The Arc'teryx Alpha SL Jacket proves you don't need a heavy shell to hold off winter weather.
The Women's Alpha Jacket SL by Arc'teryx is one of the lightest jackets to carry the Gore-Tex waterproof guarantee. Feminine in its figure and straightforward by design, the Alpha SL Jacket eliminates bells and whistles to include only what you need for defense against foul weather. Arc'teryx created this 10.8oz shell with alpine climbers in mind, but winter backpackers have come to depend on it when they need bomber protection for little weight.
- Gore-Tex Paclite technology and DWR finish fend off rain and snow while allowing water vapor to escape
- Lightweight 40D nylon ripstop fabric won't take up much space in your pack or weigh you down
- Micro-seams feature tiny Gore tape to reduce bulk and weight and high stitch counts for durability
- Athletic fit is streamlined for weight savings; drop tail offers extra coverage
- Underarm vents close with WaterTight zippers to keep out drips
- Storm Hood fits over your helmet
- Weighs only 10.8 ounces, making it ideal for fast-and-light trips
- Laminated cuff tabs and hem cord in the laminated hem seal out bad weather
- Hand pockets with WaterTight zippers placed high for harness and hip-belt compatibility
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Share your thoughts
When I first got it I couldn't believe I paid this much for such a light product. It looked very delicate. I used all winter, including to summit Mt. Washington, its totally worth it. It has a great fit, love the extra length by waist, helmet fits under the hood. For my winter hiking I just used a baselayer and an insulated jacket or a fleece under it. Pockets are in a great place for harness use. I took it rock climbing too and I was worried I was gonna rip it but all it got was dirty, it's made of a really resistant material. I love this jacket.
This jacket is lightweight and packable. If you are in the amrket for a lightweight rain jacket that can stand up to snow and a lot of use, this is the piece. The paclite material is great when variable conditions are present, it's easy to stuff in a pack when not is use. If you plan on wearing a backpack the majority of the time, I would look at the SL Hybrid Jacket as well.
- Gender: Female
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This shell has got everything I could ever ask for: long back end to cover my rear from rain and snow, arms and shoulders large enough so I can climb in it, and it's waterproof.
This jacket was way lighter than expected, (they don't joke when they say Paclite), so I worry about ripping it. So far it has done well in rain and snow, although I don't wear it when it's colder than -7 or -8 Celsius because I have an insulated coat.
With a lifetime warranty, it's worth the investment.
- Gender: Female
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Great cut and v. light and seems warm so far though I've not yet had it out in bad weather. It breaths! I sweat heavily in even freezing weather so I only get Gore-Tex. It will replace a 15 yo TNF Gore-Tex parka that is lined but not insulated. That looks like a huge bag compared to this (though I still love it and it still looks like new.) Red color is stunning, zippers work easily, it's a very much to the point jacket with room (I got a larger fit) for plenty of layers. Thought I'd miss all the pockets in my old jacket but I don't because the point is not to weigh myself down. No pockets eliminates the temptation to fill them. Instead I carry a light pack and pay closer attention to what I take along. Love it so far! VERY Flattering even on a 5'2" aged body (65 yo) and it makes me feel younger without looking silly. Youth alert: Do not feel you cannot wear this because an old person likes it. Youth is fleeting but immaturity can last forever.
I really like this jacket. I wear mine all the time for mountaineering, rock/ice climbing, and backcountry touring. I brought it to Aconcagua and it did a great job repelling snow and high winds. I saw other reviewers saying this jacket wasn't waterproof in thunderstorms - that's something I don't have experience with as I typically use it in wintry conditions, so I can't comment on that.
I originally debated between buying the SL (Pac Lite) or the SV (Pro Shell) because I was not sure if the SL would be sufficiently durable for my needs. I am pretty tough on my gear and the SL has held up fantastically over the last 1.5 years of regular use. However, I have accepted the fact that eventually, I'm going to take a harsh fall or stab an ice tool into it, and it will be time for some repairs. C'est la vie.
