Mid Layer for Women
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Humle Mid Layer for Women
Colours: Primula Striped/Timothy Green, Cobalt Striped/Dark Tulip, Ocean Striped/Hot Red, Grey Striped/Grapefruit
Weight: 495gms (Medium)
Features to Note:
- Fabric: 45% Wool/36 % Polyester/16% Polyamide/3% other fibers
- Extended back
- Fixed Hood
- Front pockets
- Thumb holes on cuffs
- Men's version available
- Made in China
With it's hooped colour way, the Bergan's Humle mid-layer certainly looks a little different from a standard fleece. Its fabric is Bergans' technical wool mix; this is a mixture of organic wool and synthetics aimed at providing the benefits of wool (particularly great warmth/weight efficiency, less static), with the benefits of synthetics. The net result is a fabric with a soft feeling interior, more robust feeling exterior and a very slight stretch.
The fit is true to size - I was wearing the medium and am usually a pretty standard size 12. It's a close fit so goes well over a baselayer and also fits easily under an outer layer. Both the body length and sleeve length are generous. The bottom hem and the sleeve cuffs are elasticated which help in maintaining a good snug feel.
There's also a close fitting hood which includes a simple size adjustment mechanism (basically a lace-like tie that runs around the edge of the hood, the ends of which did tend to flap around a little). With the hood up and the jacket fully zipped up, you are really quite cosy.
The full length, main zip has a decently sized baffle behind it. The zip pull could do with being slightly bigger for use with gloved hands.
The jacket is finished off with two, zipped hand-warmer pockets which have a soft, warm lining and are just about accessible when wearing a backpack.
Because of the slight stretch in the material, the freedom of movement is excellent and I didn't experience any riding up at all. It certainly works well as a thermal mid-layer or indeed - in dry weather - on its own over a decent baselayer . I've worn just the Humle over a Level 3 Damart base layer and been comfortable in a light/moderate (cold) wind at about 4-5 deg C. (I would describe myself as someone who does tend to 'feel the cold'!)
I've been wearing the Humle for low level walking, cycling ... and some heavy duty gardening in some cool-ish conditions (2-5 deg C) as part of a layering system, both with and without an outer layer and I've found the breathability to be perfectly acceptable. There are no pit zips so opening the front zip and/or pushing up sleeves are the main venting options available.
The wool component means (obviously) it needs to be washed as such so can't be tossed into the washing machine with the rest of the 40 deg wash. So compared with a fully synthetic garment, a little more care is needed on an ongoing basis. So far it's wearing well without any sign of pilling.
The Humle has a range of features you'd expect to find in a serious, technical fleece: its athletic fit, excellent freedom of movement, good thermal/breathability properties, some windproofness ... and its price. The only downside is - by virtue of its wool content - the lack of much rain resistance.
Expensive yes, but this is a very attractive looking, well performing, midlayer that is also great with just a baselayer in dry conditions. With excellent freedom of movement, it's an interesting alternative to a fully synthetic fleece for all year round walking. The hood is a great plus in colder conditions and is close fitting enough to work well as a thermal layer under a waterproof jacket hood. The Humle is also a fine option for more general, leisure use.
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What do you think?
Have you got/bought Bergans Humle Mid Layers for Women?
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• I have bought the same fleece, the men's version. Worn over a base layer, that is only comfortable down to 8C, in an ambient temperature of 3C I over heated badly after about 50 minutes of walking. So much so that I had to stop. When I took it off I found the outside of the shoulders glistening with droplets of water, so breathability is good. I consider it to be a lovely piece of kit but far too warm for anything other than casual use in UK conditions. However I do tend to run very hot.