That minimalist mountaineer fortress you've been searching for.

If fancy jacket features only weigh you down during your sweet struggle on the mountain, then the durable, no-frills, and impenetrable Arc'teryx Alpha FL Jacket is your much-needed solution. New for Fall 2011, the Gore-Tex Active Shell is a lightweight, packable, and dependable fabric that blocks out the harshest alpine weather ... and when you have that, you don't need all those bulky pockets and gadgets.
  • The guaranteed waterproof and highly breathable Gore-Tex Active Shell features an incredibly durable nylon outer shell to keep any amount of snow, rain, or rime out
  • Fully taped seams mean no drops can get through and send you back to base camp
  • A helmet-friendly, adjustable hood features a laminated brim to keep it from flapping in the wind as you climb in Alaska or Asia
  • The trim e3D anatomical fit includes room for layers but doesn't impede your axe-swinging or anchor-building
  • Ultralight laminated WaterTight zippers allow access without vulnerabilities
  • Reflective striping around the entire jacket boosts your visibility as a partner belays you after dark

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Arc'teryx Alpha FL Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5


  • Fit: True to size

This is probably my favorite rain shell that I own. It packs down so small, and it is so light. It is pretty wispy, but it handles wind and rain very well. I wish it had hand pockets, but since it is a minimalist jacket I understand why there are none. I am 6'1" 160 pounds and I fit both the medium and the large. I ended up getting the large for a little extra room for layering, etc. The one thing I love about the sizing in this jacket is the long arms. The arms on this jacket are longer than others while still staying slim, so the fit tall, gangly guys like myself. I Look forward to many great outings in this jacket.

Does the Alpha FL fit much slimmer than...

Does the Alpha FL fit much slimmer than some of the other versions? I tried on the Alpha SL and SL Hybrid, and they look awkward on me. Both jackets are cut way too loose below chest. Some of the fit photos of this FL version I found on the web look nice and much slimmer (almost look like an entirely different model). Is it really cut much differently or am I just confused by the photos? I am 5-11, 155, and wear XS/S in arcteryx.

Responded on

Thanks much guys, really appreciated. Think im going to give it a try. I own a Beta FL (current season, made in China) jacket and Size S fits me just fine.

Responded on

The Alpha has the same close/athletic fit as the SL ans SL Hybrid, but are designed to have less bulk to save weight. Getting rid of that bulk may be enough to make the jacket look better on you, but the fit is still going to be the same.

Responded on

Both the Alpha FL and Beta FL are trimmer in the chest than the Alpha SL (and hybrid). For reference I am 5 10" and wear a medium Beta FL and Alpha SL. The Beta is much more fitted (same as the ALPHA FL)

5 5

Great summer rain jacket.

The gore active is as advertised. This jacket fits a bit "young", i.e short. Keep that in mind.

If I purchase this produce here, am I...

If I purchase this produce here, am I assured that it will be Made In Canada as the picture shows?

Best Answer Responded on

Not necessarily. Arc'teryx shifts production between the Vancouver factory and the Chinese factory based on demand and capacity. I bought the Beta FL thinking it was a made in Canada piece but it ended up being made in China for that season, but believe me it doesn't suffer in any way. Every seam and stich is perfect and the quality is very high. Months of heavy use and it still looks and performs perfectly.

5 5


I love this jacket, so light it's like wearing nothing but still gives full protection from the elements. Cut and fit is perfect if you are slim with long arms, this is the only jacket I have ever owned where the sleeves were long enough and the jacket does not ride up when you put your arms over your head. Packs to almost nothing. Material is not exactly stretchy but does seem to have a little give. I like the added mobility of not having pit zips and the material seems to breathe well enough to not need them. I am 6'1", 183lbs, 32" waist, 43"chest, size large fits like a glove with enough volume to get an Atom LT underneath on colder days.
Unbeatable deal from backcountry on sale !! with the confidence of the best return policy ever, great job guys !!!

I'm 6' and 176lbs, i'd like to...

