What is Waterproof Fleece?

B. Miller

Waterproof fleece is a type of fabric designed to repel water and keep the wearer warm and dry. Fleece is not naturally a waterproof fabric, so anything made with fleece often needs to be lined with a fabric that is truly waterproof, and the seams must be sealed. Fleece is somewhat water-resistant on its own, however, so the type of garment worn largely depends on the manner in which it will be used.

A skier may choose to wear a waterproof fleece underneath a jacket.
A skier may choose to wear a waterproof fleece underneath a jacket.

Waterproof fleece is used in jackets, lined pants for the outdoors, gloves, boots, and hats, among others. It is lauded for its extreme warmth and wearability in many different situations, and it is available in virtually any color or pattern imaginable. Waterproof fleece garments exist for men, women, and children, and can be a great layering item for very cold days or may be worn independently on cool autumn or spring days, for example.

Waterproof fleece should remain breathable to prevent excessive sweating.
Waterproof fleece should remain breathable to prevent excessive sweating.

There are some downsides to waterproof fleece, however. First, its waterproof design can make it extremely hot, and these garments tend to lack breathability. It is important for any outdoor garment to be slightly breathable in order to prevent excessive sweating. In addition, though fleece in general washes very well, and holds up over time, the sealed seams in a waterproof garment can begin to separate after frequent washings. This type of fleece also tends to be more expensive than a standard fleece garment.

Items that contain waterproof fleece may be purchased in most sporting goods or outdoor stores. Some feature a warranty or satisfaction guarantee. If one finds that waterproof fleece is too uncomfortable to wear, it might be a better idea to wear a thin layer underneath designed to be waterproof and to wick away any sweat, and wear regular fleece on top simply for the warmth. This will probably be a much more effective and breathable solution.

Gloves, hats, and boots that are lined with waterproof fleece, however, tend to be very popular. This is because the outside of the item repels water while the inside keeps hands or feet warm. Fleece-lined outdoor items are great for hiking in the winter, or for other outdoor sports such as skiing or snowboarding. Before purchasing any items featuring waterproof fleece, it might be a good idea to read reviews online to determine if other customers are satisfied with their purchases, or ask an employee at a sporting goods store what he or she recommends for a particular activity.

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Discussion Comments


My husband was getting ready for a fishing trip in the northern part of the country. I knew he would need some good waterproof clothes to take with him, that would not only keep him warm, but also be waterproof.

There is a Bass Pro Shop near our house and I found a waterproof fleece jacket and pants that looked perfect. They worked well for the fishing trip because it ended being quite cool. I don't think they would have been his first choice if he had been doing a lot of activity, such as deer hunting, but for the fishing trip they worked great.


Our family was going on a snowmobile trip and I was looking for waterproof clothing that would also be warm. We were in a Cabelas store and saw some waterproof fleece gloves that looked like they would work.

The day we went snowmobiling it did not get above zero and was so cold. We bundled up and made the best of it and I was glad I had bought the gloves. Because it was so cold outside, it was hard to stay really warm, but the gloves did help keep our hands and fingers warm and were not too bulky.

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