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Description

A minimalist fortress for fast-and-light alpine ascents.

Lining up 12 pitches in a day is a serious endeavor, and while you'd prefer to do it in perfect weather sometimes that's not just how things go, so you need an ultra-light rain shell like the Arc'teryx Alpha FL Men's Jacket. The lightest Gore-Tex Pro jacket that Arc'teryx makes, the FL (Fast and Light, if you were wondering) is the speed demon of the climbing-and-alpinism-oriented Alpha series, with a lightweight 3-layer design, waterproof and breathable membrane, and taped critical seams to keep you dry without any extra bulk. 

Unlike average shells, the FL is designed specifically with climbers in mind. It has a trim fit to eliminate any extra material, and an e3D ergonomic design that's articulated in all the right places to facilitate climbing movements The slim profile also makes it easy to see your harness, so you don't waste time and energy trying to grab piece of gear from it, while the removable HemLock foam hem inserts keep your jacket from sliding up under your harness and leaving you exposed. The helmet-compatible StormHood adjust with a single-handed pull, and the entire package stuffs into the zippered, harness-compatible chest pocket and clips onto your harness with a webbing loop, making it easy to carry and quickly accessible when the clouds gather.

  • N40p-X Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Taped critical seams
  • Trim fit with e3D ergonomic and articulated design
  • HemLock removable inserts keep the jacket under your harness
  • Helmet-compatible StormHood
  • WaterTight front zipper
  • Stuffs into chest pocket
  • Webbing loop for clipping to your harness

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Arc'teryx Alpha FL Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Best Hardshell

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Height: 6' 2"
    Weight: 175 lbs
    Size Purchased: Medium

This jacket is fantastic! Arc'teryx has a real winner here. My job requires me to be outside daily no matter what the conditions are. The fit is tremendous. The only Hardshell/rain jacket I have owned that is a truly slim fit with long enough arms. The length might be slightly short for some with similar build (I prefer a slimmer fit to length) but perfect for me.

5 5

Great Ultralight Hardshell

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Height: 5' 9"
    Weight: 160 lbs
    Size Purchased: M

It took a lot of convincing for me to shell (no pun intended) out this kind of cash for a hardshell, but after a lot of research I decided to pull the trigger on it. I'm happy to report that it has exceeded my expectations.
The FL is a no-nonsense hardshell that excels at what it was designed to do: keep you dry without taking up space or adding heft to your pack. The included stuff sack allows you to pack this shell down really small. I was concerned about the lack of pit-zips at first, but the Gore Tex Pro seems to breathe very well without them.
Speaking of the Gore Tex Pro, this thing is really durable. I've worn it with a heavy pack, and the shoulders haven't shown any wear.
I got caught backpacking in a windy storm in Texas, and feel like I got to experience everything this jacket has to offer. It blocked the wind, kept me dry from the rain on the outside and the sweat on the inside from hauling a heavy pack.
I definitely recommend this shell to anyone who wants one of the lightest and toughest jackets in its class.

5 5

Best-in-class Backcountry Hardshell

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Height: 6' 0"
    Weight: 200 lbs
    Size Purchased: XL

Bought this jacket after extensive research for a GoreTex Pro jacket that would work equally well for icy East Coast skiing and repeat travel to Europe, Africa, and Asia.


The Arcteryx fit is great. I'm 6' and an athletic 200 pounds. I wear a size 44 or 46 in a blazer, and the XL in this jacket fits just right through the chest. At the same time, it tapers nicely to an athletic waistline, foregoing the trash bag fit of so many competitors. The sleeves are marginally on the long-ish side, but are designed that way. Coupled with the design of the shoulder, the jacket stays put and the arms stay in place whenever you reach up or out.

The GoreTex Pro breathes well; I have yet to feel too warm or clammy. The exterior fabric, in turn, achieves a balance between (very) light weight and exceptional durability.

The jacket's features - the hood and the single chest pocket - are well designed and just as well executed. The hood adjusts easily on the fly, and stays where you want it. Most important, it passes the ultimate test of a hood on a Hardshell jacket: because it does it's job so well, you forget about it. The single chest pocket is bigger than the chest pockets on many other jacket's - bigger by a good bit than the chest pocket on my Arcteryx Stingray jacket I was concerned about the lack of hand pockets at first, but find that the chest pocket is enough and the jacket looks more streamlined without hand pockets.

As usual, Backcountry's pricing and service was great. Backcountry has become my dealer of choice (or primary enabler, as my wife would put it).

Responded on

Great review, Ben, thanks. I'm curious how you layer the Alpha FL with mid-layers...

I'm about the same weight as you but a few inches taller and usually wear a 42 blazer (occasionally 44). Although I take size Large in Arcteryx, Patagonia, etc., I'm just worried about what I can actually fit under a Large Alpha FL. No expeditions for me (in which case I'd get a different jacket obviously!) just mostly single day pursuits, tele-skiing, ice climbing. Some week-long trips from time-to-time, but nothing polar.
Any thoughts? Thanks again.

