As a leading brand in high-performance outdoor apparel and equipment, Arc'teryx offers exceptional products for climbing, skiing, hiking and nearly any alpine pursuit. Known for their innovative designs, premium materials and impeccable craftsmanship, Arc'teryx gear stands apart from the rest. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need for selecting the perfect Arc'teryx products.
Arc'teryx Company Overview
Founded in North Vancouver, Canada in 1989, Arc'teryx takes its name from the Archaeopteryx, the first reptile to develop feathers and evolve into a bird. This symbolizes the company's own evolution and innovative approach to outdoor gear. While many brands focus on fashion, Arc'teryx maintains a single-minded commitment to creating the finest functionally-designed equipment for athletic endeavors. Their mantra says it all: “Equipment Matters – We Design for Real World Performance”
Arc'teryx places meticulous attention into every product they make, researching designs, sourcing premium materials and rigorously testing prototypes in the field. This uncompromising focus results in outdoor apparel and gear revered for its performance, comfort and durability. Common across their entire line is smart design, premium fabrics, precision craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Arc'teryx Products Overview
The backbone of the Arc'teryx line-up is their outerwear, which includes insulating down jackets, softshell jackets, hardshell rain jackets and many synthetic and fleece options. Their hardshell waterproof-breathable jackets featuring GORE-TEX fabric are trusted by mountaineers and alpinists in the most demanding environments. Lightweight down jackets with hydrophobic down provide ample warmth and compressibility for cold weather activities. Windproof and water-resistant softshell jackets strike the perfect balance for highly aerobic pursuits, while insulated synthetic and fleece jackets deliver warmth during cold weather aerobic activity.
Base layers and mid-layers are designed to regulate body temperature during dynamic activity. Many jackets, such as the Atom series, can pull double duty as outerwear or insulation layers depending on the conditions and exertion level. Fleece jackets and pullovers provide lightweight warmth during cool weather. Merino wool and synthetic base layers wick moisture and retain warmth even when wet. The Fortrez fleece hoody has an integrated mosquito head net for bug protection.
Hiking and Trekking
Arc’teryx offers a wide selection of jackets, pants, packs and accessories tailored specifically for hiking and backpacking. The rainshell Beta and Zeta jackets provide waterproof protection in the mountains. Breathable hardshell pants deliver stormproof coverage on the trail. The Aerios and Bora packs keep gear well organised with innovative suspension systems to handle heavy loads. Accessories like hiking poles and brimmed hats round out a complete backcountry kit.
For vertical pursuits like rock climbing and mountaineering, Arc’teryx offers advanced harnesses, ropes, protection devices and specialized clothing. Their harnesses are designed for comfort and functionality during long multi-pitch climbs. Ultralight climbing ropes give secure protection on lead climbs and rappels. The Czone and Couter harnesses have integrated warp strength technology to comfortably carry ice axes, pitons and other gear. Belay parkas like the Dually provide warmth at hanging belays. Pants designed for climbing have enhanced stretch and gusseted crotches for full range of movement. Hoods under helmets accommodate headlamps for night climbing.
Skiing and Snowsports
On the slope, Arc’teryx gear excels across backcountry, freeride and resort skiing as well as snowboarding. Ski/snowboard shells like the Sabre jacket and Rush pants have articulated patterning and weatherproof protection. Insulated pieces such as the Macai jacket and Sidewinder vest keep you warm in frigid mountain conditions. Base layers and midlayers wick away sweat to prevent chills on the lift. Helmets, gloves and goggles ready you for safety and performance in all conditions. For backcountry skiing, the Procline boots offer lightweight efficiency for climbing with downhill performance on the descent.
Footwear, apparel and packs designed for trail running help you achieve new personal bests. The Norvan SL trail runners deliver enhanced stability over rugged terrain with weather protection. Breathable layers like the Incendo running shirt keep you cool and comfortable racking up mileage. Running vests carry hydration bladders and essentials during long outings. Beanies, gloves and tights protect against the elements without sacrificing mobility.
While technical in nature, many Arc’teryx pieces also shine for everyday urban use. Their minimalist aesthetic layers nicely over office attire. Down jackets compress into small packs to toss in your briefcase on the go. Rain jackets keep you dry biking to work in a downpour. Insulated pants can be layered under business attire or casual looks. merino base layers add warmth without bulk. Everyday packs like the Granville or Cierzo are stylish yet functional. Arc’teryx gear transitions seamlessly from outdoor adventure to city life.
Arc'teryx Technology and Materials
Many Arc’teryx shells feature GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable laminates. This industry-leading technology provides guaranteed weather protection while allowing sweat vapor to escape. Different versions such as GORE-TEX Pro are optimised for rugged activities where abrasion resistance and maximized breathability are paramount. Other forms like GORE-TEX Paclite offer ultra packable weather protection. Rest assured GORE-TEX imbued Arc’teryx jackets and pants will keep wind and rain at bay while preventing interior condensation.
