Alpha midlayer.

The Norrona Men's Lofoten Alpha Raw Hooded Fleece Jacket makes a magnificent midlayer for backcountry touring due to its incredible air permeability. Standard breathable garments only start breathing until after you start sweating, which isn't very helpful if you sweat through the fabric and start to freeze. Polartec Alpha's air permeability breathes the moment you put the jacket on. It also excels in moisture management and quick-drying comfort for when you do start sweating. 

  • Fleece makes a magnificent midlayer for backcountry touring
  • Polartec Alpha excels at moisture management and breathability
  • Air permeability begins to breathe once you put this jacket on
  • Integrated hand gaiters with thumbholes help trap body heat
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Very warm and very thin

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

I have a lofoten multi-color from a few years ago, and got this one recently. This one is thinner and lighter than the other one (it has thin sections on inside of arms for example) - which makes this ideal for layering under another outer layer. The wind goes through this one if you wear it out by itself. The hood is very thin and I don't notice it when it's not being used


  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

Joey -
The durability seems good better than I thought it would be. I am wearing it everyday. Love it.
However, I am wearing under a shell so I cannot speak to rock - but it would guess you are right - there are a lot of other fabrics I would want to use for that especially given the price.
The thumb loops are really not an issue.

Unanswered Question

Hey guys! How durable does the Alpha Direct fabric appear to be in this product, with the face fabric and backing fabric removed? Does it seem like it would handle long trad climbs?


Great Fleece

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

The Alpha fleece is amazing - very soft, comfortable, and seems like it will breathe well under a shell - have not had the chance to ski in it yet. In terms of warmth - seems close to an R1 from Patagonia, but it breathes better.
The medium is a great fit (5'11 / 162 lbs) except for the sleeves (tad too long - I am a 15 1/2 | 33 shirt).
The sleeves bunch a little at the wrist. Wanted to use it with my Norrona shell - but with thumb loops on the fleece and thumb loops on the shell, it's a lot of material around your hand / wrist even if you don't use the loops. Wish they would make a real alpha jacket without the hood - may or may not bother people. I still love it. Alpha is an awesome fleece material.
Changing my rating to 5 stars. It's awesome and thumb loops not an issue.

Hey GSB,

How was the durability of this piece? With the exposed Polartec Alpha, I am concerned that this will be considerably less durable than a grid fleece and won't be able to handle rock climbing.

PS - RAB makes a Alpha Direct jacket without a hood. Looks pretty identical to this, with no face fabric or backing fabric.