PAKA Hoodie Review: Alpaca Wool Apparel FTW

How can a wool hoodie be crazy-soft, yet also technical AND durable? PAKA's Alpacas seem to have the answer...

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Welcome to my PAKA Hoodie review, where I’m sharing my experience wearing this Alpaca wool hoodie, how it performs, how to care for it, and other features you may appreciate if you’re considering buying one for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Here at Trail & Kale we’re no strangers to Alpaca-wool apparel brand PAKA. PAKA products we’ve owned and reviewed in the past include their baselayers and Alpaca wool socks, as well as the super-warm Apu Parka.

However, until now, I had not shared my review of one of their bestselling, hugely popular items, the PAKA Hoodie, which is created in Peru using a blend of Alpaca wool and recycled nylon yarn.

Key Specifications of the PAKA Hoodie

  • Price: $139 at PAKAapparel.com
  • Sizing and fit: XXS through XXL, unisex sizing
  • Best for: Everyday wear, hiking, light adventuring and travel, layering in cold weather.

PAKA Hoodie Review

The PAKA hoodie is, as mentioned above, designed to be an item you can wear everyday. It’s available in several colors, including a classic grey (like mine that you see in the photos throughout this review), charcoal, oat, and eucalyptus, which is a dark green shade.

'Grey hoodie twinning' with my son Sebastian
‘Grey hoodie twinning’ with my son Sebastian

If you’re unfamiliar with the properties of Alpaca wool, it’s similar to Merino wool in that it is naturally thermoregulating, breathable and sweat-wicking… plus, crucially, unlike other types of wool like sheeps’ wool, it’s not known to cause itchiness when worn next to your skin. PAKA even states on their website that the fiber is ‘softer than cashmere’ – and that’s saying something. I can attest to that – it is definitely super soft!

So, then, you can see why it’s becoming an increasingly popular fiber for use in not just tops like this hoodie, but also baselayers and socks.

The overall fit of the PAKA Hoodie is spot-on and provides a flattering look.
The overall fit of the PAKA Hoodie is spot-on and provides a flattering look.

Aside from the notable features of the PAKA Hoodie itself, it’s also important to note that it’s made 100% in Peru – this is one of the key differentiators for this item of PAKA Apparel. That is, the Alpacas whose wool it uses, live and are shorn there, the wool fibers are dyed there and the women weavers who create the hoodie are also in Peru.

Not just that, but it comes with full traceability (you can scan the QR code it comes with and check out how your item was created) and each hoodie is also hand-signed by the person who made it, which is such an awesome feature if you value knowing how and from where (and by whom) the items you buy were created.

Each PAKA Hoodie is hand-signed by the person who made it - thanks, Mercedes, I love it!
Each PAKA Hoodie is hand-signed by the person who made it – thanks, Mercedes, I love it!

I understand the blend of Alpaca wool to recycled nylon yarn has changed over time; my particular hoodie is made with a blend of 65% Royal Alpaca Fiber / 35% Recycled Nylon.

In terms of fit, it’s a ‘casual’ fit, not skin hugging, not a baggy hoodie. It suits my athletic build – I’m wearing a size Small in the photos shown in this review, in case you were wondering. I find the body and sleeve lengths to be just right, not too long (or short), and the v-neck look at the front of the hoodie is a detail I particularly like.

PAKA also has a load of pictures of other men and women wearing their hoodie on the product page of their website.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

The addition of recycled nylon into the blend helps it retain its shape and durability. The durability of this hoodie will surprise you, especially given, as I mentioned above, it’s super soft and feels quite delicate, like cashmere – and, it’s really lightweight – my hoodie weighs less than 10 oz.

PAKA Hoodie Review: Alpaca Wool Apparel FTW 1 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

However, don’t let all that talk of softness fool you. You can actually wear this hoodie a lot without it even showing wear. So whether that’s for your everyday day-to-day, or something presumably more exciting like hiking, bikepacking or travels to far-flung places, it’s not going to get full of holes anytime soon.

It’s also pretty easy to care for – while PAKA suggests that hand washing in cold water is best, you can wash it in your machine on a delicate and cold cycle. Then, dry it flat to help it retain its shape. You won’t actually need to wash it all that often, though – because another cool thing about Alpaca wool is that it has antimicrobial properties that mean you can wear it more than other types of apparel before it will start to get stinky!

With all that said, at $139, the PAKA Hoodie represents great value for money. For that, you’re getting a high-quality, traceable Alpaca wool hoodie with technical properties, that’s super-versatile for wearing in many scenarios.


PAKA Hoodie – More Photos

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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