An Arc’teryx Shell for Every Adventure!

Eldorado Catwalk Arc'teryx Jacket

Eldorado Catwalk (North Cascades) Arc’teryx Jacket

When looking for a shell jacket that can handle all of our adventures, we want one that is lightweight, breathable (while retaining warmth), entirely wind and rain resistant, and extremely durable to handle our constant years of abuse. Yeah, it is a lot to ask for in one jacket! But gear is expensive and having multiple hundred dollar jackets, or one that fails us in the mountains, is just not an option.

The perfect solution? An Arc’teryx Alpha SV! The photo on the left shows me in my mandarin orange Alpha LT. This is the model just prior to the SV. Why haven’t I updated to the SV? Isn’t this supposed to be a blog about the best and newest gear, you ask? Because I haven’t needed to.

This jacket has handled multiple years of alpine abuse, from some serious storms on Mt. Rainier where a 1/4″ of ice coated all my biners to climbing on rock so grippy my hands looked like they had a fight with industrial sand paper. Though an initial glance at the $625.00 price tag is seriously scary, the jacket is well worth the one-time large chunk out of the bank account. Also, see my page on “Deal Grabbing.”


Now for the specs

Weight: 15.6 oz/ 443 g
Material: N80p-X GORE-TEX® Pro 3L
Fit: Alpine (designed for a harness and mobility–slightly longer in the back and short in the front)
Sizing: True to Size (I am in the 4-6 range and the Small fits perfectly!)
Pockets: 2 chest pockets (accessible even with a harness), 1 internal
Vents: Pit zips on both sides
Hood: It is helmet compatible, but also can tightned down for a close fit around the face. Extended bill is helpful in keeping wind/rain away from your eyes.

Other Helpful Adjustments: Velcro sleeve cuffs to seal around gloves & waist band cords for a tighter fit.
Etc: All zippers and seams are entirely sealed

Hey Alpinists! We are always thinking in oz’s not lbs so here are some other jackets (in a similar category) weight specs. Note…Arc’teryx makes an extremely specialized goretex like none other.

Mountain Hardwear Drystein II: 17 oz/ 482 g
North Face Zero: 15 oz/ 425 g

What do you think about the Arc’teryx Alpha SV? Do you have a favorite alternative? Feel free to share!


Btw, I find orange is an excellent color for a jacket. You stick out like a giant alpine traffic cone. Great for low visibility situations!


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