I'm 6' and 176lbs, i'd like to wear the Alpha FL over a Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer hooded will the M feat or should I go for a L ?


Responded on

Go with the L. I wear a M and am 5'10 and 165lb. Underneath I can wear either an R1 Hoody or a Patagonia Ultralight Hoody but not both. The L should work as you are a bit taller and a touch heavier.

I'm interested in Size L ?
I'm 6'37 " and...

I'm interested in Size L ?
I'm 6'37 " and 183 lbs, waist 33'. Will the size L be appropriate , since Atom Lt in size L has short sleeves , but kappa hoody in L is Ok?

Responded on

I'm 6'-6" and 210 lbs and I wear the XL so I would say the L is good for you. This jacket is more "fitted" than the other models.

4 5

Almost perfect

Since the purchase late in the summer, I've taken the FL out on a handful of camping, hiking, and backpacking trips and I've come to appreciate its simplicity yet thoughtful design the more I used it. Couple of big pros for me:
1. Lean cut and long arms - having had the Sidewinder AR (which is cut too large in my opinion, but serves its purpose for easier layering, and the Sidewinder is my ski jacket, so not exactly apples to apples comparison here) for past couple of seasons, I really appreciate that the Alpha FL has a leaner cut. Call me vain, but it just looks better when it's cut leaner around the waist, but has plenty of arm length to facilitate the range of motion.
2. I was a little disappointed that I ended up ordering the Citron because the Squid ink was out of stock, but I really dug the Citron once I wore it. It's not as all yellow as it looks on the computer screen, and I think it stands out pretty well.
3. Light, super breathable, and packable. It's certainly not as burly as Gore-Tex pro (hence not as wind-proof), but not quite as trash baggy as the pac-lite (which I still love by the way). I think it's a great balance. I've worn it with no more than a under armor base layer and an Arc'teryx Covert vest at low 30s, and it kept me reasonably warm, yet it's breathable enough to be comfortable while hiking up to I'd say low 60s.
4. Helmet compatible hood and the adjustment provided are excellent.
One downer for me is the lack of pit zips, I would've taken on couple more ounces to have that...despite the fact that the active shell is quite breathable. I really wouldn't recommend this if one were looking for a snow sport jacket, just not enough pockets, the leaner cut may be difficult for layering depending on your build, and not as burly as the pro or the soft shell.

Hoping for some help from the ArcT gurus...

Hoping for some help from the ArcT gurus here. I am torn btw this jacket and the Beta FL. Intended use, B/C skiing and throw in the bottom of the pack for climbing and hiking trips in good weather. Already own two great GT Proshell jackets for the dead of winter/ski area etc. So, I fit perfectly in sz M of the Theta and Beta AR's. 5'11" 178lbs, waist 32. Will the M of either of these be appropriate? Are there any significant differences other than the pocket configuration? Thanks!

Responded on

Kam - another key difference is the hood type. The Alpha FL has a helmet compatible Storm Hood and the Beta FL has a low profile Storm Hood. If you like to ski or climb with a helmet, the Alpha FL will accommodate a wide variety of helmets underneath the hood. The medium will fit you well.

Responded on

Go for the Alpha! Beta is too short, you will get snow up your jacket especially in the b/c. You may even want a Theta. That is what I use for skiing. Used to use a sidewinder and I couldn't zip up over my neck layers.

Responded on

Thanks. I went with the Beta FL. The hood fits well enough with my climbing helmet, but not my ski helmet. Gonna use it for B/C skiing, so don't usually wear a helmet there. Going to break it in this weekend in the massive dump that is happening in WV!

Am 6'2, and 185lbs. Am i to assume a Large...

Am 6'2, and 185lbs. Am i to assume a Large would be appropriate? Buying it for use in Pakistan mountains (Himalayas/Karakorum/Hindu Kush) - really attracted to the light weight.

Responded on

I would say large should fit the bill for you. I'm 5'11" and 175 lbs with 31" waist, and the medium fits me nicely. Given that you're couple inches taller, I think you could use the longer arm length.