Responded on

My last day of skiing for this season, a few weeks ago, offers an answer to your question. The temps for our day-long outing ranged from about 25 up to 40 F. I wore the Alpha FL over an Arcteryx Rho LT top, and a silkweight wool t-shirt. At the start of the day, I also wore a Patagonia Nano-Puff vest, though I opted to drop that as the temps passed 32 F. With that setup, I never felt restricted or constrained, had good freedom of movement, and had excellent temperature control, all while lapping about 25 runs.
Given your height and measurements, I'd guess you're on the cusp between a L and an XL, and that once you get that dialed in, you'll find it a good setup for the pursuits you mention.

5 5

Excellent product all around.

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I purchased this jacket primarily for use snowboarding all over the country. I rock climb regularly and hike occasionally, and was interested in a shell that I could use year-round for different outdoor activities.

This jacket is of exceptional craftsmanship, compared to other shells I've bought over the years. The seams are tiny. The jacket fits and articulates incredibly well. The GORE Pro fabric feels tougher than previous GORE fabrics, but is strangely crinkly in a way that it feels like the jacket is made of wrapping paper. However, after wearing it for a few minutes the wrinkles go away and I don't notice the crinkling. More importantly the fabric is completely windproof, yet amazingly breathable. I have an eVENT jacket which was breathable but not windproof, and I'm so glad to have moved on to this one.

The color I ordered (Chipotle) changes hue a bit depending on lighting. Indoors, it's more red; outdoors, it looks more like blaze orange. Captured on a photograph, it reverts to red. Interesting optical physics are at play.

Size-wise, I've always been between M and L. I used Arc'teryx's website, and they use True Fit, which made a spot-on prediction. Arc'teryx calls this a 'trim fit' which worried me but it turned out that there's plenty of room underneath for heavy layering. I wear this jacket usually with a down vest.

(I think True Fit is brilliant, and Backcountry.com should adopt it - they'd save money lost to returns from folks ordering the wrong size).

I'm interested in this jacket or the Norrona Falketind but I'm unsure about the sizing. I find Arcteryx gear in general runs really big for me (5'7" at 150lbs) - in particular the sleeves extend to my knuckles or below. Is the cut on this jacket similar to other Arcteryx gear or is it a bit smaller given the 'fast and light' moniker? Any views on how it would fit compared to the Norrona? BTW, looking at the sizing charts for both brands, I see Arc'teryx small jackets feature a 33" inch sleeve measurement, while the Norrona logs in at 24-24.5". Arc'teryx must have a really strange way to measure sleeve length cos only an Orangutan could have arms that long. Any ideas of the real sleeve length for the Alpha?

Responded on

The Arc'teryx Alpha series have extra long sleeves because they are intended for climbing. The long sleeves ensure that you retain a full range of motion without causing the jacket to ride up while your arms are overhead.

What is the center back length of a medium?

4 5

long Sleeves ..

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

I m 160 ,5.10 , Got a M size black. It fits my body well, but just the sleeves are longer than expected , the M size of most brands fits me perfectly . is it a special design?

Responded on

Often "climbing" jackets like this will have longer sleeves so your wrists aren't exposed when you reach overhead, that's probably it.

Does anyone have experience skiing in this? I'm just looking for a shell to use for general mountaineering, skiing, and ice climbing. It looks like it would be good for mountaineering and climbing, but sometimes features that make jackets good for those purposes don't translate well into skiing

Best Answer Responded on

It really depends on how much functionality you want from the jacket when you are skiing. If you are okay with just having one chest pocket and a lighter weight shell this is the one! Its awesome that its really light, the trade off is the durability. There are thicker more durable jackets on the market, they are just way heavier. 10 oz for a Gore Tex Pro Shell 3 layer is pretty dang amazing.

Responded on

Bill nailed it. Thanks Bill!

It's worth pointing out the new version of this jacket is substantially more durable than the previous version, which was constructed with Gore-Tex Active.

I have the previous version and it's my go-to hardshell for touring. As this is a minimal jacket it features the Trim fit. You will be somewhat restricted in the weight/thickness of mid-layers. I usually throw a synthetic puffy over my Alpha FL if start to freeze when out touring.

If you're looking for an awesome all around mountaineering/skiing jacket check out the new Alpha AR:

http://www.backcountry.com/arcteryx-alpha-ar-jacket-mens?ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6YWxwaGEgYXI6MTo0OmFscGhhIGFy&skid=ARC004S-ARU-S

The Athletic fit block will accommodate a wider range of mid layers.

