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Develop - what's new from the Alpkit Design Team

Keeshond Hybrid Fleece

By Ronnie Legg
19, Sep, 2018

Ronnie tells us how high loft + grid fleece = a hybrid jacket for the ultimate warmth, breathability, and the snuggle factor

© Alpkit

When you get your hands on a Keeshond, the first thing you’ll notice is just how soft and fluffy it is. Anyone wearing a prototype round the office has got used to people stopping them to stroke their arm whilst saying ‘oooh’ as if petting the fluffiest kitten alive. (Note: no rabbits, kittens, baby seals or muppets were harmed in the making of the Keeshond).


The benefits of hybrid construction

The Keeshond owes its fluffy credentials to a combination of hexagonal high loft polyester fleece and zoned lightweight gridded fleece (as used in the Griffon). This hybrid construction gives you the ultimate in comfort; the high loft areas over the main body of the fleece trap warm air whilst the lighter grid structure fleece on the side panels and under the arms helps to prevent you from overheating. The lightweight grid fleece also gives the garment a closer fit, ensuring that, whilst it is exceptionally comfortable, the Keeshond will be as at home hiking in the snow as it is lounging on a pub sofa with your mates afterwards.


Hannah wearing the Forest womens Keeshond
Stefan wearing the men's  nemo keeshond
Stefan wearing the men's forest keeshond

A mid layer for calm, cold conditions

The Keeshond excels in cold, calm conditions: the high loft fleece has a very open structure, so it traps warm air all the while being incredibly breathable. The downside of this structure - the Achilles heel of high loft, if you will - is that it gives very little protection from the wind. So although it is ideal insulation for sitting in a tent or a snow hole, if you were to venture outside on a breezy day you’d need to layer something like a windshell or waterproof over the top to benefit from all that warm trapped air.


Keeshond fleece in Chamonix
Chamonix mountain landscape
 
Glacier walking in the Keeshond fleece and the definition waterproof jacket

Glaciers, baltic bothies, icy days in the Peak... that's when the Keeshond really comes into its own...


High warmth, high breathability

In fact, that is when you will notice the breathability benefits really kick in. Imagine you’ve been tearing up the ski slopes in your Keeshond and Definition jacket combo, working hard in frigid conditions. You pop inside for a hot chocolate, hang up your Definition to let the snow melt off and watch the steam pouring out through the fabric of the Keeshond. You stay warm and comfortable while your clothing does all the hard work to get rid of the sweat you’ve been working up. This means that you can keep going as long as your legs can!


Stefan wearing the keeshond, demonstraing the inside pocket
Stefan showing the Keeshond High Loft and Gridden Fleece Hybrid Jacket

Features

Enough about the fabric, we should probably mention what else the Keeshond has going on in the features department. Both men’s and women’s styles have drop-in open hand pockets for de-frosting your fingers, as well as a secure zipped pocket on the chest for easy access if you are wearing another layer on top. The cuffs are made in the lower bulk grid fleece to improve layering and comfort, with discrete thumb loops that lay closed if you don’t want to use them. Finally, the women’s style features a relaxed fit hood, whereas the men’s has a tall collar to snug out the drafts if need be.


Mark wearing the Keeshond hybrid fleece
Mark wearing the Keeshond hybrid fleece
Mark climbing in the Keeshond hybrid fleece

So whether you’re brewing up in a baltic bothy, enjoying a rare cold crisp day’s walk or need a serious dose of warmth after a wild swim – the Keeshond is your fluffy friend.

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