Paka Hoodie Review showing alpaca wool

Paka Hoodie Review 2024: Is this Alpaca Really Built For Winter Cold?

Eco-Friendly, High-Performance Leisurewear Crafted from Alpaca Wool

From the woman in the mountains high mountains of the Peruvian Andes all the way to your chest, this Paka Hoodie seems to making an absolute stir thanks to it’s lightweight, yet incredible insulating properties.

But is it worth the $139+ price tag?

Paka Apparel web page showing the Paka Hoodie

Let’s take a realistic look at this sustainable fashion piece.

Alpaca wool stands out for its superior insulation, breathability, quick-drying properties, and natural resistance to bacteria and odors. Ideal for the environmentally aware traveler seeking a cozy, adaptable piece for daily explorations. Get Yours Here.

Your support keeps Earth Religion alive. We earn a commission from affiliate links on our site at no extra cost to you, maintaining our trustworthiness. Let’s get into the Paka Hoodie Evaluation.

Paka Hoodie in 3 different colors.

Cost: $139

Weight: 17.5 oz (Size M)

Material: 65% Royal Alpaca, 35% Recycled Nylon, Knitted.

Fit: Regular to relaxed, featuring a flowing silhouette

Sizes: Unisex/Men’s

Advantages: Eco-conscious. Biodegradable packaging. Gentle on skin. Insulating. Comfortable. Handcrafted. Flexible. Naturally fights bacteria and odors. Stylish. Airy.

Drawbacks: Relatively heavy for trekking. Lacks a hanging loop and adjustable hood. Prone to stretching. Pricier. Slight itchiness similar to wool.

What is Paka?

Paka Apparel is a Peru-based company with a strong commitment to sustainability and innovation in outdoor clothing.

They specialize in using alpaca fiber and other sustainable materials to create natural and functional clothing for outdoor enthusiasts.

Their products and exclusive offers include everything from sweaters, hoodies, socks, and accessories, all designed with the unique properties of alpaca fiber, known for its superior heat insulation and softness.

The company’s ethos revolves around connecting us to nature, promoting conscious purchasing chices, and supporting the communities where their products are sourced.

Paka take pride in their dedication to eco-consciousness, carefully selecting materials and manufacturing processes that enhance the outdoor experience and contribute to a greener planet.

It’s beautiful that Paka Apparel support local communities by sourcing materials from the regions they serve, contributing to the betterment of these communities.

Paka Hoodie Alpaca fibers close up shot.

Who Created The Paka Hoodie?

Kris Cody, the founder of Paka Apparel, started the company after a gap year in South America.

His journey began when he purchased an alpaca wool sweater from a local weaver in Cusco, Peru. This sweater not only impressed him with its comfort and adaptability across various climates but also sparked a deep interest in alpaca wool and traditional Incan weaving techniques.

Cody, who was a neuroscience major at the University of Virginia, was awestruck by the talent and skill of local artisans in Cusco, particularly women skilled in traditional Incan weaving. But he noticed they had limited resources and market opportunities to practice their craft. This observation, along with the positive attention his alpaca wool sweater received back in the U.S., inspired him to create a business that would bring traditionally Incan-woven clothing to the United States while providing skilled job options for women weavers in Peru.

He worked closely with the Chaskis, a family of weavers outside Cusco, to design and prototype the initial round of sweaters. Part of his vision was to create an apparel company that would empower local artisans, helping them create a new market for their goods. He also collaborated with various influencers and personalities to promote Paka sweaters, including reaching out to Chance the Rapper.

In interviews, Cody has emphasized the sustainability aspect of alpaca wool as an eco-conscious alternative to other types of wool, highlighting its softness, warmth, and sustainability. He has focused on educating consumers about the environmental impact of synthetic clothing and the benefits of alpaca wool. He also mentioned that alpacas, unlike sheep, don’t damage the ground they walk on, which makes alpaca farming more sustainable.

As for the challenges of building a socially conscious company, Cody has expressed that finding people who genuinely care about sustainability can be difficult. However, he believes that educating people about global issues through products or videos can be very impactful. He balances his academic pursuits in neuroscience with running Paka Apparel, finding support and resources within the university setting.

