Insulated jackets are great at keeping you warm but run into problems when they get…
Tag: Polartec Alpha
Mountain Khakis calls it the MacGyver of Jackets, and for good reason. The lightly insulated Alpha Switch Jacket is fully reversible, taking you from trail to town in a matter of seconds. This is your one jacket quiver to see you through the rest of the year.
Over the years, I have a developed a pretty good personal layering system for ice climbing. My bottom half layers remain the same throughout the day, made up of my current favorite climbing pants and some sort of baselayer whose thickness depends on the weather. My top half usually consists of 4-6 layers, again depending on the temperature. These layers will be taken on and off at various stages throughout the day.
Current synthetic insulation pieces may provide warmth, even when wet, and be extremely easy to pack down, but do not exactly breathe well when used in high activity situations. Some brands have tried to address this problem with hybrid pieces, where breathable fabrics replace insulation in places you tend to sweat the most. Polartec has decided to take a different approach, instead reinventing synthetic insulation altogether to create a warm, stable, air permeable layer that can be combined with more breathable fabrics.