Rafa wrote a review of Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - Men's on November 7, 2017
Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
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!