MADE IN CHINA
The Beta AR is a hearty, all-business GORE-TEX® Pro Shell that streamlines options without sacrificing performance and durability. Built tough for the alpine environment, this jacket has reinforced shoulders and elbows, and a helmet compatible Drop Hood.
• Reinforced shoulders and elbows
• Helmet compatible Drop Hood
• Laminated quick dry chin guard
• Laminated die-cut Velcro® cuffs
• One hand pull cords
• No-lift gusseted underarms with laminated pit zippers
• WaterTight front, pit and pocket zippers
• Moulded Zipper Garages
• Two hand pockets with laminated zippers
• One internal laminated chest pocket
• Articulated elbows
• Hip length, drop back hem
• Laminated hem drawcord
• Micro seam allowances (1.6mm/1/16”)
• Tiny GORE® seam tape (13mm/1/2”)
• Heat transfer labels
• Laminated high strength hanger loop
The Beta AR XCR was one of the first Jackets from Arcteryx I'd ever slide over my body a few years ago. After a day of wearing it, I returned it to Paragon Sports and soon swore to everyone around me I would never again lay a penny down for another Arcteryx Jacket! The reason then, was it took me a day and a headache to get my right size and at $399 it was one of the cheapest Arc'Teryx Jackets (the only one from their line up I could afford back then) and the MOST expensive jacket I'd ever paid for back then. Flash forward to 2008: I happily own an Alpha SV XCR (paid $250 online REI sale) and a Theta AR Pro Shell ($280 Brand New off eBay). So I decided to test out the Pro Shell Beta AR during a cold winter weekend since the opportunity presented itself.
PROS: None, besides Gore Tex Pro Shell being waterpoof.
CONS: I don't understand this one. And I would like someone who has used the Beta AR that love it to review it here so I can understand why anyone would make this jacket or pay $399 for it.
The design (short torso, no neck proctection, odd fitting shoulder/sleeves, shallow hood) allows for absolutely NO weather protection. The wind will cut right thru you and I had to look down a few times just to be sure I was actually wearing the jacket. The short hem allows rain to either drip down off the jacket or fall onto and wet the area around your waist (so you MUST wear waterproof pants and not have any shirt tails hanging outside the bottom of the jacket).
The fit was the worse. At 5'8"/150 lbs I am between a medium and a large, but went with the large so I could get better coverage. Bad idea! I still lacked coverage and now I had extra material on the sleeves and the shoulders that made me look as if I wearing a puffy pirate shirt. Awful!
BOTTOM LINE: I love Arc'teryx! And it has become a favorite brand of mine. That said, This is one of the worse jackets I ever had the misfortune of wearing. At the end of the trip I wanted to tell Arc'teryx that they needed to pay me $399 for wearing this mess. I understand that the Beta AR has been around for a number of years and people do buy it (and wear it...I assume). So I welcome any sort of positive review of this jacket. I really need to understand...