The Alpha Direct 4004 Hoodie is an ultralight hoodie built with Polartec Alpha Direct 4004 fabric. Alpha Direct 4004 is the 90gsm variant. This is an excellent intense activity insulation layer that should be paired with a shell for a very light, modular system. The structure of the fabric is very open, with fluffy tufts between. With a shell to cap the air, the tufts create loft and the spaces create dead air. It keeps you very warm for it’s weight. Without a shell Alpha has very little insulation value, which is one of it’s benefits. By venting the outer shell and exposing the Alpha directly to the air, you can dump a lot of heat quickly without the need for inner layer zippers. You can change the outer shell to deal with different conditions while providing a huge and highly adjustable range of insulation. This can’t compare to a true static insulator like a down sweater at camp but it can sometimes be enough to get by with, while covering a giant range of conditions while active.
Approximately 5oz (small).
Though I worry a bit about the somewhat fragile nature of Polartec Alpha, this piece is great. I don’t really wear it while hiking because I’m afraid it will snag. I may press it into service in colder conditions underneath a wind jacket or puffy. I wear it at camp and to sleep in. It is quite warm for its weight and very soft. The hood is great when paired with a beanie of similar material and in warmer temps when I don’t use the Waterbear Balaclava, the hood provides a soft layer between the stubble on my face from not shaving and the material of my pillow. I own quite a few Timmermade pieces and they individually, and combined, have really brought the weight of my pack down during the colder months. If you are carrying around a heavier hoodie or sweatshirt, do yourself a favor and ditch it for one of these.
David welter (verified owner) –
Worth the wait/weight.
Got this a few days ago in the mail and tested it out that night in the backyard hammock. The idea being, if slept in, I can get by with a lighter quilt, and no hoodie(down to 40f).
I was using a 50° quilt/underquilt and the Temp dropped to ~40°f. Worked like a charm; I never woke up cold.(which had been a problem in the past unless I wore a hoodie to bed)
With rain gear that can act as a shell, I will be hiking without a hoodie and a few oz off the quilt until the temp goes below 40°.
So far, so good.
H. Harding –
This is my “go to” midlayer. Light and warm, great compressibility, fits a little slim so went up a size, which is perfect as I like a little space. Only wish a crew neck were available so I could wear in more formal settings. Overall a great polartec alpha product based on others that I own ( Rab, Outdoor Research, First Ascent,Norrona, Marmot, etc. – yes, I’m an Alpha kinda guy!).
AG (verified owner) –
I’ve enjoyed wearing this hoodie on my fall and winter hikes for the last six months. Going uphill, I usually wear a merino wool long-sleeve. I add the Alpha and/or a lightweight wind shell if it’s windy/cold and when going downhill. The Alpha is so light that its weight is almost negligible in a backpack and packs down tiny. If the temp is lower than 40F, I also pack an insulated lightweight down jacket and wear the Alpha underneath. Below 45F, I’ve learned that you really do not want to be caught sitting at the top of a mountain with just this, a merino long-sleeve and a wind shell 🙂
I also have a MH Airmesh hoodie. This hoodie is more breathable than the Airmesh and not quite as warm. I’m more worried about this hoodie snagging, but it feels much nicer on exposed skin, and the neck fabric is less constricting. Unless it’s extremely cold, I usually go for the Alpha.
I bought two because I worried the fabric would snag and tear when hiking. I haven’t been particularly careful with them, though, and no noticeable tearing still.