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  • Arc'teryx - Alpha SL Jacket - Men's - Adriatic Blue
  • Arc'teryx - Alpha SL Jacket - Men's - Dark Basalt
  • Arc'teryx - Alpha SL Jacket - Men's - Black
  • Arc'teryx - Alpha SL Jacket - Men's - Genepi Green
  • Arc'teryx - Alpha SL Jacket - Men's - Magma

Arc'teryx Alpha SL Jacket - Men's


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    13 Reviews


    The alpha dog of technical rain shells.

    Unsurprising fact of the day: mountain storms come out of nowhere and move really quickly. What was a mellow bluebird day can suddenly turn into a serious alpine experience, and you won't be able to stay dry unless you can move as fast as the storm. Weighing in at just 10.8oz, the Arc'teryx Alpha SL Men's Jacket is a tough and compact rain shell that'll keep you one step ahead of the storm. As part of Arc'teryx's Alpha collection (the SL stands for superlight), this shell is designed to be clipped onto your harness or backpack, so you're always prepared on long climbs and alpine expeditions. Made of lightweight nylon and waterproofed with a Gore-Tex PacLite membrane, the SL sports a trim fit with e3D ergonomic and articulated construction to keep you sending during the storm, and provides clean sightlines to your harness so you can grab the right protection without hassle.

    To keep carrying simple, the SL packs into its own pocket and clips to your harness via a webbing loop, keeping it out of the way but close at hand should the weather turn. If it gets really nasty, the StormHood covers your helmet and adjusts with a one-handed cinch, and a WaterTight zipper stops sneaky moisture from finding its way into your jacket. Maybe best of all, the removable HemLock foam insert sits around the hem of the SL, keeping it from slipping up underneath your harness and leaving exposed skin. If that's not thoughtful design, nothing is.

    • Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex PacLite membrane
    • Trim fit with e3D ergonomic and articulated construction
    • Helmet-compatible StormHood
    • HemLock insert prevents jacket from sliding up under harness
    • WaterTigh front zipper
    • Harness-compatible pocket
    • Item #ARC003A

    Tech Specs

    [membrane/laminate] Gore-Tex Paclite (2-layer), [face fabric] N40r (nylon)
    Fabric Waterproof Rating
    guaranteed waterproof
    Fabric Breathability Rating
    guaranteed breathable
    trim with e3D
    yes, helmet-compatible StormHood
    1 zippered chest
    fully taped
    Claimed Weight
    [medium] 10.8 oz
    Recommended Use
    climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Great gift!

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: L

    I bought this jacket for my brother and this is what he said "I havent had to test it out in terrible weather conditions for days on end, but this jacket already beats the quality of any other jacket I've owned. Seams are fully taped and don't look like water is getting through anytime soon. I stood in the shower with a t-shirt underneath to see how wet it got, but after 5-10 minutes of constant simulated downpour, not a drop got on my t-shirt, and all i did was shake the jacket once and the water droplets slid right off leaving it nice and dry again. Such a nice feature when you're camping. Don't want to bring a wet jacket into the tent with you!

    Only disappointment:

    No side pockets. In fact the only pocket on it is the chest pocket (which conveniently is perfect shape for a full size topo map! So thats a positive) but i wish they would put pockets for your hands or to store snacks or whatever.

    Large fits great, im 6'0 175lbs Normal build.

    Also, jacket comes with a stuff sack probably 10"x6" which is nice too!"

    Great gift!

    I Swear By It

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

    I thought finding a rain jacket that is light & breathable, durable, stylish, and well-priced was impossible. Normally you can get most of those things, but you have to sacrifice at least one––a jacket that is light & breathable, durable, and well-priced will probably look horrendous, etc.
    Then there's the Alpha SL.

    When I first got it in the mail, I had my doubts it would last very long: the zippers seemed flimsy and the material was very, very thin. After few months of day-to-day wear, and ten days of downright abuse in Thailand, I can say that it's the best rain jacket I've ever owned. It kept me dry and comfortable in those spontaneous downpours, and the sleek design and bright color got me compliments left and right.

    Still not convinced? Well, on a particularly soggy trek through the Thai jungle at 1:30am, I used it as an impromptu pack-cover (which put a lot of stress on the zippers). Fast forward to a few hours and A LOT of sharp undergrowth later, and not only is my expensive camera gear nice n' dry, the fabric and stitching around the zippers still look like new. Do not hesitate on purchasing this jacket, because in a decade, when this one bites the dust, I know I won't hesitate to buy another.

    Love Love Love This Jacket

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Extra Large

    I've had this jacket now for 2 years.

    I dont know what the guys up in Vancouver do when they design jackets, but they are perfect.

    I wear this jacket almost every day from Fall to Spring. I love it because I am a warm guy, I always have been. This jacket stops all wind. So the warmth your body maintains between your clothing and this jacket stay at an optimum level. This jacket is bombproof. Water does not get in. This jacket has a nice conservative style, which goes anywhere you want. The jacket has been cut in such a way that it matches your form, but doesn't restrict your movement. Its the gold bar quality of Arcteryx at a very reasonable price. I would buy this again without a guess.

    Great for Ice Climbing!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    So far this has been an excellent shell for ice climbing. Water rolls right off and I wasn't chilled to the bone by the wind blowing off of Lake Superior. The jacket never slipped out from under my harness thanks to the HemLock inserts and I had no issue pulling the hood over my helmet.

