ArcTeryx Alpha SV Pro Shell (2009)
Gear Review

ArcTeryx Alpha SV Pro Shell (2009)

ArcTeryx Alpha SV Pro Shell (2009)

Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: ArcTeryx Alpha SV Pro Shell (2009)

Manufacturer: Arc'teryx

Your Opinion: 
 - 4 Votes


Page By: delmarco

Created/Edited: Feb 26, 2008 / Nov 22, 2008

Object ID: 4841

Hits: 34233 


Product Description




Arcteryx Men's Alpha SV Jacket (Spring 2008) The Men's Alpha SV Jacket by Arcteryx is designed for severe weather protection during epic climbs. The Alpha SV has a drop back hem for rear coverage while allowing front-point visibility. Polyester-faced Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric and a Storm Hood seal out moisture and wind, while the harness HemLock keeps the jacket from lifting out of the harness while climbing. Specifications: Weight: 19 oz (541 g) M Features: Polyester reinforced shoulders and triceps Helmet compatible Storm Hood Laminated, quick dry chin guard Laminated die-cut Velcro cuffs with elastic One hand pull cords No-lift gusseted underarms Two-way laminated pit zippers WaterTight Vislon front zip WaterTight pit and pocket zippers Molded Zipper Garages Two high volume hand pockets with laminated zippers Two chest pockets with laminated zippers Two internal laminated pockets One sleeve pocket with laminated zippers Articulated elbows Hip length, drop back hem Laminated waist and hem Draw cord Micro seam allowances (1.6mm/1/16 ) Tiny Gore seam tape (13mm/1/2 ) Soft grommets Removable harness HemLock Heat transfer labels Laminated high strength hanger loop Fabrics: 480N Gore-Tex 3L Pro 550P Gore-Tex 3L Pro





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delmarcoThe Porsche 911 GT2 of the Pro Shells!

Voted 5/5

I got my hands on this jacket via my friend who works at a local outfitter that allowed me to test it out for a few days before returning it. I wore this out for a day hike during an all day rain storm before the sky cleared and winds picked up to 30 mph. The temps were between 35 and 40 F degree. I own the XCR Alpha SV and pretty much compared this Pro Shell Alpha SV to its predecessor.

PROS: Lighter but not really due to Pro Shell but much more a result of the use of smaller zipper/shock cord tabs. My old XCR Alpha SV had huge "bricks" for zipper tabs and shock cord tabs which most likely added a few ounces. This Pro Shell series have done without the copious amounts of brick tabs and Arc'Teryx has tied off the ends of the zipper pulls and used the tiniest of tiny shock cord ends. Very durable jacket and the quality is perfect. I believe this is one of the only Arcteryx item that is entirely made in Canada. (even though all the parts may come from abroad). I also own an new China Made 2008 Pro Shell Arcteryx Theta AR and surprising the quality on both pieces are the same...perfect. The design is also cleaner than any other jacket on the market now. Pockets are well placed and the jacket cinches and protects in all the right spots. Arc'teryx also moved the hem cinches to the side by your hips instead of keeping them in the front, like on the older XCR model, flanking the main zipper. This works better for adjusting the jacket if you are wearing a harness and/or belaying and need to cinch up the hem without gettingin way of your rope and devices.

CONS: For $599, you get two of the most boring color choices for a jacket on the planet; blue (boo) and grey (ghey). And now for Spring 2008 the 'Teryx has spoiled us with a new color: black (wack)-Yawn. I would have liked to also have radiator fluid green or emergency room red for choices but thats just my personal gripe.
Sized bigger that the XCR model. I'm 5"8"/ 150lbs/40R suit/15.75" neck/ 33" sleeves and I went from a Medium in the XCR to a Small in the Pro Shell. I also wear a small in my Pro Shell Theta AR. So it may be a new thing Arc'teryx has done with the Pro Shell jackets in order to allow copius amounts of layers under. Still the cut is unnecessarily huge and after sizing down to a small I still found plenty of room to layer a Patagonia R4 fleece (or even Micro Puff pullover) under.
No belay zipper. I'm sure there is a reason why, but it went over my head why the 'Teryx refuses to use two-way belay zippers on their jackets.
Price! At $599 WTF Arc'teryx? Good thing for us middle class folks we can buy a brand new one off eBay (or online sales) for as little as $350 to $400. Even with the quality and style exuded from this jacket, $599 is an insane price to ask your customers to pay for it when other cheaper jackets (like the $275-$375 Marmot Exum) will be just as waterproof/weatherproof and perform well enough. Also Arc'teryx (now obviously owned by a profit-hungry corporation with no consideration for its customer's demographic or the environment) is not the most up front company when it comes to customer/company trust & relations. It took me about a week and a hefty phone bill from calling Canada to find out why my $499 Pro Shell Theta AR had Made in China on the tags. In the end, after I got conflicting answers from various reps, I found out the truth of it on an eBay community forum. So research before you spend the big bucks!

BOTTOM LINE: Great jacket all around. Kept me warm and dry in tough conditions. Great fit and clean cut works better than you will think when you have tons of messy gear (fru fru) around you to look after during your adventures. Recommended only if you can get one for cheaper than retail. As for me I'm still very happy with my older 100% Canada-Made XCR model to even think about dropping a penny for this Porsche of Pro Shell jacket.

March 7th, 2008 EDIT: Today a friend of mine pointed out to me that another key difference between this Pro Shell and the older XCR jacket is the complete lack of stitching in this one. I checked and noticed literally everything, as in all the main panels/sleeves/hood...etc.., is hot glued and seamed together. The older XCR did have noticable stitching in key points. This is important to note, because in the past some Alpha SV XCR owners priased the overall quality but questioned the life span and durability of the glued seams as a eventual and possible weak point. It seems to be a very intricate process that I know little about and as a new customer of this brand I can only put my faith in previous user reviews of Arc'teryx items and take advice of others who understand the technology. As for the Alpha SV Pro Shell edition, only time and regular usage can tell the true quality of a glued together jacket. That said, I'm sort of glad the Alpha SV is still made in Canada and not some high production/low standard factory in Asia. Because that would suck to have your sleeve melt right off the jacket during a Summit attempt because the Glue-Gun guy suddenly sneezed as your jacket went by him down the factory assembly line.


Posted Mar 5, 2008 11:56 pm

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