Midweight Active Insulation Technology provides movement-mirroring stretch, resilient weather protection, and high breathability in this do-it-all midlayer.
Outdoor Research says:
We bet the farm that once you put this puppy on for the season, you won’t take it off. Because it works perfectly whether you’re breaking trail or breaking for donuts. When you’re moving, the fuzzy Polartec Alpha Direct Insulation breathes and wicks moisture away from your body. When you stop, it holds your warmth, while Pertex Microlight 20D ripstop on the outside fends off whatever happens to be coming from the clouds.
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