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Owner Review: Edit Arcteryx Alpha SL Jacket

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  • danielfnash
    Arc teryx Alpha SL Jacket Owners Review Daniel F. Nash September 15, 2008 Biographical Information Name: Daniel Nash Age: 40 Gender: Male Height: 6 2
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2008
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      Arc'teryx Alpha SL Jacket
      Owners Review
      Daniel F. Nash
      September 15, 2008

      Biographical Information
      Name: Daniel Nash
      Age: 40
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 2" (1.8 meters)
      Weight: 205 pounds (93 kilograms)
      Email address: danielfnash@...
      City, State, Country: Springfield, Missouri, United States
      Date: September 15, 2008
      Backpacking Background: I have been an outdoor enthusiast all my
      life and have a special place in my heart for backpacking, hiking and
      mountaineering. I hike year around, spending most of my weekends on
      day hikes in the Ozark Mountains, with intermittent hikes over
      several days and also take numerous multi-day trips around the United
      States for backpacking and mountaineering. I hike year around and
      generally consider myself a light backpacker, but on multi-day trips
      and mountaineering expeditions, I will carry up to sixty (60) pounds
      (27 kilograms).
      Product Information
      Manufacturer: Arc'teryx
      Year of Manufacture: Fall 2007
      URL: www.arcteryx.com
      Listed Weight: 12 ounces (342 grams)
      Weight as delivered: 11.6 ounces
      MSRP: $299.00 USD
      Material: Shell (Gore-Tex PacLite)
      Waterproof Rating: Guaranteed
      Breathable Rating: Guaranteed
      Core Venting: Pit-Zips
      Pockets: (2) Front
      Seam Taped: Fully
      Hood: Yes
      Manufacturer's Warranty: Lifetime

      Photograph courtesy of Arcteryx

      Field Information
      Test locations: Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas
      Location Description: Hardwood and Pine forests, canyons, river
      bottoms, plateaus and mountain summits (up to 3,000 feet/ 914 meters)
      Weather Conditions: Wind, rain, snow and sleet. Temperatures from 90
      F (32 C) to 20 F (-6 C)
      Product Description
      The Arcteryx Alpha SL Gore-Tex jacket is considered a hard-shell or
      outer shell jacket. The shell of the jacket consists of two (2)
      layers of Gore-Tex PacLite, with a nylon lining on the interior. The
      jacket has two (2) hand pockets on the outside, core venting via zips
      under each armpit (pit zips), an ergonomic hood and a full front
      zipper. All the zippers are seam taped to prevent water and moisture
      from entering the shell of the jacket through the zippers. The
      zippers are operated by utilizing a small piece of nylon attached to
      the zipper and while the zippers are tight, I have found that zippers
      that are seam taped should be tight. This insures that moisture does
      not penetrate the zippers. This jacket was a size extra large and
      was a color firebrick red. Arcteryx manufactures this jacket in
      black, red and blue and produces sizes available in small through
      double extra large.
      Field Report
      I began using this jacket during the late spring and early summer
      months, while hiking and backpacking along the Buffalo National
      River. This jacket is extremely light and packs down to the size of
      a softball, which makes it easy to carry in a pack. While wearing
      the jacket, I could not help but notice the lightweight and comfort
      of the jacket. This jacket performed well in steady showers and
      heavy rain during the spring and summer months. This jacket kept me
      dry and at the same time was extremely breathable. I found the core
      venting (pit-zips), in this jacket very useful and extremely helpful
      with venting heat from the body while backpacking and hiking in the
      This jacket has several chord adjustments to keep it tight around the
      body and help keep water out. While I would expect to see a chord
      adjustment around the waist and a second for the hood, I was
      surprised to discover two (2) other chord adjustments on the hood
      around the neck area. I found these adjustments extremely useful, as
      they helped secure the neck area of the hood that never seems to fit
      just right. These adjustments enabled me to tighten the hood
      adjustment around the forehead to ensure a good fit and separately
      tighten the area around the neck. I do wish the brim on the hood
      were longer, since at times the water would drip off the hood brim
      and onto my nose and face.
      This jacket while light is surprisingly tough and durable. After
      carrying it stuffed in a backpack for hundreds of miles and wearing t
      in all types of weather, the jacket shows no real signs of wear to
      the chords, zippers, or the jacket itself. I have however, got it
      wet, muddy and dirty at times and how found that using a light towel
      and warm water does an adequate job of cleaning. Arcteryx advises
      that that jacket can be machine washed in a medium setting, but I
      always try and avoid using the washer on my outdoor gear when
      possible and in this case I have had no need. When not using, I have
      simply stored in a closet with the rest of my outdoor gear and have
      encountered no problems.
      I continued to wear this jacket as my hard shell during the fall and
      winter months and found it to be just as reliable. The jacket was
      windproof, continued to be very waterproof and also breathable. The
      jacket also fit very well over several layers and was compatible with
      a backpack and a harness. The jacket continued to be comfortable and
      did not get stiff, even with temperatures down to freezing. I
      continued to utilize the core venting (pit zips) even during the
      colder weather to allow my body to regulate heat. Overall, I loved
      this jacket, especially the core venting and the chord adjustments
      and will continue to wear it during all four seasons.

      Pros and Cons
      Pros: Very light
      Great waterproofing and breathability
      Good venting
      Excellent adjustments
      Cons: Pricey
      The bill on the hood needs to be a bit longer
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