Arc’teryx are masters when it comes to technical clothing and we are continually blown away by the level of innovation and attention to detail that is evident in their designs. The brand work closely with GORE-TEX to create activity specific products that each have their home on the mountain, but with so much tech doing the rounds, how do you know which Arc’teryx piece is right for you? Let’s demystify things a little.
Arc’teryx name their products to dictate what they’re intended for and where they belong on the mountain. If you browse our range online you will notice that there is both an Alpha SV and Alpha LT Jacket; so what’s the difference?
The first part of the name relates to the activity that the product is designed for:
ALPHA: Alpha garments focus on climbing and alpinism, offering the highest possible durability-to-weight ratio and a host of equipment friendly features. They have an ergonomic cut and conveniently placed pockets that work in harmony with your pack and harness; helmet compatible hoods and maximum articulation for overhead motion
BETA: The Beta range is intended for all-round mountain use so the garments have a fairly moderate cut and level of articulation. They leave ample room for layering, come equipped with plenty of pockets and the jackets have helmet hoods.
THETA: Also intended for all-round, all-mountain use, Theta garments have the longest cut in the Arc’teryx range as well as ample storage and helmet compatible hoods. Moderate expedition articulation allows a full range of motion and there is still plenty of room for layering.
GAMMA: These highly breathable softshells are available in a variety of weights to suit a range of conditions and can be worn as water resistance outer layers. They have plenty of stretch to allow maximum flexibility and tough abrasion resistance to cope with the demands of the rock face.
DELTA: The Delta range features air-permeable, fleece mid-layer garments that are available in a variety of weights. They are quick drying, offer excellent moisture management and are cut to offer comfortable freedom of movement, whatever your activity.
VENTA: These softshells aren’t quite as stretchy as the Gamma range, but they offer fantastic windproofing and reliable breathability. With different versions available, offering varying degrees of thermal efficiency, these garments are highly water resistant and make great outer layers.
ATOM: Atom garments are insulated mid-layers that offer the ideal balance of warmth and breathability. They have a water repellent outer and are made with a hydrophobic synthetic material that resists absorbing moisture, so they can also be used as outer layers in warmer conditions.
PHASE: Phase base layers are designed for sports that involve both periods of high and low activity. They help to regulate your body temperature, wicking moisture away from your skin to the outer surface where it quickly dries, preventing you from becoming either too hot or too cold.
RHO: These thermally efficient baselayers are ideal for cooler conditions, wicking moisture away from your skin to keep you feeling warm, dry and comfortable.
The additional letters are added to indicate the conditions that the garments are most suited to, giving you an idea of where they belong on the mountain:
SL: SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT
The lightest materials available go into making the lightest products available, while continuing to offer high level performance and protection. These products do compromise a little when it comes to durability, so you might want to bear that in mind for rough and tough activities.
FL: FAST AND LIGHT
If you’re going to be traveling in variable weather conditions but speed and weight are of the essence, these minimal garments are for you, offering the performance that you need to push your limits in confidence.