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The Abrams M1 battle tank of severe weather shells.

There are a lot of companies out there that make waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex jackets. What sets the Arc’teryx Men’s Alpha SV Jacket apart is attention to detail. The SV (severe weather) is loaded with solutions to problems that other companies hadn’t even recognized so this ultra-light, super-tough shell is worthy of taking on Mother Nature’s foulest mood swings.
  • Storm Hood is helmet compatible and fully adjustable for customized fit and natural movement
  • WaterTight external zippers with molded zipper garages are weatherproof and welded instead of stitched for superior strength and reduced weight
  • Removable HemLock inserts keep the jacket from hiking up under an ice-climbing harness

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Review Summary
63 4
15 3
5 2
2 1

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Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Best shell I have ever owned

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs large

I use it everywhere for 4 years now. With a semi-warm base layer on all my ski trips, even the freakishly cold ones. You could literally shower in this jacket and stay dry. Lightweight and hardwear on it is solid. Ran a bit large for me.

4 5

Great shell for a one track mind

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I rate this jacket as a 5 star shell for its performance in the mountains with a harness and pack. It works great in that capacity but for me it falls short in several other areas.

Good, once you figure out the Arc'teryx sizing. I stick with my recommended size (XL) for all upper garments and they layer together well. This works great when you use a clothing system but it also means that I have a shell which is huge and almost uncomfortable anytime I'm not layered up.

I think the placement and sizing of the zippers overall is good. I've been able to vent adequately while wearing a pack. (Note that I'm only discussing zippers here and not clothing systems to prevent overheating for the activity.)

The pockets on this jacket are awesome when using a pack but horrible for around town usage or when not wearing a pack. I tend to stash an extra hat, gloves, snacks etc in my shell when I go without a pack and it makes me look like a well endowed 75 year old playboy model... When wearing a harness it just seems worse.
The internal pockets are a bit small but usable however with them not being waterproof they aren't a great storage place for electronic items in certain conditions.

I love the jacket for use under a harness or a pack but unless you get a great deal I don't think it's versatile enough to justify the price. I absolutely love this shell for the mountains but when traveling I feel like I'm making huge compromises by only bringing this shell which isn't all that great for everything else.

So I guess arcteryx redesigned this jacket...

Posted on

So I guess arcteryx redesigned this jacket with a different face fabric. I wonder if they are going to do this with the beta and theta line? This one is the old model I think

Best Answer Responded on

The new Alpha comes with the new N80p-X Pro Shell fabric (whatever that is). This year's Theta has N150p fabric and the Beta has a combo of fabrics but not the N80p. I believe the new Sidewinder and the new Sabre jacket have the N80p fabric as well.

Ok, so I'm really struggling with the...

Posted on

Ok, so I'm really struggling with the sizing of this badboy. I mostly wear mediums in Arcteryx and am 6 feet tall 190 pounds but with narrow shoulders and not a big chest. I'm between a 40 and 42. I usually prefer a slim fit in things, both for technical performance and for looks. I hate baggyness. But I have a Stingray in Medium and a Beta AR in Medium and both are a tad snug if I put big heavy layers underneath. I recently got the Alpha SV and it seems to have a similar fit to the Beta AR. Its roomy enough for an Atom LT, no problem. But anything more than that and it seems snug. I'm worried the large would be huge on me. What would you folks do?

Best Answer Responded on

I'm stuck in the same situation as you. I like how the mediums fit, but I can't fit a super-heavy layer underneath. I've had large Acrteryx jackets as well. They were baggy enough that I didn't like wearing them. I hate to suggest this, but maybe you should explore other brands. European brands like RAB and Mammut tend to have a slightly smaller fit to them. A large RAB fits like a medium-and-a-half Arcteryx.

5 5

Exceeds expectations in harsh environments.

Over a month of nonstop rain? a 10 day blizzard with 80mph winds on a glacier? High winds and cold temps in an alpine environment? You want this jacket.

Lived in this thing for 7 months of climbing in Patagonia and never got wet. Not even once. Worth every penny. Felt like a fortress when I put it on, cinched down the hood and went to shovel or whatever.

Exceeds expectations in harsh environments.

How does this jacket compare to the Patagonia...

Posted on

How does this jacket compare to the Patagonia Super Alpine? Both are similar priced, so are they similar quality, toughness, etc.... Thanks!

