Our Haglofs Touring Mid Jacket Review details a technical mid layer designed for high output activities. We hope you find it useful.
The Haglofs Touring Mid jacket is a technical mid-layer jacket designed for high output activities such as mountaineering, climbing, hiking and ski-touring. It is designed to be close fitting while allowing freedom of movement. It is also designed to be highly insulating while effectively wicking away moisture. This should mean you don’t have to constantly take clothing layers on and off to regulate your temperature. Such a range of activities and temperature variations is a big ask for a single jacket. Does the Touring Mid jacket deliver on its promise?
The tested jacket felt snug, but in no way restrictive. The Polartec Powerstretch sleeves and backpanel kept things close yet comfortable. Polartec Alpha fabric then forms the front and shoulders for core insulation. The jacket is long enough so you don’t expose your midriff or lower back when you stretch up or bend down. It is also long enough to remain firmly tucked into a climbing harness.
All the seams are double stitched and reinforced for durability. The fabric panels join together smoothly for a quality and stylish look. A single zippered chest pocket is large enough to store a phone and an insulating flap covers the zip.
Polartec’s Power Stretch Fabric is well known and used across a wide range of products. It has delivered outstanding performance over many years. The key to the fabric’s success is its ability to stretch in multiple directions. This is very important if you don’t want baggy sleeves or a progressively looser fit with associated loss in insulation and wicking properties.
Dual Surface Construction
The dual surface construction provides extremely high levels of stretch and durability. The brushed inner surface then offers the warmth and wicking qualities. The result is a fabric that effectively regulates temperature while being fast drying. It is perfect for high output or stop and go activities.
As well as being good for your body, the fabric is made from at least 50% recycled PET plastic. Polartec were the original masterminds behind recycled fleece and that legacy continues to develop in their current product range. Infact, they reckon they have saved over 1.5 billion plastic bottles from landfill since they started using recycled PET in their fabrics.
The front panels and shoulders of the jacket are made from Polartec Alpha. This fabric was originally developed to help the U.S. Special Forces. They required a clothing system that could cope with extremes of temperature and the stop start nature of combat. Specifically, they wanted to keep the wearer comfortable without having to carry or change multiple layers of clothing.
Polartec Alpha is special because of it’s thermal regulation properties. It is designed for the most extreme activity demands. The fabric is made from hydrophobic lofted knit fibres anchored to a solid mesh core. The effect is a rather furry appearance with what seems to be an awful lot of tiny gaps between the fibres. The lofted fibres offer exceptional insulation and the mesh maintains the fabrics structure.
The science behind the fabric is that as cold air penetrates the fabric it is dispersed across the skin to provide effective cooling. At the same time heat from the body is shed out through the fabric to warm the incoming colder air. The combination provides a stable temperature.
As activity levels increase, moisture is wicked away faster by means of the hydrophobic fibres. This maintaining moisture levels and helps keep an even temperature. Put simply, the harder you work the more heat is transferred away. Then, as activity levels drop more heat is retained against the skin.
In considering performance, my Haglofs Touring Mid Jacket Review will focus a lot on heat management. The fabric felt warm and comfortable from the start. It seemed to generate its own gentle heat that was neither too hot nor too cold. On walk ins I felt comfortable without overheating. Although not specifically windproof, a moderate breeze didn’t cool me down excessively although I could feel it through the jacket. I remained at a reasonable temperature throughout. Whilst climbing, the jacket stayed close to my body without restricting movement. The Powerstretch and Alpha work in harmony. It is very impressive.
Despite scraping against rough rock during climbing sessions, the Touring Mid has shown itself to be durable enough to stand up to tough treatment. It is a great standalone garment in many situations. Then, as a mid layer underneath a hard or softshell the jacket again worked perfectly. With a standard fleece I sometimes overheat and become damp in the core layers. This forces me to open my waterproof for additional ventilation and then get cold again.
Thanks to the fabrics of the Touring Mid jacket, despite becoming warm I avoid getting too sweaty. This is also a lot more efficient than standard layers when wearing a shell. This can certainly be put down to the Polartec fabrics working much more efficiently than a standard grid fleece mid layer.
Even when the windchill significantly dropped the temperature I was comfortably warm. On one occasion I then decided to take off my shell layer. I was noticeably colder, but soon warmed up as I hiked uphill and noticed I wasn’t becoming too cold despite the wind. I also noticed that, despite the unavoidable sweating inside a hardshell, my mid layer dried very quickly. Any cold I felt was from the environment and not my evaporating sweat.
My Haglofs Touring Mid Jacket review reveals a garment that performs at a level significantly higher than the grid fleece jackets I usually wear. It is a great blend of comfort and performance and certainly works as advertised. It would be a perfect multi use year round addition to your outdoor wardrobe.
The main secret to the jacket’s performance is how Alpha and Powerstretch work together. It is a combination perfect for any activity where effective temperature management is needed. This is a excellent jacket and I highly recommend it. The Haglofs Touring Mid retails for £130 and is available from Trekitt here. Details about Alpha are available on the Polartec website here. Details on Powerstretch are here. The short video below highlights the key features.
We have enjoyed testing a range of products featuring Polartec fabrics. Please have a read about the Salewa Ortles Hoody here and the Rab Alpha Freak Pull-On here. Also, Polartec have recently celebrated a major birthday and we put together a time line of their impressive innovations here.