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EMS Divergence Fleece Jacket : Super Fleece

I have to admit that as much as I love the feel of fleece, I've never found a fleece jacket that was as functional as I wanted it to be. My fleece jackets were warm and fuzzy, but too bulky to wear under a rain shell.

Now that I've found the EMS Divergence jacket, I have a jacket for all seasons. This mid-weight jacket is made out of WindPro™ fleece, with Power Stretch® panels along the sides and shoulders. The result is a slim-fitting jacket that hugs my body, but allows me a greater range of mobility than an ordinary boxy fleece jackets. Both fabrics block the wind, and the stretch panels also help with moisture management.

Now that it's cold out, I wear this jacket every day because I love the close fit and the supersoft fleece. I recently wore it on a car camping trip, and I didn't take it off the entire time. On a windy day during a ferry crossing, I was a bit cold (I should have worn a thicker t-shirt underneath),but I thought the jacket did a good job of breaking the wind.

In addition to the athletic fit and performance fabric, I think my favorite features are the smaller details that I started to notice when the temps started dropping. My neck always gets cold, so I really love that when I zip up this jacket, the collar becomes a snug neck warmer. With other jackets, I have to constantly push my neck into the collar or wear a scarf -- not with the Divergence jacket. It's built to keep me warm with no fussing around.

I also like the fitted cuffs, which are made from an inch and a half wide band of the same material used in the stretch panels. These cuffs do an excellent job of keeping out the weather while also keeping my wrists perfectly comfortable. This jacket also has a tiny ergonomic zipper pull on the front zipper--a tiny thing, really, but I noticed it.

With two zippered side pockets, a chest pocket, and inner pouch pockets underneath the side pockets, I've got plenty of room to carry my digital camera, wallet, and a Lara bar.

Best of all, I can easily wear a rain shell over this jacket during a downpour.

NOTE: I think EMS jackets may run a bit big, or maybe they just have a different cut to them. I'm usually a size L in women's outerwear, but both of the EMS jackets I've tested have been size M.

Bottom Line: I love this jacket; it's a very versatile staple piece of outdoor wear. I also think it's priced lower and offers just as much, if not more, as many similar (but more expensive) jackets out there.--E.D. (Oct '05)

Price: $125 (currently on sale for $100)

Manufacturer's Site:



Plan a Hike : Start Your Free Trial Now!

When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.

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