Close fit layers that provide the first level of warmth and excellent wicking properties for wet OR dry activities. These can be worn on their own in warm weather or paired with additional items as it gets colder.
Fleece is a polyester product that is produced with a thick and plush "pile". This creates a fabric that soft to the touch and provides excellent insulation for warmth. Fleece fabric is Hydrophobic by definition and so wicks moisture away in any layering system. Can be used as an outer layer on cool days or a midlayer/insulator under truly waterproof gear to provide extra warmth.
Softshells take polyester fleece technology a step further by using fabrics that are more technical and tighter woven. The result is a product that can act as BOTH an isulator AND outlayer. Softshells block the wind better than the traditional fleece and occasionally have waterproof coatings. They are not a substitute for true foul weather gear but are versatile midlayers that can be worn year round and in many conditions.
Prima-loft is a technology that uses recycled polyester to make an extremely warm midlayer insulator. These jackets are not waterproof but provide excellect comfort and warmth as well as good wind blocking. Perfect midlayer in cold weather or casual gear in cooler climates.
These items are designed in the style of a midlayer/insulator garment but use waterproof fabrics on the outside. The result is a product that can be worn as a midlayer but can perform as an outer layer when needed. Often not as high performance as true foul weather gear, these are perfect for under layers in variable environments or make excellent shore gear.