Lightweight, quick-drying, and really breathable on the move, the collared version of this popular lined softshell may be an improvement on the hooded original if, like Dan Bailey, you like simplicity and low bulk for easy layering.
Probably because for most people's use it didn't make much difference. Also, some of the early iterations had durability issues, pilled and lost fibre.
While Buffalo and a few other things claim to be the original softshell, the garment that kicked it all off to start the softshell market boom in the 90-00s was the Cloudveil jacket made of Schoeller. It had no hood.
I was reading it wandering why it was £175 and then read this in the Jottnar text:
“Developed for Special Forces”…
Genuine question: What’s the environmental side of Jottnar? I kind of expect my expensive kit to tick the enviro etc box but don’t know much about Jottnar in this sense.
> “Developed for Special Forces”…
That's Polartec Alpha specifically, and it was. They made a big thing of it when it first came out I remember. Checking back I mentioned it in my first (and rather sceptical) review of something made of Alpha http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2014/02/marmot-isotherm-hoodypolartec-alpha.html
Can't remember where I was reading it recently, but someone was saying that the US military were quite unbelievably behind the times on cold weather clothing. They were treating layering as some amazing new concept relatively recently! I wonder if Alpha actually was deemed a success or not in military circles?
It's also at the crossroads of function vs fashion. Most Alpha garments look pretty threadbare to anyone not used to the stuff (the macpac pullover that looks like an original Helly Hansen fleece from 1990 and has been worn daily ever since, is a case in point).
I really like Alpha stuff, being of a sweatier disposition and running hot must of the time, so I don't mind looking like Steptoe. Given that a lot of outdoor wear is driven by fashion I am unsurprised there's less Alpha around now.
This week's Friday Night Video features 12-year-old Gianluca Vighetti, who in September 2021, climbed his hardest route to date with an ascent of TCT (9a), at Gravere, Italy. With his ascent, Gianluca became the youngest person to have climbed...