Lots of fleece options out there, kids. Lots. With so many options to choose from, the water can sometimes seem muddy with no clear choice. On the other hand, with so many options and variations to choose from, you can have your pick of exactly what you want. When it comes to products from GoLite, you know you’re getting a great performer that’s using more and more sustainable or recycled fabrics throughout the line.

The GoLite Vermillion Thermal top is a great option for a lightweight, versatile and affordable fleece top. With a 1/3 zip top, athletic fit and a small rear pocket wrapped up in Cocona Minerale™ blended fleece.

GoLite Vermillion Thermal Features

  • Fabric Content: 35% Cocona Minerale / 65% Polyester Brushed Fleece
  • Auto-locking 1/3 zip front
  • Small stash pocket on right hip
  • Soft brushed fleece interior
  • Colors: Twilight Blue/Charcoal, Red Rock/Charcoal (tested), Charcoial, Black/Charcoal
  • Weight: 10 oz.
  • MSRP: $90

Mens GoLite Vermillion Fleece Top Review

GoLite Vermillion Thermal 1/3-zip Fleece Jacket Review

The Vermillion is a simple, yet effective mid or outer layer jacket for many activities. The natural performance of the Cocona Minerale fleece-blend is excellent. The outer face is tightly-woven for excellent wind protection while the inside is brushed to wick away moisture quickly and efficiently. With Cocona, you get natural moisture wicking kick-buttedness combined with anti-microbial qualities as well. Translation: it wears well under pressure and doesn’t get smelly after repeated use.

Another nicety is that the Minerale fabric is baked-into the fabric content. So, its natural performance won’t wash out or wear with time.

The fit of the size Large was excellent (5’11” and 175 lbs) as a mid or outer layer. Had I wanted to use this primarily as a base layer, I could have sized down to the Medium for a more svelte fit. On a related note, when putting the Vermillion on top of another long-sleeve base layer, it can be a bit difficult due to the brushed lining. If your base layers have thumb holes, you’ll be fine, otherwise it’s quite a chore. Once situated, you’re golden… just a few moments of frustration. The only other negative I found was the lack of a zipper pull, which made it difficult for my glove-laden mitts to zip or unzip the front.

I really appreciated the moisture-wicking capabilities of the Vermillion during sunny-but-cold (30-35 degrees) trail runs. The jacket maintains warmth when wet and doesn’t feel cold next to the skin. The fit is comfortable and the overall package is stylish enough to wear around town or to the office without looking out of place.

Stiff winds will penetrate the fabric, but 5-10 mph breezes are kept completely at bay. There seems to be no DWR (Durable Water Resistance) treatment to the exterior, so moisture just soaks right in–keep that in mind if you intend to use it as an outer layer.

Good Vermillion

  • Perfect cut and fit for mid or outer layer… size down for base/mid layer use
  • Excellent wind resistance
  • Excels at moisture management
  • Back zipper pocket is perfect stash for keys or Polar G3 GPS unit
  • Flatlock stitching for extra comfort
  • Smooth styling

Bad Vermillion

  • Front zipper is nearly impossible to grab with gloves on
  • Good luck putting it on top of a loose-fitting long-sleeve base layer–almost an exercise in futility unless they have thumb holes
  • Minimal water resistance

Bottom Line: GoLite Vermillion Thermal Fleece Jacket

A simple fleece jacket to have on-hand for a base layer for backcountry skiing or outer layer while trail running or mountain biking. The price is right and the GoLite brand ensures you’re keeping things light on the planet.

Buy Now: Find Fleece Jackets at Backcountry.com (GoLite is out of business)

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


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    • Hard to say. I haven’t used this one a ton since then, but I do have a ton of similar fleece jackets at my disposal. I wish I could say that I’ve continued to use it, but alas, I haven’t. I’m not your typical wearer, so take my non-usage with a grain of salt. It is a nice fleece.

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