Updated: June 5, 2015

Best Arcteryx Jackets and Clothing

Should you buy an Arcteryx Jacket? Find out..
Occasionally, you can get lucky and find a cheap deal on a jacket that holds up for many years. In my experience, I have found that the old saying "you get what you pay for" applies to jackets. When it comes to finding a quality jacket that can withstand the elements and hold up for years, you often need to look at your jacket as an investment and just spend some money. People that really care about their outerwear in adverse weather conditions have been increasingly been turning to Arcteryx (BTW, the name comes from the oldest known species of bird, the Archaeopteryx). The company was founded in 1991 and is based in Vancouver, Canada. The mission at Arcteryx is to make major strides with fabric, and pay special attention to technology and design. This level of detail and craftsmanship allows clothes to function in tough environments. Arcteryx obviously cares a great deal about technological innovation and their jackets for men and women includes special features and attention to detail. They make clothes that are superior for a wide variety of climates from desert, temperate, tropical, and arctic. In addition to jackets, Arcteryx also makes pants, sweaters, shirts, hoodies, hats, climbing gear and accessories. The Arcteryx also has a special devision called Arcteryx Law Enforcement & Armed Forces (LEAF) designed for law enforcement and military. We'll take a look at some the most popular Arcteryx products in this guide, with pricing info and tips on buying.

arcteryx alpha jacket



Selections of Arcteryx jackets

When it comes to shopping for Arcteryx clothing and jackets, there are quite a few options. The full selection can be found at their website at Arcteryx.com, but we suggest you consider shopping at Amazon - we found better prices there and they offer more than 400 Arcteryx clothing items - here is a list of their best-sellers.

Arcteryx Jackets include a line of waterproof shells, including the Arcteryx Alpha, Beta, Sidewinder and Theta. These are durable waterproof shells that are good for all outdoor activities. Arcteryx also offers the Fission line of jackets which includes insulated waterproof shells. You can also watch the Arcteryx VIP of design explain the reasoning that all waterproof shells use Gore-tex in this video:

It is clear that the company spends a lot of time evaluating materials and choosing the best ones for different weather conditions. The softshell jackets made by Arc'teryx include Easyrider, Stealth, Gamma Fury and Zeta. Midweight jackets include the Epsilon, Strato and Atom. There are also very light jackets which sell for a lower price point, like the Gamma and Celeris. As you can see, there is a lot of variety in the Arc'teryx inventory. If you are buying from the Arcteryx site, be prepared to spend an average of $500 and sometimes even as much as $700 or $800 on a coat (things like fleece, sweaters, hoodies, etc. are much cheaper, though, starting at less than $100). However as far as our research showed, all of these jackets are receiving high ratings especially by outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, last year, Outdoor Magazine gave the Hercules Hoody by Arc'teryx a "Gear of the Year" award. Outdoor Magazines ranks and evaluates hundreds of items, so this award truly speaks to the level of quality offered by Arc'teryx.

What is the Arcteryx Alpha Jacket?

One of the most popular products by Arcteryx is the Alpha Jacket. One of the main reasons this jacket is so popular is due to its amazing versatility. Keep in mind that the Arcteryx Alpha, like much of Arcteryx's outerwear, is expensive. Even if you run across a good sale, you will be shelling out some dough. So how much is the Arcteryx Alpha Jacket? This jacket typically runs for about $500. Is it worth it? If you spend a good amount of time outdoors and care about your jacket quality, we say yes. One of the most impressive features about this jacket is that it was designed so that it can also be easy packed. Outdoor enthusiasts can stay warm and dry without needing to cart around a bulky heavy jacket. Like most Arc'teryx products, these jackets are made for men and women. Some of the additional features of the Arcteryx Alpha Jacket include WaterTight zippers and Dry Cuffs that keep moisture from getting into the jacket. In fact, the front zipper has a stormflap and quick dry chin guard. The Alpha also has a stowable hood. These jackets are also made with a Gore-Tex XCR shell. The Alpha jacket comes in a variety of attractive colors including Miro Blue, Candy Apple Red, Black, Blaze, Coffee Bean and Titanium.

Is the Arc'teryx Alpha Jacket worth the price?

We looked at a variety of sites including Gear Junkie to check to see if other reviewers believed the Alpha is worth the price. Gear Junkie tested the Alpha LT and gave the jacket high marks for its simple, but useable design. This site also admired the jacket's breathability. This review site also appreciated the jacket's ability to manage body heat. This means that moisture will be constantly escaping, and you won't get too sweaty under your jacket. OutsideOnline has a video review of the Alpha SL jacket which shows a demonstration of how this jacket is compact for travel. If you watch this video, you will no doubt be impressed at how transportable this jacket can be:



Arcteryx's Alpha Jacket recently won the American Alpine Institute Guide's Choice award. We looked for competitive pricing for this particular jacket and although the price is pretty consistent, sales on particular sizes and colors can be found on Amazon and REI outlet. We have seen it as low as $330. $330 may still be a lot of spend on a jacket, but it is much less than the retail price of $500 for the Alpha. The bottom line is that if you are expecting to get this jacket, the price is going to be high no matter where you look. But nevertheless, this Alpha and all of Arc'teryx's outerwear is highly recommended for those who spend time outdoors and care about comfort as well as quality (all Arcteryx products here, including fleece, hoodies, etc.).