Trail Tested: bitihorn Alpha Hoodie Shirt by Norrona
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Materials: Face fabric—90% polyester, 10% elastane / Lining—100% polyester / Panels—100% nylon / Insulation—100% Polartec Alph (proprietary synthetic insulation).
Weight: 9.17 ounces
Best Features: Built-in face mask, super warm, light.
Room for Improvement: Price.
Right out of the packaging, this shirt feels like it belongs on an exposed traverse during an alpine run. The bitihorn Alpha Hoodie shirt incorporates body-mapped insulation with four different types of fabric. It’s warm, insulates well and adapts to temperature changes while remaining very lightweight.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Alpha Hoodie is its gaiter-like hem. It is intended to tuck into shorts or pants, while the outer layer, with wind protection, remains free. This drastically reduces the amount of updraft and maintains a significant amount of warmth.
Other notable features are the two-way zipper for ventilation, minimalist thumb loops and a built-in face mask. All these features feel very natural to the piece and are barely even noticed when not in use. The wind protection on the chest, combined with the high loft synthetic Polartec Alpha protects the torso from losing heat from the wind, but breathing appropriately as to not overheat.
The Alpha Hoodie is a perfect cold running shirt on its own. When the temperatures warm up with the oncoming summer temps, simply ditch the undershirt and wear just the Alpha Hoodie for morning runs. Overall, this is an incredibly well-designed piece, especially for the multi-sport alpine athlete. It has a sizable price tag, yet it’s really a special mid-layer that serves a huge spectrum of needs.