The Napapijri Alvar Short Jacket is good as a standalone jacket in fall and spring, or under a waterproof shell in winter for hiking and skiing. Its sleek and simple cut is smart and flattering enough to wear casually, so you’ll get more bang for your buck.
Easy to layer
Avoids animal down
Short on the body
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Napapijri Alvar Short Jacket: first impressions
The Napapijri Alvar Short Jacket has looks and smarts. While aesthetics shouldn’t be top of your list for reasons to buy an insulated jacket, they’re always a plus. The Napapijri Alvar Short Jacket is not just one of the best down jackets practicality-wise, it also comes in stylish neutral colors and with a flattering, sleek fit that make it smart enough to wear down the pub or even as a standalone jacket to work when you aren’t in the great outdoors.
• List price: £265 (UK)
• Materials: Polyester and recycled synthetic insulation
• Color options: Purple / Dark Blue / Gray
• Size options: XXS-XL
But Napapijri have been making Arctic-ready jackets for 30 years, so they know a thing or two about keeping your core cozy. We reckon Alvar jacket is a very good crowd-pleaser of a mid layer – it’s stuffed with synthetic insulation that’s lightweight but traps in warmth quickly, while a water-resistant outer material repels rain. We also like the high-cut neck, which adds warmth and feels soft against your face.
Napapijri Alvar Short Jacket: on the slopes
The key to staying warm in cold winter conditions is embracing the “onion method” – so get layering (because layering is important). Wearing multiple layers is a great way to trap in body heat effectively, and one of the most useful pieces you can add to your wardrobe is an insulated jacket to be worn over base layers and, optionally, under waterproof shells.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more on a quality piece for winter, I think Napapijri’s Alvar, new for winter 2022/23, stands out from the crowd. First up, the fit – this mid layer is nicely cut and feels so comfortable you’ll barely notice you’re wearing it, except for the comforting warmth it immediately offers. It is on the short side, though – it sits just on your hips, so anyone long in the torso may need to size up.
Synthetic, recycled insulation traps in body heat effectively and proved to be reasonably breathable on test, so you won’t have to immediately shed layers once you start moving. Napapijri moved to using synthetics over animal down in 2017 and the Thermo Fibre material they’ve used instead does a really good job of trapping in body heat, and is surprisingly warm given the sleek cut of this jacket.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.