Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket

Posted by: momo

Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/22/08 11:08 PM

I'm in the quest to find an insulation layer and in need of some opinions on the Campmor Polartec 200 Fleece jacket. I know this is specific to each person, but to what ballpark temperature range does this jacket keep you warm (assuming wearing underwear and base layers)? Is there a huge difference in quality and durability between the Polartec 200 and 300 fabric? There definitely is in the price ($29.99 for a 200 jacket vs $165 for a North Face Denali!) Any opinions would be appreciated!
Posted by: Pika

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/23/08 05:26 AM

I have made jackets of both the 200 and 300 weight Polartec. The fabrics are of the same quality just of different thicknesses. I no longer use either jacket; I much prefer quilted insulation layers either with down or synthetic insulation. I frequently use a lightweight (8 oz) Polartec 100 microfiber pullover for cold weather hiking when my merino wool base layer is not quite warm enough. The thing I don't like about either of the thicker fleeces is that they are heavy for their insulation value and they are bulky in your pack.
Posted by: layla17

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/23/08 06:29 AM

Great thoughts Pika. I've noticed the same thing as far as the insulation thickness in correlation to the amount of warmth. I prefer down insulation personally.
Posted by: BarryP

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/23/08 06:38 AM

“Campmor Polartec 200 Fleece jacket”

I have a very similar Columbia fleece jacket (16.5oz). I have seen nothing breathe better than fleece. That helps with sweat management. What will it keep you warm to? You’re right, it is individual but I would say about 50-55F. However, if I put a 3oz windbreaker over it, I stay warm down to 35F.

But like Pika pointed out, there are lighter and warmer options now, but at a cost <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />.
I discovered (through ideas from this sight) something warmer, lighter, compacts much more, and almost as breathable. The ‘U.L. Thermawrap Action’ breathes through its sides. I love its elastic waist so it hugs you. The extended wrists keep out wind when wearing gloves (a common entrance point). That has been nice. I backpack in this for 30F and above. At camp at 30F, I also don a wind jacket and wind pants and some down booties (with my sandals <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />) and I stay very comfortable; lightweight and warm on a cool night feels great!

Posted by: StepChld

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/23/08 08:02 AM

This past weekend I was good down to 16F with a simple mid-weight baselayer thermal top, 100wt. fleece shirt from Campmor, (here's the strange part) a liner from a M-65 military jacket, and a zippered vest that has fleece on the inside and a windbarrier on the outside. Of course a good hat and gloves rounded it all out.
I thought I wanted the exact fleece you mentioned but have found the above clothes more versatile and lighter. The quilted liner packs really small and is very lightweight. Cost was about $15 at an Army/Navy store.
Posted by: momo

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/25/08 08:29 PM

Looks like a very warm system. I'll have to look out for those army liner jackets next time I visit the surplus store. Thanks for the tip.
Posted by: Capoken

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/27/08 05:08 PM

You can also score them cheap on ebay. They sell them in black sometimes too. Take advantage of the government surplus and save a bunch over the overpriced gear industry. I like it.

Also, SGT Rock posted on that he trimmed down a pair of the equivilent trouser liners. Smart!
Posted by: StepChld

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/28/08 12:59 PM

Trouser liners...I like it!
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
Forgot to tell you , my liner is black although they had green but I was thinking better heating with a darker material.
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/28/08 11:08 PM


I own an REI Polartec 200 weight jacket. It's got a lot of nice features and I'd say it's "OK" but not real warm, except under a shell. Bought it before 300 weight Polartec came out.
Wanna buy it? $25. (plus shipping) and it's yours, pit zips, shoulder reinforcements & all. Dark green W/ black fabric trim.

My EMS Polartec 300 weight jacket is WARM, esp. when worn under my GTX mountain parka. It has as many features as the REI jacket. It's my fav insulating layer when alpine ski resorts get very cold.

Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/29/08 01:31 PM

PolarTec is a registered trademark and has recently been purchased by a company named Mill Textiles and they have continued to manufacture the 100, 200, & the 300, still under the PolarTec name.
The jacket that you are referring to is a very very nice jacket for $30.00 I have two of them and if you do wear a good decent base layer this jacket can keep you warm in some pretty nasty temps...The 200 is designed to wear as an outer layer because it has all kinds of outside pockets like hand warmer pockets and such. I have a bright yellow one and a dark green one. They are both very warm and well worth the $30.00 bucks.. If you go to ( you can find all of the products that were once made by the PolarTec Company.... They manufacture some very high tech materials and they are very functional too. Can't beat PolarTec for staying warm (and dry) by using the correct layering.. I use the 100 (tops & bottoms) to sleep inside my sleeping bag and it really helps to raise the temp of you bag regardless how high or low it is rated....Hope this helps...Happy Trekking....sabre11004

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/29/08 01:39 PM

I don't get this stuff of only being able to wear Polar Tec in 35 degree weather?????? That's crazy!!!! I have been out in 15 degree weather in one 100 wt. PolarTec base layer and a 200 wt. jacket over it with the addition of a windbreaker and I have never gotten cold with that on. I have been in some fairly low temps (5-20 degrees) and as long as I have the old PolarTec on I never get cold. I wear it religiously too. Almost every where I go I at least have it with me except for in the spring and summer....PolarTec is really good stuff. As long as I use it I never get cold. Hope this helps....sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: BarryP

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/30/08 08:06 AM

“I don't get this stuff of only being able to wear Polar Tec in 35 degree weather?????? That's crazy!!!!”

Thanks. I’m used to being called crazy. I think you just have a way higher metabolism than I; and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just prefer stuff that’s lighter, warmer, and compacts more.

HYOH. -Barry
Posted by: Serac

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 01/30/08 08:34 AM

Really an interesting read between this thread and the down jacket thread. My experience is that a 100 weight garment is perfect for me while moving in cold weather. It packs better too. I usually wear a wicking layer with a Polartec 100 jacket as my standard. Was out snowshoeing in low teens (F) this last weekend with this system and kept completely warm. I also go with a Polartec 100 pair of pants. For long stops, a puff layer keeps me warm. I also carry a lightweight Primaloft vest that can be added to the fleece if conditions warrent it, and while skiing I often substitute the vest for the jacket to give my arms some additional movement freedom. Bottom line is that puff layers (down or synthetic) are my "non-aerobic" insulation layer, with light fleece my "aerobic" layer. Now if I were climbing Everest or something, that down climbing suit might be more appropriate, but in stuff just a stone's throw from zero F (either direction) I like my system.
Posted by: just_another_Joe

Re: Campmor Polartec 200 Jacket - 02/07/08 07:07 PM

I too wear an Army surplus, jacket liner over 100 wt. fleece and under a wind shell. I like the slick nylon for easy movement and the combo is light, packs small, and is versatile. Twenty five years ago, fleece was a big step forward from thick, heavy wool. Now, if you start weighing your clothing, thick fleece gets left at home.