The Advantages Of Alpaca Fiber
There are numerous fabrics, both organic and synthetic which are used in active and technical apparel, wicking away sweat, allowing your skin to breathe, keeping out moisture, odor repelling, and much more. While most of these fabrics work great at what they are intended, we’ve found that only a few, including Alpaca fibers, are comfortable enough to wear all day, every day.
We were offered an opportunity to try a few Paka products including the company’s T-Shirt, Underwear, and Hoodie. Paka is a manufacturer of outdoor and leisure apparel, that uses Alpaca fibers in their garments and makes products that are more accessible to mainstream outdoor enthusiasts. At the same time, the company works with weaving communities in Cusco, Peru on a fair-trade basis to preserve their traditions and promote the weaver’s work.
The products are a combination of Alpaca fibers and organic Pima cotton, but the benefits include an incredibly soft feel, moisture wicking, odor resistance, and the ability to keep you warm or cool. In addition to feeling good when you wear the apparel, Alpaca is also better for the environment, requiring less material than other organic fibers available. This also makes you feel good about wearing them.
DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY
We tried the men’s underwear and T-shirt, wearing both on a few different outdoor activities. Right out of the bag, both felt incredibly soft to the touch but a little itchy as we wore it on a long hike. After the first wash, however, it was so soft and comfortable that the next time we wore them, we wanted to take them on a weekend camping trip.
We liked the way the material helped regulate our body heat, helping to keep us warm at night and cool during a hot early fall outing in the Southern California desert. After more washings, our third these quickly became the “go-to” undergarments for sleeping and on every hiking trip afterward.
We have yet to fully try the Hoodie as it’s been too hot, but we’re waiting for some cooler temperatures and will offer another review of the Hoodie later. Our first impression, however, is that it is incredibly soft and although temperatures never got cool enough to wear it all day, we are anxious to try it again during an upcoming Fall trip to the mountains later this year.
Aside from the softness of the fabric against the skin, the finish and stitching are comparable to other “high-end” outdoor apparel. The T-shirt retails for around $55 and the underwear around ($35). That might seem steep for your average outdoor enthusiast, but spending more on good apparel is well worth it if the clothing makes you more comfortable during your outdoor adventures. Save the Hanes cotton underwear for everyday use, and use the good stuff when enjoying the great outdoors.
For more information on Paka products and the company’s commitment to the environment and sustainability, visit https://www.pakaapparel.com/