410 g / 14.5 oz
The Arc'teryx LEAF Alpha LT Jacket is a top-of-the-line…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $580
The Arc'teryx LEAF Alpha LT Jacket is a top-of-the-line hardshell jacket with well-thought-out features and unbeatable performance. Primarily designed for the military/law enforcement tactical community, the Alpha LT takes what was best about the Arc'teryx light hardshell line and improved on it. This hardshell is extremely lightweight, packable, and durable making it well-suited for the backpacking community.
- Streamlined design cuts down on bulk
- Extreme waterproof properties
- Easy-access pockets with waterproof zippers
- Helmet-compatable hood
- Very expensive
- Did I mention expensive?
- Contoured fit not great for "rotund" folks
The LEAF Alpha LT Jacket is of unmatched quality when compared to other commercial or military-grade hardshells available. The fit is true to size and unlike the commercial version, the LEAF jacket has a contoured cut that holds closer to the body, which reduces bulk and allows for better wear under gear, backpacks, etc.
The jacket can be adjusted at just about every point possible with elastic drawstrings at the waist and necklines as well as very durable Velcro cuffs. The Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer design allows for greater waterproofing than typical of commercial 2-layer jackets and prevents saturation that can be typical in backpacking scenarios.
Being a hardshell jacket, it doesn't have built-in insulation features however, as part of the Arc'teryx jacket system, it is designed to be layered with many of the company's other offerings to include those with insulation properties.
This is not to say however that this jacket is anything other than great at cutting down on wind. The 3-layer Gore-Tex is also great at holding up against abrasions. The Alpha LT comes with two chest pockets for easy access to items, and each is protected by well-engineered zippers and membranes that seal contents against the weather.
I have used this jacket and matching hardshell pants both in military and civilian situations with nothing but great results. Most recently, I used both items daily during a week-long snowboarding trip with no issues. It is lightweight, packs out easily, and considered one of my "must-haves" for even the most basic of excursions.
I haven't had to treat the jacket with waterproofing solution as of yet, though Arc'teryx readily admits that eventually, like all Gore-Tex material, this will have to be done.