It may lack the technical features of more expensive rivals, but the functional and lightweight Keela Micro Pulse top top does the job, and this is a versatile no frills fleece for year-round use.
- Flatlock seams for comfort
- Stand-up collar
- Deep neck zip with chin guard
- Lightweight microfleece provides only modest warmth
- Cuffs and hem a little baggy
The Micro Pulse Top from Scottish outdoor brand Keela is a no-nonsense sort of layer. It is made from soft and cosy 100-weight polyester microfleece, which is a proven fabric that balances comfort and performance. A half zip at the neck enables you to pull the top on and off easily, while also affording a bit of venting if you do start to overheat on those more strenuous uphill climbs.
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The zipper has an easy-grab puller and there’s a soft chin guard at the top to minimise irritation. You also get a stand-up collar to lock in heat and ward off any chilly gusts. Otherwise, that’s about it, although the thoughtfully designed panel construction ensures there are no awkwardly placed seams – and those that are necessary are flatlock stitched to avoid bulk and prevent chafing.
The Keela Micro Pulse comes in a selection of muted, earthy colorways that’ll suit bushcrafters and birdwatchers, as well as a couple more vibrant options to help hillwalkers and mountaineers stand out in the great outdoors – just in case of a Mountain Rescue call-out or, more likely, an unmissable adventurous Instagram shot. Pleasingly it’s also available in a very wide of range of sizes, from XXS to XXXL for men, and a UK 8 to 22 for women. And at £29.95, it won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet either.
• RRP: £30 (UK)
• Fabric: Zetland 100-weight polyester microfleece
• Sizes: Men’s: 2XS–3XL; Women’s: UK 8–22
• Weight (men’s size L): 272g/9.59oz
• Colours: Men: Red and black / Persian blue / Wolf grey, Moss / Navy / Black; Women: Berry / Calypso blue / Red and black / Persian blue / Wolf grey, Moss / Navy / Black
In the field
Other reviewers have commented that the fit of the Keela Micro Pulse top is slim, and the brand calls it a ‘flattering tailored fit’, but strangely in our standard size we found it to be a little loose. Still, it was perfectly suitable for use as a mid layer, with just enough length in the arms and body. We appreciated the scooped rear hem too, which offers a little additional coverage. The fabric is extremely soft and comfortable, but seems to be reasonably durable, with no evident wear even after a couple of months of testing. There is no cuff or hem elastication though, and we did find these started to go a little baggy over time. The 100-weight microfleece fabric means this is a layer that offers only limited warmth, but it is quite breathable, so it works well as part of a layering system. The flatlock seams also help in this regard, as it fits easily under a shell. All in all, it’s a simple but effective fleece top that will come in handy all year round.
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