User Review: Arc'teryx Men's Gamma SV Jacket
Price Paid: $160 CDN (sale)
Four things you should know about this jacket:
1 - Try it on before you buy it! The bottom is cut at the hip, making it look a little short on tall people. I usually take a L, but bought XL for this reason once I tried it on.
2 - It isn't very warm. In case you're new to softshells, they are a 'shell'! This jacket does have a thin liner, but does not have the warmth of a fleece! Make sure you can fit a fleece underneath before you buy if you intend to wear this jacket in sub-freezing temperatures.
3 - It is extremely versatile. By far the most versatile piece of equipment I own. I have never worm something that can ensure comfort in the same range of temperatures as the SV does. It is not waterproof, but will keep you fairly dry in a rain storm for the first ten or so minutes. It is clean and simple enough to be a stylish urban piece as well as a hardcore outdoor piece.
4 - The SV is durable. I took this jacket out tree planting with me, and wore it in mud, sun, rain, hail, etc. It was so beat up I was sure it would show scars. Some days I left it just lying on the ground in the sun all day. However, when I washed it, no scars, no fading. It looked like new. The only wound my jacket has suffered since I bought it is a small puncture hole in the back, and it is only exposed when I stretch the fabric around it.
If you can swallow the steep price, it's a remarkable piece.