Cody’s vision for Paka Apparel includes building a living space for Peruvian women weavers and creating a global market for communities similar to those in the Andes. He aspires to grow Paka organically and enrich global health through the brand.

For more detailed information about Kris Cody and Paka Apparel, you can refer to the sources at Paka Apparel’s website​​, UVA Today​​, Shopify Retail​​, Fashion United​​, and Millennial Magazine​​.

Top benefits of Alpaca Fiber

  1. Thermal Insulation: Alpaca wool is known for its excellent insulation properties. It can keep you warm in colder climates due to its superior ability to trap heat, while also being breathable enough for use in milder conditions.

  2. Softness: Alpaca fibers are incredibly soft, often compared favorably to cashmere. This softness makes alpaca wool garments comfortable to wear directly against the skin.

  3. Hypoallergenic: Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca wool does not contain lanolin, a substance that can cause allergic reactions in some people. This makes it hypoallergenic and suitable for those with sensitive skin.

  4. Durability and Strength: Alpaca fibers are notably strong and durable, making garments and textiles made from this material long-lasting.

  5. Lightweight: Despite its warmth, alpaca wool is surprisingly lightweight. This makes it ideal for a variety of garments, including sweaters and outerwear, without adding bulk.

  6. Moisture-Wicking and Breathable: Alpaca wool can wick moisture away from the body, which helps to keep the wearer dry and comfortable. Its breathability also makes it suitable for a range of temperatures.

  7. Natural and Sustainable: Alpaca farming has a lower environmental impact compared to other types of livestock. Alpacas are gentle on grazing land, and their wool is a renewable resource.

  8. Variety of Natural Colors: Alpaca wool comes in a range of natural colors, reducing the need for artificial dyes. This contributes to its eco-friendly profile.

  9. Temperature Regulation: The unique structure of alpaca fibers allows for excellent temperature regulation, keeping the wearer comfortable in both warm and cool conditions.

Man walking in the woods with an alpaca sweater on from Paka Apparel.

Best Features of the Paka Hoodie

The Paka Hoodie showcases a blend of high-performance and comfort, making use of alpaca fiber, specifically Royal Alpaca, known for its exceptional softness, strength, warmth retention, low water absorption, and anti-bacterial/odor-resistant properties. Outside of it’s unique handmade design, each piece has a beautiful stamp from the artisan who put it together.

Here’s our summary:

Material:

The hoodie is crafted from a yarn consisting of 65% Royal Alpaca and 35% recycled nylon. Royal Alpaca is among the finest alpaca wool, with fibers measuring 18-19 microns in diameter, ensuring a soft texture.

Comfort and Sensation:

Although extremely soft, as with many wool garments, it may still have a slight scratchy feel.

Durability and Performance:

The inclusion of recycled nylon enhances the hoodie’s durability, quick-drying capability, and elasticity, while maintaining sustainability.

Fit and Size:

This unisex hoodie generally follows men’s sizing and tends toward a relaxed, loose fit. It is reasonably stretchy and breathable due to its loose knit, but seams may stretch out slightly after prolonged wear, especially noticeable in the sleeves.

Design:

The hoodie features aesthetically pleasing trim elements like a V-shaped contrasting knit at the neck, a Peruvian pattern patch on the hem, and a hand-written seamstress signature inside.

Length and Drape:

It has a longer-than-average drape, covering down to the mid-butt and extending to the knuckles in the sleeves, adding to its unique style.

Incredibly detailed hoodie from Paka Apparel. Showing intricate Inca designs.


Paka Hoodie Cost?

Compared to similar products, especially those made with materials that have no sustainability benefits, this alpaca hoodie is definitely on par with the prices you would expect to pay from a place like REI or even Patagonia.

With that being said, sustainability is hard for everyone to adapt to because it’s typically more expensive to create a sustainable product than a cheap, terrible garment.

It’s just the sad truth unfortunately.

