A Durable Shell
Arc’Teryx Alpha SV Jacket
Arc’Teryx bills the Alpha SV as their most durable shell (SV is for “Severe Weather”). For a company that has become known for making the most cutting-edge and capable gear in the world, this says a lot. Made from an insanely durable GORE-TEX called N80P X, the Alpha SV is designed to not only cut the elements, but also take heaps of abuse. What makes Arc’Teryx worth the money — about 20 percent more than comparable jackets — is how steadfast the Canadian manufacturer is in utility. Despite the fact that the brand is becoming more popular for casual skiers and urbanites, Arc’Teryx still builds jackets with climbers — and extreme conditions — in mind. It’s meant to be worn with harnesses and has meticulously placed pockets and zips in places where they will actually come in handy while hanging from a rappel down an iceflow, or retreating off a technical Alpine peak in a whiteout. [$675; arcteryx.com]
TIP: A shell you would wear on a mountain like Denali might be overkill for the ski slopes. But if you do buy one for double duty, you can be sure it will outlast any ski-specific shells by several years.
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