Polarmax Comp 4 Tech Fleece Crew / Tights
- Crew: Large
- Tights: Medium
- Heavyweight 4-way Acclimate dry stretch fabric
- Tech outer, brushed fleece interior
- Anti-Microbial, anti-odor
- Flat Seam construction
- Made in the USA
Crew MSRP: $50
Tight MSRP: $50
Reviewer Info: 6’2”, 160 lbs.
Days Tested: ~30 in the tights and ~10 in the crew
Locations Tested: Snowbird, Alta, UT; Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Copper, Winter Park, Telluride, Crested Butte, CO; Taos, NM
Last week, we published a review of the Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight crew and tights. Now we take a look at another set of base layers on the market made from Polarmax’s Comp 4 Tech Fleece.
Fit / Sizing
The Polarmax Comp 4 Tech Fleece layers fit very differently than the baggy base layers I often wear. The tights are skin tight, and the crew was also form fitting.
I wore a size large in the crew and a medium in the tights, sizes I usually wear across all brands. While the tights fit me well, the upper torso and arms of the crew were tight, while the shoulders and waist were pretty loose. This might not be an issue for someone with broad shoulders, but it didn’t work well for me.
The fabric of the Comp Tech 4 Fleece crew definitely performs well. The skintight base layers were easy to layer over in cold conditions, and were surprisingly warm given their thickness, which is only slightly bulkier than a jersey fabric base layer. I found I could wear these layers by themselves in temperatures between about 30-45 degrees F, and since they have such a tight fit, I could add enough layers that I’d be warm on below-freezing days.
I’ve used the tights for hiking, ultimate frisbee, and under jeans on below-freezing days, making these products some of the most versatile layering pieces I’ve used. The brushed fleece interior wicked sweat away from my skin well, but the dense outer “tech face” does make these layers less breathable—but more wind resistant. When I wore it as an outer layer, the Comp 4 Tech Fleece fabric felt surprisingly wind-proof.
I’ve put the tights through the ringer and they’ve stood up to the abuse well. (Since the crew doesn’t fit me as well, I’ve put less time in it.) What the heavy outer face fabric may give up in breathability, it gains in durability. I’ve fallen and slid on turf, grass, and snow, and I have yet to notice much damage.
I did hear the elastic on the tights rip as I was putting them on for the first time, so exercise a little care, but the waist doesn’t seem to have gotten any bigger.
Overall, the Polarmax Comp 4 Tech Fleece crew and tight have an athletic fit, they don’t restrict my movements, and they’re warm without being heavy. While not the most breathable mid-weight fabric I’ve worn, it’s useful for a variety of athletic uses—much more so than standard long johns—because of the tough face fabric.
If performance is the most important criteria for you, the Patagonia Cap 4 does wick sweat and breathe better than the Polarmax. But the Polarmax wins on price—both the crew and the tights are $30 less than the Patagonia products—and they have a tighter, more athletic fit.