I'm looking for a new mountaineering...

I'm looking for a new mountaineering hard-shell and wear a 40R suit jacket. With insulating layers (nano puff, etc), would a small or med be a better fit?

Responded on

I'm a 42R and a medium is a snug, technical fit with an ultralight down layer. I don't think you should go with the small.

gotta ask being from a tropical climate...

gotta ask being from a tropical climate in northern australia i want to know if this would be good for a month long snowboarding trip to canada (big white) any suggestions to gear would be kindly appreciated!!

Responded on

It's a great shell for Canadian skiing, but you'll need another layer to insulate. Look into synthetic insulated jackets and fleeces.

Responded on

I'd say it can be done (with proper layering of course), but couple of things to consider. The Gore-Tex active shell is being marketed as a lighter and more breathable (but still waterproof) garment targeted for high aerobic, "done in a day" activities, such as trail running, mountain biking, and fast alpine ascent. Traditionally, the Pro (most rugged) and Soft (soft and warm) shells have been used for ski/snowboard outerwears (I for example use Arc'teryx Sidewinder AR, the pro shell, and Orage Retallack, the soft shell for skiing) if Gore-Tex is indeed one's choice of garment for such things. So one question to ask yourself is what kind of skiing are you planning to do? Will it be mostly front side, backcountry, park/pipe, combination of? I'd recommend your final choice should rest on the level of "wear and tear" you plan to put on the equipment and how much you care about the longevity of the equipment. Additionally, the alpha fl is a pretty spartan jacket with only 1 pocket on the chest (which is why I bought it for trekking/backpacking in an effort to keep my total load as light as possible), so the question is whether that is enough or will you need/desire some additional amenities from your jacket? Lastly, this jacket is cut trimmer (including the arms) than other Arc'teryx shells I've had in the past, so for layering, may want to size up.

How does the sizing of this compare to...

How does the sizing of this compare to other arc'teryx shells? as well as the length?

I am a medium in the Beta AR for reference.

Responded on

The Alpha FL is cut just a bit more trim than a Beta AR. Length will be within about an inch of the current model of the Beta AR, on the longer side.

What is the difference from this and the...

What is the difference from this and the Alpha LT?

Responded on

The FL is 2.1 oz lighter. It's constructed of Gore Active Shell, which is Gore's newest and most breathable laminate. The LT is all Gore ProShell. You also get one extra pocket in the LT.

Responded on

There are a couple differences in performance. As Dave stated there is a weight difference. A couple other considerations- The Alpha FL is more breathable and packable than the Alpha LT, but the tradeoff is that the Alpha LT is significantly more durable, both in face fabric and backer.

Responded on

I LOVE my Alpha LT. I mean, I think we get obsessed with minute ounces when comparing some of the shells. I know it's the little things and that's why I have several different shells; but for what you pay, I think the LT is better. I have a Beta FL and love it, too. I picked it over the Alpha FL & was very glad I did!

It really packs down small

It really packs down small

The bag it is in comes with the jacket, also this is next to my 13" macbook pro

5 5

Made in Canada

This jacket really is exception. Used it today in 40 degree torrential downpour. Bone Dry. The new Gore-Tex active shell really gets the job done quite well. Also, the quality of creation in this jacket is exceptional, I am quite glad this jacket is still made in Canada. I am 6'0 and 175 lbs and I went Large, i do tend to like looser fitting jackets though. The squid ink color is really quite exceptional. You will not be disappointed with this jacket.

-One note: this jacket DOES NOT have hand pockets, i knew this and liked this feature on purpose, if you are someone who enjoys hand pockets, the Beta FL is what you are looking for.

Just curious why the fabric waterproof...

Just curious why the fabric waterproof rating is 20,000mm but the beta fl is guaranteed waterproof?

Best Answer Responded on

The Gore membrane itself is guaranteed waterproof. In this case the new Gore-Tex Active Shell receives a DWR treatment to help prevent saturation of the exterior fabric. Saturation or wetting out can lead to conductive heat loss and the fabric taking on water weight.