For years I moved away from fleece because of its perceived issues -- thick/bulky, not windproof but I'm glad to say I'm back in the fold again, because it turns out it's weaknesses also make for its greatest strengths.
Last week I spent some time up in the mountains and fleece literally made my day. Besides the legendary R1/Houdini combo I had elected on a whim to take an old 200 or 300wt fleece vest I had recently rediscovered amongst my old clothes and much to my surprise it enhanced my hike quite a bit beyond what I'd expected.
It was pretty darn cold at times... a touch too cold for just the R1/Houdini, and so the fleece vest went on top. I experienced a few incredible things. Despite the vest making me a bit too warm at times and snow persistently melting on me, I never got more than a little damp from sweat, and more importantly, my back seemed to dry faster by having a greater buffer between it and the pack.
The vest never seemed to wet out either - last year when I used my Primaloft vest (which I treasure) I found it would get completely drenched at times and take a long time to dry, often freezing instead. I left my vest out in the snow on the last night of the trip out of curiosity, and much to my surprise, while it was a little bit crisp the next day, a quick shake and it was quite ready to wear again.
So I think there's something to be said for the thicker weight fleece, even though many of us have long ago abandoned it for backcountry use due to its bulk.
Oh, and Max, you know you want a Synchilla Snap-T... they are so cozy and warm...