Arc’Teryx Alpha SV in Photos

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.

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December 3 2008

My 09 ArcTeryx Alpha SV (Severe Weather) just arrived
My '09 Arc'Teryx Alpha SV (Severe Weather) just arrived

Arc’Teryx Alpha LT For Sale

Mint XL 2008 ArctTeryx Alpha LT
Mint XL 2008 Arct'Teryx Alpha LT

I have a XL 2008 Arc’Teryx Alpha LT for sale. Bought it for $550, selling it for $300. It’s been used a couple of months at the most. I’ve lost so much weight that I now wear S and M clothes. The XL is simply too big and loose for me. I hate to sell it, but it doesn’t fit.

The Alpha LT is an extremely light hard shell mountain climbing coat. It weighs 13 grams and packs down to nothing. It’s made with 3-layer Goretex Pro Shell material. Zippers and seems are taped to make them waterproof. Parts of the jacket are glued together. It’s compatible with a helmet and a climbing harness.

Send me an email at djrange at gmail dot com.

Remember November

I’ve been extremely busy over the last few weeks, and I guess that it’s shown. I’m late on a number of projects. Before long, the semester will be over and it will be Christmas. I’m midway through the sixth book of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I’ve breezed through the books pretty easily. I’ve still got 5 more to read. The story is still tantalizing.

The scope of the story is also quite ambitious, I’m surprised to find this out. I’ve managed to find Anathem by Neal Stephenson and the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I hope to read them this week. Tonight, I’m taking things easy and catching up on True Blood.

It’s been a week since I bought my bike and I haven’t found the time to buy a riding bib and some shoes. I’ll have to get on this soon. I’ve managed to find someone who will by my Arc’Teryx Alpha LT hardshell. I’m kind of annoyed at this. The only reason I’ve been thinking about selling it, is that I’ve lost so much weight that it doesn’t fit me right anymore. I’ve tried out a few different sizes and M size fits me fine and snug. I’m most probably going to buy an Arc’Teryx Alpha SV hardshell, but I’m researching the Mammut brand as well. I’ll buy it somewhere online. In Quebec, we have a 15% tax on everything, so it’s not a good idea to buy anything locally. There’s a Montreal Arc’Teryx store. I’ll find out if they have any discounts.

Journey To The Center Of The Earth

The only good thing about the latest Brendan Fraser movie was Anita Briem and my discovery of the Icelandic technical mountain clothing company 66 North. Brendan Fraser’s character was wearing an Arc’Teryx backpack for most of the movie.

Oakley Kitchen Sink

I found an ad on tealit which mentioned an Oakley backpack for sale. It didn’t mention the model, but I called the guy. He didn’t know which model, but after a few questions I knew that it was the Oakley Kitchen Sink backpack, Oakley’s top of the line model which I have had my eye on for a few years.


Yes, years.

I spotted it when it came out and almost bought it in 2006. However, I decided that I would get more backpacker gear, from companies such as Arc’Teryx. I did get an Arc’Teryx Acrux 40. Oakley makes some nice stuff, but it’s in-between true outdoors gear and urban gear. It’s actually a lot more urban gear, when it comes to their packs, which is why I could never justify the cost of the Kitchen Sink. For the price, you can get a full on backpack from a reputable outdoor brand. Some of the Arc’Teryx packs, like the small Bora 35 and others, are available for about 150-250$. The Kitchen Sink isn’t really worth that much money in my book.

However, this was an ad for a used Kitchen Sink. It hadn’t been used much and was about a year old. I met the guy and inspected the bag. It seemed almost pristine. I bought it for 70$. That was a pretty good deal.

My wife told me that the Kitchen Sink looks like an expensive pack. It looks very sturdy. It has an expandable bottom, which is handy. It comes with a shaped top lid, where you can store glasses, shades, or multimedia gear.

There is a nifty pocket in the front which can easily house my Nikon D200. It doesn’t have any dedicated water bottle holsters per se, but it does have two large pockets on the side which are perfect for water bottles. I had no trouble fitting in 1L Camelbak bottles. I guess if you aren’t using the laptop sleeve, you could fit in a hydration bladder. I will have to try it out.

Arc’Teryx Acrux 40 In Photos

As promised, a whole lot of photos of the new pack, the Arc’Teryx Acrux 40, a streamlined waterproof mountaineering pack.

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Arc’Teryx Acrux 40

I finally got the Arc’Teryx Acrux 40. They didn’t have the Acrux 50. They did have the Naos 45, 55 and 70. Both packs use similar construction. The Naos has a nifty kangaroo pocket, that is also weatherproof in front of the back. Also, the complete Naos line has an advanced molded hipbelt, which is absent from the Acrux. I’ve read that it can make the Naos pack swing side to side in an uncomfortable manner.

