Jack Wolfskin Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection Review
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For nearly 40 years, Jack Wolfskin’s name and pawprint have been a symbol of their trailblazing spirit and regard for nature. If you haven’t seen the pawprint before, that’s because Jack Wolfskin recently opened their first den in North America. In the interest of expanding my winter sports to include more skiing, I looked to Jack Wolfskin for the perfect gear to keep we warm but shedding moisture during my days in the snow. After doing some reading, I decided that the Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection is the perfect set of apparel for my needs.
Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection: From the Inside out
In the interest of following what Jack Wolfskin recommended AND completing a full review, I ordered the full Alpspitze Collection. All pieces are ordered separately but I knew if I wanted the maximum comfort, I should go with all of the layers in the collection. This included a wool base layer 1/2 zip top and a 3/4 length wool base layer bottom. For the mid layer, I ordered the Alpspitze Down Hoody.
To complete the set, I ordered the Alpspitze 3L Jacket and 3L Pants. They are a dreamy color and equally as dreamy in fit, comfort and breathability. When the pieces arrived, I immediately fell in love with the look and feel of this set. The color is beautiful and the material is well made and creamy soft. These layers were very quiet as I skied through the quiet forest. There was no loud “swoosh, swoosh” as I enjoyed the fresh silence of new snow.
I ordered all of the tops in a size medium and the bottoms in size large. Normally wearing a medium bottom for pants, I was worried that the pants would be too short because I am 6″ tall and usually snow pants are like capris on me. I found that I didn’t really need to size up and that these pants had plenty room and length. Now I’ll focus in on the features of each of the pieces to give you the best reflection of their beautiful quality and function.
Alpspitze Women’s Wool Base Layers
The Women’s wool base layer 1/2 zip top is perfectly sized for a women’s fit. With very generous sleeve length and body and a contoured waist, it is the perfect breathable base layer. Made of 87% wool and 13% poly, it has the perfect amount of stretch to stay formed fitting. While I felt like there was plenty of room to move around in this base layer, I never felt like there was excessive material in the arm pits or the bend of the elbow. The wool felt a tiny bit scratchy when I wore it the first time, but after I washed it and hung it to dry, that feeling was gone. It is now buttery soft and comfortable against my bare skin.
The 3/4 length base layer pants have the same buttery softness as the top. The wide elastic waistband keeps the pants neatly in place, even with lots of sitting, squatting (and yes, falling) that I did while out on the trails. I wasn’t so sure about the 3/4 length pant legs but once I put them on with my thick socks, I was thankful that they easily went over the top of my socks and I didn’t have to struggle keep them from bunching up. The leg of the pant is contoured making it a bit tighter in the knee area. This was perfect and never bunched up at the back of the knee. Both pieces fit neatly and look good enough for you to shed your layers and sit around the fire once you’re back inside.
Women’s Alpspitze Down Hoody
Jack Wolfskin designed this Alpsitze down hoody to compliment the complete touring collection. They made the hoody from Texashield Pro fabric that provides windproof protection. It is filled with ExpeDRY 800 fill down. The entrie jacket weighs in at 300 grams (about 10.5 ounces). It packs down to an incredibly small package. The stuff sack came attached to the inside of the left pocket. I didn’t love that feature because the bag tangled with things I had in my pocket. I removed the bag and moved it to an inside pocket. The Down Hoody has two exterior pockets with zippers to keep your belongings secure. On the inside of the jacket, there are two larger pockets that are perfect for stowing gloves or other bulky items.
Despite it’s light weight, this hoody is warm! This little puffy preserved so much heat! It is very windproof, even without the shell on. Despite the outer shell of the collection wicking moisture quite well, when I heated up, I felt like this mid layer became pretty soaked. I removed the jacket and it quickly dried, even in the cold temps. Now that I know how effective it is as an insulating layer, I may shed it sooner during the hard skiing to keep it dryer and alleviate this problem. This coat is perfect to slip back on when the activity becomes a bit more static and the extra warmth is needed. As I anticipate a trip to Northern Michigan in mid-February, I’m sure this mid layer will be necessary as I face the winds of Gitchee-Gumee.
Outer Shell: Alpspitze 3L Jacket
By far, the most impressive piece of the Women’s Alpspitze Ski Touring Collection is the outer shell. It features Pertex® Shield Air, which provides lightweight, waterproof, extremely breathable protection, shielding you from chilling winds while allowing for superior moisture evacuation. It is the boldest defense against wind but quiet as a mouse while skiing. I absolutely love it! We did some long day’s on the ski’s while testing out this system. As we peeled off our layers at the end of the day, I was incredibly dry in comparison to my comrades. The jacket has a magical way of keeping wind out but letting the moisture escape.
