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REI Co-op Trailmade Fleece - Women's Review

A jack of all trades, this budget fleece boasts a stretchy, relaxed fit with average performance at a great price
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REI Co-op Trailmade Fleece - Women's Review
Credit: Natalie Kafader
Price:  $60 List
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Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Amber King ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 24, 2024
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 5.5
  • Comfort - 25% 7.5
  • Breathability - 20% 5.5
  • Layering Ability - 15% 6.5
  • Weight - 15% 8.7

Our Verdict

The REI Co-op Trailmade is a low-priced traditional polyester fleece that scores about average in almost every metric. This fleece functions as a stand-alone piece and in a layered system. While working remotely daily, it quickly became a favorite to wear inside the house and out due to its soft, plush fabrics. We tested it while downhill skiing, running, and hiking in the mountains of Colorado through the winter. We also wore it while traveling in Mexico in warm environments. Through the seasons, it outshines many others, earning accolades for its performance. It's best for low to medium-output activities and layers well with most pieces. We also love its massive pockets and low price point. You've come to the right place if you're looking for a standard, softer than usual fleece at a reasonable price. Compare it to others we tested in our fleece jacket review.
REASONS TO BUY
Price
Stand-alone warmth
Super soft fabrics
Layering over and under
Stretchy and lightweight feel
REASONS TO AVOID
Fabric pilling
Bigger fit may not work for all
Not suited for sweaty mission

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $60 List
$59.95 at REI
$169.00 at Evo
Compare at 3 sellers
$48.92 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$65 List
$44.99 at Amazon
$29 List
$28.50 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line A simple budget polyester fleece boasting soft fabrics and a cozy designA very versatile fleece that offers lightweight comfort and breathability but midweight warmthIf you seek a lightweight fleece that thermoregulates well at a great price, take a ganderA classic pullover with a simple design offering a relaxed fit, cozy vibe, and much to love for a lower priceA super warm fleece without many bells and whistles, this low-cost option is a good one if you're looking for simplicity
Rating Categories REI Co-op Trailmade Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Outdoor Research Vi... Columbia Benton Spr... Amazon Essentials F...
Warmth (25%)
5.5
7.5
6.5
7.0
6.0
Comfort (25%)
7.5
9.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
Breathability (20%)
5.5
8.0
7.5
4.0
3.0
Layering Ability (15%)
6.5
7.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Weight (15%)
8.7
8.2
9.0
7.3
6.2
Specs REI Co-op Trailmade Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Outdoor Research Vi... Columbia Benton Spr... Amazon Essentials F...
Measured Weight 10.1 oz (Size S) 10.7 oz (Size S) 9.8 oz (Size M) 11.4 oz (Size M) 12.5 oz (Size M)
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight Midweight
Main Material 100% recycled polyester 100% recycled polyester 94% polyester, 6% spandex 100% polyester 100% polyester
Hood Option No Yes No No No
Number of Pockets 2 hand, 2 interior 2 hand, 1 chest 1 chest None 2 hand
Features Relaxed fit, double-layer collar, large pockets Off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, moisture-wicking Thumbholes, UPF 30, moisture-wicking, off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, chin guard Comfort stretch, extended collar Double-sided knit fabric, polar fleece, plush materials
Cuff Construction LYCRA spandex binding Quick-drying woven binding Elastic cuff Elastic cuff Elastic cuff

Our Analysis and Test Results

The REI Co-op Trailmade is a low-cost midweight fleece with a nice balance of warmth, breathability, and comfort. It is versatile, offering functionality during high-output activities in cold weather, while the soft fleece material feels marvelous against the skin. It does well through all the seasons.

Performance Comparison


rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - the rei trailmade is a cozy fleece with a light design that keeps...
The REI Trailmade is a cozy fleece with a light design that keeps you cozy and warm. Whether you're hiking the trails or hanging out with your favorite pup, it's a no-brainer. Plus, the price is right.
Credit: Amber King

Warmth


As a midweight fleece, this jacket offers an average amount of warmth. Built with 94% polyester and 6% spandex, it generates heat with movement and offers complete coverage of arms and torso to keep you toasty in cold weather. Wind can move through the fabric as a standalone jacket, so it's best to wear it with a base layer in cooler weather. It's a perfect midweight layer in a layered system, doing well in our testing on the downhill ski slopes and while hiking through wintery forest landscapes.