The Acrux 40 can be compression strapped down to almost nothing, which is really cool. It’s actually smaller strapped down than the Osprey Atmos 25 that I have. I’ve decided not to use it while I’m in Taiwan.

Why do you ask?

Well, I’ve compared my Atmos 25 and my Atmos 35. The Atmos 25 is the pack that I have on my back every day. I take it with me on the scooter and go all over the place. It’s a very comfortable pack and I no longer notice the weight. Surprisingly people always comment on how heavy it is, even though I only have a hardcover book, a moleskine notebook, pencil case, Nikon D200 and 18-200VR lens and some water bottles.

But I digress.

I’ve never used the Atmos 35 while I was on the scooter. I always used the 25. And it shows. I basically got these packs almost brand new from a guy who was getting rid of them. I paid 100$ for the Atmos 25, 35 and the GoLite Jam. That was a great deal. The colors of the 25 were pristine when it started out on my back last year. It has become extremely dirty. I’m thinking about scrubbing it down this weekend. I’m also thinking about giving my French bulldog Spike a bath, even though I finally gave him a little scrub shower last weekend.

It’s simply amazing the difference in color. I’ll take some pics and post them over the weekend before I clean it.

Scooter + Arc’Teryx Acrux 40 = No-no.

What do I love about the Acrux 40?

It’s basically a stripped down no-nonsense version of the Naos. It’s completely waterproof. It’s rugged construction and lifetime warranty.

Oh, and I decided to get the Titanium grey color. The Gold Rush goldenrod was just too much for me. I was lucky that they did have both colors to choose from.


I’m leaning towards getting an Arc’Teryx Acrux 40 or 50 in the next few weeks. I would have gone for the Naos 45 or 55, but they are just too expensive. The Acrux is streamlined for lightweight backpacking.

I’m planning on making the Acrux my daily pack. It’s completely weatherproof. The only things that are missing are pockets. In Taiwan, the Naos 45 is 200$ more than the Acrux 40. They are priced similarly to the US. The Naos is not worth that extra money in my opinion. All it has more is a wee bit more storage and nifty kangaroo pockets in the front. The Acrux has a zipline instead, handy for a tripod or a jacket. The main reason why the pockets are mostly absent is because the pack is a whole lot easier to waterproof if it’s made in one compartment. Stitching on more pockets and compartments makes the pack harder to waterproof. I’ve actually examined these packs closely. You could fill them up with air, and they wouldn’t let any air out. It’s a bit annoying, but it’s something that’s not a big problem.

I can see how this might be a major problem on hikes to peaks. This means that to access something in the pack, you’d have to unpack most of the pack in order to find the item. This can be annoying. However since dampness and moisture are completely kept at bay, it’s a sacrifice that’s not too hard to live with.

My main problem with the GoLite Jam is that the pocket in front isn’t expandable to the outside. If you put something big in it, it just eats up the storage space from inside. Doesn’t make any sense really, but maybe it’s because I was stuffing a DSLR camera in there. With the Acrux, the problem is solved. I’ve examined the pack closely. The lid is removable and can easily house a DSLR camera. Having the camera on top is actually a lot safer than having it inside the pack. The camera is also easily accessible and can be taken out in a cinch. That was a big beef that I had with the Atmos packs. It took forever to take out my camera, since it was at the bottom of my pack, wrapped up in some clothing and foam moldings. I’ve long stopped using dedicated camera bags. They are too visible, too easy to steal and sometimes just uncomfortable or unwieldy. Expedition packs are perfect for this use.

That’s another thing. The Acrux and the Naos are actually molded and glued together in parts. Just like the Alpha LT and SV jackets, these packs are really technologically advanced in their construction and materials. The Acrux is the lighter of the two, having been streamlined for alpine use.

I went to one of the outdoor shops near Taipei Main Station exit 7 on Zhongshan Rd. I played with the packs for about 20 minutes. Naturally, I was attracted by the Arc’Teryx packs. If possible, I’d get all of my gear from the BC company. However, most of their gear is pretty expensive, which is why I have only a few choice pieces from them, mainly an Alpha LT jacket and a beanie. I first started examining the Khamsin and Bora packs. However, they aren’t very sturdy if you compare them to the Acrux or the Naos packs.

I think I’ll go for the Acrux 40 since it can be compressed easily to a manageable size for everyday use. In fact, the pack is about the size of my Osprey Atmos 25. Since the Osprey loses a lot of volume by incorporating an Airspeed back, a place to store a hydration bladder that keeps the pack away from your back, so that it’s less hot, it’s surprising how close in size their are. I found that both the Atmos 25 and 35 are unusable for school, since width wise, they are curved, making packing books almost impossible.

Continue reading “Packs”