Dannah - Fleece

The Dannah Fleece on test in the Swiss Alps (©Gregory Trottet)
Rating: **** (4 stars)

Recommended Retail Price: £85 from Dannah

It would be difficult to review this jacket without first introducing Dannah as they are a relative newcomer to the outdoor market. This by no means indicates a lack of experience, however, with Richard (the founder), having around 20 years' experience as a product designer for various high calibre outdoor brands. Having felt restricted by the constraints of designing for a major brand, Richard has ventured off to create Dannah where he can create garments which are 100% built for purpose without needing to compromise in contrast to larger brands which in some cases resort to designing high street garments under the guise of outdoor pieces in following with market trends. Currently based out of the Isle of Bute, a strong focus of the company is to keep things local and sustainable which has been achieved with their Scottish made alpine jacket.Unfortunately, due to a lack of appropriately skilled local labour, the fleece has been made in China, this is, however, something that the company are looking into and will hopefully change in the future.

Available in a neon green, the fleece is an ideal piece if you like the bright continental look.... (©Joe Trottet)
The Dannah fleece is a mid-layer which makes use of POLARTEC® Power
Grid™ Technology which gives a low bulk and weight clothing piece for good warmth. It weighs in at 297g for a medium and is available in both a subtle asphalt grey or a loud and in your face neon green. It uses an articulated patterning technique which reduces the number of seams and hence allows the grid pattern of the POLARTEC® Power Grid™ to effectively wick moisture (seams act as barriers). It is designed specifically for climbers which a shorter cut at the front and a long hem at the back, so it fits well with a harness.

There’s a lot to like with this fleece. The fit is close and athletic with a low volume neck, so it doesn’t contribute to neck ‘bulk’ when used in conjunction with multiple layers. It comes it a good value when compared to the directly competing Mountain Equipment Eclipse Hoody. The material is great and we have found it to wick better than standard homogenous fleece material, it is however still a fleece so can get sweaty. As of yet with 4 months of testing, we have not noticed it getting smelly as some other fleeces we have owned which scores bonus points. The fleece also features a chest pocket we quite like as it is modest enough to be discrete but capable of fitting some of the larger smartphones.

Also available in a more subtle asphalt grey. Shown here with a bulky phone in the chest pocket (©Joe Trottet)
Our only gripes with the Dannah fleece are that we found the cut to be a little short so it isn’t very suitable for people with larger torsos. This is intentional in the design for its compatibility with harnesses, however, this can create cold gaps when used as part of a winter layering system. The other gripe is that it is not available with a hood. This doesn’t pose any particular problems for this reviewer as they prefer not to use a hooded fleece but some people do so it may be a sticking point.

Things we like:
POLARTEC® Power Grid™, Cut, Features, Slick Design

Things we don’t like: Cut too short