Our Klattermusen Alv Hoody Review examines a versatile PrimaLoft insulated hooded jacket with sustainable credentials and quirky design features. Please read on to find out more.
Of all the garments we use, it is probably a synthetic insulated hoody that gets the most action. They are perfect as a layering piece in very cold weather or as a top layer for milder conditions. They serve great duty as a belay jacket and are a great option to keep in your pack for emergency use. They can also, of course, be that warm layer to pull on for walking to the pub on a chilly evening. With all that in mind, we have tried many variants on these jackets over the years and so were very keen to try this new addition. Here is our detailed Klattermusen Alv Hoody review.
We have enjoyed testing a variety of options by Scandinavian clothing and pack brand Klattermusen over the last few years. Without exception, we have been impressed by the styling, quality and sustainability credentials of their products. We hoped the Alv would follow this pattern. We also reported about Klattermusen’s new autumn/winter 2022 range here. Please also check out the link included in that article for details of other garments in the range. Now, what about the Alv?
The Alv is a synthetic insulated jacket featuring PrimaLoft Gold Active+ insulation. This is PrimaLoft’s premier synthetic insulation designed to perform across a range of temperatures and with a variety of exertion levels. Gold Active+ is made from 55% post consumer recycled fibres.
Klattermusen have sandwiched the insulation between an inner and outer layer of a fabric called Oculus. This is a very lightweight (40 gram per square metre) 20 denier 100% recycled post consumer polyester material with a fluorocarbon free Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating. Oculus is Bluesign approved.
Reinforcements made from a 60 denier (71 gram per square metre) polyester have been added to the shoulder and hip areas. This fabric is made from 70% post-consumer recycled polyester/30% polyester.
Zips, Pockets & Hood
The Alv hoody features a chunky full length 2 way front zip that curves away from the face towards the top. The zip is backed by a broad storm flap to stop wind entering through the front.
There are 2 zipped hand warmer pockets. One of these features a double sided zip to allow the hoody to be stored in the pocket. A loop is included inside this pocket to enable clipping the jacket onto a harness or rucksack.
The hood has a drawstring brim to allow it to be cinched around the face and a volume adjustment system enables the fit to be fine tuned. There is a drawstring lower hem to allow easy adjustment there too.
Cuffs & Other Features
The cuffs feature an innovative double band where a relaxed fit outer combines with an elasticated inner band. The outer level has piping that adds a level of stiffness and keeps the cuffs comfortably positioned. This also means they can be easily pulled on and can be fitted effortlessly over gloves. The inner band ensures there is a good level of wind resistance to stop chilly breezes racing up your sleeves.
Other details include two sewn loops inside the jacket to allow items like gloves to be clipped in easily inside. There are reflective tabs front and rear for night time visibility. The zippers include pull tabs with the main zip including Klattermusen’s distinctive metal triangles which, as well as looking great, allow easy adjustment when wearing gloves.
Weight & Price
Men’s medium weighs 415 grams and the retail price for the All is £299.
Arrival of the Alv coincided conveniently with arrival of much colder autumn temperatures in the Peak District and Snowdonia. This was also to be followed by a trip to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco where colder than usual seasonal temps was experienced. The photo at the top shows the Alv in action on the summit of Morocco’s Jebel Toubkal. The Morocco trip also featured rather more rain and damp weather than we had hoped for. All in all plenty of great testing conditions for this Klattermusen Alv Hoody Review.
Colours & Appearance
The Alv hoody received was in their lovely mustard colour. The jacket is also available in Sapphire Blue, Rose Red, Dusty Yellow and Raven (Raven is a dark grey colour. The mustard colour is a great option but the other options look really good too. There is certainly an option for every taste.
But to appearance in general, we think the Alv looks great. You can see the difference between the slightly glossy 20 denier fabric and the more durable 60 denier. The 60 denier fabric has a slightly matt finish that contrasts nicely. In the centre of the chest there is a distinctive black triangle that we have grown familiar with on lots of Klattermusen products. This may appear just as a design detail but it is actually a reflective patch. On the rear of the jacket there is another reflective tab incorporated into a Klattermusen logo.
Other appearance details to note are the chunky zip that runs straight up the front before curving towards the top. This ensures the zip stays clear of the face and is another great addition we have come to appreciate on several other Klattermusen products. The zip also runs quite high at the top to form a really protective collar. This is great when the wind is whipping around and gives the Alv a stylish look.