During our wind tests, we wore this jacket on a particularly windy day. Donning only a sports bra and this jacket, we braved the wind, immediately feeling it through the fabric. While not the most windproof, it still offered some protection, earning just an average score overall.

rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - we appreciate the larger zipper with a fleece-lined chin protector...
We appreciate the larger zipper with a fleece-lined chin protector for added comfort.
Credit: Amber King

While we like the full zip design and the protective zipper barrier on the chin, we do wish it had an adjustable hem. While the hem is elastic and does hug the hips, you can't cinch it down to protect from the wind. Overall, this jacket is relatively warm as a standalone and layered piece, but it's far from the warmest in our lineup.

rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - while this is categorized as a midweight fleece, it feels lighter in...
While this is categorized as a midweight fleece, it feels lighter in design.
Credit: Amber King

Comfort


The Trailmade has a lightweight feel with midweight warmth, making it an especially comfortable piece. The super-soft fabrics feel nice against the skin, while the flat seam construction doesn't chafe or cause discomfort. The fabric's stretch flows with the body, leaving you without any restriction. While this has a relaxed fit, it does fit a bit large, so if you're on the fence between sizes, we recommend sizing down. Given these features, it scores above average in this category.


Another feature that any human can appreciate is functional pockets. This fleece has huge hand-warming pockets that will fit a large wallet or Smartphone, and it also has a couple of interior pockets that we could use for more oversized items like a letter or a small water bottle.

Zipper pockets are great for storing items without risking them...
Zipper pockets are great for storing items without risking them falling out.
Inside pocket, perfect for holding your phone or snacks.
Inside pocket, perfect for holding your phone or snacks.
The sleeves on this jacket are quite long.
The sleeves on this jacket are quite long.
A few features of the REI Co-op Trailmade. The pockets are large and useful, and the sleeves are a good length.

The fit is a little large. The size small felt a bit big on our size six tester, who usually sits between a small and medium. There is also plenty of space in the shoulders with additional stretch in the fabric to accommodate most body types. The arms felt long enough, and they didn't slip too far down when they reached overhead. Overall, it has a nice, relaxed fit, adding to its comfort level.

rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - the size small on this size 6 tester (5"5') fits just right.
The size small on this size 6 tester (5"5') fits just right.
Credit: Amber King

Breathability


Constructed of mainly polyester, it has an average level of breathability. While the materials allow wind to pass through easily, heat and moisture can get trapped in the fabric. This is due to its midweight construction — so it's not our go-to for super sweaty adventures. It functions well for medium to low-output activities like hiking on cooler days. Its ventilation primarily comes from its large pockets, the full zip design, and through the fabric itself.


During our tests, we wore the Trailmade while jogging in cool weather and hiking in winter. During our hiking tests, we realized this fleece is truly made for the trail. It ventilated perfectly for that output level and kept our skin dry, making us warm and comfortable.

rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - the fabrics are a little thinner offering breathability right...
The fabrics are a little thinner offering breathability right through the fabric.
Credit: Amber King

While this fleece is nice for hiking, it's not great for other activities in cool weather, like running. During our running tests, we had to remove it after 15 minutes. Given this performance, it's not the top fleece we recommend for challenging high-output missions where you might build up a lot of sweat. However, it's excellent for medium-output activities like hiking on less strenuous terrain.

Layering Ability


Earning another “about average” score, the Trailmade layers easily under and over other layers. Since the material is polyester without slick nylon or tech fabrics, it can catch on other soft layers. The cuffs are elastic without thumb holes but long enough to grasp the wrist material while pulling layers on and off.


When testing for layering ability, we tried this fleece over all types of base layers: short sleeves, tank tops, polyester long sleeves, and more. We also tried it with super plump insulated jackets, shells, and thinner tight jackets. Through these tests, we learned that this fleece slides easily over most layers. There is also enough room to add another light mid-layer if you wish. As for layering over, most jackets worked well except for the tight and thin ones due to a bit of bunching in the arms. Overall, it works well with most layered systems.

Layering over the REI Co-op Trailmade fleece is simple.
Credit: Amber King

Weight


While this fleece is midweight, it feels lightweight, and the scales support this observation. A size small only weighs 10.10 ounces, making it very light. It also packs to a relatively small size, making it easy to throw into a pack or suitcase. Given its lightweight construction, it scores relatively high in this category.


rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - not only is this jacket light, it's also packable.
Not only is this jacket light, it's also packable.
Credit: Amber King

Should You Buy the REI Co-op Trailmade?


This traditional fleece scores average in almost every category, making it a pretty traditional fleece jacket. It is cozy and comfortable, with functionality on and off the trail. While it's not our go-to for high-output sports, it is undoubtedly a gem if you're seeking a more traditional, thinner fleece at a good price.

rei co-op trailmade fleece for women - a cozy midweight fleece with a lightweight feel. an excellent choice...
A cozy midweight fleece with a lightweight feel. An excellent choice if you are seeking a comfort piece that will perform through the seasons, all at a fair price.
Credit: Amber King

What Other Fleece Jackets for Women Should You Consider?


If you are searching for a fleece that will keep you warm when it's cold outside, no other beats The North Face Denali. While not as breathable as the REI Trailmade, it is a lot warmer and thicker. If you're instead searching for fleece that will help tag along for big missions in the mountains or high-output sports like cold weather running, the Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody is one of our favorites. If a well-priced technical fleece is what you seek, look no further than the Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Quarter Zip.

Amber King