Words by Ryan Barnett
I have been using the alpha freak pull-on for my go to midlayer for climbing/mountaineering more recently winter climbing in Scotland.
What is it made from?
The Alpha Freak is constructed from a mix of three fabrics, Polartec Alpha, Pertex Quantum and Polartec Power Grid.
One of the main stand-out features of the Alpha Freak is its amazing breathability whilst at the same time keeping you warm and comfortable. I was able to layer this pull-on with a good base layer underneath during the approaches to Scottish winter climbs in temperatures as low as -6°C. That said, I do find I run warm especially on the more technical approaches.
Another benefit to the technical fabrics used is that the pull-on dries exceptionally fast if it does get wet; I left it on during some light snow and found it had dried by the time I got back to the car park.
One of my favourite features is the hood; it fits well under my helmet and does an excellent job at blocking out the wind and keeping my head warm. Not only that, but the hood doesn't impair movement and I’m still able to look around fully without the hood falling in front of my eyes like a few other pieces I’ve used.
How does it fit?
The Alpha freak is a slim, snug fitting pull-on which is designed to be worn primarily as a midlayer. I found it fits nicely over a baselayer and is slim enough to allow a shell to fit over the top without restricting movement. For reference, I’m 6ft 2”, have a 36” waist and wear a size large. Another thing to mention is that a harness fits really well over the pull-on which will be great for those cooler summer days.
What could be improved?
My only criticism is the thumb loops. I find that after a couple of hours of climbing they became uncomfortable and had to take my thumbs out of the loops. If you were to just use the thumb loops at the top of the climb to provide extra warmth then you’d be fine, but after extended periods of time, it may start to feel uncomfortable.
This is a perfect midlayer for climbing/mountaineering and I look forward to using it climbing on the colder summer days down at the crag and on my alpine adventure