Responded on

I think this is burlier and stands up to abuse a bit better but both will keep you super dry and move well. The fit isn't the same. I am a perfect Patagonia small, but somewhere between small and medium in this jacket (5'10, 155lbs, slim climber build). I would go with the Patagonia but only because of fit.

Responded on

I agree - I got to try on both of these today and the Alpha SV does feel like it will stand up to abuse more, but Patagonia had a much better fit for me. The Patagonia compared better to the Beta AR, but it is in the price range of the Alpha SV, so something must be different. Feel like long term the Alpha may hold up better, but not positive.

How thick is the material used in this...

Posted on

How thick is the material used in this jacket (489N Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3L) compare with the Patagonia Triolet jacket? Basically, i am looking for a solid jacket that can handle scrapes and bruising but don't need something with tank-like construction.

Responded on

The "Patagonia Triolet jacket" is bomb-proof! and have a great price...for my self i going to take the "Patagonia Triolet jacket" it have made from reinforcement panels- 70D

2 5

Falling apart

Bought this jacket 3 years ago. All seems seals are now falling apart. Everyone. I have 10 year old gor-tex jackets that don't have this issue. Also the jacket is no longer waterproof. I have arranged for warranty but there is a 2 month turn around, which is very impractical.

Super alpine or Alpha Sv?

Posted on

Super alpine or Alpha Sv?

Responded on

what are you doing?
Heavy, slow expedition style climbing I would want the super alpine
light alpine style fast, relativley "easy" weather
I would want the Alpha SV

Responded on

Not sure about the "easy" weather comment because the Alpha SV is built to handle brutal conditions.
Take a look at the reviews and comments about these two jackets and it should be clear.

Responded on

I am 5"9 145 need it for Ice climbing and snow shoe skiing and ever day jacket. alright I'll read the comments as well thanks.

Alpha SV build

Alpha SV build

Posted on

one pair of the 200+ hands that build the Arc'teryx Alpha SV

4 5

Great Jacket For Technical, So-So for Around Town

I've had my Alpha SV for about 3 years now. I ordered a large and it fits just about perfect. (5'11", 200lbs, 42" chest, 32" waist - only know that because I've been in too many weddings recently).

It's been my go-to jacket for living in the Pacific Northwest, with heavy snow, driving rain, and creeping damp. I've been totally dry (except those days where there's no humidity gradient from inside to outside the jacket) and my other layers have been well-protected from the weather.

No drips, no wear marks, no seams splitting, no holes. Cut is close enough to be unobtrusive, but doesn't constrict movement.

I'm not convinced on the "crossover" pockets though. They're fine for stashing stuff while climbing, but they're awkward when I wear this jacket for other uses (like going to work or around town). I finally just accepted that limitation and use a different jacket when I'm doing non-technical things.

Yep. It's expensive. Everything that's nice and lasts seems to be.

(Full disclosure: Though I purchased this jacket, I have been participating in Gore's MountainTechs product testing program since 2007 and have received other Gore-Tex products through participation there.)

Cross posting from Theta SV...

My trusty...

Posted on

Cross posting from Theta SV...

My trusty Stoic hardshell recently bit it after 5 years of faithful use.

I'm now looking for a shell to last me the next decade. I live in the Pacific NW so hardshell is necessary given our weather.

I get in about 30 days of snowboarding a year (mostly resort, but I started doing more backcountry towards the end of the season).

I've started to get into mountaineering too. Mainly non-technical ascents but I'd like to get into more challenging stuff as my skills progress - ice climbing, etc. Oh, snowboard mountaineering is a definite goal as well.

I want to rely on ONE hardshell for everything. I'm considering either the Alpha SV or the Theta SV. It seems the main differences are:

Theta has bigger pockets (beer!)
Theta is longer

Are there strong arguments in favor of one or the other for my use? Does the Alpha's shorter length get annoying for skiing/snowboarding? Does the Theta's longer length interfere w/ harness?

Responded on

I'd go with the Theta for sure. The longer length helps a lot for reaching overhead and keeping it tucked in your harness so you don't expose your back and get snow in there. If you were not going to be getting into mountaineering and ice I'd say the Alpha would be fine but for your goals the Theta edges it out for sure.

