NAU Atacama Alpaca Sweater

If you read my reviews regularly, you know that I am prone to being overly warm while traveling although part of that is due to foreign airlines and hotels keeping their spaces poorly air conditioned or rather warm (yes, yes we as Americans prefer cooler temperatures, but let people add layers if they are cool because they cannot strip them if they are warm).

Anyway, I am loathe to wear overly warm clothing that I cannot easily remove when traveling overseas. That’s why I am a huge fan of zip-up sweaters over pullovers, and it is also an important part of how I choose my clothing when packing for overseas trips. That’s an important reason also of how I feel that the NAU Atacama Alpaca Sweater works well for my travel wardrobe.

Let’s be fair and square, I would not be taking an alpaca sweater to moderate weather destinations. For me (as someone that is rarely cold), this is best reserved for my trips to Antarctica, Finland in winter, and northern China. Yes, those are places that I have been known to visit in the coldest of temperatures.

I know better than to wear wool fabric when spending too much time indoors overseas, and the alpaca, Tencel fabric of this jacket is exactly what I would not wear indoors. It is, however, exactly what I want draped over my briefcase when walking through some of those actually cold airports and meeting rooms.

Let’s get into the actual nitty gritty about the sweater itself, which is a beautiful, high-end piece of fabric design. I love how stylish it is with the zip-up edge and shoulder patches. Make no mistake about it, this sweater is designed to keep you warm in cold temperatures, and I quickly appreciated how easy it is to remove once you enter a warm building thanks to the full-frontal zipper rather than a pullover opening. I really like the slightly higher collar that gives it that extra pizzazz in the style department.

During the winter months, I think this sweater can double as a professional jacket for those that travel to more casual settings, but want to have a more complete look when wearing a tie without being too formal.

Two front pockets have zipper openings in case your hands get cold or you need to slip something into the sweater. I used it often to put my phone or keys, and the heavy duty fabric material does not stretch to easily, which maintains the sleek look of the sweater. Although if you were to put something like an apple in there, the shape would surely change.

The sweater is perfect to pair with a dress shirt and either khakis, dress pants, or even jeans. My favorite way to wear this sweater is with a dress shirt, tie, and jeans. It is a modern, yet business casual way to use it when traveling because it works for both business and leisure settings.

The best way to care for this sweater is to hand wash it and let it air dry so that it does not shrink. Nau is known for using sustainable materials in its product design, and this alpaca wool has been independently certified as coming from a sustainable provider.

The Men’s Atacama Woven Alpaca Wool Sweater by Nau retails for $315 on the Nau website or other clothing retailer sites and comes in several distinctive colors. My favorite is this dark grey, sophisticated hue because it works with so many colors and types of clothes, which for someone that only travels with a carry-on bag can really appreciate.

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Ramsey Qubein is a travel journalist who has visited 154 countries covering the hotel and airline industry from every corner of the globe. His work appears in travel publications and outlets including Travel+Leisure, Business Traveller, Airways, Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris, US Airways magazine, Northstar Travel Media, Yahoo Travel, and BBC. He serves as the National Hotels Travel Examiner and writes for numerous blogs and web sites. He travels more than 350,000 miles a year and is highly recognized as an expert in loyalty programs, business travel and the luxury travel segment. You can follow him on Twitter at DailyTravelTips or at his website www.RamseyQ.com.
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