Macpac Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket: Tested

By Liz Ginis Photos Justin Walker 12 October 2020
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We see if the Macpac Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket lives up to its promise as a lightweight and warm jacket for your next outdoor adventure.

A lightweight and packable jacket is essential for any adventure, whether you’re out for a day on the trails, a multi-day hike or an extended stay in the great outdoors. Choosing the right one comes down to several factors, including warmth-to-weight ratio, breathability, and reliable moisture management. The Macpac Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket (Womens) claims to have all these elements covered. The Aus Geo ADVENTURE crew put it to the test. 


A core member of Macpac’s alpine series, the Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket is both lightweight and toasty. Weighing in at just 310g (size 10), it uses advanced tech to keep you warm while wicking away moisture. It does this through its inner fabric, Polartec® Alpha® Direct polyester, which was originally designed for the US Special Forces in partnership with the New Zealand Alpine Team (NZAT). Made from 78 per cent recycled content, it sits on the skin, wicking away sweat and regulating body temp during low and high intensity activity.

We gave the jacket a fair workout, slogging up the side of a heavily wooded mountain in Barrington Tops NP (NSW) in mid-winter, and found it delivered on all counts. It’s outer fabric – 100 per cent nylon – delivered too, keeping us dry when the heavens opened, even down to our hands, which we stuffed deep into the side pockets when the cold and rain got too much. The hood saved my head from a drenching and had plenty of room despite the mop of long hair it had to contend with. The chest pocket kept my muesli bar high and dry, while also providing easier access to it than my backpack.

The jacket’s light weight and soft inner fabric make it ultra-comfortable.

The Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket’s reinforced shoulders, lower back and cuffs are a thoughtful and practical addition, minimising abrasion when wearing a backpack and guarding against general wear and tear. Side toggles around the hem of the jacket allow you to adjust and regulate air flow and temperature. And the thumb loops get two thumbs up from this reviewer – I enjoy the feel and function of a secured sleeved. 

Related: Tested: Macpac Minaret

After the heavens cleared and the air temp had climbed above single digits, I pulled the jacket off, shook any remaining water droplets off it and packed it down into its hand pocket. A couple of hundred grams folded in on itself makes for easy carrying.

For a day-hike (or longer) the Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket is the perfect mid- or outer-layer garment.

The final word: Macpac Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket

With its warm, breathable, moisture wicking inner fabric, waterproof outer and slim fit, the Macpac Pisa Polartec Hooded Jacket impressed us. Its light weight makes it a jacket you’ll want to reach for whenever you’re heading out, whether walking the dog on a cooler morning, heading bush for the day, or tackling your latest mountain or alpine climb. It isn’t the cheapest option out there, but you won’t need to open your wallet for another lightweight jacket once you’ve added this to your outdoors wardrobe. 

RRP: $300 or $180 if you’re a member of the Macpac Club. (It is free to join.) Available at all Macpac stores