    For warmer days I will just wear this shell with a base layer and for the colder days I can easily fit a thicker fleece or a synthetic down jacket. So far I love this jacket and can't wait to use it on more trips to Munising, MI and up to Canada for some more waterfall ice climbing!

    Great for Ice Climbing!

    Top dog indeed

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Small

    Looking for a rain shell to complement your kit and not willing to compromise on performance? You found it. I'm a big fan of the Paclite Goretex: light, waterproof, and packable. Granted, it feels a little less durable than a 3-layer fabric, but I haven't ripped mine yet. I also bought one for my brother, who is using it in England while he studies abroad. He says it's stylish and totally bomber. Arc'teryx really pays attention to fit and function, and it shows with this piece.

    Superlight, bomber rain jacket!

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

    This has been my rain jacket for over eight years. It has been all over with me backpacking, hiking, and peak bagging the mountains here in Utah and Wyoming. It is completely waterproof, super light, and packs into its own hood and fits in a stretchy pocket on my UL backpack. The chest pocket will keep anything you store in there warm and dry. The hood, and waist have cinch cords so you can lock in your warmth, and the cuffs will Velcro closed to your wrist size. The microfleece soft fabric around the neck and near the zipper garage is soft and does not rub on your chin or neck. I have also used this for spring touring on the splitboard and it was great and kept me warm and dry. Not to mention, it is a great wind break for those strong alpine winds which you get high alpine backpacking. Every singe one of my friends has replaced their rain jacket over the last eight years, I am still wearing mine. So you get what you pay for. I would highly recommend this jacket to anyone looking for a completely waterproof rain shell.

    Superlight, bomber rain jacket!

    Best lightweight, technical rain shell

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    This is not intended to compete with the lousy North Face rain shell that you see 100s of on any given day in the city. It's intended to be the most waterproof yet most breathable and lightweight piece, the three most valuable features for active outdoor use (climbing/hiking/etc.). Chest pocket is huge and I stopped noticing the lack of hand pockets after a couple uses: it's great for everyday use as well and you can pack it down to fit in a small briefcase. Quality is unmatched as usual for Arc'teryx products, and blue smoke color looks great.

    Not worth it for the price tag.

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: small

    I bought this jacket and returned it because i didnt like the fit. I bought a small and the cut around the waist felt weird and too high and the sleeves were too long. The construction did feel high quality, but the features were lacking for being over $200. There is no hand pockets or pit zips which i thought was kind of lame. I'll be sticking to marmot for better overall value.

    Always warm and dry

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    This jacket has seen it all - rain, snow, hail, sleet, wind - and I've always left warm and dry. There are some parts on the outside that seem to wet through, but it's always dry on the inside. Does an amazing job of keeping the wind out. Breathability is good - I've worked up quite a sweat on the inside and it always dries quickly.

    Fit is perfect for my tall, lanky frame, with a good slim fit and long arms & length. Room for one or two light mid-layers underneath, but would go a size up if more insulation was needed.

    Overall a fantastic jacket!

    Still dry

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

    I've only used this jacket a couple times. Haven't used it in a torrential downpour yet, so can't speak to that level. But so far, it has worked very well for me. I've used it in anything from a light sprinkle to steady rainfall, Haven't gotten wet yet. Couldn't be happier on that front.

    Aesthetically, it looks AMAZING. Typical of Arc'teryx, the color is a winner (one of my favorite things about them). I got it in Wheatgrass and it is beautiful. Of course it also fits well. While wearing it you'll look and feel nice and trim (as opposed to some more boxy jackets).
    I'm 5'9 and the medium fits me well. Not too snug-a little room for a mid layer if need be. I probably could have gotten a small, but I do prefer a little bit of room.

    I can't recommend this jacket (and any Arc'teryx product) enough.

    Note: I apologize for bad formatting, not sure why line breaks aren't showing.

    Rain and more rain !

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

    I just bought this jacket thinking its spring and I might get a rain day skiing. This past Saturday was a torrential downpour at Butternut and I skied the whole day staying dry thanks to this Shell. I now need one for my son. Awesome fit and quality.

    surprisingly soft, totally waterproof

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

    I mean what can I say about arc'teryx that hasn't been said a thousand times already. This jacket is made with the highest quality construction, is super light, super waterproof -- and doesn't feel hard, stiff, or rough to the skin.

    and lastly, I gotta say arcteryx makes just about the most critically sealed zippers and seams I have ever seen.

    Is this breathable enough for summer, or is it best used for colder months?

    Hey Jeremy - The Alpha SL is breathable enough for summer adventures in the mountains. It is made of the lightest and most packable Gore-Tex fabric out there (Gore-Tex Paclite) and is perfect to keep in the bottom of your summer pack at all times in case of a sudden turn in the weather. Feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions on Arc'teryx Jackets.

    - Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead

    Does anyone have any feedback as far as its breathability? I'm an alpine distance runner and have been looking for a minimalist shell that will keep me dry but I won't sweat like a dog inside of. Would love to hear someone's thoughts

    Best Answer

    Joel, though the Alpha SL breathes well, its really not minimalist or will breathe enough for running. What you are really looking for is their . Its meant for running where the Alpha SL is meant for more alpinism, mountaineering pursuits.

    Feel free to hit me up at or 801-736-6398.

    Goretex Active Shell fabric breaths much better than the paclite.

    The Alpha FL has it.

    The minimalist jackets work great for that "just in case" vs the "its going to pour" scenarios.

    I bounce between a OR Helium 2 and an Axiom. The Active shell keeps me dry when I know its going to get wet but still breaths enough to not get clamy. Hope that helps