Jack Wolfskin Alpgrat Pro Insulated Fleece review: fleece meets softshell for superior protection

This stretchy, breathable jacket delivers all the best benefits of fleece to keep you toasty with a more durable windproof face for added protection

Hiking in the Jack Wolfskin Alpgrat Pro Insulated Fleece
(Image: © Ryan Connor, Voxy Media House)

Advnture Verdict

So much more than just another fleece, this versatile jacket piles on the warmth as a breathable mid layer, but blocks the wind if you want to wear it as a durable first line of defense on cold weather adventures where you don’t need rain protection


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    Warm but not bulky

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    Windproof fabric on chest and shoulders

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    Good storage

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    Stay-put hood

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    A little heavier than some comparable jackets

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    No thumb loops

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    Front zip not two-way

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    Hem not adjustable

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    Limited colors available

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    No recycled materials used

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 Jack Wolfskin Alpgrat Pro Insulated Fleece: first impressions 

By any measure, the Alpgrat Pro is a fleece jacket, but when you pull it out of its packaging, you could swear it was a softshell and when you wear it on the mountain, you’ll soon discover it delivers more protection than your average fleece. This versatile jacket can be worn to provide added insulation as a mid layer on a freezing cold or wet hike, but is also durable enough to perform as an outer layer for high aerobic cold weather activities like snowshoeing.

Breathable insulation comes from the soft fleece lining while the Pertex Quantum Air fabric provides windproofing over your chest and shoulders when you take your waterproof jacket off. The paneled construction and stretchy fabric under your arms and on your lower torso mean you can comfortably move in this jacket whether you’re poling or scrambling.


RRP: $119.95 / £130
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes: S - XXXL Men’s, XS - XXL Women’s
• Weight: 14.1 oz / 400 g (women’s small)
• Materials: Polyester, Polyamide
• Colors: Black, Apple Butter, Hedge green, Red earth
• Best use: Hiking, Ski touring

The hood, cuffs and hem aren’t adjustable but they are elasticated and the hood has a stay-put design with a high collar to seal out any cold drafts. If you’re carrying gear you have two roomy zipped pockets, while inner mesh pockets are large enough for a map.

In our field tests, we found this jacket delivers excellent warmth in all the right places but isn’t too bulky. We’d like thumb loops and a two-way zipper, but those details aren’t enough to stop us pulling this on for a winter hike. For future versions, however, we’d love to see some recycled materials used in production.

Jack Wolfskin Alpgrat Pro Insulated Fleece: in the field 

Hiking in the Jack Wolfskin Alpgrat Pro Insulated Fleece

(Image credit: Ryan Connor, Voxy Media House)

I received this jacket to test on a group hike in the Lake District with other journalists and members of the Jack Wolfskin team. I’d driven down the night before and camped in my car and realized too late I’d forgotten my down jacket, so I was already a bit chilled when we met at 6 a.m. and was relieved to receive this. That was over a month ago, and since then I’ve had it in constant rotation with my Houdini Houdi so it’s had plenty of use on Scottish mountains as well as daily wear.

Here’s how it performed:  

Sizing and fit  

I usually wear a small and that’s what I tested. I’d say it fits really well with a neat fit and I can tell if I went down a size it would be too tight across the shoulders. It’s perfect for layering and I wouldn’t size up unless you’re looking for a baggy outer layer. It comes down to mid hip, the sleeves to my wrist without covering my hands and the collar up to my chin when fully zipped. 

Warmth and breathability 

As I mentioned, I was a bit chilled on the day I first wore this and it was a damp, foggy walk to start out. However, the weather turned out to be a cloud inversion and the trail we were on was a steep climb, so I was soon warm and a bit sweaty jacket. In the end I unzipped my waterproof jacket and pit zips and was comfortable once the sun came out, without needing to actually undress. 

In general, it delivers instant warmth thanks to the insulation, but the design means it’s breathable enough to wear for high aerobic activities in low temperatures. The only issue with sweating in it is, as with just about all fleece, that it gets quite smelly quickly and holds onto odor for a while.

Weight and packability 

 This is basically identical to the Houdini Houdi in terms of weight and packability. It’s not the lightest fleece out there, and like most fleece jackets it’s not ultra compressible, so I might think twice about carrying it in my daypack, but because it’s so breathable I’d be most likely to just wear it. Most importantly, it’s not bulky so it can be packed and layered. 

Comfort and durability 

I haven’t had any chafing or rubbing from this jacket though I can imagine the cuffs bring a little less comfortable if they are tight on your wrists and there’s no soft chin guard, so again, depending on the fit, that could get a little annoying. The lining in general is lovely and soft, but overall this has less of that fuzzy fleece you wear around the house vibe and more of an outdoor jacket feel. 

What all that gives you, however, is a more durable jacket that can stand up to overgrown trails, heavy use and cold winds better than a cozier model. 

Jack Wolfskin Alpgrat Pro Insulated Fleece: the bottom line 

If you want the insulation of fleece in a package that can double as a windproof outer layer for winter adventures, you’ll want to consider this jacket. It offers similar warmth for an identical weight to the slightly cozier Houdini Power Houdi, but at a lower price.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.