Gear

Arcteryx Alpha SL Jacket Review

December 31, 2008

If bullet proof vests were any thinner you could probably just go with the Arcteryx Alpha SL jacket. I know eVent is the big topic right now but Gore-Tex Paclite is a tough contender still standing in the waterproof-breathable ring. Of all the shells I have tried the Alpha SL is probably my favorite. It is so low-key you really forget it's there even with the rain coming down. I'm not a huge fan of velcro wrist straps on sleeves however on the SL Arcteryx made them thinner and more "out of the way". My worst nightmare is when I bend my wrist skiing and it won't budge due to bunchy wrists on my jacket. The jacket is long enough to cover your hide but still gives you movement for backpacking. I even layered this jacket on Rainier with my Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero jacket and the SL layered well. At a mere 12oz. this is the do-it-all jacket for all the seasons. The SL stands for SuperLight, and believe me, thats what you get. Add the waterproof zippers and a helmet compatible hood and the Alpha SL makes all your other jackets obsolete. For me Arcteryx fits big, I usually wear a medium in most brands but a small is what works in this brand. I am 5'8" and 165lbs. dorky looking non-smoker...if that helps. BUY NOW: The Arcteryx Alpha SL Jacket at Backcountry.com.

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