This winter we’ve continued our close relationship with the New Zealand Alpine Team and added a number of new pieces to the Macpac Alpine Series; the Nitro Pullover, the Icefall Jacket, the Barrier Bib (available late in May), the NZAT Down Quilt and the women’s Pulsar Plus Jacket (also late May). All high performance pieces of kit in their own right, but I want to explain some of the most interesting design features from three of my favourites.
The Icefall is a hybrid insulated jacket – we’ve used HyperDRY goose down throughout the body, arms and hood to keep the jacket’s warmth to weight ratio in check; but in the chin, cuffs, and top shoulder panels we used PrimaLoft Gold insulation with Cross-Core Technology, which offers even more warmth without adding any weight. These are high-moisture areas when you’re on the mountain, and PrimaLoft continues to be an amazing insulator even when it gets wet.
The Nitro is a pullover best used as a mid layer in cold conditions. It’s constructed solely from Polartec Alpha Direct polyester insulation – which basically means it’s super light, warm, and incredibly breathable. This one will be a staple for multi-sporters, mountaineers and hikers.
The NZAT Down Quilt is probably the biggest curve ball in the Alpine Series this season. The NZ Alpine Team members are always pushing us to design lighter, more packable sleeping bags, and this is easily the best option we’ve come up with. The NZAT Down Quilt is, as the name suggests, a quilt, not a sleeping bag. It has straps that join each side so you can fasten it underneath one, two or three people. The fact that it can comfortably sleep two, and in a pinch three, means that gram counting mountaineers can make significant cuts to their packweights. But the quilt is also great for events like GODZone, or even just a family camping trip in the warmer months.