Amongst the more stylish fleece options in this category, the Performance Better Sweater Hoody excels in this metric. Its slim cut and low-profile zippers allow it to fit nicely under a wind layer or a hardshell — much better than the Arc'teryx Covert Hoody , which has stiff, annoying pocket zippers. It also layers much better than the bulky The North Face Denali 2 . Underneath the Better Sweater , you're not likely to want anything thicker than a light base layer. The Patagonia Crosstek Hoody has fewer pockets and flat seam construction, making it a better layering piece.
The Patagonia Quandary pants are a slim fitting but highly mobile pant that does a great job protecting from the sun, wind, or light rain, and look good enough to rock in town as well as on the trail. Due to their fit, they may not be the favorite of larger guys, but do a good job of offsetting their sleekness with stretchy fabrics. Despite being the most affordable hiking pant in this review, there is absolutely no compromise being made when selecting these pants, which we would happily recommend for all styles of hiking from day hikes to long treks.