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A mountaineering-worthy winter shell that'll put a smile on even the most seasoned veteran's face.

Arc'teryx has earned a reputation in the outdoor industry for making some of the toughest gear available. Arc'teryx doesn't pull any punches when it designs its gear. Nowhere is this more evident than its SV line of clothing—the burliest clothing that Arc'teryx makes. For 2013, Arc'teryx redesigned its venerable Alpha SV Jacket around a high-density nylon face fabric with a Gore-Tex Pro 3L laminate to make it just as tough as before, but now quieter and more supple.

To earn the Arc'teryx SV (severe weather) moniker, the Alpha SV jacket had to be tough. And, of course, this is Arc'teryx, so when we say tough, we mean bulletproof. The jacket's main body fabric is N80p-Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer. N80p is a high-density nylon weave. The high-density construction minimizes the yarns' exposure to abrasion, which reduces damage to filaments to maintain surface integrity. A durable micro-grid woven backer reduces weight and further resists abrasion. What all that means is years of guaranteed waterproof breathable service, even in the harshest conditions.

The Alpha SV is more than tough fabric, however. It's designed to work in perfect harmony with climbing harnesses and backpacks. This means the chest vent pockets and underarm zipper vents are designed out of the way of waist belts and shoulder straps, and the removable HemLock inserts keep the jacket in position when worn underneath a climbing harness. The hood and underarm zippers are designed for one-hand use for easy operation in tight spots. Of course, the Alpha SV is equipped with stormproof zippers throughout.

  • Gore-Tex Pro 3L
  • Ultra-durable N80p high-density nylon weave
  • Athletic fit, waist-length
  • Underarm zipper vents, chest pocket mesh vents
  • Fixed, helmet-compatible Storm Hood
  • Waterproof zippers throughout
  • Adjustable hem and cuffs

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Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

I am looking between the beta AR or alpha SV. How are the fits different? For the Beta, a medium was a tiny bit too small and a large was a tiny bit too big. Would a medium SV be a bit bigger than a medium Beta or should I go a large? I have nowhere to try one on.

Responded on

I've found that the Alpha SV will be a little longer than the Beta AR. The sleeves and rest o the body will fit almost the same, but you will notice more length.

I'm wanting to pull the trigger on this Alpha SV but hanging in the balance between the Small and Medium. My body characteristics are the following:
5'9, 175lbs, very toned physique
Normally, I purchase chest sizes at a 38 and usually Mediums shirts.
Any assistance would be great and I'll pull the trigger to purchase.

Thanks so much!


Responded on


Most definitely go for the medium. I'm 5'9" 140lbs and my small Alpha fits me perfectly with a thinner layer like an Atom LT underneath. If I were any bigger, especially in the shoulders, I'd size up to a medium.

5 5

Great jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Height: 5' 10"
    Weight: 195 lbs
    Size Purchased: XL

This is an awesome jacket. It's roomy and very functional. The articulated elbows fit perfectly allowing movement without an restrictions. The jacket keeps warmth in but breaths so you don't over-heat. Zippers in all the right places. I do wish Arc'teryx would design hand pockets with this jacket. It would be perfect. Great jacket, highly recommend.

5 5

Great durability and exceptional fit

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

durability 9/10
fit 10/10
weight 8/10
breathability 7/10
value - depends on how you use it
overall 9/10

Excellent durability. Hiked through rough thorns and bramble for many days... Only one thorn managed to poke through the face fabric. Most jackets would have been ripped to shreds. Climbed on rough sandstone for about a week... Still no evidence it has been climbed in.

Fit... Excellent range of motion while climbing. Never felt like I was restricted in my motion. Wish it was about 1/3'' longer overall for more protection while going for really reachy holds.

Breathability- Wore this in temps up to 45F with the pit zips open. Its comfortable for any kind of climbing and hiking up to moderate output. For colder weather below 30 you can push much harder. Above 45 it starts to get clammy unless you are going really easy.

Weight... Super light and packable for the amount of durability.

