More than just a good-looking jacket with a few interesting quirks, the Alv is a high performing garment, versatile enough to be a very good mid later, or a decent outer layer when conditions aren’t too extreme.
Synthetic fill is quick-drying and provides warmth even when wet
Block insulation minimises cold spots
Eco-friendly recycled fabrics and fill
Lightweight and packable
Angled zipper and collar design will polarise opinion
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With its striking looks and eye-catching details, the Klattermusen Alv puffer jacket Jacket from high-end Swedish climbing and mountaineering brand Klattermusen cuts a real dash. But there’s style and substance here – this is an insulated jacket constructed from premium yet eco-friendly recycled materials designed for use primarily as a midlayer for active mountain pursuits in cold weather. It uses PrimaLoft Gold Active+, a high-performance continuous filament block insulation that minimises the risk of cold spots, particularly when compared to a stitch-through down jacket.
• RRP: £240 (UK)/$320 (US)/€280 (EU)
• Fill: PrimaLoft Gold Active+
• Sizes: XS–XXL
• Weight (size M): 403g/14.2oz
• Colours: Brush Green/Burnt Russet/Raven/Sulphur
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In the field
This synthetic jacket works brilliantly as a midlayer. The recycled polyester face fabric is soft and smooth, sliding easily underneath a shell to allow good freedom of movement. The trim fit also helps it to layer well. Having said that, the tight weave is highly wind-resistant, while a PFC-free water repellent treatment gives it increased weather resistance. The hem and shoulder areas are also reinforced with a heavier weight fabric. So, it also did a good job when we wore it as an outer layer too, even with a pack or harness on. The fact that the two roomy, zipped hand pockets are sensibly placed out of the way of a climbing harness or rucksack hip belt helps. We also liked the loop on the inside of the jacket, which were useful for clipping in your gloves. It’s a handy place to put them when you need your fingers to say, tie in on a climbing route, but don’t want to pack away your gloves (or risk losing them). The cuff design is similarly excellent. And the jacket can also be stowed in its own pocket, which is always useful for an insulating layer.
Admittedly, a couple of other details do seem a bit more eccentric – like the angled two-way main zipper and the unusual collar design. This is supposedly designed to give a soft and snug fit at the throat, while the offset zip is meant to reduce chin abrasion and increase ventilation possibilities. You’ll probably either love them or hate them. Our experience was that while the zip does make it easier to vent from the top of the jacket, and keeps the zip puller out of the way, the collar design actually seems to be a potential source of heat loss, since it seems to gape a little. Some might also bemoan the lack of a hood, which is a fair point, though on the other hand this makes it easier to layer and saves weight too.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.