Macpac Nitro Polartec Alpha Pullover $169.99
Used by: Hypothermia-dodging editor Alistair Hall
Used for: Nine months
This has fast become my favourite piece of Macpac kit. I wear it a lot – like nearly every day now that we’re well into autumn and heading down the wet, dark slope to winter.
At a paltry 140g (w: 110g), this tight-fitting top is made from Polartec Alpha Direct insulation – yep, it’s literally made from insulation. It’s super-effective at trapping warmth and it feels comfy next to the skin (though a weak breeze blows right through so you still need to wear a layer underneath).
Late last year, I attended a river safety course in Karangahake Gorge that required full submersion while wearing clothes. I wisely left this top on the riverbank because when I emerged from the river, I was shivering and my fingers were numb. That all stopped once I put the pullover on – proving just how effective the right layers are at keeping you comfortable in adverse conditions.
I like it so much, I bought one for my wife, though she complains the women’s version lacks the chest pocket found on the men’s model.
Verdict: A winning combination of comfort, warmth and good fit.