Sidenote: I think the higher durability fabric used throughout the body of the Alpha SV vs the AR is worth it if you are planning on climbing in the jacket (especially trad).

5 5

The best waterproof jacket on the market

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

I've put this one through the ringer. Size first: I'm 6' and 150#; athletic and trim. Medium fits me perfectly.

I've worn this as a casual rain jacket, I've worn it skiing (with or without layers underneath), climbing, hiking, camping, and everything in between. It's been drug through brambles and thorns, scraped over rocks, and slid down ice and snow. It still looks like new.

This is the most waterproof jacket I've ever had, bar none, and comparing to many, many goretex jackets that are on the market. I have to say...I thought the price was ridiculous, until I tried it. This is a jacket I'll have for 20 years.

I can offer no constructive criticism of it. If you want more pockets or a longer cut, look at some of the other options. For me, the length is perfect because of the versatility and flexibility that it allows.

This is a jacket that forms the basis of my outer layers year-round. In cold conditions, I layer up under it. In warm conditions, I wear it alone. I can't say enough good things about it. This jacket is worth it.

1 5

Arc'teryx terrible warranty service

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

I really liked this jacket until some strange discoloration happened. Contacted Arc'teryx and they told me to contact gore. Really? It's like Apple telling me to contact the battery manufacture. I did anyway and Gore said that it was a manufacturing defect. Arc'teryx tells me they don't agree. Now I have this $700 jacket that has a bunch of strange spots on it. I have been a fan of Arc'Teryx for sometime but will never buy it again. If you buy this jacket just hope it isn't an outlier with a defect or you're out of luck. I have never had a problem with gear for over 30 years (except for a North Face jacket the Gore-tex de-laminated but they replaced immediately. They didn't have the same jacket in stock so they sent me a check) this was very disappointing. I would never recommend anything Arc'Teryx again on the small chance there was a defect. They just don't care.

Responded on

I somehow doubt you went through every obstacle with Arc'teryx before writing this review. I had an issue with my face fabric being stained and they offered to repair it for free, and Arc'teryx is known for having the best customer service in the business so I'm not sure where you are getting all of this.

Responded on

I spent over a month of back and forth with them and as I said I even went to Gore as they told me to (which I find nuts anyway). Gore said 'this is a manufacturing issue' and Arc'teryx said 'we don't agree.' All I asked for was that they repair the strange discoloration and they said it wasn't their fault even though I forwarded the email from Gore. If you read through their Facebook page their customer service has really seemed to have gone downhill. When did you have this problem? Was it recent? I had to follow-up with them because they wouldn't get back to me when they said they would, I contacted their supplier because they told me to, I gave them every opportunity to make this right. Even if they had offered to repair it for a small fee I would have been okay with that. Their last response "both Gore-tex and ourselves do not consider the discoloration your are experiencing a warranty issue." What they said was true Gore-Tex considered it a manufacturing issue. Obstacles should not be a part of standing behind your product but I sure did go through everyone of them.

Responded on

Thank you for this review because now I will not purchase anything from Arc'teryx.

Responded on

Yep, thanks for the review. Discouraging to hear that after dropping serious coin on a nice jacket that the company tries to push you aside and point fingers. My friend talks up the quality of Arc'teryx but who cares if they don't stand behind their product. Not sure I'll get anything made from them now and I'm a big believer in spending more to get a quality product.

Responded on

That's horrible. Did you buy this jacket at a retail store? Sometimes they might help you out. I know REI would.

I have two questions: 1. )Did Arcteryx change the fit on this jacket from "expedition" to "athletic"? About a year ago I tried on a 2013 Alpha SV, and found I had to choose between sleeves that were too short, or a body that was too baggy (even with extra layers underneath). Would be really excited to learn that they revised the fit to make this jacket better proportioned, and would definitely buy one immediately.
2.) Has anyone seen the new oxblood color? Does it look like more of a dark red, or more of a rusty orange? Sometimes it is hard to tell on the screen. Thanks!

