Montane Icarus Flight
Maybe it's the good cut, maybe it's the breathability, or maybe it's the balance between insulation and airflow - but there's just something about the Icarus Flight that works, says Rob Greenwood
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.
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.
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.
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