Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover Review
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Mountain Khakis based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming has been creating mountain inspired lifestyle apparel over the past 12 years. One of the recent products to come from Mountain Khakis shop is the Alpha Switch Pullover. Built to do it all, the Alpha Switch Pullover is made for everything from an evening out on the town to a day in the backcountry. Over the past few months I have been able to field test the Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover while playing and working in the mountains of Colorado.
Initial Thoughts of the Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover
The Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Jacket is really two jackets in one. This jacket is not only reversible but the features from one side to the other are different as well. This makes you feel that you are wearing a completely different jacket when reversed. One side of the jacket is made from a stretch woven fabric blend of 95% nylon and 5% spadex. The opposite side of this jacket is made from translucent Rip Stop fabric that is 96% nylon and 4% polyester blend. Even the zipper is made to handle the double duty by being reversible as well.
Each side of the Alpha Jacket has its own unique characteristics. With the darker woven material side featuring a large center pocket that is more than capable of housing bulky items like gloves, hats, and cold hands. Additionally this side of the jacket has a small zippered breast pocket that can handle smaller valuable items like a cell phone, small wallet, or keys.
On the lighter colored RipStop Fabric side the jacket has two insulated zippered pockets on the sides that is made for cold wet hands. This side of the jacket also has a small vertically oriented pocket that is perfect to house valuables as it also has a zipper.
The Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover uses synthetic Polartech Alpha insulation created originally for special forces use. The Polartech insulation allows the Alpha jacket to be packed down to a small size.
The Alpha Pullover fits true to size. One part that I definitely pleased with is the length of the sleeves. I definitely appreciate sleeve length and not having my sleeves ride up when playing in the snow.
Performance of the Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover
The Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover has been a solid performer. The Polartech Alpha Insulation has definitely kept me warm this winter in the mountains. For as thin as this jacket is the Alpha Switch Pullover is surprisingly warm. Not only is Polartech insulation warm but it is awesome when wet. I can attest from first hand experiences when I dunked my entire arm in the water in order net large rainbow trout. The weather that day was 34 degrees and I was sure my day was over. However within five to ten minutes my arm was dry and I was fishing as if I had never gotten wet.
I also tend to use the the Alpha Switch Pullover as an underlayer to a shell. This just adds another layer of protection to this pullover. The Polartech material is thin and warm and fits easily under all of my shells. Using this two layer approach has been effective on cold and especially wet days
I am sold on the reversible capability of the Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover. There are definitely times when I have wanted to use one side of the pullover more than the other side of the pullover. I am not sure why but I seem to gravitate to the lighter yellow RipStop side of the jacket when I am in the outdoors, back country, or fishing. The RipStop material seems to do a pretty good job of repelling moisture. This material has been put to the “wet test” in many snowstorms and fishing trips. Most water beads off of the jacket, and water that does manage to penetrate into the jacket is shed easily and dries out quickly.
The woven Nylon and Spandex side of the pullover has been useful for in casual situations. I gravitate to this side when I am going out downtown or when I going to work. The black color matches well with most any clothing and looks sharp. I also like this side of the pullover when I need a bit more storage. The large front pocket also adds a bunch of needed storage.
Specs of the Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover
Specs taken from Mountain Khakis website
- Fabric: 3.5oz 95% Nylon, 5% Spandex, Stretch Woven
- Lining: 1.1oz 96% Nylon, 4% Polyester Ripstop
- Insulation: 80gm Polartec® Alpha® Insulation
- 80/20 Durable Water Repellent
- 5 pockets
- Reversible zipper
- Classic Fit
Final Thoughts on the Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover
The Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover is more than a single use jacket. It is really two very different looking jackets that each have their own unique features. This pullover is equally suited for playing in the snowy backcountry as it is for a casual night out on the town. The Polartech Alpha Insulation is thin but is able to keep you warm even in cold weather. This insulation sheds water easily and performs great if you happen to get wet. The Mountain Khakis Alpha Switch Pullover is a great all around jacket that can do it all.