Minnesota, Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska.
The new Alpha SV has Gore-Tex's brand new material, which is up to 28% more breathable than last season's Alpha SV. So one has to decide if that is really worth an extra $200.
My Atom SV arrived today in Minneapolis, and my initial impression is that is is merely on the level of say Arcteryx's discontinued Delta SV heavy fleece, although more wind proof. It is far from being some sort of puffy jacket replacement, and instead, in the cold, requires layering with say a heavy wool sweater and an outer shell. This is ok though, but it just shouldn't be mistaken for a stand alone jacket for very cold temps (below say 10 F). It looks good though, and a size large is perfect for me (6', ~195 lbs.) and fits perfectly under my size large Alpha SV shell. It's a keeper, although obviously overpriced. :P
I'm 6', 190-200 and an XL fits me perfectly.
Fantastic. A lightweight, puffy, Hutterite duck down filled hooded jacket. It's obvious Canada Goose really planned the design and worked out each detail in full. Things like a felt chin area. Zipper garages. Soft stretchy cuffs. Down filled waistband. A great hood seamlessly integrated with the jacket. Banded quilting to eliminate down movement. And just looking at how well made it is, you feel it's worth it especially since it's Fabrique Au Canada and filled with Canadian Hutterite fancy down (Hutterites = a religious group similar to say Amish). With its 2-layer windproof DWR shell, and sliding this puppy on is pure luxury. If you need a lightweight down jacket which is uber-warm and can still fit under your gore-tex shell if need be and packs in your backpack and doubles as a pillow, this is a great option.
For sizing, I'm 6' and 190-200 and an XL fits perfectly.
Alright so I haven't had much of a chance to use this jacket in its element, but have only some initial impressions to share. It seems to be extremely well designed and made. It's made in Canada still for this model anyway. I like the texture of the face fabric, and it is certainly pliable enough and much quieter than say the Beta AR- more of a crunkle vs. a crinkle noise with the Beta AR. I can layer underneath as much as I want (from fleece to light down jacket. The hood design doesn't bother me at all, and when fully zipped and up and adjusted, it is obviously very protective. It's expensive, but is the best gore-tex shell I've ever seen.
Me: 6', 205. Alpha SV: Large, black
Hi James here. I ordered the Large Alpha SV and it's perfect! It still has enough room to fit my Canada Goose Lodge Hoody (down filled jacket) underneath, with just a slight amount of compression going on. In other words, there's a nice amount of room under the Alpha SV still, but not too much. I really like the cut and fit of the jacket on me. The sleeve and torso length on it are perfect as well for me. And, Fabrique Au Canada!!
I'd get a Theta SV but it's Made in China. That's a no-go for me.
Where to start...how about WOW! I just got mine in the mail, and it is serious quality and protection. I can't decide if it's either the Mercedes Benz or Humvee of parkas. First, it weighs about 5 lbs. according to my weight scale. Second, the design and construction (yep construction would be a good word for this item) is pretty amazing. Third, I am 6' 1" and about 210, and the medium feels a *tad* large, I think a small would've been no problem. But medium is probably optimal for the usage of this parka (for heavier layering if need be).
I think it's important to, if you can, actually look and try this on before you buy it. I couldn't recommend this model for persons living in warmer climes than here (Minnesota). I read that someone has theirs for 25 years and going, and I could see this parka holding up for that long no problem. I could also see falling off the side of a snowy mountain in the middle of a blizzard, hopping back up, dusting off a bit of snow, and act like nothing had happened. Lol.
So I'm trying to wrap my intellect around the idea of this jacket. 600 clams, with less versatility than say a Beta AR shell + say an Outdoor Research Transcendant down hoody (or if you're like me, a Canada Goose Lodge Hoody). I have the Beta AR + Lodge hoody, and love the combination. I'm also sure it is as warm if not warmer than the Fission SV. I'm a fan of Arcteryx, but for me the latter combination makes more sense. And living in Minnesota, I just ordered a Canada Goose Expedition for the serious frigidness. I also have a Delta SV, hence a very flexible array.
and breathable. I think this is what it's designed for- warmth + breathability. It'd be nice if it had an inside pocket though. :P
So I've got this fleece, the Delta SV, and the Apache Cardigan. I like the fit of the XL of the other two vs. the Strato Hoody, but as I mentioned I like hoods. The texture of this fleece is OK, but I prefer the Apache's, plus the Apache's interior texture is really plush and fine. If the Apache had a hood I'd go with that one over this, but since I wanted that feature I got one of these as well. The Apache looks nicer too I think.
Anyway, it's a nice jacket.
Large Red Himalayan Parka, Summit Series. About me: I'm about 6' or 6'1" and weigh about 190-195, and the large fits perfectly.
2 things people: 800+ fill power, and GORE WINDSTOPPER. Real 800 fill power. So much so that wearing it will make you look a bit like a weather balloon floating around. But...given North Face's real experience equipping people for the most inhospitable places on Earth, you know this parka is a flagship and the rest are a biiit pretend. ;)
Yah that's all pretty bold, but the first time I saw a Himalayan was in a glass case at the North Face store in Minneapolis- the suit. It literally looked like a Space Suit, made for outer space, let alone terra firma here.
So, there you have it. It's overkill for most situations, but if I ever get trapped in a blizzard in Northern Minnesota with noone else around, I'd bet this parka will see me through to daylight. The clencher for me, is that I got mine, a Large Red, at the local dealer for $372. Given this past Winter in Minnesota, how could I pass it up??
A bit more news: I walked about 5 miles around a frozen lake a few days ago here in Minnesota, 15 degrees F with a decent wind blowing. Some impressions: I had it fully zipped with the hood up and was never too warm with it. It is very light and comfortable to wear (unobtrusive to wear). The hand pockets and silky soft and have down on either wide of your hands, eliminating the need to gloves if need be. I thought it would look slightly funny to wear such a parka, but it actually looks pretty normal, albeit definitely arctic type gear. I've uploaded a couple of photos. Bottomline, it's here to stay in my Winter collection.
I think the North Face Himalayan doesn't have a competitor in the Canada Goose collection. The Absolute Zero parka from Mountain Hardwear would be more like a competitor. But then again, this parka is meant for the most extreme conditions.
So I've put a pair of these through their paces as my primary everyday shoe for over a year (yes the same pair!) and really like the fit and function of these shoes. This time, I went for the gore-tex versions, as it seems prudent. I guess you can say I've found a really nice pair of all-around shoes that can handle 90+% of what I run across.