While doing reviews of higher pricepoint products like the Kitsbow Alpha Snap Jacket, I’ve found it’s best to set the expectations in the opening paragraph, so here I am, setting those expectations. Now, this jacket is close to $400. It’s made in Canada, from Polartec® Alpha® insulation, a fabric used by the military for years. Read that as very expensive fabric please. This review’s intent is to answer if indeed, the Alpha Snap Jacket is worth the pricepoint, addressing anyone who might be considering the purchase, yet want more information.
I’m not trying to sell every single reader of this site a $400 jacket, I’m simply showcasing some details and thoughts of said jacket to help anyone who has considered buying it. If you want to read on, please do, if this jacket isn’t for you, no worries, no harm done.
Historically speaking, a Patagonia synthetic down sweater, or jacket have done the trick for me over the years. They’re cheap-ish and Patagonia has always backed their products. They are intended to pack down, keep you warm and be nondescript. Truth be told, I’ll still use my trusty down jacket, but on our recent outing with the Blackburn rangers I opted out of taking it with me in lieu of the Alpha Snap Jacket. Mostly because I liked the way it fit, how small it packed down and yeah, how it looked.
Looks sell. Nothing against down or synthetic down jackets, but everyone on Earth wears them. Sometimes it’s nice to have something different and unique. Still holding onto functionality however, the product has to look sharp and fit exactly how you want it to. The Alpha Snap Jacket fit like a glove on what I would consider my large frame.
Fit and functionality:
There was enough stretch at the back and enough movement across the chest. As soon as the sun set each day, I threw it on, slept in it and continued to wear it as the sun began to warm the California coastline. When I was done wearing it, I strapped it onto my saddle bag, or packed it into a compression sack and if we stopped for lunch, I threw it on immediately to keep warm in the chilly coastline shade.
Was it warmer than my synthetic down jacket? I think so. It was only during the first night where the temperatures dropped to the mid-30s that I wished I had brought some warmer clothes (like pants). Yet I never got too hot once I got into my sleeping bag with the jacket on. While riding, I was impressed how well it breathed, something you don’t achieve with down.
The Alpha Snap jacket is constructed like a article of clothing at this pricepoint should be. You’re not paying an absurd markup like you are when you buy products made overseas. In fact, I know the exact margin Kitsbow makes on this one and it’s surprisingly low. The materials, buttons, sewing and construction is all top notch. There is Schoeller 3X Dry Paneling on the elbows, Polartec Power Stretch throughout the main fabric and fleece lined pockets. It feels like you’re wearing a custom piece of apparel, yet there’s so much going on in terms of detailing.
Is it Worth it?
Look, $400 is a fuckload of money for a jacket and I’m not telling you to buy it, but if you were on the fence and needed an opinion on the Alpha Snap jacket, I’d say it’s a worthy investment. Here’s my caveat: I was sent this jacket from Polartec, with zero obligations to talk about it, much less put up a review, I did all of this on my own accord, because I really do think this jacket is worth it, if you have the means to buy it.
See more at Kitsbow.