A mountaineering-worthy winter shell that'll put a smile on even the most seasoned veteran's face.
Let's be clear: the Men's Alpha SV Jacket carries Arc'teryx's prized SV moniker because this jacket can fend off the nastiest, most brutal weather you'd encounter during a climbing expedition deep in the mountains. For '12-'13, the Alpha Jacket was updated with exceptionally durable face fabric and a refined fit that allows more room for layering underneath. From the waterproof breathable Gore-Tex Pro fabric to the interior inserts that keep the hem in place under a climbing harness, this classic mountaineering piece screams serious business.
- N80p-X is a polyester face fabric with an exceptional durability-to-weight ratio
- Gore-Tex Pro waterproof breathable fabric uses three-layer construction to allow sweaty moisture to pass through the fabric from the inside out, but it won't allow outside moisture in
- Gore-Tex Pro shell fabric is highly durable so you can drag this jacket through rough terrain without worry
- Laminated seam construction eliminates stitched seams that would require additional seam taping that would lower overall fabric breathability
- Updated e3D fit allows for full range of motion in the arms, shoulders, and torso without lifting at the hem or fabric binding that would restrict movement
- e3D also streamlines the cut of the front of this jacket so you can clearly see your feet and the waist of your climbing harness
- Hip length covers up your waistline and stretches below the point where a pack hip-belt or climbing harness would sit
- Underarm zips provide ample venting so you can let cool air in
- Storm Hood is large enough to pull over your ski helmet or climbing helmet for additional protection from the elements
- Gore standard WaterTight front zipper further adds to the weatherproof protection of this jacket
- Crossover bellowed chest pockets sit at a height that won't interfere with the sternum strap of a backpack and the pockets are easy to access quickly
- Removable HemLock inserts keep the hem of your jacket from riding up underneath your climbing harness
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Platinum coming F13 with yellow chest zippers
For all those wondering about where this piece is made, here's photographic proof. It's made in Canada, not China.
I have a question about the Alpha SV Cayenne color. I have a new one that just arrived the other day. Based on the name and the picture here, I was expecting a red jacket - but everyone I've shown mine to says it's orange. It doesn't look bright orange, but I sure wouldn't call it red. What do others think about this? Did I get an oddball?
Unfortunately, it must have been your monitor settings, it looks one or two shades on the red side of blaze orange on my monitor.
You did not get an oddball. Cayenne is meant to be a bright orange with a slight red tinge to it. I was expecting something a bit more red based on the pics until I saw One in person at the shop. It's one of those colors that does not show well online.
Could be Glen's monitor settings or the original photograph too. Who knows how much the colours have been altered in post-processing.
Regardless of this, having seen a few of the cayenne jackets in a shop, I agree with Pat and Paul, it's an orange colour rather than red.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have North Face, Marmot, Patagonia and MontBell technical shells. I've trekked and climbed for over fifty years, in the Sierra Nevada, at Ranier, the AT, Bryce and in Alaska. If you want to go further,faster, lighter this is the kind of gear you need. The Alpha SV is professional grade, remarkably well designed and perfectly constructed. Our home is on the southern Oregon coast near Cape Blanco where winter winds routinely run at seventy to one hundred miles per hour with heavy heavy rains. The zippers of this shell do not let in water or wind. The storm hood is flawless and remarkably better than those of other shells I own. The sleeves are wonderfully articulated to fascilliate overhead reach without lifting the torso of the shell. There are no front pockets at hip level to get in the way of a climbing or backpacking harness. The bottom hem of the shell has a removable foam strip sewn into it to prevent the shell from riding up under a climbing or backpacking harness. I'm sixty-five, trek five miles a day, five days a week, twelve months a year, going on two multi-week treks in the summer. In my opinion this is the finest technical shell ever made, hands down.
I have a simple question . I recently purchased an Atom SV Hoody I'm super happy with. Will the Alpha SV cover the whole of it? I just want to be sure the mid-layer won't get wet in nasty weather conditions, and the nearest arc'teryx store is far away from I currently live so I don't have any chance to test this. I wear an L and would stick on the same size.
