I was able to buy a shell from Milo. It’s just a basic shell, nothing too technical. I bought it second hand, but it still had the tags on it and had never been worn. It’s main fabric is Aquatex 10/10, a Gore-Tex like fabric. I’ve been told that it functions differently from Gore-Tex, but I haven’t seen it yet in action. It’s not the Arc’teryx Alpha SV technical jacket that I want, but it’s a beginning I guess.
One of the reasons that Gore-Tex clothes cost so much is that they have to be approved by Gore. Gore-Tex is a trademarked fabric. While most climbing and mountaineering companies produce clothes with Gore-Tex, they also produce their own custom fabrics. For Milo, it’s Aquatex. They also produce clothes with Gelanots.
I’ve read that Arc’teryx was bought out by Salomon in 2002. The main factory for Arc’teryx is located in North Vancouver. I’ve read that they have sales there. They have rebates up to 70% three times a year, and they have 30-50% off regularly. It’s worth the detour if you are in BC. I plan on visiting the factory and making some purchases when I’m in BC in the end of June. It’s possible that a sale might coincide with my passing. This year, there was a sale on the last weekend of June. The next sale happened in the last sale of October. It’s easy to find the dates, you just google them.
25% of the materials used in Arc’teryx have been outsourced to China. In my opinion, this devaluates the brand itself. I would pay a premium for clothes made in Canada, but I wouldn’t pay the same premium for clothes made in China.
Arc’teryx was a small brand whose garments are expensive, they catered to a high end niche market of outdoor enthusiasts who didn’t want to be wearing the North Face jacket everyone else had, and were willing to a pay a price in order to get something better.