Review: Appalachian Gear All-Paca Fleece Hoodie
The Appalachian Gear All-Paca Fleece Hoodie is a warm yet lightweight mid-layer that has great breathability due to the 100% alpaca fiber.
- fabric: 100% alpaca yarn sourced from Fair Trade producers in Peru
- constructed in the U.S.
- weight: 9 oz. – women’s size small
- construction: weft knit for strength and to reduce running
About the Appalachian Gear Company
Appalachian Gear Company is a small cottage-industry company based in North Carolina. They manufacture the fabric in the U.S. from yarn imported from Peru and require their yarn vendors to achieve the Fair Trade, OEKO-TEX Standard 100, and the Responsible Wool Standards & Certifications. Learn more
Purchase from Appalachian Gear Company: $158
What I like about this hoodie
I’ve been wearing this hoodie for several months as a mid-layer while hiking and camping. I especially like the lightweight feel and ability to layer without adding bulk. I wear mine over a lightweight base layer and add an insulated layer over it when needed. Some people may prefer that it had pockets, but I like that it doesn’t since that would add bulk when wearing a backpack with hip belts.
I also like the breathability of the alpaca fabric. I tend to wear this in cold weather and prefer to use multiple layers to manage body temperature. When I wear this hoodie, I stay warm without sweating due to the ability of the fabric to allow plenty of airflow. The hood adds an extra layer of warmth when needed. I always wear a hat with a brim and find that the hood fits well over it without falling onto my face.
Another feature that I like is that it doesn’t need to be washed every time I wear it. In fact, after several months of regular use, I’ve only washed it once and yet it doesn’t smell like I’ve worn it at all.
Overall, this has become one of my favorite pieces for layering while hiking. And I think it looks great for wearing off trail too.
Fit: I have a women’s size small hoodie. Sizing info on the Appalachian Gear website says this hoodie runs large, but I think they run a bit small. However, I have noticed that the more I wear it, it relaxes and gets slightly larger over time. The back length is longer than the front, which is nice for wearing with a backpack since the bottom falls under the hip belt and doesn’t bulk up awkwardly underneath it.
Washing: Since alpaca fabric doesn’t retain odor, it doesn’t need to be washed very often. When you do need to wash it, a regular washing machine and detergent can be used, then placed in a dryer on low heat. However, I like to take extra care of technical gear so I wash it with a product designed for wool on a delicate cycle and then lay it flat on a sweater rack to dry.
Durability: After several months of wearing this hoodie several times a week, I haven’t noticed any durability issues. No pilling or loose threads or changes in shape.
Itchiness: I have sensitive skin and frequently find wool clothing to be too itchy to wear. When I first received this hoodie, it felt a bit itchy to me so I researched ways to mitigate this and found that soaking in water with a small amount of vinegar would help. After soaking, it felt a lot less itchy to me but I still always wear a light base layer under it.
My husband also has this hoodie (in a medium) and loves how it keeps him warm at home as well as out on hikes.
MY REVIEW POLICY
Appalachian Gear Company sent me this product to test and review. Regardless, I’m under no obligation to give it a favorable review. As an independent gear reviewer, my policy is to review only items that I have used on multiple hiking trips and that I feel are quality products worthy of recommending. If I don’t like a product, I send it back and don’t review or recommend it.
I Heart Pacific Northwest is a participant in affiliate link programs through Amazon and Avantlink, which provides a small commission if a purchase is made through gear links on this site. This does not change the price of the item. I am not sponsored by any gear companies and the items listed here are owned by me and unless otherwise stated, are purchased with my own funds. My policy is to only link to products that I've used and would recommend. Thank you for supporting this blog!