Thursday, April 25, 2024

Sambob Octa Hoodie Review-an ultralight alternative to Polartec Alpha hoodies?

Article by Markus Zinkl

 Sambob Octa Hoodie ($140)


The Octa Hoodie is a product of a journey that began in 2021 in Logan, Utah. What started as a Covid hobby for Sam Roberts, a wildlife biologist and passionate backpacker, quickly turned into a thriving business. 

Sam, who spent a significant amount of his work and leisure time outdoors, was always on the hunt for the ideal mid-layer. This led him to learn sewing in late 2020, and he immediately began crafting fleece tops. As his creations started to gain traction, first among friends and family, and then among strangers on Instagram, Sam decided to share his unique designs and comfortable layers with a wider audience. Thus, the Sambob brand was born.

I recently had the pleasure of trying out one of Sam’s creations, the Octa Hoodie. This ultralight midlayer fleece hoodie uses the innovative Teijin Octa fabric, which is the main competitor right now the wildly popular Polartec Alpha fabric.

Octa Hoodie ($140.00)

Tech Specs

Sample Weight: 4.2 oz / 120 g (Size: S)

Main fabric: Teijin Octa, 100% Polyester, ~2.5oz/yard


The unique Teijin Octa polyester fiber has a highly modified cross-section with eight projections aligned in a radial pattern around a hollow fiber. 

The spaces between the projections preserve body heat, providing extra warmth, while the fabric’s unique construction contributes to quick drying and an airy texture. The fabric is 50% lighter than regular polyester material, making it a great choice for a midlayer.

Comparison with Polartec Alpha

Compared to Polartec Alpha, Octa is slightly heavier and not as see-through, making it nicer to wear as a single layer. It’s only brushed up on the inside, so it tends to snag a bit less on the outside.

Fit and Customization

As for the fit, I’m 183 cm / 6 ft  and 70 kg / 154 lbs, and I went with a size S based on the sizing instructions.

The fit was a bit boxy for me and tended to stick out a bit on the lower hem in the back. I would have appreciated a bit more torso length. 

The customization options are where this hoodie really shines. You can pretty much customize everything, from the sizing (narrow, wide, and even custom sizes) to the color. 

The hood also has a normal and wide option. I went with a single color, but you can customize everything (front, back, sleeves, cuffs, and hood). The site has a great configurator for this.


Sambob Teijin Octa (left) Polartec Alpha (right)

In terms of performance, the Octa Hoodie is a great alternative to Polartec Alpha, but with a few differences. Octa is a bit heavier, not as stretchy, is a bit warmer and less breathable, and is less see-through. 

The hoodie features a balaclava-style hood with a drawstring cord to snug it, so it gives you great coverage around the neck. 

The drawstring is angled to the side a bit, which looks great in my opinion. The sewing quality is top-notch. I couldn’t find any loose thread or crooked seam.


If you’re looking for an ultralight midlayer, this is a great option. Especially if you want to get creative and get your very own version, you can customize everything. If you want the lightest and most breathable available, you should go with an Alpha hoodie. If you want a bit more warmth and a nicer-looking outer fabric, you should go with the Octa hoodie.

Available here 

The products that are the basis of this test were provided to us free of charge by The opinions presented are our own.

Tester Profile

Markus Zinkl: I’m 34 years old and live in a small village in Bavaria, Germany. I started hiking and backpacking 5-6 years ago. Coming from trail running and with light and fast in mind, I started hiking and fast packing with ultralight gear. Over the years I tried and tested a lot of gear, always in search of weight savings. Although still trying to stay out of the ultralight rabbit hole. I spend most of my days off from work on the trail, with at least one 2-3 week thru-hike. Among the more well known trails I have hiked over the last few years are the GR221, WHR (Walker’s Haute Route), TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc), TC (Tour du Cervin-Matterhorn) and Via Alpina Switzerland. As you probably notice by now, I’m at home in the mountains. So if I’m not running or thru-hiking a longer trail, I’m probably somewhere in the Alps checking out some shorter trails.

We welcome comments and questions in the comments section.


Markus said...


dinosaur game said...

Really impressed with the quality of the Sambob Octa hoodie. I think that with a shirt like that, it is very difficult to get a shirt with such good ventilation but this shirt did the job.