Strafe Outerwear Alpha Direct Insulator

Most versatile insulation layer from the Fall/Winter 2018 Gear Guide.
Outerwear Alpha Direct Insulator

This jacket performs like a high-tech piece, but it doesn’t look like one. “My buddy wore it on a big objective near Chamonix, and it kept him at a consistent temp while he was touring fast and hard,” one tester says. “In town afterward, I got called out for looking like a skimo dork, while he got compliments.” The Insulator’s slim cut is about more than fashion: “It helps excess moisture escape quickly, rather than floating around in the dead air between the jacket and my body, so I never got swampy,” reports a tester.


Strafe pairs an air-permeable, polyester face fabric with Polartec’s breathable Alpha Direct insulation to complete the equation; while climbing in the Tetons, one tester said it kept him warm down to 25°F over a tee. Ding: no hood.


“The face fabric has a ton of stretch, enough for me to reach for overhanging holds,” one tester said after trad climbing outside Leavenworth, Washington. 

Weight: 14 oz.

Sizes: Men’s XS-XXL, Women’s XS-XL


See more of the best Insulation for Winter 2018

See the entire Winter Gear Guide