My medium Atom SV is a touch longer in the front than my Medium Alpha SV. you can tuck it up inside the shell but if you want something with a longer length look to the Theta series
How does it compare with Alpha SL Hybrid?
I have a 4-years-old Alpha SL that needs to be replaced because it wore off. So I'm considering to replace my old Alpha SL with either the Alpha SL Hybrid (because of the reinforced areas) or the Alpha SV. Weather-wise, my old SL always attended my needs when climbing, ice-climbing and mountaineering. So, I have a few questions:
1) is durability the only main difference between the SL Hybrid and the SV?
2) is the SV much warmer than the SL?;
3) is the fit of the SV the similar to the old SL (my size is S)?;
paclite is less breatheable than proshell, it is also thinner and thus durabilty becomes an issue as well. The proshell used in the Alpha SV is much more durable than the proshell used in the Alpha SL hybrid. It is not really warmer per say- the fabric is however a touch thicker. You will also get some better features in teh SV such as inner pockets, arm pockets, bellowed chest pockets and harness hemlock (at the waist).The fit on the SV is longer in the torso and in the rear, it is also slightly more roomy. Lastly it is more articulated for activity than the SL models. If you climb and mountaineer the Alpha SV is the better choice (albeit way more expensive) but it will last you longer than the SL
I've had this jacket for a few years and my partner has the SL. I agree with the above comment.
The SV is made of much thicker material which means it will rip much less easily. I use it for skiing in thick glades and can't even count the number of times i have been stabbed by a thick branch, thought for sure my jacket would be ripped only to find out that it was still in perfect condition and that the only damage was bruised muscle underneath!
As shells they have no warmth to them. I find the cut of the SV a little bigger so you can wear a larger midlayer under. And yes the SV is a bit thicker, however the new model uses a new fabric which has made the jacket a bit thinner, can't comment on the durability of this change as my jacket is from 4 years ago. Went I was at the store in Montreal they told me it was supposed to be the same if not better. They are both great in terms of keeping the elements out.
The fit is a bit looser I find and more articulated as stated previously.
I love my SV for Winter activities and late fall harsh weather hikes. However, I never use it in summer as i find it a bit too thick and loose when i;m just earing one shirt under. If you're going to wear it mostly in summer/warmer weather for hiking i would go with the Alpha Lt or Fl. That being said I have not regretted my purchase for one minute.
Great Shell- Has held up to severe weather and all kinds of terrain.The fabric shows little to no wear and tech washes have keep the water beading off and breathing properly.
Awesome construction- superb shoulder fit and arm articulation. well thought out hood and adjusters. Front of collar is extremely high with a slightly shorter cut in front. My only gripe is the pockets- or lack there-of. 2 front crossover pockets work well when using a pack.
Pockets are large and easily accessible. This is perfect for ice climbing/mountaineering, it does the job when skiing and other winter activities but is lacking some "whiteline" features". Its still a geat overall jacket.
I have 2 questions:
1. How long till I can get the Cayenne in a Large?
2. Is the 20% reduction applicable to this product?
I can't speak to the shipping schedule; you might be able to get that info from a customer service rep. But the 20% will apply. And be quite a good one in this case. Just make sure that this is either the most expensive item or the only item in your cart, otherwise it'll apply to the most expensive thing.
I'm 5'8''; about 155 lbs. I purchased a med but it feels big. The sleeves are about an inch too long. The length goes down to the bottom of my buttocks. There's a fair amount of room in the shoulders and body, BUT the armpit is tucked in well. If I downsize to a small, I feel like everything would fit well, but I am unsure how it may feel in the pits. What to do...
