I bought an Alpha Arc’Teryx LT last January in Taipei. At the time, I was a lot heavier than I am now. It was an XL and initially, I bought it one size larger, thinking that I would put on loads of layers underneath. This was even after the salesperson told me that these types of coats are meant to fit very snuggly, and that’s how they work best. Naturally, I didn’t know what I was doing. 10 months later, I noticed how loose that coat was on my frame. I decided to try and sell it and purchase an Alpha SV (Severe Weather) instead.This time, it was size M and it came in the color I wanted, Miro Blue.
The Alpha SV is a lot sturdier, even though it only weighs a few grams more. You get an extra shoulder pocket, very handy for buss passes, an extra interior pocket on the right side and just more hems and cords on the hood and the body of the coat. It’s shaped better and it fits better. The LT is a streamlined coat perfect for mountain climbing. The SV has no problem with -30 to -40C weather and extremely cold winds.
What I really like of Arc’Teryx coats is the design of the hood. It’s really good and there is always enough room for a scarf. The collar goes up very high, so as to give you extra protection from the wind. The hood is designed for a helmet, so it’s nicely adjustable. You get tapered zips, taped seams, and most of the coat is glued together.
The Alpha SV is made out of GoreTex ProShell, a three layer material. It weighs 6 ounces more. It’s total weight is 19 ounces (541g).
This coat performs very well. I’ve yet to try it during hard exercise to see how it performs, but ultimately, it does perform well under heavy rain, sleet and snow. I’ve worn it in -30C weather alreayd and I had no problems whatsoever. All I had on was a fleece made out of Polarctec ThermalPro. That’s it.