Hard and Soft Shells
Hard shells are made with waterproof-breathable fabrics like GORE-TEX to seal out moisture while preventing interior wetting from sweat. They offer full weather protection for wet climates but can be stuffy and noisy during high output. Soft shells are made of tightly woven yet stretchy fabrics that resist light precipitation and wind while remaining highly breathable. They trade off some weather protection for enhanced comfort, quietness, and breathability during aerobic activity. Most outdoor enthusiasts use a mix of soft and hard shells depending on the conditions and activity.
From city strolls to mountain expeditions, insulated Arc’teryx jackets retain warmth in cold conditions. Down insulated pieces cram lofty goose down into baffles to create featherlight warmth without bulk. They excel for dry cold but avoid when wet. Synthetic insulated jackets retain some warmth when wet and dry quicker than down. Insulated pieces work as outerwear in cold weather and as midlayers under shells during high output in frigid environments.
Base Layers and Fleece
Worn next to skin, base layers need to wick moisture and dry quickly to regulate temperature. Arc’teryx bases feature moisture wicking merino wool or quick drying synthetics. Mid weight options add warmth, while lightweight bases work under shells. Fleece jackets and hoodies provide lightweight synthetic insulation during cool weather but avoid high moisture.
Outer layers designed for vigorous aerobic activity utilize highly breathable fabrics that don’t retain moisture. Air permeable hard shells, stretch woven soft shells and moisture wicking base layers work together as a system to prevent wetting out, overheating and chilling during sustained physical exertion. Specific features like pit zips and articulated patterning further enhance air flow and cooling.
Durable Water Repellency
DWR coatings applied to exterior fabrics cause water to bead up and roll off the surface while maintaining air permeability. This increases wet weather performance for hard shells, soft shells and down insulation. DWR enhances moisture management but wears off over time. Fortunately, DWR coatings can be reactivated by washing with specialized detergents.
Bluesign Approved Materials
As leaders in sustainability, most Arc’teryx fabrics are Bluesign certified, meaning they’re engineered to minimize environmental impact. Synthetics utilize recycled fibers while down is RDS certified to ensure ethical sourcing. Dyes use Oeko-Tex standards. Experts audit and approve every component from raw materials to finished fabrics. This holistic oversight ensures the highest level of sustainability across the entire supply chain.
On hard shells, seams are sealed with watertight tape to prevent leaks where panels join. This labour intensive process takes place in Arc'teryx's own factory for quality control. Seam taping complements waterproof zippers and storm flaps for uncompromising weatherproofing. Critical seam sealing ensures dryness within while keeping wetness out.
Arc'teryx Gear Selection Tips
Fit and Sizing
Dialed fit enhances comfort, mobility and performance. Arc’teryx gear runs trim but allows good layering room. Their sizing tends to run slightly large compared to other outdoor brands. It’s recommended to try gear on in person when possible. Online, consult the detailed size charts for each product. Differences exist between styles, cuts and genders. If between sizes, consider sizing down as their products do not run overly tight or restrictive.
Determine the primary activity and conditions the garment or gear will be used for. More technical pieces excel for specific pursuits under demanding circumstances but may underperform if used casually. For example, an alpine climbing hardshell will seem excessive for urban use. Determine the optimal balance of lightweight portability, weatherproofing and breathability based on intended use.
Evaluate the wet weather performance required. Waterproof-breathable hard shells provide the highest level of storm protection for extreme wet climates like the Pacific Northwest. Water-resistant softshells strike a fine balance offering more breathability for drier conditions. Lightly insulated jackets weather light showers but won't withstand heavy precipitation. Ensure the garment offers ample water protection abilities for the intended environment.
During sustained aerobic exertion, moisture can wet out layers and chill the body as it accumulates. Carefully evaluate how breathable a piece needs to be based on the activity and exertion level. Soft shells offer the highest level of air flow and moisture control during high output. Hard shells work better for occasional moderate output with weatherproofing as the priority. Make sure insulation layers provide enough ventilation and moisture control beneath shells.
Weight and Packability
Ultralight gear wins out for activities like alpine climbing, backpacking and endurance sports where every ounce matters. Heavier, bulkier garments become burdensome over miles. For travel and urban use, packability makes carrying layers effortless. Determine the importance of compactness and light weight for the intended purposes.
Cost and Value
Premium materials, quality manufacturing and cutting-edge designs come at a price. However, by carefully considering intended uses, you can identify where technical features translate into enhanced performance to justify costs. Alternatively for casual use, budget-friendlier options may suffice. Compare prices to competitor products and weigh benefits against costs to make informed purchases.
Activity Specific Features
Determine technical requirements based on how the gear will be used. For example, a climbing helmet needs different capabilities than a ski helmet. Evaluate features like adjustability, weatherproofing and mobility enhancements that boost performance for the target activity. Prioritize must-have performance attributes over superfluous add-ons to dictate optimal selections.
By carefully considering these factors, you can identify Arc'teryx gear that fulfills your needs for design, materials, features and performance. Their products deliver unmatched quality yet remain overbuilt for casual use. Match gear choices carefully with their intended pursuits to maximize return on investment. With mindful selections guided by this advice, you'll acquire Arc'teryx equipment to enjoy for years of outdoor adventures ahead.