A stylish and functional fleece top, the “circular” midweight Halfmoon Bio Pullover from Artilect has fantastic eco credentials, being made entirely from recycled materials, which then biodegrade at the end of the garment’s useful life. Warm, breathable and boasting lots of good features, it makes a great outer layer during dry days and nights in the shoulder months, as the evenings and mornings get a bit chillier, and is an excellent mid layer, worn under a wind- and waterproof shell during cold and wet winter days spent hiking in the hills.
Made from biodegradable, 100% recycled material
Good storage, with large zipped pockets
No thumb hoops
Sizes quite small
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Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover: first impressions
The Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover is a very comfy and super-functional fleece-style top, but there’s only one place to start with this garment really, and that’s with its eco credentials. They are exceptional. The pullover is made from material that is 100% recycled, as all the best fleece jackets should be, but Artilect also state that the PrimaLoft Bio fabric is a “circular” product, meaning that when you’ve finished with it, the garment is biodegradable in landfill and ocean environments.
• List price: $150 (US) / £110 (UK) / €130
• Fabric: Recycled PrimaLoft Bio (100%)
• Gender availability: Men’s & Women’s
• Sizes: Men’s: XS-XXL; Women’s: XS-XL
• Weight (Men’s large): 284g / 10oz
• Colors: Men’s: Black / Fired Brick / Hot Spot; Women’s: Black / Fired Brick / Glacier
As we understand it, this fabric uses fibers that have been specially developed so that they “return to materials found in nature” when they break down. According to the Primaloft website, 93.8% biodegradation happens in 646 days under accelerated landfill environment conditions.
This means, we believe, that microfibers released during laundering are less harmful than would normally be the case, and at the end of garment’s life, you can dispose of it (responsibly, obviously – don’t just chuck it in the nearest bush), safe in the knowledge that it won’t still be around in decades to come.
It’s difficult to independently verify all this, but the Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover is certainly bluesign certified, and if the claims are all legitimate, then the composition of this pullover places it on a higher plain of eco-friendliness to most other pieces of outdoor apparel.
The other thing to mention is that it is available in several colorways – I just happened to be sent the lurid yellow “Hot Spot” one to test. No, it wouldn’t be my first choice of color either, and I did feel a bit like a 6ft-tall Minion walking around in it, but I tried to concentrate on the performance of the otherwise pretty stylish pullover, which is one of the best midweight fleece tops out there.
It’s also worth noting that this top tends to size quite small, which can be useful when used a mid layer, but if you’re in doubt, go for a size bigger than you usually take.
Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover: on the trails
Although most people will wear this fleece over the top of a base layer or hiking T-shirt, it’s worth mentioning that I found the Halfmoon pullover to be luxuriously comfortable when worn next to the skin.
I’ve been wearing the top for over 12 months now, for hiking and climbing adventures across all four seasons, and I think it makes a great outer layer when the days and evenings are dry, and a fantastic mid layer when worn beneath a wind- and waterproof jacket when conditions are a bit more challenging in the wilder winter months.
On test, I found the fleece to be exceptionally breathable, and I appreciated the half-length zip, which not only makes the garment easy to pull on and off, but also means you can quickly get rid of excess heat when you’re working hard on the hills and puffing and panting in the peaks.
This fleece doesn’t have thumb loops, which I think is an omission, but it does feature lycra cuffs that do a fairly decent job of preventing the sleeves from getting pulled up your arms when you wear it under an outer layer.
The 2023 version of the Halfmoon Pullover (I’ve been testing the 2022 model) has a toggle for pulling the hem tight too, which prevents the top riding up your back when you’re wearing a backpack, and keeps breezes at bay.
It has a high collar, which is great for keeping the chill off your neck, but there’s no hood (many people – myself included – prefer their mid layers to be sans hood, so I don’t see this as a problem).
There are ostensibly three zipped pockets on this fleece: a chest pocket and two hand pockets, but the latter actually meet in the middle, to form a large single pouch that you can use to store various big items. I found this very handy for carrying gloves and stashing sheet maps. The pocket zips have cord pull extensions to make them easy to operate with gloves on, which is another good functional feature.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.