If you really must have the ALPHA SV try the small. This years model has a reduced chest circumfrence so it may still be a bit tight on you. Last seasons small will not have this problem. Otheriwse check out the Theta SV in small. it fits almost as big as a medium Alpha SV
This jacket is super duper. I've used it primarily for backcountry skiing and have found it to be all that Arc'teryx says it is. It is the best shell out there,in my opinion. The durability of this piece when doing a bit of survival skiing to get out of a drainae after a long day is great. It can take the abuse.
It is versatile. The Alpha SV is the one coat that I would recommend grabbing for just about any winter outdoor activity where the weather/conditions are going to be nasty. The zippers are excellent, glided well upon first use, which make ventilation simple when working up a sweat. Blocks all wind, rain, snow, trees, or anything that it might come in contact with.
A few tings that I love about this coat are the chest pockets, the hood, and the wrist cuffs. When wearing a pack over the top, the chest pockets are easily accessible, making life simple. The hood is as functional as they get. Most hoods get the job done when it is nuking conditions, but are a pain to wear when it isn't crucial. Not so with the SV hood, the fit is great once you get the adjustability dialed in. It works well over a helmet or just a beanie/your head. The wrist cuffs are different than other Arc'teryx cuffs in that they have an elastic closure opposite the Velcro. this allows the cuff to stay in place more easily and when it does slide below you glove-line, you don't need to re-Velcro it to get it back in place, depending on how tight you had it.
Bottom line, if you have the dough and want the best, look to the Alpha SV to keep you happy when things are nasty.
I'm 5'10" and 185lbs. 44" chest and I fit comfortably in the large. There is room for layering. I feel that with a medium the jacket may have been too short at the waist. I'm surprised how light the jacket is in comparison to the durability. Time will tell how it holds up.
Would I be able to get away with a L? I usually wear an XL in the Alpha/Beta FL and LT... And those fit pretty snug. I just probably put an ATOM LT under the shell.
My preference is to stay with the same sizing for all my Arc'Teryx jackets and mid layers, since they are cut and designed to work together.
That said, you could try a L and it would probably work, depending on your body specs, but in my opinion you are limiting the use of the jacket, especially in extreme cold situations, since you wouldn't be able to layer as much underneath it. Now that is fine if you carry a warm/waterproof piece that you are going to slip on over your shell at rest/camp, etc., but really, when I wear just an Atom LT under the jacket, I simply cinch the Alpha SV down around the chest and at the waist and that keeps the dead air space to a minimum.
I will add the only time I go with just the Atom LT under this shell is when I'm really working hard in extreme weather, and would over heat with another mid-layer on (Atom SV, for example), but this type of usage is the exception and not the norm, since if I'm fully insulated (Atom LT + Atom SV) and I need to dump heat I just open my shell and the pit zips.
SO you have to ask yourself, do you really want an Alpha SV bomb proof jacket, one that is desinged to protect you from extreme weather, in a size that limits the number of layers you can comfortably wear underneath it?
I agree with Riffle on this one. If you wear an XL in other pieces from Arc'teryx, I would do the same here. The extra room fro articulation while allowing layers underneath is what makes this piece so great, and I wouldn't want to see you lose that from such a dynamic jacket. i wear a Medium in all Arc'teryx tops and there is now way I could get away with a small in the Alpha SV and have it be functional with other layers underneath.
The Alpha SV is simply the best goretex shell on the market, bar none. The NEW goretex pro shell is soft and flexible in ways that previous generations lacked, and yet it is waterproof beyond compare. The jacket is durable enough to get dragged up a mountain, rubbed on a rope-tow, or skidded down the pavement should you fall off your fatbike. I know; I've tried; it survived without incident. If you're looking for hand pockets, this isn't the jacket--but that makes it more compatible with backpacks and climbing harnesses. The hood is the BEST hood I've ever used--easily accommodates a helmet, without becoming a sail to pull you around in high wind. More interestingly, the softness of the Pro shell lets the hood turn with you, when you turn your head. If I could give 6 stars to this shell, I would do so. There is nothing--literally nothing--that I would change about it. I'm 6' and ~150#; a medium is perfect for me. Perfect. PERFECT. I can't imagine ever replacing this...except with another one.