Responded on

It's more of a dark crimson. I sell them in my store. Great color really.

5 5

can u beat arcteryx ?

having my old jacket loose its waterproofness in the seams recently Arcteryx repalced it with this for nominal lcost.
serioulsy stoked.
cut is better ,with a higher chin guard that doesnt stick to yr face.
body room is PLENTIFUL. for any amount of layering u cud need. iwent a size down this time and its just magnificent. romy but not a tent.

the chest pocekts are on the smaller side ,they cud have possible made them slightly roomier. that wud be better.
the left upper arm pass pocket is a apin in the ass to to open, that needs thought.the velcro on the cuffs is perfect.
the jacket length cud be slightyl onger, , like to see it just an inch longer thru the body. and with a left wrist zip pocket.
colur is superb ( the dark blue one) its as close as i have seen to the perfect jacket without being it yet.
who cares when they repalce ur 5 yr old one for this new model , im hapy to say arxteryx has me for life..!
no need ot speak about its performance its top of the shop goretex that doesnt need speakign about.

Responded on

My experience with their warranty was completely opposite. I have never had to deal with a more backward customer service department before.

5 5

Got one in the late '99 or 2000

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

I've used it for pretty much everything but climbing. Pushed through heavy brush and briers in search of deer and trout. Slid down stony banks and spent days in heavy rain, sleet and snow. I wear anytime I know it's going to be miserable. It's got a 1/4" tear in the ass and a tiny hole burned in the front. I've had to glue down 2 strips of tape inside. The zipper shrouds have yellowed some, but it still sheds rain like a duck and the nylon looks as new as the day I got it--stitching too. The jacket is IME the most rugged piece of clothing ever made and exceeded my wildest expectation years ago.

5 5

Gore-Tex Tromp!

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

Slickest, Sweetest,Radest, and Driest jacket I have ever worn. Gore-Tex Pro is some amazing technology that will blow your mind in wet situations. This jacket fits amazingly well with myself wearing a size small being 5'6" 160lbs. With enough room to put a couple layers underneath but without layers doesn't look huge. Sleeve length is perfect for activity and with comfy wrist cuffs you can cinch the up. Arc'teryx does not cut corners and has the utmost attention to detail on all pieces.

Eric Watford
Expert Gearhead
Instagram: @ericwatford

Gore-Tex Tromp!
3 5

The right size, style satisfaction, but~

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

The right size, style satisfaction, but ~It is wrinkled when I received!

5 5

Comparing Alpha and Theta

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

I recently ordered three Arc’teryk shells trying to get exactly what I wanted (with plans to return two of them): Alpha SV, Alpha LT, and Theta AR. I tried them on with my climbing helmet, alpine harness, and a down hoody liner:
-Alpha has a great overhead reach and the hood fit my helmet quite well, though the hood hung limply when not over my head. The SV has a waste cinch six inches from the bottom and a bicep pocket, which the LT doesn’t have. The main difference is: LT used 2 layer 40D GoreTex, SV used 3 layer 80D. The result is that the SV feels a lot more durable. It’s probably worth the extra 100 dollars if you’re planning to rough it, and it’s only another ½ pound of weight. One big downside: the only exterior pockets are a pair on your chest near the zipper, which you have to reach over to use (i.e. you use your right hand to reach into the pocket on your left side). This leaves nowhere to put your hands.
-Theta: the Theta looks strangely long, though that does add some waterproofing below the waist. The “AR” designation means it uses 40D GoreTex in most of the jacket, but 80D GoreTex in the forearms, shoulders, upper back, and lower back. I find this to be an optimal tradeoff in terms of weight, durability, and cost. The jacket also has a different neck/hood layout that looks more natural when wore down and still adjusted okay on the helmet. The pockets are set wide on the chest making them a comfortable place to put your hands. Conclusion: Theta AR wins because it uses the right mix of materials and has the right pockets/hood for wearing on the mountain and around town. If you don’t love the length, get the Alpha AR.
-Regarding fit. I ordered the Alpha SV in small, the other two in medium (just to get a feel for the difference). I’m 5-11 and very skinny. The small was okay but slightly restricted my overhead movements and was a bit tight with layers. The mediums are puffy on me, but, then, I need to eat more.
Alpha SV: 4.5 stars.