The hood is adjustable in three ways. You can use the hook and loop in the back to adjust the visor, there is a horizontal drawstring to close the gap around a helmet, and some easy to adjust bungies to pull the hood around your face. The zipper garage hides the zipper pull at the top to save your chin/lips from getting chafed. There is a fleece lining at the top of the zipper, also protecting your face and lips. The cuffs are easily adjustable with a hook and loop and the waist band had an easily adjustable bungie.
The jacket has beautiful chest pockets on either side with waterproof zippers. They are roomy and easy to access, even while wearing mittens. A smaller zippered pocket on the inside fits a phone or other small valuables. Lastly, there is a pocket on the left forearm that would be super handy for smaller items like keys or a ski-pass. All of the zippers have large pulls to accommodate gloves or mittens. Consistent with the rest of the Alpspitze Ski Touring Collection, I found they were generous in sleeve and overall coat lengths.
The dreamy feel and beauty of this collection has garnered many compliments in the short time I have worn it. Despite the ultimate in function and protection, Jack Wolfskin didn’t skip a beat in making the collection feminine and soft.
The Shell Bottoms: Alpspitze 3L Pants
While I’ve already talked about the superior breathability and protection of the Pertex ShieldAir Shell, I would like to point out the incredible details that Jack Wolfskin has incorporated into these lovely pants. The high back on the pants keeps them high above your hip bones with no gaps in the back. A slide and two snaps secure the fly. There are two elastic/hook and loop adjusters on either side of the waist to adjust to a perfect fit. The waist band is fleece and super comfy. There are loops on the inside of the pants to accommodate suspenders if you need them (not included).
The 3L Pants have an integrated snow gaiter and a full length zipper on the outside of either leg. You can easily unzip and remove these pants without removing your boots. The size leg zipper also unzips from the top making it easy to access your inside pants pockets or vent when you are really working hard. The pants have a large thigh pocket on either leg that is roomy enough to hold a hat or gloves, snacks and your lip balm (don’t forget that!). The Pertex SheildAir has a small amount of stretch and sealed seams so that you stay dry while having maximum freedom of movement.
RECCO: Be Searchable and Be Found in the Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection
On both the 3L Jacket and 3L Pants, Jack Wolfskin has integrated the RECCO safety system. RECCO reflectors are lightweight passive transponders that require no power or activation to function. How does it work? I looked to RECCO for a clear explanation. The RECCO detector, used by rescuers, emits a directional radar signal, like the beam of a flashlight. The radar signal hits the RECCO reflector and echos back to the detector. This points the rescuer in the direction of the victim. The closer the detector gets to the reflector, the stronger the returned signal, ultimately allowing the rescuer to pinpoint the victim’s location. The detector can search 80 meters though air and 20 meters through packed snow making it ideal for search and rescue in an avalanche. This is an important integration provided in this collection. Thanks, Jack Wolfskin!
Technical Info for the Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection
Wool Base Layers
- Weight: 155 g (size S)(top)
- 87% wool, 13%polyamide
- Available in sizes XS-XL
- Available in black
- Weight: 270 g (size S)
- SHELL – 100% POLYAMIDE
- LINING – 100% POLYAMIDE
- FILLING – 90% WHITE GOOSE DOWN, 10% FEATHER
- Available in women’s sizes XS-XL
- Available in colors Grapevine and Blue Coral
3L Jacket and Pants
- Jacket Weight: 495 g (size M)
- Pants Weight: 570 g (size M)
- Made of Pertex SheildAir material made of 100% Polyamide
- Both pants and jacket have integrated RECCO reflectors
- Top and pants available in women’s sizes XS-XL
- Available in colors Granite Green or Blue Coral
The Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection: Final Thoughts and Recommendations
I chose the Jack Wolfskin Women’s Ski Touring Collection to protect me for my winter skiing and snow showing activities. With the testing I have given it thus far, the entire collection gets a 10 out of 10! The base layers are comfortable, the mid-layer super warm and the outer layers are thin and soft, yet durable. It’s clear that Jack Wolfskin allowed for a little extra room in their design. The sleeves and cuffs were long and, despite being tall for a woman, I did not have a problem with the lengths of these garments. I venture into the backcountry often so I am thankful for the RECCO safety features integrated into the outer shells.
I could go on for days about all the great things in this collection. This set is actually very beautiful. I really appreciate that Jack Wolfskin designed great rugged outdoor gear in some fantastic, feminine colors and styles. With a wide range of sizes, this is a collection that is ideal for everyone. If you would like more info or to check out the Jack Wolfskin Alpspitze Women’s Ski Touring Collection for yourself, visit www.jackwolfskin.com.