I'm trying to get better about layering and would love recommendations. I'm allergic to wool/cashmere so I have several fleece zip up jackets. Some are more lightweight than others, but they are all bulky so would love to hear about brands/options that might be less bulky. Thanks!
Consider selecting a comfortable, less bulky fleece jacket from among your collection and wearing it when you fly on the plane so bulk would not really be a problem. If it's too warm on the plane, fleece jackets are quite compressible and could be stuffed into even a full overhead compartment.
How about a lightweight, packable down or nano-puff (down alternative) jacket? An inexpensive but warm brand to try is Uniqlo. You can also look at the standard brands like REI, Lands End, LL Bean, Columbia, etc. Down and nano-puff easily compress and make great pillows. Nano-puff keeps you warm even when wet.
My all-time favorite lightweight fleece is the Patagonia R1. It seems pricy but they last forever. The one issue I have is the fit—-I have 3 of them and they all fit differently! I look for them on sale. Right now it appears only the hoody is sale-priced:
These must be discontinued colors. The new “techface” R1 is only available in black, navy and bright red, at full price.
Last year’s R1 full-zip seems to be sold out everywhere I look.
One nice thing about this fleece is the outside has a smooth finish, so it is easy to layer, and never “pills” with washing. My oldest R1, which I have worn on numerous hiking and camping trips, and often pull on for warmth first thing ion the morning at home, still looks as good as new.
The inside is fleecy and very breathable, comfortable against bare skin.
My husband just bought this one on sale at our Eddie Bauer store. It's super lightweight and thin but warm. He just wore it on a very cold day here under an older Eddie Bauer lined rain coat and stayed very warm. Taking it on a fall trip to Switzerland.
This LL Bean jacket is quite lightweight:
Watch this video “Done in R1” about the classic Patagonia R1. You will see I am not the only fan.
That is hilarious.
I have a couple of Patagonia R1 pullovers and a R3 jacket that are about 20 years old. My R3 jacket is my go to winter jacket but is usually too warm while skiing. The R3 is in my pack and only comes during extreme cold or during rest and lunch stops.
The Patagonia "R" differentiated between the different Polartec fabric weights. The R1 clothing used the 100 "weight" fabric, the R2 used the 200 and the R3 used the 300 weight material. The R3 jacket also has what Patagonia calls a Gird pattern on the inside that has channels to facilitate air circulation and moisture wicking for active wear.
If you want light weight, look for jackets with the lighter 100 weight fabric. If you want compressibility look at the Patagonia Nano Puff or Micro Puff jackets. Just remember that you pay for quality and in the case of jackets, quality includes lighter and more packable for the same insulation.
I swear by my Lands End fleece pull overs. Lightweight and keeps me cosy in Fall and Winter sojourns to 🇬🇧.
Lola! Great video link - I love the R1 as underwear, hahaha!
Pam, I assure you I do not wear my R1 that way!
Those guys take packing light to a new level. One garment does it all.
Thanks for all the recommendations and information - will check them out! Not in a rush, so thought I'd ask and can look for sales.
I just got this one - but on Amazon for $10!
Very lightweight, but warm.
2 exterior zippered pockets.
1 interior zippered pocket.
Another vote for the R1.
I’ve had mine for 20 years now. It’s starting to get a little thin around the elbows.