I like fleece jackets, but I appreciate it even more when the backpack is a little lighter. At least that’s what the Alpha Cruiser from FarPointe Outdoor Gear promises. I had originally planned to take an Alpha Cruiser Hoody with me on the Arizona Trail, but that didn’t work out due to my late order. Instead, I only had my REI Sun Hoodie, the rain jacket and a Forclaz MT100, which I had bought for €20 the year before and wanted to use as an insulating layer for my upper body. After all the money I’d spent on shoes, I simply had to save money in some areas.
I was all the happier when I had the opportunity to return the MT100 in Mormon Lake and receive the Alpha Cruiser Hoodie with 90 gsm Polartec Alpha.
I wore the FarPointe Alpha Cruiser from Mormon Lake to the northern terminus, about 500 km, and it was with me on all the smaller tours. No matter whether it was just on the Ith Hills trail or on the Heidschnucken trail. I wear the hoodie when hiking and, if necessary, when sleeping. If it’s too warm to wear it to sleep, it also makes a great pillow. I wear it in my free time and in the last few months I’ve been wearing it more and more when looking for mushrooms.
What I like about the Alpha Cruiser
- The low weight
- Dries quickly and doesn’t seem to absorb moisture at all
- The Polartec Alpha Direct material
It’s lighter than any fleece and dries faster. To be honest, I have the feeling that it doesn’t absorb moisture at all. While I’m already sweating underneath, the outer material still feels dry. I also like the material – I always looked forward to putting on my “cozy” sweater. A feeling that my previous fleece jackets couldn’t give me.
What I don’t like about the Alpha Cruiser
- No holes for the thumbs
Unfortunately, the hoodie did not return home from the USA unscathed. When I had to dig a hole behind or under a very thorny tree, I probably got my arm caught on a thorn. I didn’t even notice it myself at first, but was quickly made aware of the hole in my clothing. I quickly repaired it with some dental floss on the go and it has held ever since. Apart from that, you can see a bit of abrasion on one of my armpits, but the material is still holding up well. However, you shouldn’t get caught on a branch under any circumstances and you should also keep your distance from Velcro.
It may be just me, but I really like thumbholes and I miss them here. However, this seems to be something that none of the manufacturers who work with PolarTec Alpha as a material do. Still, I miss them.
What’s good or bad about the Alpha Cruiser
- Not windproof
Polartec Alpha is not windproof, even less so than any non-windproof fleece jacket. Personally, I think that’s great. I get very warm very quickly and I sweat a lot. From my subjective point of view, this is not so bad in the Alpha Cruiser. Probably because it’s so airy. If it does get too windy, I throw my rain jacket over it and everything is great.
Conclusion on the Alpha Cruiser from FarPointe
The combination of rain jacket and Polartec Alpha has also served me well in sub-zero temperatures at camp. Just north of the Grand Canyon there was still a lot of snow, and my shoes were frozen stiff in the morning. To be honest, I’ve fallen a little in love with the Alpha Cruiser as a piece of clothing and sometimes just wear it on its own.