The Thermarator Fleece from Columbia Sportswear is a great, all-purpose jacket for most Spring and Fall days, and should work for most on milder winter days as well. Whether hitting the trail for a light hike or bike ride, or out running errands around town, this jacket will keep you comfortable and warm. It also makes for a nice layer under a performance outer shell when the temperatures start to dip or the wind gets brisk.
I have been wearing the versatile Thermarator Fleece on a pretty regular basis over the past few weeks now, and am pleased with its performance. I have worn it on a few light hikes, but for the most part, it has been my go-to jacket for casual, daily wear. In my experience, the ideal temperature range for the jacket is between 40F and 60F. If you are on a fairly rigorous hike or a moderate run, this jacket will probably be okay at slightly cooler temps, and will likely be too warm at temperatures above 50F…with the main variable being the wind. My one gripe about this jacket is its lack of wind protection. While many of the Columbia fleece jackets have a liner that cuts the wind, unfortunately the Thermarator does not.
Overall, the Thermarator is a nice, well-built jacket. The medium-weight fleece is soft and has a nice comfortable feel to it. The interior of the jacket is lined with their Omni-Heat technology, a fairly new innovation from Columbia that is being implemented on a wide variety of their product lines. Omni-Heat is a thermal reflectivity system that was designed to trap body heat and claims to keep you 20 percent warmer than regular fleece. As mentioned above, this jacket can act as a solid layer under a more robust outer shell, and is equipped with the 3-point Interchange System to allow for connection to compatible Columbia jackets. The jacket also features zip-closed pockets and an easy access zippered arm pocket, and the drawcord adjustable hem and Velcro cuffs on the sleeves help to keep out cool drafts. The Thermarator has four colors to choose from (red, charcoal, black, and blue), and retails for $100. The Thermarator Fleece is a solid choice if you are looking for a comfortable, versatile, medium-weight jacket, and do not require windproofing.