Next, let’s consider the fit. Klattermusen have designed the Alv with a trim fit that will allow it to worn under a shell layer. So, in trying it on you will see it is definitely as designed. We were sent a medium and it fits really well for my 38″ chest. I would say the garment is true to size but be aware of the trim fit if you are broader or a more blocky build. I often wear jackets like this with a base layer and mid layer fleece underneath and it is great with this amount of clothing.
Sleeve and hem length are also great for our medium height (5’8″), but best to check how it would work for you if you are a lot taller. To summarise, the fit of this garment really couldn’t be better for my size and shape.
The hood is also perfect. It is generously sized to fit over hats and, although I can squeeze a helmet underneath, it is cosy. Far better is to wear a helmet over the top of the hood. There is enough room for this with a selection of general purpose climbing helmets I tried. The volume can be easily adjusted with the one handed system on the rear of the jacket. The front of the hood can also be pulled snugly. Together, the hood is a great fit and great for windy belays or colder conditions.
Pockets & Other Features
All the other features also work really well. The twin handwarmer pockets are positioned to be in a good spot while remaining clear of a rucksack waist belt or climbing harness. The Alv can be easily stashed in the right hand pocket for carrying. The addition of a clip loop inside the pocket makes it perfect for fastening onto the back of a climbing harness.
It is interesting that Klattermusen have not included an inside pocket as this can be really handy for a phone or snacks. I think this would have been a useful addition and has been one detail I have missed. Instead, there are loops sewn inside that can be used for attaching items like gloves or anything else that can be clipped in. I haven’t seen this inside a jacket before and yet it actually could be really useful, although the items would need a way of being attached. The main zipper pull, with small triangle pieces threaded on, is simple to use and so effective when you are trying to grip it with cold hands or gloves on. It is the among the best of these type of systems that I’ve seen.
Having explored the features and fit, what about how well the Alv keeps you warm? Primaloft Gold insulation is a premium quality insulation designed with a specific focus. It is designed for high output sports. The fibre structure is designed to ensure the fibres stay in the right place while allowing very efficient moisture transfer through the insulation. It also incorporates 4 way stretch for active movement.
For the user this means it can be used in a wide variety of temperatures and during varied activity layers. You can stay comfortable when working hard and yet be warm enough when static. It is a great innovation as for most stop start activities it is impractical or inefficient to keep adding and removing layers.
I first trialled insulation of this type during an expedition in India a few years ago and it was a revelation. For almost the duration of the trekking phase I could leave the jacket on and it worked as well while walking as when stopped for breaks. It has applications for so many sports.
That India experience was with another type of active insulation, but Polartec Active Gold+ does the job superbly and moves this technology onto the next level. You won’t believe what a difference it makes to your comfort and efficiency until you try it. I wholeheartedly recommend it and a bonus is that it has a high post-consumer recycled fibre content. There is plenty of detail about PrimaLoft products on their website here.
Face & Liner Fabrics
This type of insulation works most efficiently with highly breathable face and liner fabrics. On the Alv Klattermusen have used a very lightweight (20 denier) material called Oculus. This is used on face and liner. It certainly seems to be very breathable and yet maintains a good level of wind resistance. The Alv has kept me comfortable on very windy days in Snowdonia and the Peak District. It also worked superbly on a very windswept Jebel Toubkal summit day.
Although I can’t yet comment on it’s longer term durability, it has certainly held up to everything thrown at it so far. It also has the benefit of the 60 denier fabrics used on the shoulders and hips. This is a great addition. I love that Oculus is also made from a high level of post-consumer recycled material.
I was also surprised at how water resistant Oculus fabric is. It kept drizzle and humidity comfortably at bay thanks to the DWR coating, but obviously will reach a point where a more weatherproof layer is needed. The water resistance should allow it to fair well as a belay jacket in some types of wintry conditions as well.
I hope this Klattermusen Alv Hoody review makes it clear how impressed I am with this jacket. It is a very stylish and beautifully made hoody that performs superbly in every way. The addition of PrimaLoft Active Gold+ insulation also makes it extremely versatile. It is also highly commendable that Klattermusen have incorporated significant amounts of post-consumer recycled content.
A synthetic insulated jacket of this type will suit so many different users for a broad range of activities. It is a great addition to any outdoor persons wardrobe and, despite using several variants on this genre of garments, I haven’t come across any better than the Alv. Full details on this hoody and all Klattermusen products can be found on their website here.
We have tested a selection of Klattermusen products so please do check these reviews out too. Our review of their Gere 2.0 pants is here and we reviewed their Asyjna hardshell jacket here. We also tested their Ull 30 litre pack here and their Hugin Midweight hoody here. We hope you find them useful.