The Alpha SV, an Arc'teryx flagship product, is probably overkill for day-to-day use, but who cares? It's still one of its best.
When it comes to weather protection, GORE-TEX is definitely the biggest household name. If there was a snappy marketing slogan for it, it'd probably sound something like: "think rain? think GORE-TEX." Whether or not it's the best is up for debate, but there are other options, like TORAIN or Klättermusen's Cutan.
For the Alpha SV, GORE-TEX PRO is the protective element of choice. The jacket is Arc'tery's most durable piece of outerwear, designed for use in severe alpine conditions (SV). Basically, if you're getting battered by wind and snow while climbing, you'll probably want to be wearing one of these.
As one of the brand's flagship products, the jacket has undergone a seasonal evolution over the last twenty-plus years since its launch in 1998. Key features include a cropped front for use with a waist harness, as well as high-set pockets intended for mountain use – nothing about its construction screams popping down the shops.
Despite this, the shell jacket remains one of the most popular pieces in the brand's arsenal for daily use. The SV seems to be the Hip-Hop and fashion go-to Arcteryx product – Virgil Abloh deconstructed several during his Off-White FW20 presentation, Lil Yatchy's sported a black version while performing at Alt + LDN Festival, and Aminé rocked a custom-sprayed version. With his face on it.
Although the Alpha SV is one of Arc's most expensive products, its clean lines and striking design (when compared to entry levels shells like the Beta SL) make it a desirable product.
Hiking or not, the Arcteryx Alpha SV has infiltrated the mainstream, and it isn't going anywhere.
You can shop the Alpha SV online now at Arcteryx, Working Class Heroes, Selfridges, and other select retailers.