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Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest review: a slimline design makes this ideal as a mid layer

Make like an onion and get layering in the Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest, a lightweight, slimline gilet, perfect as a mid layer for outdoor adventures

Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest
(Image: © Alpkit)

Our Verdict

This slim and comfortable vest could be described as a gilet-lite – it’s the perfect mid layer for extra warmth under a waterproof, or ideal as an outer layer on mild days when you just need something extra around your torso.

For

  • Great for layering
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Easy to pack away

Against

  • Not enough warmth for winter use on its own
  • Not water-resistant
  • Lack of color options

Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest: first impressions

Layering is the key to keeping warm, and a lightweight gilet like the Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest is the perfect mid layer to pop over a base layer and under a warm jacket (see also: what is a mid layer?).

In fact, this gilet is so light and comfortable to wear that you’ll barely notice you have it on, but a layer of synthetic PrimaLoft insulation adds welcome warmth around the torso. 

It also compresses down for easy storage in a backpack pocket if you do want a lose a layer while you’re on the go (an included stuff sack would have been in the icing on the cake there).

Specifications

• RRP: 110 (US) / £80 (UK)
• Fill: PrimaLoft Gold
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL
• Waterproofing: None
• Colors: Black
• Compatibility: A brilliant mid layer for active sports

Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest: on the trail

When we tested the Alpkit Sierra Women’s Insulated Vest for our best women’s gilets buying guide, we found it absolutely ideal for faster-paced sports and outdoor activities, as it keeps you nice and cosy without overheating whether you’re climbing, cycling or hiking. In addition, the stretchy side panels keep the gilet in place even when you’re moving fast. 

When we tested it out on hikes along a variety of trails in Wales it worked brilliantly worn under backpack straps. It’s just a pity the vest’s outer material isn’t water-resistant, like many others on the market – if you’re not popping a waterproof jacket over the top you’ll need to stick to using the Sierra on cold, dry days. 

The Sierra is still versatile, though; neutral looks and a black colorway make this vest work for nigh-on any situation, from commuting to country strolls, and its light weight and easy portability made us reach for it for everything from city cycles to just sticking on to warm up when sat at a desk without needing a bulky layer.