5 5

Perfect for all weather

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

I recently bought an Alpha SV and took it on a two-week trip to Colombia. Wore it in the Andes mountains, in the jungle, and out on the town in Cartagena. It looked nice, it is beautifully constructed, and certainly the finest jacket I have ever worn. Most notably, I hiked to the top of a 16,000+ foot mountain in 75+ hour winds and tried to see if water would penetrate my under-layers. Not a drop of precipitation got through. I highly recommend it.

Perfect for all weather
5 5


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

I ordered this in the XXL because I like to layer for cold weather. I am 6 feet and 232 pounds. The jacket was huge on me so I exchanged it for an XL. I only had the jacket for a day but it seems like a high quality item. The color is great, the construction is amazing and the folks at Backcountry helped with the exchange. I can not wait for my XL to come!! I'll write a review when I put the jacket to the test.

I got the new XL one and the fit is absolutely amazing. It is perfect. The Dark Olympus looks amazing! I checked out the jacket inside and out and the construction is probably the best I have ever had. You can tell the workers took pride in their work. If you are on the fence about buying this jacket I say DO IT!!! It's an investment and it will last.

4 5

Pretty close to perfect!

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

Ordered what seems to be the last XL in the Dark Olympus. Just received the jacket and almost everything looks perfect. Everything from the zippers and seams look perfect and I'm looking forward to testing my new purchase soon! Unfortunately, what I did notice were several spots on the Gore Tex fabric that seem like blemishes or glue splatters. Not too sure and a bit concerned about how it affects the durability of the jacket.

update: Turns out it was glue and was able to use my nail to remove.

Otherwise then this, everything looks perfect!

Pretty close to perfect!

I'm 6ft and 2.4 inches. Should I get...

I'm 6ft and 2.4 inches. Should I get a medium or large? I weight 174 lbs. thanks!

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Carlos,

The key measurement for sizing jackets is your chest measurement. If you find a friend to help or if you can get that measurement on your own we have provide a size chart with the ideal spec listed for this jacket. Or if after you get your chest measurement and you still need any help picking out a size please feel free to chat in with one of our Gearheads and they will have a quick answer for you.

Responded on

Go large Carlos, I'm 6"1' and 180 lbs and I felt the medium was too restrictive for climbing.

Responded on

Carlos, you should definitely get a large. I am 6' 1" , 175 pounds or so and initially ordered the medium. It was too small to put on any layers underneath and I returned it. The large fits perfectly.

Double post:
I'm venturing into more...

Double post:
I'm venturing into more highly technical gear... Goal is to mountaineer snowboarding. I'd like to get my first Arc jacket as one that will last. I'll use it for multiple purposes and I have been trying to figure out which I should get... Alpha SV, Alpha LT, or Theta AR??? Price seems to all be about the same (SV a little higher). Help please...

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Richard!
I can help you out with that. Really all depends on your climate, and what your intended use is. I am sending you an email with some more info.
The easiest way to think of it is:
LT-lightweight, more minimal less features
AR-All around, perfect for everyday use in the mountains
SV-Severe weather, built for the worst storms and most brutal conditions

has anyone used this jacket in wet weather?...

has anyone used this jacket in wet weather? I'd love to know how this jacket performs in serious rainy situations, thanks!

Responded on

This guy is a little goofy...going on his trip...but, he is wearing the Alpha SV and during the video it becomes very in-climate weather. He speaks to the incredible performance of his SV.
Hope that helps. I just ordered one of these based on numerous amazing reviews.
If that link doesn't work...cut and paste this title in Youtube.
Arc'teryx Alpha SV in a Real Life Situation (Video by Critter)