I’ve been hillwalking for nearly six years and I’ve always toiled to control my temperature in winter. I’m either too cold or too hot. When walking in winter I always find it easier to add layers of clothing rather than shed them, so I run cold to begin with. I’m not a huge fan of the traditional recommended layering system. It’s just too hot for me, unless I’m static on the summit of a cold Munro.
So needless to say, I was quite exciting about Alpha Polartec, and I decided to purchase Rab’s effort; The Strata Hoodie in ebony black, size medium. The medium sits really nice on me, and allows movement without feeling restricted and there was still room left to fit a fleece on underneath should it get really cold. The cut was just nice too, I don’t find it too short either.
I wore it for the first time in Blair Atholl to bag the Munro Beinn Dearg on a bitterly cold November, the wind chill was considerable and my water was beginning to freeze in my Sigg bottle. I decided to wear it as an outer layer with only the Rab Meco baselayer underneath. However the Strata hoodie kept me warm but never overheated whilst on the move. Even at the summit, the wind chill did not penetrate the jacket. I was very happy how the Strata Hoodie performed on it’s first outing.
The second time, I used it to do the two Munros in Glenfinnan. It wasn’t as cold but the Strata hoodie stood up well against constant drizzle and high winds. Only after 3 hours, I began to feel a bit cold on the ridge, so I added my waterproof outer shell. The Strata hoodie performed equally as well as mid layer. It wasn’t until descending down the ridge and out of the wind I began to overheat with the Strata hoodie and outer shell.
This is a mid term review, as the garment hasn’t been used in truly subzero temperatures yet. However I’m very happy with how it has performed so far. I would recommend it to anyone who runs too hot or finds Paramo gear too hot like myself. The DWR treatment will keep you dry in short showers or drizzle but wont keep you dry all day, therefore you’ll need to carry an outer waterproof shell jacket for those rainy days.
I will update this blog, once I give the jacket a test on the more colder crisp days. Winter in Scotland so far has been wet and windy. 😦