Backcountry GOAT Fleece review: Warmth, protection and style in one pullover

The world is a cold place. Well, at least some of the time. In my area, it is getting a bit nippy, but not too bad so far. I know the cold is coming, and the Backcountry GOAT Fleece is, as the name suggests, a really awesome way to deal with the chilly season coming upon us.

Made of polyester and nylon, the Backcountry GOAT Fleece is rugged enough for trail hiking and outdoor activities. I used the fleece on several hikes, wearing it to the office a couple of times, and also on a wintery day when we had a little snow in mid fall.

What I like most is that the fleece is legitimately warm, unlike some of the thin material clothing products I’m used to (the ones that are more for style than anything).

Both the hand pockets and chest pocket are zippered, which tells me Backcountry was thinking of actual hikers. You need these pockets if you are on a hike wearing underlayment and hiking pants, and want a place to stash more of your gear and not lose it on the trail.

Because the fleece has  half-zip on front, you can “open up” for extra cooling or zip all the way up on a colder day, controlling body temp pretty easily (unlike the jacket we reviewed recently, which is designed more for style and not as much for cold weather hikes).

One downside, of course, is that the Backcountry GOAT Fleece is a pull-over, wo that means it is a little harder to don this fleece for the day or to remove it, unlike a full zippered fleece or another jacket for cold weather. Not a big deal, and the half-zip provides flexibility on hikes. You just have to commit to it a little more on a hike.

For style, this is a fleece that is not really meant for work. It looks nice, but has a more casual appeal for weekend hiking or gathering around a winter fire. I liked it a lot for the warmth and comfort, but I probably would not wear it to a meeting.
Overall, the Backcountry GOAT Fleece is one of my favorite Backcountry products because it actually keeps you warm now that the cold weather has hit in my area. I used it for raking leaves as well and didn’t feel the need to go in and find a winter jacket. It’s a smart fleece for fall.