Friday, March 3, 2017

Trail Model Sweater Review

My sweaters all seemed to fail on me during the winter of 2016-17.  I had bought an inexpensive $20 fleece sweater that over 1 year, shrunk two sizes and left fleece shards everywhere; so much that it was shrunk way up above my waist and I couldn't wear it anymore.  Similar things happened to a couple old wool sweaters I had too.
I was down to only one V-neck fleece sweater, and wearing it every day in Colorado's winter begins to look old real quick and laundry becomes a scheduling problem.
So I bought a new LL Bean Trail Model Fleece snap pullover.  Instead of black or gray, I bought blue for some color in my life!  It arrived yesterday (2 days early) and trying it on last night it fit well and kept me warm.  It is quite comfortable and with the collar snapped, keeps my neck very warm (missing from my V-neck).  The 4 snaps are made of nylon and are set in a black placket.  It also has zipped hand-warmer pockets which can hold items, keep my hands warm and ventilate the sweater when it gets warm outside with mesh behind the tunnel pocket.  It is a medium size for me and the fit is good, falling just below my thighs and loose across the shoulders.  It is made from Polartek 200, my favorite warm clothing material for hiking and playing outdoors. The LL Bean Trail Model Fleece Sweater cost about $50 online with free shipping.
When I backpack, I carry a Polartek 200 jacket, sweater and now hat in all Colorado weather, and have used LL Bean products to keep warm for decades.  The LL Bean Polarplus Polartek 200 jacket (a liner from a Gore-Tex field jacket) from the mid-1990's accompanied me on all 3 Colorado backpack trips in 2016, plus a 4th trip where I car camped at a pass on the West Spanish Peak.  It is starting to get ratty at the cuffs after wearing outdoors and camping in for over 22 years.
Yes, I like REI and EMS products too, and mix them while outdoors, but many outdoor companies have gotten away from Polartek 200 to go with thinner fabrics and less actual fleece.  I still like the feel of the plush fleece texture against my body.  I also like that if it gets wet, I just take it off, wring it out, shake it and put it back on where my body usually dries it quickly.  I have been wearing fleece (Madden Mills or Polartek 100/200/300) since I bought that first PET Recycled jacket in 1984 from Campmor.
I purchased this sweater with my own funds and do not write about it for anyone except myself.

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