Do you have a piece of outdoor clothing that you wear all the time even when it doesn’t really fit the situation it was made for? A piece of clothing that is your absolute favorite and you wished you had more than one of because you knew you were going to wear it out too quickly? Of course you do! For me it’s the Power Dry Fleece 1/4 zip base layer from Eastern Mountain Sports.
I’ve been testing/wearing the EMS Power Dry Fleece for the past four months now, mostly for backpacking and day hiking but also for casual wear and I’ve come to love this simple pullover. The fit, weight, and performance is beyond any other similar garment I own and I have a heck of a lot of fleeces. I’m also very pleasantly surprised that I like the pullover version as much as I do. I usually tend to favor full length zippers.
The Power Dry Fleece is made using bi-component knit polyester fabric (91% recycled polyester, 9% spandex) produced by Polartec. If you look at just about any of the performance fleeces that you own you’ll see that they are most likely made using material from Polartec.
Power Dry is a special weave designed (as the name suggests) to keep you dry by wicking away moisture (sweat) from your body as you exert yourself by hiking, backpacking, or running. The moisture is wicked away by a very fine grid-pattern interior to the smoother outer surface of the garment where it can evaporate, keeping you dry and warm.
I packed the EMS Power Dry as my mid layer for my recent Mt. Whitney trip this past August. In the photograph below you can just make out the three layers that I was wearing, the Power Dry was my mid layer for warmth. I also wore an EMS Techwick base layer and a GoLite Dakota windshirt.
Below is an example from lower elevation where I am wearing just the two EMS layers, not sure why I was so serious looking in this photo? As I mentioned above, I’ve been wearing this fleece for just about everything lately as the temperatures here in NC have started to drop. It’s been a lifesaver in the evenings during Jack’s football practices and I’ve taken to wearing it as my warm up pullover before crossfit workouts and when running.
At the orginal price of just $60 this is a bargain, but as of the time of me writing this the EMS Power Dry Men’s 1/4 zip pullovers are on sale for $35.40! I’m personally going to try and snag another two of these (maybe not in this plum color) so that I have more of them. I love the fit and feel (it’s very soft), it keeps me incredibly warm without being sweaty and it’s lightweight for a mid layer. I never thought I’d get this excited about a fleece, but I am.
And don’t just take my word for it. You can find another rave review of this simple pullover fleece written by Philip Werner at SectionHiker.com.
Disclosure: EMS provided Brian’s Backpacking Blog with a complementary Power Dry Fleece for testing and review.