PolychromeLab has recently sent me one of their Alta Quota jackets in order to review it. My first impression is quite positive even so I need to test the Alta Quota more over a longer period and in more sunny conditions. One of the main features of this jacket is that once you turn it inside out it either cool (silver fabric outside) or warms (black fabric outside) you.
This week I had a chance to test the polychromeLAB Alta Quota jacket on our packrafting trip in the Netherlands. We experienced rain, sun, and hail. Very positive was that the jacket is very stretchy and feels comfortable which is quite useful if you have to move a lot e.g. climbing or skiing but it also works quite well if you have to wear a heavy backpack as I did.
- cools and warms
- no PFC*
- craftmanship & quality materials
- feels comfrotable
- breathability*: MVTR 35.000g/24h
- waterproof: 10.000 mm
hood protects well
- wrist straps work better than velcro fastener
- 2 front pockets on each side
RIRI Aquastop zippers (impermeable to splash-water)
weight: 550 grams
*as indicated on manufacturer website
I really liked the hood. It snugs nicely around the head and the visor protects well against the elements. The zippers under the arms help to ventilate the jacket and there are straps to adjust the hood.
There is plenty of space to store your wallet or a map in one of the 2 front pockets on each side. The pockets also work well to protect your hands in cold conditions. I could think of having only 2 pockets on the black side of the jacket in order to decrease the weight of the jacket a little bit as you are most likely going to protect your hands only in colder conditions.
A really nice feature of this jacket is the straps on your wrist. My other jackets do all have velcro fasteners but I found those straps more useful as they feel more solid and can easily be adjusted.
The only downside I could think of with this jacket is that you can only turn the jacket inside out if the jacket is dry. The jacket should, however, dry quite fast once the sun comes out.
The Alta Quota jacket is not an ultralight jacket which you use only for emergency situations but more a 3-layer jacket which is durable and from my point of view a great jacket for winter sports activities in the mountains. The jacket feels more like a softshell jacket but with the advantage of being waterproof. The breathability of the polychromeLAB Alta Quota also seemed to be quite good while I was hiking with my big backpack over 3 km. The company has also received 12 awards e.g. the ISPO award.