The Alpha LT Jacket from Arc'teryx (www.arcteryx.com) was made for "the fast and light alpine crowd," meaning climbers, skiers and mountaineers who want the protection of a shell jacket with zero extra bulk or weight. The design is simple and user-friendly, with small water-tight zip pockets, a helmet-compatible hood, pit zips, and nothing to complicate.
It really breathes, too. This past month I've tested the three-layer GORE-TEX Pro Shell jacket on aerobic adventures on multiple cool and wet days. Rain and moisture beads up on the fabric's face. But even when I'm feeling moderately sweaty, condensation has not gathered inside. I was impressed.
The Alpha LT weighs a mere 13 oz. It protects and breathes. You can wear this elements-eschewing shell to summit Mount Rainier, maybe Denali even on a good day, but then fold and stuff it away in a tiny corner of your backpack like a magic cape.
The cost? $499.
Yep, it's pricey. But Arc'teryx craftsmanship is arguably unmatched in the industry. Plus, the Alpha LT is designed and manufactured in Canada, NOT a Chinese plant as is increasingly the norm in this industry.
In sum, here are some of the jacket's notable features. . .
• Helmet-compatible hood
• Laminated, quick-dry chin guard
• Laminated die-cut Velcro cuffs
• One hand pull cords
• No-lift gusseted underarms with laminated pit zippers
• Water-tight zippers
• Molded zipper "garages"
• Two high crossover hand pockets with laminated zippers
• One internal laminated pocket
• Articulated elbows
• Hip length, drop back hem
• Laminated hem drawcord
• Tiny GORE seam tape (3/16'' and 1/2'')
• Removable harness HemLock
• Laminated high strength hanger loop
Contact: Arc'teryx, www.arcteryx.com