Jack Wolfskin Prelight Alpha Jacket Review

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Since 1981, Jack Wolfskin has been producing performance outdoor gear, primarily in the European market. In the 2020’s, Jack Wolfskin opened their first North American “Den” which had brought the name and products to the attention of adventurers in the U.S. I recently ordered the Prelight Alpha Jacket for women. Looking for a jacket that was super lightweight but also offered some wind resistance and light insulation was exactly what I needed. I had a chance to test it out while hiking and camping in the Colorado Rockies in September and October.

High Quality and Lightweight

When I opened the package from Jack Wolfskin, I was pleasantly surprised by the design and quality of the Prelight Alpha Jacket. The outer shell is made of a windproof fabric. It is robust but feels as light as tissue paper. Jack Wolfskin really did a great job at saving weight by insulating only the most important parts of your body. The soft insulation (made partially from recycled materials) lines the jacket in the upper back, neck, upper chest and upper arms. The design of the half-insulated jacket keeps you warm but allows for airflow so you don’t overheat. The side panels of the arms and body of the Prelight Alpha are a super soft stretch material that allows movement but keeps the coat fitting nicely.

Jack Wolfskin’s Attention to Detail

It’s is very evident that Jack Wolfskin took the time to pay attention to the fine details. Aside from the genius placement of the insulation, they added details that set this jacket apart from other lightweight jackets. The zippers are small but are high quality. The zipper pulls are knotted cord and are easy to grasp. There is a loop for hanging the coat on the back of the jacket. The hood is tight fitting with an elastic edge and small visor. These features keep the hood neatly in place, even in the wind, without excessive cordage and bulky plastic adjusters. The zippered pockets keep all of your belonging safe AND provide enough for your hands on cold days. All of the fine features of this jacket allow it to be packed down to the size of a soda can. This brilliant design only weighs in at 175 grams (just over 6 ounces).

Sizing the Jack Wolfskin Prelight Alpha Jacket

On their website, Jack Wolfskin describes the sizing as European and provides a sizing chart. I’m 6 feet tall and 159 lbs. and the sizing between the medium and large was right on the line. I chose the medium and was very pleased with the fit. For my tall stature, I was happy that the length of the jacket was sufficient, even while wearing the hood. The jacket allowed for a bigger chest while still fitting nicely in the waist. I wish there was a little more sleeve length as the cuffs were a little short for my long arms. Overall, I think the sizing is true to size and the sizing chart accurate.

Technical Details

  • Weight:  175 grams (size S)
  • PERTEX windproof shell
  • POLARTEC ALPHA insulation
  • Machine washable
  • Available in Women’s sizes: XS-XL
  • Available in Women’s Colors: Dolphin, Picnic Green or Rose Smoke
  • Available in Men’s sizes: S-XXL
  • Available in Men’s Colors: Black, Dark Sea or Silver Grey

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

I really can’t say enough good things about this jacket. I ordered it for a light, windproof option while hiking and backpacking. The Prelight Alpha is packable and light as a feather. The small amount of insulation is not bulky and is perfectly placed to keep you warm but not overheating during activity. The coat has migrated out of my gear closet and has become my daily jacket this fall. It has the rugged durability of Jack Wolfskin while still maintaining a fashionable, well fitting style. Whether you are looking for a daily jacket or the perfect piece of backcountry gear for mild weather, this jacket covers it all. Lastly, the customer service team was a pleasure to speak with. If you would like to learn more about the Jack Wolfskin Prelight Alpha Jacket or would like to order one for yourself, you can visit www.us.jackwolfskin.com or www.amazon.com.

Sara Fillman: Sara is an avid ultra-marathoner and outdoor adventurer. Living in Michigan, Sara has ample opportunities for outdoor sports during all seasons. When not open water kayaking on the Great Lakes or backpacking in some distance mountains, she can be found ice climbing in Norther Michigan at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. She is constantly looking for the next big adventure.
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