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Polar Fleece vs Wool

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  • Polar Fleece vs Wool

    Hello all! I want to buy a new cooler for the big guy. I currently have a cotton Irish Knit one and while I like it enough I want something that will dry him off a little quicker after a workout. He lives outside 24/7 so clipping isn't very realistic for us, at least not until this crazy weather we've been getting this winter goes away. Anyways, I'm stuck b/t going for a fleece or a wool cooler. Any thoughts, experiences, opinions?
    "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees

  • #2
    I have wool and think it does a great job of drying my horse off. Ideally, I wish I had an Irish knit I could put under the wool cooler!

    The one I have is the $60 Centaur wool cooler from Smartpak. Very impressed with the quality so far!


    • #3
      I purchased the Rambo fleece cooler this winter and am very pleased with it. The quality is fabulous and it does a super job of wicking the mositure away from the horse. My horse is also turned out the majority of the day and is very fuzzy. He can get quite sweaty when worked and I have found this cooler to do a fabulous job. Not to mention that it looks great and is oh so soft.


      • #4
        Thermatex. It's pricey, but they do an amazing job at wicking. My trainer has one, and after seeing how well it worked, I went ahead and ordered one.


        • #5
          Prefer wool over fleece as wool doesn't stretch like fleece does and stays in place better. I often will use a wool or fleece sheet as an under layer... the fleece ones always seem to stretch and pull at their withers...the wool always stays in place.

          Besides...natural fabrics are ALWAYS better!


          • #6
            Another wool vote, although there are days when wool is too warm and fleece is a nice option between wool and the irish knit.

            Plus fleece tolerates washing a bit more - you really can't wash your wool coolers as frequently.

            So get both!


            • #7
              Are there any fleece coolers out there that are not shavings magnets?


              • #8
                I am a diehard wool fan, personally. I think it wicks moisture better, is less static-y, and holds its shape better. I have a wool cooler that is 20+ years old and still perfectly usable. But, I base a lot of my opinion on a fleece dress sheet that I got years ago as a gift-pretty much when they first started using polarfleece. It had all of the above problems--but I am currently shopping for a new one, and I notice that there are now some that claim to be treated to not be static-y, etc. I'm sure technology has improved them a lot, so for those of you that are happy with polarfleece coolers, can you share specifics on brands, etc?


                • #9
                  Love wool but I've also come to love the cheap cotton coolers with straps for $29 at Dover. Great when it's warmer or if you need to put your horse in the trailer, also great as cheap blanket liners or to cover the saddle for hauling.
                  Order larger, they shrink in the wash!
                  So, slightly different purpose but very, very useful.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                    Another wool vote, although there are days when wool is too warm and fleece is a nice option between wool and the irish knit.

                    Plus fleece tolerates washing a bit more - you really can't wash your wool coolers as frequently.

                    So get both!
                    I agree...wool can't be put in the dryer. If your cooler gets really wet after wicking on your horse, the fleece will dry faster or an be put in the dryer.

                    If you can only get one, go for the wool. Like many others here, I wick with a wool cooler over an Irish knit.


                    • #11
                      The Rambo fleece coolers and quarter sheets are da bomb. I used to be a die hard wool fan but I love the Rambo fleece.
                      Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                      • #12
                        Use to have wool, but switched to fleece. I have both a big square cooler and also a fleece blanket with front buckle and side straps.

                        Sometimes I only use the fleece and sometimes I use my Irish knit with the fleece over it. I've also used the fleece as an extra layer under the winter blanket when I didn't quite need two winter blankets. It's versatile -- and washable! A big plus.
                        "Dreams are the touchstone of our characters." Henry David Thoreau
                        Touchstone Farm


                        • #13
                          I like the fleece better if only because it is so much easier to take care of and clean when you need to. Acrylic is the worst though.


                          • #14
                            I LOVE my Saratoga fleece cooler. It can be thrown in the washing machine, but also does a fantastic job of wicking away moisture. Just as well as my wool cooler, if not better.


                            • #15
                              Have both. For every day use I prefer fleece. Wool is kept for shows. Fleece you can launder easily by simply tossing it in the wash an dryer.


                              • #16
                                I love my fleece coolers. I have a Smartpak fleece cooler and weatherbeeta cooler with some special material that is supposed to wick moisture away faster. My Smartpak cooler has done a great job every time I've used it and has held up well to my horse's abuse, (she's very hard on blankets). I haven't found it to be an awful shavings magnet; all I have to do is brush the shavings off...Obviously it's not as easy as wool, but it's not impossible either.