I recently received my order of the Allta Polar K8 Parka in Manatee Grey. I do not live in Alaska nor cold regions of Canada, but in the Southwest. However, I do camp and travel in cold areas, including mountains in the winter. Having grown up and spent time in cold, windy Midwest winters, I appreciate truly rugged, functional cold weather gear. Parkas truly capable of subzero weather can be quite expensive. Normal price for this parka is quite competitive, but I took advantage of the recent sale, which was a great deal.
I am 5’10”, approximately 180#’s. I typically order Large in jackets and parkas. I followed the sizing guide and ordered Large. When I unpacked the parka and put it on, I immediately wondered if sizing was too large. As I checked it out further and tested layering under, I am good with this size. The arms are long with the overall length slightly longer than my fingertips. However, the arms have the long fingertip cuffs and recessed area under the parka cuff to allow for gloves/mittens to fit under the external cuffs which can be further cinched with velcro adjustment. The additional arm length also is nice for arm movement articulation without exposing wrist and arm skin. The fit is Expedition to accomodate layering, and overall fit worked well as I tested various potential layers under.
The specs on Allta Polar K8 Parka say it withstands temperatures down to -70 F. I find myself skeptical on that temp rating, but I am that way on ratings for other various extreme cold weather gear, to include boots, gloves, and mittens. I generally cut subzero temp ratings by 1/2 in the subzero temps for me. So much depends on level of activity, wind, food energy status, age, and sex—women generally perceive cold more than men. I’m an older guy and more sensitive to cold than my younger years, plus lower overall activity level. The cold rating for this parka is also based on a layering system, not static on the parka alone.
The parka length in front is about the same as crotch bottom of my pants, so vulnerable goods are covered. The back is much longer, coming down past mid thigh to a few inches above knee. I like that. You do not need to worry about exposing your back side with physical activity, or bending over to pick up something, adjust clothing, etc. Should you need to sit, your butt is covered and insulated.
The main zipper has dual zippers and has a sewn strip behind the zipper to prevent snagging the zipper—I love that feature and is on another Beyond jacket I bought. The zipper curves to the right of your jaw line at the top. With layering you can end up with a stack of zippers bulging and interfering with closure, and this feature is an excellent choice to avoid that.
Pockets are spacious and main hand pockets are insulated and go all the way to the bottom of the parka. The shoulder pockets also have good room—horizontal length about equal to my hand length from my wrist. The inside drying/storage pockets are nice and large. There is a slide buckle to connect the face covering layer along with velcro to attach to shoulder patch to secure this covering when not in use and avoid strap blowing and hitting face when cover not in use. Pictures on the website seem to indicate this face covering may cover all the way to bottom of eyes, but for me this covering goes up to cover just above the tip of my nose. Hood adjustment along with under layers will affect that position as well.
This parka is not as lofty as down, but none of my synthetic filled jackets are. Some down filled jackets/parkas seem delicate with the outer fabric layer. This parka does not seem at all delicate, but does not feel overly heavy to me to wear.
I have been impressed with Beyond’s feature provisions on this parka and the Aptus Hybrid K5 I purchased previously. I anticipate I will add more Beyond pieces.