If you get cold easily like me, you probably end up wearing 7-8 layers when recreating outdoors in winter. For me, that usually means at least 7 different zipped neck collars, not to mention a neck gaiter, to get in my way — something that can be quite annoying when ice climbing, let me tell you. With their new Alpha IS Jacket, Arc’teryx hopes you can now ditch a layer or two by combining your insulation layer(s) with your outer shell into a single garment.
The new Alpha IS Jacket is a full-weather system designed for alpinists and ice climbers that combines insulation and a hardshell into a single garment. This optimized construction reduces overall weight, coming in warmer and 18% lighter than wearing two separate jackets.
Complex in design yet simple in functionality, the jacket combines highly hydrophobic ThermaTek and Coreloft continuous insulation with a Gore-Tex Pro 2-layer shell. You get both efficient moisture management and maximum weather protection. As we women tend to run colder, the women’s version features an extra layer of Coreloft in the torso and shoulders to create an all-in-one system that is 11% lighter in weight and 72% warmer than a 3-piece layering system.
“By using an integrated layering system that keeps outside moisture out and allows excess humidity inside the system to escape efficiently, the Alpha IS Jacket delivers more inherent comfort during the multiple phases of alpine activities than a multiple layer system,”says Jon Rockefeller, Arc’teryx Product Line Manager.
The helmet-compatible storm hood is insulated as well with a high collar and Cohaesive cord locks to securely cinch it down in place. You get two hand warmer pockets, a chest pocket, and internal dump pocket to store those extra pair of gloves. A two-way zipper means you can use the Alpha IS as a belay jacket.
The women’s Alpha IS Jacket weighs 605 grams, while the men’s weighs in at 610 grams — both for size Medium. I am super psyched to take this jacket out climbing this winter. It sadly won’t hit shelves until next fall, however.