Help with Jacket sizing

8:21 p.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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10 forum posts

Hi guys,

I would like some opinions from the pros. I got a great deal on the arc'teryx alpha sv jacket. The thing is, I do not know what size I should get. Right now I am 5'6 (maybe 5'7 on a good and weigh 145 lbs. I lost a lot of weigh recently to box. However, my weight fluctuates a lot. I can easily go back up to 155, 160 or even 170.

My question is, would you guys go with the Medium or the small. If I bought the small and stayed light, would I be able to layer with a bubble jacket?

I am not a hardcore outdoorsman. I will probably jog and snowboard in this jacket. Other than that I will use it mostly to walk to the train station or wait for the bus. I definately want to be able to layer. I do not know how tight arc'terx jackets fit. I want to be able to layer but do not want to swim in it.

So, should I go with small or medium? Thanks guys

8:27 p.m. on January 26, 2010 (EST)
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3,899 forum posts

First, look at the Arc'teryx size charts on their site and see where you fall. If you plan to wear more versus less layers size up.

That said, my inclination is to go Medium versus Small. I can fit into either a women's small or medium, depending on brand and cut. My Arc'teryx softshell is a medium though and fits great and allows for layering.

I asked my husband who has some Arc'teryx stuff too and he said they tend to have longer arm sleeves (cut for climbers) and run fairly standard, though many are athletically cut (i.e. they won't swamp you).

So, see where you fall on their size charts and if you're on the edge, size up. I think a Medium is your best bet though.

8:56 p.m. on January 26, 2010 (EST)
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6,007 forum posts

Men's jacket sizes are based on chest circumference. Outdoor companies, like Arc'teryx, Marmot, TNF, Patagonia, etc. tend to allow for layering fleece under the outer hardshells. As a boxer, your chest size might be a bit larger than average for your height. Most rock climbers (like me), tend to run a bit bigger in the chest than average. So you should really measure your chest size. For waiting for the bus or snowboarding, you might wear a filled jacket, but for the jogging or walking to the train station, probably not. I tend to buy my outdoor jackets and shirts on the large side to allow freedom of movement when climbing, skiing, etc. For a filled jacket, you might add 2 inches, but if you will wear fleece (my suggestion for your activities), go with your chest size.

10:15 p.m. on January 26, 2010 (EST)
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1,370 forum posts

The Alpha SV rain jacket is one awesome jacket. Go ahead and get the medium as you will probably be layering up under it. My old dynamite Marmot rain jacket finally bit the dust with numerous trail holes and so I researched a replacement and found the Arcteryx. It's an acquired taste as it isn't cheap. But if you're out all the time, it's cheap to get the best in the long run. Backpacking Economics 101.

I got the large model and using it for the first time in December 2009.

Here's another shot of the thing in different light. I'm a skinny guy with broad shoulders so I know I'll need a large even though the waist area is a bit hollow.

10:20 p.m. on January 28, 2010 (EST)
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306 forum posts

I am also 5'7" (152lbs )and I have an Arcteryx Theta AR in size medium. It is a hair (I mean just a hair) big if I am wearing it over just a plain shirt. However if I am layering with anything more than a shirt underneath (ie fleece and base layers) it fits like a glove. I actually tried on the Alpha SV and some fleeces at a local store to figure out which size to get. The small fit well, however once I put some layers under it, it got way too small/tight. However, the medium only felt big in sleeve length (without layers). So, that's what I got! Hope that helps!


7:07 a.m. on February 9, 2010 (EST)
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10 forum posts

Thanks guys for your help,

D&G, we are about the same size. What year jacket do you have? I heard the pro shell runs bigger than the xcr

7:34 a.m. on February 9, 2010 (EST)
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16 forum posts

Depending on the return policy of the retailer you are getting the great deal from, I would consider buying both sizes, trying them both on with different levels of layers and then returning the one you don't want. Guaranteed success!


10:21 a.m. on February 9, 2010 (EST)
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123 forum posts

after college i worked in the mens clothing industry for 18 years. as an old clothier, the general rule for mens sizing

34-36" = small

38-40" = medium

42-44" = large

46-48 = xlarge

50-52 = xxlarge

standing straight up with arms down (you are wider this way) wrap a tape measure around the fullest part of your chest (over lats). add 2" to that number and you get your chest size. there is no standard for height. if you are 5'8" or 6'1" you get to wear the same size. talls and longs really do not apply unless you are buying dress clothing (suits - sportcoats - dress shirts). however more and more we are starting to see companies realize that tall guys want longer things than us average guys.

as with all things in america, you get what you pay for. the better made clothing fits different than cheaper, so the above rule doesn't always apply. but it is a good starting point. hope i helped

4:24 p.m. on February 13, 2010 (EST)
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306 forum posts

Thanks guys for your help,

D&G, we are about the same size. What year jacket do you have? I heard the pro shell runs bigger than the xcr

4:29 p.m. on February 13, 2010 (EST)
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306 forum posts

I have the fall 2009 model, and find the fit to be pretty well matched. [Again]For both models the sleeves (medium for me) were just a hair long if just wearing a t-shirt under the jacket but when layered with anything (even a thick long sleeve shirt) it fits like a glove. Again the body fit perfect on both. Hope this helps, good luck!!
Sorry about the double post....having trouble trying to get the quote bubble thing to work.


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