There's also the all-mighty Alpha SV:

http://www.backcountry.com/arcteryx-alpha-sv-jacket-mens?ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6YWxwaGEgc3Y6MTo0OmFscGhhIHN2&skid=ARC3678-POS-S

5 5

Pure epicness

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

For being almost $300 cheaper than the SV, this is a very close second. The fit is superb and doesn't mind getting thrashed against a granite face. I have never been wet as it breathes super well and lets nothing in. 5'10", 175 and the medium is a perfect fit. Looks damn good too!

F***ing cold.

F***ing cold.

Lower saddle, waiting for a storm to blow over before a mixed attempt on the grand teton.

Center back length?

Responded on

Center back length on a medium is 33 inches.

Fall Rain

Fall Rain

Wet day on the Sundial. Central Wasatch, UT. Wore the Alpha from the moment I got out of the car. Breathed well in the drizzle all day, with a pack loaded for a day of alpine climbing. My old jacket would have wetted out in a less than a half hour.

Alpha FL on the Grand Teton

Alpha FL on the Grand Teton

My partner took a big whipper and broke his leg mixed climbing on the Grand. Spent several hours on a narrow ledge in the cold, the Alpha FL kept me protected from high winds, weather, and falling ice all day. Stoked.

5 5

amazing

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

I've only taken this thing out a few times so I'll save a detailed review for later, but this thing rules. Sleeves are super long, so that is one thing to consider with fit.

5 5

Fantastic Jacket

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Great jacket, very light, rugged, has a large and functional chest pocket and an athletic fit that allows for many layers underneath. Picture is of 17K camp in Denali, here I had a t-shirt, expedition base layer, softshell jacket and heavy hooded fleece underneath. I'm 176cm tall and weigh 80 kg wearing Medium size.

Fantastic Jacket
5 5

So far so good

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

I got this jacket to use for hiking/backpacking. I wanted something light, waterproof, and breathable. This jacket is all three.
I used it recently on a trip to Red River Gorge, KY and I was very impressed. My friends and I just finished a 14 mile hike on the Sheltowee Trace and when we arrived at the trailhead there was a massive storm heading our way. We all put on our rain jackets and covered our packs and proceeded to get rained on heavily for about 20 minutes. My pants were soaking wet but my upper body was dry to the bone.
The jacket is very light (10.9 oz) and packs into itself which is very convenient. Lastly the jacket is breathable and comfortable during high output activities even without pit zips. I hate overheating and sweating profusely. I'm more of a cool weather person so this feature is key.
I would definitely recommend this jacket as a hiking/backpacking rain jacket

5 5

Measurements for the L

I promised a customer earlier today I would get them some measurements on the size L. Like a derp, I forgot to copy your email before we ended our chat. I hope these measurements find you somehow and help anyone else torn between a L and XL or M and L. Across the chest pit to pit: 25?. Across the waist: 23?. Sleeve length from center of back: 37?. Center back length: 31?. Length of the front (zipper): 28.5?.

I'm 6'2" and pretty much all of Arc'teryx...

I'm 6'2" and pretty much all of Arc'teryx hardshells (even XL) have sleeves that are too short for me. Could you send me some measurements of this jacket in LARGE to buy it online? (chest, waist, bottom, sleeve, back and front length)

Best Answer Responded on

Hey rodrigo altamirano,

Thanks for your question.

I measured the jacket in a large and came up with these measurements. Across the chest pit to pit: 25?. Across the waist: 23?. Sleeve length from center of back: 37?. Center back length: 31?. Length of the front (zipper): 28.5?.

When will you get the Black Large Version...

When will you get the Black Large Version of this jacket again ?

Responded on

Soon, we have a shipment of almost 50 jackets on the way. I am assuming that we will probably see this back in stock in early May. Just in time for that tax refund check to show up in the mail box.

To the Backcountry Staff-
I'd like to...

To the Backcountry Staff-
I'd like to challenge you guys to step it up. I, like others on this string of posts, wear an XS in Arc Teryx jackets. People need XS just like people need XL. Backcountry is a leader in the online outdoor retail industry, and arguably you all set the bar for all other online retailers. I'd encourage you to distinguish yourself from other retailers and cater to your customers that need the less common sizes. Despite being produced by Arc Teryx, these jackets are difficult to come by in XS. So if backcountry doesn't stock it, who does??

Best Answer Responded on

It's possible that they do stock it, but since they're hard to come by, they're frequently out of stock. It's also plausible that Arc'teryx doesn't make as many in that size, limiting Backcountry's ability to keep them in stock. I don't know that that's the case, but it's worth considering.

Responded on

mca4552482,

hi, I am one of the buyers for Men's Outdoor here at backcountry.com, and have an answer/explanation about our decisions to stock (or not stock) certain sizes. In the case of this particular style Arc'teryx does make it in a size XS, however we typically do not carry them because generally speaking the demand is very low. Sorry we could not accommodate you at this time, but we are always looking for ways to bring our customers the best possible array of merchandise,, and will certainly consider stocking this size in the future.

Cheers,

Ed