Midweight Active Insulation Technology provides movement-mirroring stretch, resilient weather protection, and high breathability in this do-it-all midlayer.
Outdoor Research says: The newest in active insulation technology, the Ascendant Hoody drops excess heat and moisture when you’re questing uphill—but shelters you from the cold when you downshift. The stretchy, weather-shedding Pertex Microlight 20D ripstop outer layer moves with you, and the wicking, lightly fuzzy Polartec Alpha Direct Insulation is perfect over a base layer, or even your skin. Ski in it, climb in it, ride to work in it—live in it.
Some of you may have used, or at least read about Polartec Alpha insulation, a more modern version of a lightweight fleece, that keeps you warm but lets sweat out, even when active. Well the Polartec Alpha Direct insulation is basically the same but with the mesh liner removed, so you get more unimpeded airflow (not to mention less weight and bulk) without sacrificing warmth. It also feels super soft against your skin!
Designed to be worn when you are active - so on the move - there are alternative insulation garments that are more suited to wearing around camp - Polartec Alpha Direct is about keeping you vented even though you are also being kept insulated.
Its quite a breakthrough, especially for cold weather walking when you need insulation but start sweating hard when you reach a strenuous bit. Weight for weight Polartec Alpha is only about half as warm as Primaloft so the king of insulation keeps its crown - but Alpha has its place.
We like the internal thumb loops as it keeps the sleeves in place which is handy when layering. A water-resistant Pertex Microlight outer fabric repels light rain and snow, while still allowing sweat and heat out. Ideal as an outer layer in spring and fall or as a mid layer in winter.
- Reviewed by BasecampGear
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