The first thing I happily noticed about this fleece was the colour. No shocking yellow, no putrid green - this was a good, solid, charcoal grey. A colour for those not wishing to be seen for five hundred miles across a small country. No, this was a colour for those wishing to blend in a little more with Gods Own Countryside. And with Gods Own Countryside in mind, the components of this fleece, along with the rest of the El Alto clothing line, are all ethically sourced. The majority of the local staff live in one of the poorer districts outside of La Paz, Bolivia and receive a fair and decent wage for their work. You can read more about El Alto's approach to their products and market at elalto.co.uk.
But more of the product I hear you cry! Well, the fleece is very well made for a start. Its stylish without being faffy, it is slim fitting and the shaping is, overall, very good. The sleeves are long and there are thumb loops at the end of each arm which came in useful whilst dry tooling on the home wall last week and stopped them rolling up my arm as normal. I wore it over a thin thermal baselayer and was comfortable enough not to have to don any form of wind protection even though it was a bracing november day in Scotland. The stiff collar helps cut down draughts too. I also wore it on a stormy day in the Cairngorms last weekend and found it to be an excellent, and now permanent, part of my trusted layering system.
My only criticism of this product is the body length. I think some, including myself, might find it a little on the short side - it did tend to ride up slightly too far when my arms were over my head.
Other than that, I would be happy to recommend this to anyone looking for a decent, well made and fairly traded base/mid layer.
Available in both men and womens styles - in Black and Grey - S,M,L and XL.
Buy at elalto.co.uk