The Berghaus Potala Fleece is part of Berghaus’ Everyday Outdoors spring/summer 2011 collection. The fleece is designed to be worn for day to day wear (as the collection name suggests) as well as for outdoor activities. Bearing this in mind, we have been testing out the dazzle blue version and have been wearing it for daily activities such as shopping around town, and have also worn it on a longer walk.
The Potala Fleece is not how you would expect a standard fleece to feel. The material is thinner than standard fleece and the hand is similar to that of a microfibre travel towel. It has a honeycomb structure and is extremely soft to the touch.
In terms of practical features, the Potala Fleece has a half zip and a small pocket on the right sleeve. It also has elasticated cuffs around the hands as well as around the neck. It can be worn as a mid-layer or on its own in the warmer months. The fleece is comfortable to wear and has a relatively loose fit which provides you with enough freedom of movement to carry out daily activities and errands, as well as outdoor activities such as scrambling or walking.
Despite the fact that the Potala is a lightweight fleece, it provides a high level of insulation. Worn as a mid-layer, walking around town going in and out of shops I found that the fleece provided a good level of insulation when I was outside. Inside shops, it did get a bit too hot occasionally. Nevertheless, it kept me snug throughout the day.
On the longer walk, again, the Potala provided a good level of thermal insulation. After about 20 minutes, I had to take off my outer layer as it was too warm.
In summary, the Potala Fleece makes a great mid-layer in the winter months. As it is relatively thin for a fleece, it will not make you look bulky if worn as part of a three-layer system. In spring and summer, the fleece can be worn on its own. It is suitable for both outdoor activities as well as for wearing around town on a daily basis. On the downside, it took me a while to get used to the fleece material as I did feel like I was wearing a towel for a bit but its insulation properties are excellent and are bound to keep you nice and snug.