User Review: Arc'teryx Men's Alpha SL Jacket
I've owned an Alpha SL for several years, and it provided great service for hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking... as well as around town on rainy days. It was easily the most frequently used item in my collection of gear.
So light and compact, great to pack along on bike trips as a wind/rain shell, and also very warm due to the tight closures. The hood is wonderful, easily fitting over a bike or climbing helmet... easy on, easy off. Don't worry about the hood being too bulbous, it has several adjustments that make it fit and keep it out of your line of sight. It also tucks down into the neck if you don't need it (not very aesthetic, but certainly functional).
The one weak point is the zippers: though they are a very light design for a waterproof closure without flaps, they are also somewhat vulnerable to wear. The front zip and pocket zip on my jacket eventually gave up and became unreliable... separating unpredictably.
I sent the jacket back to Arc'teryx for repair, but they decided to replace it with a new Alpha SL instead... so their great customer service more than made up for the zipper failure.
I'm looking forward to many more years with my replacement SL!
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