Jöttnar Women's Alfar Jacket Review

The Jöttnar Alfar jacket is a technical looking thick mid-layer or light shell jacket with a full length zip and hood. It's a hybrid jacket with synthetic insulation on the body and upper hood and Polartec stretch fabric for the sleeves, collar and the sides of the hood.  It is designed as a versatile outer or mid-layer for multi-condition 'mountain abuse'.  It is lighweight and breathable and allows for freedom of movement whilst carrying out any mountain activities.

photo
Emily Andrew in the Jottnar Alfar Jacket in the Ecrins, France
© Emily Andrew Collection

Jottnar Alfar Jacket  © Jottnar
Technical details:

  • Polartec Powerstretch Pro Sleeves
  • Duoregulation ADVANSA Thermo cool 120 main body insulation
  • 20 Denier windproof, rip-stop nylon main body outer with DWR finish
  • RRP £170
  • Available in small, medium and large sizes.
  • Weight 430g

 

I've used this jacket over the autumn and into winter in the Alps.  It's been great for hiking and belaying, and then when the snow came, for ski touring too.  I already knew the jacket was very light, but out on the hill it was immediately clear how breathable and windproof it is.  When it's not too cold it is even tough enough to keep the wind off when skiing.

As soon as I put this jacket on it was clear that a lot of thought has gone into its design - not only that, but from people who really know about being in the mountains.  I was first of all very impressed by the fit, which is excellent - so good that you almost don't feel you're wearing it.  As a guide to the sizes I'm a size 12 and the medium sized jacket fitted me really well.  I don't feel the fit for me could be improved in anyway.

Autumnal belaying in the Jottnar Alfar Jacket  © Emily Andrew Collection
Autumnal belaying in the Jottnar Alfar Jacket
© Emily Andrew Collection
The close fitting hood has a high collar - very snug  © Emily Andrew Collection
The close fitting hood has a high collar - very snug
© Emily Andrew Collection

I thought the Polartec sleeves were an excellent idea to allow for maximum flexibility and the thumb loops at the end are a feature I feel is essential for a garment designed for mountain use.  However, if you're not into the thumb loops, they can easily be rolled back - and the Polartec fabric stays where you want it to.  On the downside, I found the Polartec sleeves to be grabby when worn over a loose sleeved baselayer, pulling the sleeves of the baselayer up my arms. Likeswise, when worn under quite tight sleeves on a shell jacket, the grabby polartec meant that putting the outer layer on was tricky, as it pulled the polartec sleeves up.  This could be a little annoying when it's cold and you are layering up more.  

The pannelled hood is again an excellent fit and feels very comfortable.  It stays in place and the high collar keeps you really snug and is not at all bulky.

Two colours are available; Black/charcoal/crocus, which is mainly black or Orange/charcoal/Fushia which makes a bit more of a statement.  I found this brighter colour-combo a bit outlandish and it wouldn't be my first choice.

A warm night in a mountain hut - the jacket is comfortable enough for sleeping  © Emily Andrew Collection
A warm night in a mountain hut - the jacket is comfortable enough for sleeping
© Emily Andrew Collection
Summary:

The Alfar jacket is comfortable, cosy, light and allows freedom of movement.  It's lack of bulk, both whilst wearing it or in your rucksack, make it a great choice for more active mountain pursuits.  The lightness and flexibility afforded by the jacket in no way compromises its toughness and I felt it would put up with rough mountain treatment.

If the sleeves work for you, then I would recommened this very versatile jacket.

More Information: Jottnar Website



For more information visit Jottnar Website


10 Jan, 2014
I'm not sure I see the point of these hybrids to be honest. A gillet over a powerstretch top would be far more versatile.
10 Jan, 2014
more versatile yes, but slower to put on take off and heavier!
10 Jan, 2014
Not sure how putting a gilet over a PS top takes longer than putting on a hybrid jacket? Think about it, in actual UK conditions and usage. If it's cold, you'll have a PS or similar top on already whislt you are moving. When you stop or really slow down you put on either a shell or an insulating layer. As for the weight, not really a factor depending on your system. With the hybrid you'll need a decent baselayer underneath for when you take it off (ie when active and too warm). The PS could be the baselayer so you just take the gilet off, removing the need for a baselayer and that weight. I just think that these are too specialised, for too few conditions and activities that are actually encountered. Each to their own though.
10 Jan, 2014
I think you (well, not you specifically, but anyone generally who is interested) need to stop think about hybrid midlayers as a replacement for two things, it's just a different way of doing one thing with various advantages and compromises. i.e. if I was out with just a PS jumper as midlayer I'd probably take windproof as well. But with the Alfar I don't need to, but on the downside you can get hot under the synth insulated bits if its not cool to cold. Swings and roundabouts really. Will suit some people and their needs, and totally fail for others. I think my review of the Alfar should be out quite soon as well, where I go into these things in a bit more depth!