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Rafa

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Hiking & Camping

Rafa

Rafa wrote a review of on November 7, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 154 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I work as a professional outdoor guide in the peruvian Andes. I spend a lot of time in the mountains and I always need reliable protection. Over the years, I have tried several models of rain jackets from good brands like TNF, Columbia, Patagonia, etc. Let me tell you this: Today ARC'TERYX makes the best hardshells in the world. I was introduced to Arcteryx when I purchased the lighter ALPHA FL and it's performance blew my mind.

After that first experience I decided to buy the ALPHA SV. A few days ago, while having lunch at 15,420ft (4,700 mts) we were hit by a sudden storm. As soon I put the ALPHA SV on I felt like was on a shelter. Later that same day, we got relentless hail, bittering cold winds and a heavy downpour. This jacket feels like wearing a 16th century armour. YES. It is that good. It makes you feel invulnerale. I never felt so much confidence wearing other jackets!. Besides the weather protection, I was impressed by the fact that DWR coating showed no signs of wearing off in the hips and the shoulders area. I can not say the same about my many other rain jackets.

Other features I like are the generous hood design and the many pockets. The hood can be optimally adjusted to be worn with a helmet or without it. The two front pockets are good for storing gps, compass, maps, snacks, radio, satellite phone, gloves etc. There are two extra internal pockets. The pit zips for ventilation also come handy for cooling down! This jacket features everything you need on a big day in the countryside. Every single detail is thoughfully designed and well executed. It is a perfect jacket! I never thought I would find one!

This piece was designed to be worn under "severe conditions", so it has plenty of room for layering up. When static, I can wear a base layer, a R1 fleece, a Nano Air and a Ghost Whisperer underneath easily and I felt like I could still add more layers! For reference I'm 5,8 ft and I weight 154 pounds (178 cms and 70kg). I wear a SMALL, like in other Arc'teryx garments. If you don't intend to wear so many layers underneath, you can probably size down. I feel like I could use the x-small too, but it just wouldn't provide enough space for layering up.

If you're heading to the most extreme environments on earth, you live in the end of the world or if you simply valorate the best equipment and want THE MOST PROTECTIVE hardshell in the market, this garment will be a welcome addition to your arsenal. It is expensive, but it will last you many years. I wish I had bought this piece before, instead of wasting my money with cheaper jackets. I will definetely buy again rain gear from ARC'TERYX.

This is not a simple rain jacket. It is as a critical survival piece. Just buy it! You will not regret!

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Rafa

Rafa wrote a review of on November 1, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

They (Arc'teryx) definitely make THE BEST hardshells in the market. I have both the Alpha FL and the Alpha SV and love them. I have to say though that my favourite one is the Alpha FL. I work as a professional outdoor guide in the Andes of Peru and over the past years I've tried several rain jackets from different brands. The Alpha FL fits perfect, it is packable, VERY light and rough.

The only downside for most will be the absence of ventilation pit zips, but if you use an adequate layering system underneath the shell you won't be clammy nor heat up as much!. Hand warmer pockets are also absent, which, unless you want to use this for wearing around town, should not be a problem. Personally, I never used the handwarmer pockets of my other jackets because when i'm on the go, I generally have my hands busy holding the hiking poles or a camera. If you tend to get cold hands easily, then just get a pair of softshell gloves + liner to have both hands warm and operating.

The Alpha FL will be perfect for most people. Is good for hiking, backpacking, traveling, etc. Just get this jacket. You won't regret!. This garment is designed to be worn with a base layer plus a midweight insulated layer. If you intend to wear it using more than 2 layers underneath for freezing winter conditions, then go one size bigger than usual.

If I had to choose ONLY one hardshell, this would be it! Is just perfect for any outdoor adventure where you want to have reliable potection without carrying a bulky/heavy jacket!

(0)

 

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Rafa

Rafa wrote a review of on November 1, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

A couple of years ago I purchased the Rab Infinity Endurance down jacket and I was thrilled by the quality craftsmanship and design.

This time I wanted to get something LIGHTER. I'm on the quest of shaving off some weight for my backpacking trips and I recently purchased this jacket. It is VERY light, packs down to nothing (in the included stuff sack) and it's incredibly warm for the weight!! I have other down jackets from the "ultralight category" like the Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody and the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer and this beats them off both. Those are also decent jackets, but they're not nearly as warm as the RAB ZERO G. The slim fit is also great and makes this garment thermally efficient. This is a good balance of weight, warmth and features. Yes. It isn't cheap. BUT you get what you pay for. I'm so happy with this jacket that I'm seriously considering to sell my other "ultralight jackets".

I still can not comment on durability, but my guess is that you will have to be careful with this garment due to the thin/light outer fabric. If you're not clumsy this jacket should last you a long time.

THE ONLY downside I find is the hood. The adjustment is OKAY. It would be nice to have a cinch cord to adjust the fit on the hood. I guess they didn't include this feature to keep the weight down. It would be nice to see the next generations incorporating this feature. It would make it PERFECT and I would definitely buy it again! -

(3)

 

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