Finally, I really like the minimalist design of this jacket. It has all the features I need and none that I don't, which saves me weight I don't have to hump up a mountain. I especially like the integrated hood which is great for layering and the higher pockets which are accessible when wearing a climbing harness or backpack (over the hipbelt).
How does this compare to the Beta Sl and Marmot Minimalist?
Kathleen, It is made of the same material as the Beta SL with a few different features. It has a longer cut, a 1 piece hood, and most importantly pit zips. Paclite does not breathe as well so pit zips are important (especially if you are using it for any activity). The Beta SL is best suited as a lightweight rain jacket. THe minimalist is similar to the Alpha SL and is quite a bit cheaper (marmot uses a front flap in the front as opposed to a watertight zip). Arcteryx uses slightly different face fabrics and has the best warranty in the business. You cant go wrong with either choice.
we bought this super light weight hard shell for a mt washington hike in jan 2012. temp was in single digits when we started the hike at the foot of tuckerman's ravine, wind was around 30 mph. I had on this alpha sl jacket, 1 under armor baselayer, and a fleece. This shell blocked the wind and kept my body heat in. Its hood is fully adjustable to fit my head perfectly to prevent wind from getting into it. It also fits a helmet. Temp dropped as we switch onto lion's head trail from tuckerman's ravine, so I added a north face thunder down jacket between my fleece and this hard shell. It was not bulky at all.
out of all the hardshell jackets I've tried, this is the lightest one, it fits perfectly no matter how many layers I have, it blocks the wind and keeps heat in well, and it looks great.
what is the length of this jacket
The Alpha SL typically comes to the top of the thigh in the front and lower mid-butt on the back.
I'm looking for a ski shell that will be a good match for a fuchsia color Marmot down jacket I just got I'd like to keep cost down, but want quality that will last. Ball park up to $450. I saw the noorva Brand and I need a small I don't want black or green or orange so I am just looking But any suggestions
This would be an excellent choice. Arcteryx is known for quality. I am still using a shell from 10 years ago.
Stoked for some elusive spring 2011 corn on Little Superior...!
The bottom line: Another trustworthy, well-built, and, of course, water-resistant shell from Arc'teryx, the obvious choice if you are seeking a featherweight PacLite shell, nice styling features for the female form
The story: I purchased this shell a few months ago based on the durability and superiority of my Arc'teryx jacket and bibs that I have skied in for more than five seasons at Alta. I treat my Arc'teryx well, and it treats me even better. I started my search for a PacLite shell as I assembled my gear inventory for an 1,000-mile-long thru-hike across the Alps from Italy to Monaco this summer. "Light" is the buzzword, and Arc'teryx is my brand of choice, so purchasing this particular shell was a no-brainer. In addition to its featherweight specs, sealed zippers, and "high" pockets for easy access when wearing a pack with a belt, this shell features a longer, hip-length cut for taller ladies. I was organizing my pack for a jaunt up Little Superior a few weeks ago, and decided to cut as much unnecessary weight as usual. (My body was already protesting the slog up to Cardiff and beyond after ample physical activity during the previous few days, and I figured that a lighter-than-usual pack would certainly help my cause.) As I was running out the door, I threw the PacLite into my backpack and was so glad to have it atop Little Superior when my beads of sweat started to dry. The jacket served me quite well on the ski descent, and I should note that the hood can be tightened for use during hiking, etc. or loosened for compatibility with a ski helmet. I have worn the jacket on multiple adventures in Little Cottonwood Canyon snow and rain since, and I am confident that this jacket will serve me quite well in the Alps.
Best all-around jacket. I use it for hiking/backpacking, snowsports (skiing, snowshoe excursions), running & biking. Works Amazingly in the wind - I absolutely love the taped seams (especially when on the bike). The velcro around the wrists works wonderfully - I never have to be concerned with my gloves sneeking out. I love the higher neck that really helps out in the cold winds. I have worn this jacket in the Palouse of Washington and Idaho (WIND) and currently up in Alaska (WIND, COLD, and WET). Great length in the arms (a little longer than most jackets) and covers the waistline.
