66° North Tindur Fleece Review

The Presidential Mountain Range, especially Mount Washington, is known for some of the worst weather in the world – courtesy of the three major weather patterns that converge here. So, a lovely sunny day can turn into a brutally windy and cold nightmare in almost no time among these mountains. Heading into a full season of guiding along this daunting ridgeline, I needed a layer that would keep me toasty even if the temperatures plummeted. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to try the Tindur Shearling Fleece from 66º North.

Well, the weather lived up to its reputation, providing the perfect testing ground for the Tindur Fleece. But before I relate the results, let’s take a look at this product’s characteristics.

tindur fleece review
Photo Courtesy of 66º North

Tindur Fleece: At a Glance 

  • Material: 100% Polyester – Shearling Fleece and Polartec Wind Pro 
  • Colors: Dark Blue, Black, Rusty Orange 
  • Price: ~ $290.00 (€250.00)
  • Hood: No 
  • Pockets: Two side pockets and one chest pocket 

Intended Use

The Tindur Fleece is designed for those who refuse to let some chilly weather stand in their way. It can function as a standalone outer layer or part of a layering system. While my test focused on hiking and backpacking, this fleece is suitable for any number of activities or simply as an attractive-looking option for around town on cold days. 

Notable Features 

The Tindur fleece has a few important features to note that affect its functionality. These features are:

  • Articulated Shoulders and Elbows: Free range of motion for any activity 
  • Elastic Cinching Drawcords: Customize the fit 
  • Comfortably Long Sleeves: Complete coverage for maximum warmth
  • YKK Zippers: Durable and reliable

My Sizing

It’s important to note my sizing to put my review in context. For this review, I tested a large-sized Tindur fleece. Additionally, note that I’m 6 feet tall and carry 215 lbs on a large-chested frame. 

The Test 

My test hike took me the entire length of the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire from Mount Madison to Mount Jackson over two days. A quick trek, but certainly long enough to experience the region’s extraordinary weather firsthand. 

The infinitely rocky and exposed mountain range was whipping up winds to approximately 40 mph (64 kph) during our long hiking day when we covered about 16 miles (25.7 km) of exposed ridgeline. While the extreme wind and thunderstorms thwarted our summit attempt for Mount Washington, the highest of the presidential peaks at 6,288 ft, the Tindur fleece still got a taste of home. 

The stiff and brisk weather reminded me of a short visit to Iceland several years ago – where 66º North is based – and the fleece performed admirably in these conditions. 

A Beautiful View from the Presidential Traverse

Warmth 

Fleeces are designed to be your warm and cozy layer, and my very first task was to establish just how warm the Tindur Fleece keeps you. Well, I’m pleased to report that the answer is: extremely.

The Tindur Fleece did an outstanding job retaining my body heat and keeping me nice and toasty even as the windchill tried to do otherwise. Now, the fleece isn’t windproof, so I had another windproof layer working in tandem with the Tindur while we were up on the ridge. So as a mid-layer in tough conditions, the fleece performed beautifully. 

Enjoying the Nice Weather While it Lasts – Near Mount Adams

Later, when the wind died down at camp in the evening, the Tindur also held its own as a warm outer layer, and I never felt the need for additional layers or insulation. 

Comfort 

The polyester fleece was incredibly comfortable to wear. I never felt scratchy or itchy while wearing the Tindur on the trail. This soft interior lining covers both the chest and arms, and slipping into this fleece is just like curling up in your favorite fuzzy blanket back home. 

While a hood would have sealed the deal to make this fleece an indomitable outer layer in my eyes, I’m still delighted with its overall comfort. What’s more, I used it as my pillow at night, a further vote of confidence to its softness. 

Mobility

The Tindur’s shoulders and elbows are articulated to improve movement, and I noticed. My large 65-liter backpack often makes warm layers bunch up under my arms, but I had no such problems with this garment. I could backpack comfortably and never felt a single tug or pull from the fleece; it’s truly a fantastic design.

While not wearing a pack, I also found the design to be athletically spacious – perhaps a strange description, but let me explain. 

The fit was comfortable and snug, never bunching up around the mid-section nor tenting out at the waist – the elastic drawcords also do a great job of tailoring the fit. Meanwhile, the arms and shoulders are kept perfectly spacious for complete range of motion during outdoor adventures. Therefore, athletically spacious – nice and snug for a trim fit yet roomy enough for movement where it matters. 

Packability

For a backpacking trip or any adventure where space matters, packability may be the Tindur’s only weakness. The extra warm and soft fleece material does not noticeably compress when packing, leading to this clothing article taking up a lot of space in a backpack. The Tindur was by far the bulkiest clothing item in my bag on this trip. 

However, if you’re heading into chilly conditions, a slightly bulky but infinitely warm layer may well be worth its keep. 

Durability

We all want our clothes to last, and I believe my rough and rugged hike was a good indicator of how this fleece will hold up in the future. 

After my trip, I saw zero evidence of piling on the back of the fleece – where my backpack rubs. I also had no issues with the soft fleece snagging or seams failing. The YKK zipper is also a beast and never snagged nor acted finicky. Judging from its very hefty build, I expect this zipper to hold up for years and years of use. 

Considering all these points, I have to say that the Tindur Fleece has all the earmarks of an exceptionally designed and built garment that will perform season after season.

Very Warm and Comfortable, Even With a Pack

Now that we’ve covered the Tindur’s performance, let’s bring it all together with some Pros and Cons. 

Pros: 

  • Very warm – this is by far the warmest fleece I’ve ever tried. 
  • Comfortable – the Tindur is comfortable as a mid or outer layer. 
  • Range of Motion – I never once felt restricted in this fleece; the articulated shoulders provide excellent mobility. 

Cons: 

  • Bulky – the Tindur does not pack down well. Therefore, it takes up a lot of room in a backpack.
  • Expensive – The extreme warmth and comfort that his fleece offers come with a steep price tag. But if you have rough weather to adventure through, it may certainly be worth it. 

Final Thoughts

The Tindur Fleece is a premium garment designed to take cold weather head-on. After a two-day test through one of the most hazardous weather patterns in the country, I can attest to that extreme warmth and quality construction. 

However, this fleece comes at a steep price that may be a tough sell for the budget-minded adventurer. But a burly construction designed for the long haul plus the warm haven this fleece offers may well make it worth the investment. What’s more, the Tindur is by far the comfiest fleece I’ve ever tried. 

To me, the Tindur Fleece more than earned its place in my pack on this adventure. From a space-conscience backpacking guide like me, that’s very high praise, and I can’t wait to tackle more cold-weather adventures with this fleece in the future.

You can check out the Tindur Fleece here.  

This product was donated for the purpose of review.

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