon.
Columbia: Men’s Heat 360™ 1/2 Zip, $80.00; on sale right now for $60 at www.columbia.com
The Good: Cozy. It’s like hugging a campfire without the 3rd-degree burns.
The Bad: No handwarmer pockets leave hands chilly.
The Ugly: It’s hard to feel masculine in any color but black.
The first thing you are going to notice about Columbia’s Men’s Heat 360 is how thin it is and ask, “will this keep me warm?” The second thing you are going to notice is a shiny reflective material lining the inside of the fleece. This is Columbia’s signature Omni-Heat material. The idea is that it will keep you warm by retaining the body heat you create within that reflective layer. It will also wick away any sweat and moisture from your skin.
When I first slipped the jacket on, I immediately felt the lining against my skin. At first I questioned whether this would be as comfortable as a fleece lining. After just a few minutes I forgot about it and got wrapped up in the soft warmth of this itch-free layer. The medium size I was wearing was roomy for a tall skinny guy like me, with plenty of sleeve length. I foundit to be a welcome fit when getting cozy by the campfire at night.
This fleece has a partial front zipper that extends below the chest and came in handy when I needed to regulate my temperature out on the trail. It’s also available in a full zip version. The collar is lined with a soft layer of fleece that keeps your neck nice and warm. This lining is a good touch along with the draft collar behind the zipper to keep out the cold. It also has a reflective ribbon along the zipper so your buddies at camp know it’s you coming back from the bush and not a hungry chupacabra.
When I’m trying to get warm, a skin and bones guy like me enjoys getting his hands warm in some deep pockets. Bummer: You won’t find any of those here. The only pocket is vertical one on the chest. The vertical chest pocket came in handy when I was attempting to warm up some frigid camera batteries while photographing in the morning cold. I just kept one in my chest pocket while the other was in the camera.
Now for the warmth factor: it’s no parka, but the Heat kept me warm in the Sierra Nevadas when the summer warmth disappeared for the day and the temperatures dropped into the low 40’s. On another occasion I layered it with an outer shell with morning temperatures near freezing.
The Men’s Heat 360 is something that can be thrown in your car or backpack when you expect the temperatures to chill off a bit in the evening or morning hours. It provides a cozy factor that beats a rain shell and it’s a great layer to take on your next camping trip or morning jog. Just be sure to bring some gloves along too.
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Author: David Frandsen