What would be good to layer with this? I get cold easily.
I'd suggest either the Arc'teryx Atom Jacket or hoody, or for max layering warmth, the Delta SV. The Atom is as warm as a 200 weight fleece, but works great alone for more mild days. The Delta SV, 300 weight warmth, but less bulky.
I'd go with a Patagonia R2 or R3 fleece, depending on the level of warmth you need. In warmer conditions a good merino top should do the trick and prevent any stink from moisture that forms underneath the shell.
What is the diffence between the Alpha, Beta, Theta and Kappa jackets? I'm looking for the warmest! Thanks!
Alpha, Beta and Theta models are just shells. You have to layer over a softshell or fleece if you want some warmth. The Kappa and fission models are insulated shells and are much warmer. Fission models are completely waterproof, The kappa models are considered water resistant (almost waterproof) but are more breathable. Look for the SV model in either jacket as they have more insulation. Hope this helps
I'm looking for a waterproof jacket for 3-season hiking mainly and some backpacking and i'm thinking of Beta AR and Alpha SL. are these jackets appropriate for this use? or should i like for a cheaper one?
Also, what is the difference between the two jackets?
I'm 5'4 and about 170 lbs. what size would fit me best?
the other Arc'teryx jackets you're looking at like the Alpha LT are built with Goretex Pro-shell. This Alpha SL uses Goretex Paclite. The main differences in performance are: Pro shell breathes significantly better, and has a much more durable interior. The face fabric is more durable on the LT jackets. Weight wise, this is the lightest, but only 2oz lighter than the Alpha LT. Of course the increased durability and breathability coincide with a higher price.
This might be too late, but the Beta series is designed for hiking/backpacking. Alpha is more for ascent, so the pockets are set for harness heights, hood is modified, etc... I like having higher pockets with a backpacking bag on, though. Easier access.
SL means superlight, so that's for you if you're a weight freak. If you want to shell out extra for more waterproofness and breathability, then roll with the AR.
I have the Alpha SL, Alpha LT, and Beta SL. They all fit true to size. I recommend the Alpha SL and LT for active pursuits and the Beta SL as an around town/casual shell/jacket. The Alpha SL is superlight. The PacLite fabric is nice, although the LT has an even better feel (Pro-Shell). I definitely recommend the Alpha SL, expecially if you're on a budget. But take a look at the Alpha LT if you want the next step up.
I hate to gush, but this is my second of the same jacket - in a different color! It is so light, good looking, and most important of all, has kept me warm and dry in the worst of storms at high elevation in Colorado. I work in the field and this is one of the best finds ever - go Arc Teryx!
A grateful Botanist who firmly believes the saying - "there's no bad weather, only bad gear" - or something like that! April 29, 2010
well my marriage was not really in jeopardy but wife digs it. I kinda hesitated on the paclite vs a goretex pro......but honestly, she has skied in it, wore it in the rain.......of course and it is always comfortable for her.
I see that a difference between "alpha sl" and "beta sl" is the "hip length" and "waist length" respectively.
Does this mean that the beta sl is shorter? If it is so, can anyone quantify this? Shorter by how many centimeters/inches for example?
The Beta SL is about 2 inches shorter than the Alpha SL.
I bought this jacket in green and it is a gorgeous lime color...the zipper and material aren't really so different in color like the photo shows. I am a size small and bought a medium so I could wear it over a couple underlayers/polarfleece and it fits perfectly. I love the placement of the pockets and the ventilation zippers. I often wear it cross country skiing over a fleece or as a stand-alone jacket on warmer Minnesota winter days. I can tell it's going to be a great rain jacket too...100% waterproof! EXCELLENT quality for the price!