I can only second Riffle�s review as I am of the same dimensions. IMO the best jacket in this class !
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
What more can be said about this jacket? It is simply the best and worth every penny.
Let's get right to the sizing of this excellent piece of gear. This is an expedition fit jacket and is designed to go over multiple mid layers while still providing excellent freedom of movement. If you are only wearing a light base layer and a light mid layer this jacket will appear too big and too baggy. It is not designed to be worn as a generally purpose shell and if you don't plan on being out in the coldest and nastiest weather you should probably look at the Beta AR jacket or something else. You could size down smaller if you wanted, but you are really limiting the number of layers you can use with the jacket. In my opinion it is better to size up rather than down, for this reason.
I use the jacket with the Atom LT and Atom SV jackets, as a system, all are XL's and I'm 6'1 185 with very broad shoulders and long arms. With just a few light base layers and the Atom LT on the jacket fits loose and I need to really cinch it up at the waist and the torso. But when I put the Atom SV on over the Atom LT, the fit is perfect, and the jacket comforms nicely to the layering system. My advice is to stick with the same size for all the Dead'Bird jackets and mid layer pieces as they are designed and cut to work together like a system.
I will add that my Rab Endurance Neutrino fits under the Alpha SV like a glove. I'm a XXL in that jacket, given my long arms and shouders. I have excellent freedom of movement and no excess material in the Alpha SV with this system.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
first off, chances are this jacket is more than you need. i bought it for ice climbing in new england, because the weather can get nasty fast. 90% of the time i would be TOTALLY fine with a cheaper jacket.
but MAN, the other 10% of the time, this thing is worth its weight in gold. ive topped out in huntington ravine in single digit temps with 90mph winds on the summit plateau (literally getting blown over) and this thing did not let ANY wind through. i was totally comfy. the handful of times i've needed it (plus the fact that its bombproof and will last forever) more than justify its cost IMO.
so if money's a major factor in your decision, look elsewhere... but if that's the case, you're probably not here anyway. if you're down to invest in top of the line shell, this jacket is it.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I'm loving the jacket and enough to put out some kind words about it. My super cool sister gave me this as a gift to replace my North Face Shell from 1992 and... my how things have changed! My favorite gear is the kind of stuff that's gonna serve me well for many years and this Jacket feels bomb-proof.
I've tested it out in some crazy cold stuff this Winter (one day with -20F wind chills) and it blows away any thing I've tried. I love winter backpacking trips and I'm really enjoying the light-weight packability of this serious shell.
So... Yeah I'm a fan.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Over the past 15 years or so, I've owned more Arc'teryx gear than i would like to admit. From hard-shells to soft-shells and everything in between.
When i had to send my aging Scorpion jacket in for warranty work this past fall i quickly learned that waiting till fall to repair a shell i rely on in the winter was a bad idea.
so while i waited, i decided to buy a new one. when i discovered that the Alpha SV is still made in Canada i didn't waste a moment placing my order for one in black.
i cannot say how pleased i am with this jacket. every aspect of it reminds me why i left the other makers long ago and began giving my hard earned cash to the "dead bird". I've lived in this shell the past couple of months in miserable weather in both the cities and the mountains of china. all the while warm and dry.
i tend to "live" in my hard-shells. i use them all year long... so i buy them in black or nightshade, or some similar dark color. as they age the invertible dirt and stains don't show as much on the darker shells...
i was (am) so impressed with this jacket that i bought one for my wife in that beautiful Cayenne color... see my separate review for her response... Oh, OK; She LOVES it.
we both liked the red so much 'in person' that with [very] little coaxing from her, i purchased another for myself... excessive? perhaps, but i have no doubt in the quality of this garment. And on the off chance that economics eventually force Arc'teryx to eliminate or compromise their SV line, I'll have twice as long before i have to think about it again... and likely many years before I'll need to worry about another shell.