So $139 for this kind of super lightweight pullover sweater isn’t terrible if you really think about the benefits and good cause all around.

The tag of the Paka Hoodie being shown in close up detail.


Paka Hoodie Pros and Cons

The Paka Hoodie, made from a blend of Royal Alpaca and recycled nylon, has several pros and cons:

Paka Hoodie Pros

  1. Material Quality: The use of Royal Alpaca wool ensures softness, warmth, and strength.

  2. Sustainability: The incorporation of recycled nylon adds to the garment’s eco-friendliness.

  3. Comfort: It’s generally comfortable with a soft hand feel, due to the fine strands of alpaca wool.

  4. Durability: The recycled nylon enhances the hoodie’s durability.

  5. Design Features: Attractive design elements include a contrasting knit neck, a Peruvian pattern patch, and a seamstress signature.

  6. Fit: Offers a relaxed and loose fit, suitable for a unisex audience.

  7. Functional Qualities: Exhibits low water absorption and is odor-resistant, making it suitable for extended wear.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t come with any negative aspects.

Paka Hoodie Cons

  1. Slight Itchiness: Despite the softness of alpaca wool, some users may experience a faint scratchy sensation.

  2. Stretching Over Time: The hoodie may stretch out after continuous wear, especially in the sleeves, and may not fully rebound to its original size.

  3. Sizing Considerations: Those between sizes might need to size down due to its tendency to stretch and its relaxed fit.

  4. Drape: The longer drape might not appeal to all, as it falls to mid-butt and knuckles, which is longer than average.

This hoodie is ideal for those who prioritize sustainable, high-quality materials and relaxed fitting gear, you’ll just need to figure out your size for a great fit.

Close up detail of the Alpaca Hoodie in detail.

My Buddies Experience With The Paka Hoodie

I have a good friend who enjoys the outdoors and does a lot of solo camping.

They were particularly excited about this hoodie because of the fact that it was so lightweight, but managed to insulate them during their outdoor adventures. The moisture wicking double knit alpaca was a powerful sweat deterrent and really helped them stay fresh over their 13 mile hiking/camping session in Yosemite.

They would not stop ranting and raving over the fabric feel.

Needless to say, i’ll be picking my own up very soon!

Paka Hoodie product shot.

Conclusion: Should You Buy the Paka Hoodie?

The women artisans in peru would definitely appreciate you doing so!

With all of the incredible benefits of alpaca fiber, I would highly consider getting this alpaca hoodie.

Especially if you want to become more in tune with local artisans, and sustainability in general.

When you compare it to traditional wool, cashmere, or anything coming from a sheep, it’s a lot less itchy and scratchy.

In closing, you should definitely pick one up for yourself, a friend or a spouse.

animals, nature, alpaca

FAQ:

Are Paka hoodies good?

“Without a doubt one of the highest quality pieces of clothing I have ever owned. Light, warm, and breathable. It’s comfier and cozier than I ever could have thought, and I can wear it daily for weeks — even on sweaty hiking and biking activities — without washing it or being even a little stinky.”

How do you wash a Paka hoodie?

You should hand wash alpaca wool in cool water with a mild detergent, or wash in cold water on a delicate cycle.

Where is Paka apparel from?

Peru

“Each of our include a handwoven Inca ID that is made on a handloom in the Sacred Valley of Peru.”

peru, machu picchu, lama, alpaca

Is Paka a legit company?

PAKA Apparel is one of the first animal fiber companies to also focus on the traceability of its fibers. This means you can trust that the sweater or t-shirt you’re wearing was made using yarn from alpacas who roam wild in the Peruvian Andes.

Are alpaca hoodies worth it?

When it comes to natural insulation, breathability, quick dry, and bacteria/odor resistance, nothing beats alpaca fiber. This hoodie is perfect for the eco-conscious traveler who requires a warm and versatile garment for everyday adventure use.

Are Paka hoodies warm?

“Incredibly warm and breathable. It’s good by itself as an outer layer on a little cooler days or a mid layer when it’s very cold. Last night I wore it under my jacket in -15° weather. It made a BIG difference.”

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