5 5

Great Jacket... worth the $.

Jacket extremely warm and water proof ready for all extremes. Used in Alps Skiing for two seasons with weather below zero which was surprizingly warm due to complete wind block ... used with base and mid layers. Under arm zips allow for effective venting, pockets, hood, and adjustable pull strings all very practical.

Recently wearing in London in a very wet spring. Outdoors for many full days without any water penetration. Crazy as it sounds have worn for fly fishing, golf, and around town.

4 5

Good Jacket, NOT worth $600

This jacket is well constructed, pretty durable as well. The storm hood is Gigantic! I returned this item because it is not worth $600, you can get a goretex pro shell for much less and it will perform just as well as this piece. It just wasn't worth it for me.

Has the sizing for this jacket changed...

Posted on

Has the sizing for this jacket changed between the older model (ie - 2008/2009 Titanium Color) and the newer models (ie - 2011/2012)? According to Arc'teryx's webpage, the Alpha SV is designated to be an "expedition fit". Was it not "expedition fit" before?

Some other people have mentioned that the fit has changed compared to the even older models (ie - 2002), but my previous Alpha was only from 3 years ago!

I'm asking because my new Alpha SV seems roomier than my old one. Can someone comment?

Responded on

The espedition fit is meant to fit over your other layers, so yes they are slightly larger

3 5

great jacket but does not hold up over time.

i am sure backcountry will delete my review as they have deleted other negative reviews i have posted in the past... this is a great jacket when it works. i am currently on my 3rd one in 4 years. after returning it 3 x has told me they will no longer exchange the jacket in the future but only offer me a refund... the first problem i had was that the jacket developed a hole inside the inner pocket.. i sent it back and about 8 months later the new jacket started to delaminate and was showing little air bubble looking things all over the jacket. in the chest, arms and waist. sent it back and got a new one which after a year developed a hole in the waist area and had lost waterproofness in the left sleeve due again to delaminating. i ran into a few other friends who had this same model who were also on their 3 & 4th returns. you'd think for $600.00 you'd get more then a year out of the jacket. i appreciate the return policy but it seems even that has come to a head. i would not recommend this product to a friend and i feel there is no jacket that can be fully waterproof and survive longer then 1 year on the market at this time.

Responded on

I agree, these new laminates that arcteryx now use are crap. they will come apart with minimal use.

2 5

No Longevity

I have loved this jacket like a second skin for the last two years, but i never thought by year three it would completely fall apart. All the seems are now separating from the fabric, draw strings are pulling apart from the body, and it is no longer water proof. Not the quality product i expected. Do not believe it to be of great value.

I want to order this jacket online becuase...

Posted on

I want to order this jacket online becuase i cant find this jacket anywhere in vancouver. I've tried on Alpha SL (medium) and it fits me perfect. I've tried on the Beta AR (medium) and the areas around my bicep feels too loose and builky. Just wondering anyone knows whether the alpha SV has a slim fit around the bicep area like the alpha SL?

Responded on

The Alpha SV like the Beta AR are meant to layer underneath. Your Alpha SL is meant for very minimal layering. The SV will fit much like the Beta AR in the biceps.

4 5

Pluses and Minuses....

It's heavy, and crinkly...but very tough. I recently slipped and fell on asphault and ice, my North Face ski pants tore, but the Alpha SV was untouched....

Heavier than the Alpha LT, it may also provide slightly more weatherproofing, although both use Goretex Proshell. I find myself bringing the LT along more in the backcountry, and perversely using the SV for alpine skiing.

I don't like the lack of pockets, or the placement of the pockets that do exist...but here again, its a compromise. The lack of pockets make using the jacket with a pack easier, and don't interfere with the hipbelt.

In terms of fit, I'd call it true to size. But, if you are going to use the SV in winter, and may be wearing a thick down or fleece under it with other layers, you need to go up a size. Remember, with the SV you have 3 inches in chest size difference per size. But if you buy a bigger size for spring summer fall, it fits like a gunnysack. You're at $1200 bucks to get two sizes of this beast, so just know what you are getting into here.

Is this jacket worth the obscene price? Probably not. But then again, you pay a lot more for a lot more durability, and of course, the Arc'teryx name. For most 3 season use, it is worth looking hard at the Alpha LT, which saves weight and about $100.

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