Thank you for all in depth, thorough info Andrew, Stephen and Eric. I still have some questions and a little confusion, but things are starting to get clearer.
Exactly Greg, i've been looking at the MEC ones and yeah some of them are reasonable and affordable for me until you add in the 20 dollar shipping and 5 dollar fee to join (no biggy if i think i'll be shopping there in the near future too). Unfortunately, i don't really need much more gear and so the shipping price is putting it a little out of reach.
Some thoughts in relation to the above posts by the above folks. Yes, i realize that "Power dry" is quite a variable thing, but i'm only interested in the grid fleece stuff at this point. I have some Polartec power dry silkweight baselayers, and yes totally different than grid fleece.
Melanzana and Fox Wear also use Grid fleece from Polartec Power dry and these are fairly reasonable including shipping, but i'm just curious how they compare to the holy grail of Patagonia Cap 4 hoody, or even the MEC stuff?
Eric, my understanding so far is that the grid fleeces, especially the ones with more void and loftier fuzz, is significantly warmer per weight than the regular fleeces--at least with a windshirt involved because it traps more still air space with less material/fiber, kind of like a fishnet. But since these are so breathable, you need the windshirt to get their true warmth.
I have a pair of grid fleece baselayer pants and they are surprisingly warm for their weight, but i don't think they are the high efficiency Power dry, but just the regular.
Ok, so you folks with more knowledge and experience can you check this hoody out?
Here's the link: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/terramar-grid-fleece-30-thermolator-hoodie-sweatshirt-upf-50-plus--for-women~p~5958r/?filterString=s~grid-fleece%2F&colorFamily=01
I can get this for a nice price of 23.06 not including shipping but STP is reasonable there usually.
It has the thumb holes, hood, etc and it weighs 11 oz (ok, not near as light as the Patagucci and MEC stuff). Isn't it possible that Terramar is using Polartec sourced material, but not listing it to save money? My understanding is that companies often buy material from other companies like Polartec and they can do one of two things. They can just buy the material for cheaper and not advertise the name brand involved, OR they can pay some extra money for the tags and the permission to use that name brand label. However, i'm not completely sure about this.