Fjallraven Abisko Lite Half Zip Fleece Review - “An extremely versatile mid-layer equally at home on a Munro summit or in the pub”

Posted by Danny Pearson on Nov 07, 2023

The popularity of fleeces seems to come and go. Sometimes they are everyone’s go to mid-layer and other times lightweight synthetic insulated jackets become the trend. Ultimately though, everyone has at least one fleece in their outdoor wardrobe because of their versatility.

The Abisko Lite fleece uses Fjallraven’s own grid-backed fleece fabric. Being made from 100% recycled polyester it has a soft feel against the skin.

The fabric has a fairly tight knit so is surprisingly wind resistant in light breezes. That tight knit does make the Abisko Lite warm with reduced air movement through the fabric so it’s definitely best for cooler summer days or ideal for Spring and Autumn.

The grid on the inner face seems to move any moisture away from your base layer effectively. Additionally, the fabric dries quickly when you remove an outer layer aided by the grid and the fact that polyester is hydrophobic will expel any moisture quickly.

It fits true to size but is quite long in the arms and body. I’m not the tallest and found the fleece poked out of the bottom of a shorter cut waterproof shell. There is no hem adjuster to tighten it so I found it needed turning up or tucking into waterproof over-trousers under that particular shell. Taller folk will appreciate this longer fit.

In terms of features, there aren’t many. There are no pockets which I prefer because I never use a chest pocket on a pullover mid-layer. The neck has a good length so when zipped up seals the top well and stops draughts. The thumb loops came in handy when using trekking poles to keep the sleeves in position.

I’ve had no complaints with the durability, it has been used as an outer layer under both a fully loaded backpacking rucksack and day packs with no issues. It still looks great.

It’s very much a classic fleece both in terms of styling and fit. An extremely versatile mid-layer equally at home on a Munro summit or in the pub. Not as technical as some mid-layers but it looks better than most.

Danny Pearson

Dan is a keen distance walker who loves to geek over the latest gear. In the last few years, Dan has completed a couple of TGO Challenge crossings of Scotland (with another planned for 2024), GR221 in Mallorca, Dales High Route and Hadrian’s Wall plus countless other self-planned routes. A keen mountain biker but finds he doesn’t bounce so well these days when the inevitable happens.

Read more from Danny Pearson