Thoughts on Arcteryx jackets? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Thoughts on Arcteryx jackets?

I have an MEC GORE-TEX jacket that's getting old and I thought I'd check out Arcteryx to find a replacement. Specifically, I'm looking for something rugged, GORE-TEX, and good for hiking, scrambling, climbing, mountaineering, and anything in between.

I went to the store in Kitsilano and found the staff quite rude. The girl showed me one jacket in particular that seemed perfect, despite having a $700 price tag attached. I asked how it would stack up against a comparable jacket at MEC and she then went on to explain how MEC is discount, entry-level clothing for the "average person" (hmmm) and Arcteryx does a lot more research into their materials. She finished by saying, "not all GORE-TEX is made the same." I pointed out that it's a patented material and that yes, it is the same across brands despite being integrated differently into products, leaving soon after.

With that said, is Arcteryx gear worth the price? I was quite disappointed to have been met with such a rude reception/tirade against MEC/misinformation about a product.

Secondly, can anyone recommend a good jacket generally?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 07:58 AM
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I think Arcteryx jackets are great, well made and durable......but I won't pay full price for them. If I'm looking for something I check out the factory outlet in North Vancouver to see if they have a "second" that suits me....if not I either wait or buy another brand, usually MEC.

P.S. If you know someone who works for Arcteryx you can get them to buy the jacket for you at 50% of the sticker price
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Last edited by dlofting; 04-10-2015 at 08:01 AM.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dlofting View Post
I think Arcteryx jackets are great, well made and durable......but I won't pay full price for them. If I'm looking for something I check out the factory outlet in North Vancouver to see if they have a "second" that suits me....
The twice yearly tent sale is on the weekend. I went to the last one in the Fall and they had a lot of jackets in all colours and sizes for good prices (around $300). Worth checking it out if you're around this weekend.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 12:56 PM
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If you look at the MEC brand jackets, the only one that I'd personally take mountaineering, which is something you mentioned wanting to do, is the MEC Synergy. It's definitely cheaper than the $700 jacket you looked at -- $400 regularly priced and currently on clearance -- but has 3/5 stars after 21 reviews. Most of the complaints seem to be about poor fit / design / durability. I think it's fair to say that with Arcteryx you get excellent fit / design / durability. I know that's been my experience with Arcteryx products, and it's the reason I'll continue to buy from them (though hopefully not at full price!). So that's more or less the difference, in my opinion.

There are lots of choices in between MEC and Arcteryx though. Patagonia, Black Diamond, The North Face, Marmot, just to name a few. There are also alternative fabrics that will keep you just as dry as Gore-Tex will, such as eVent. RAB (out of the UK) makes some very high quality jackets with eVent. Valhalla carries them but last time I checked the Vancouver store was out of the RAB flagship jacket. The eVent fabric is also cheaper than Gore-Tex, which means cheaper jackets.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 02:44 PM
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Default you pay for what you get.

I have owned both. really, at the end of the day you pay for what you get Both are great. Personally I have a love hate relationship with Arc., as the brand has become uber popular in Vancouver, but you can't beet the style cuts and design. That being said ,, any pro shell (Gore tex pro) you buy is gonna be good. pick the one u like.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 09:36 PM
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In short, Arc'teryx really is the bomb. It's quality is outstanding and with the huge Arc'teryx tent sale on this weekend, starts at 6 tonight I believe, there's really no other reason to go with anything else right now. Heck even borrow some money to get a jacket for 300-400 bucks or so.

I have two Arc'teryx gore tex jackets, Arc'teryx goretex pant and some of their clothes and have heard the Product Knowledge session from their head trainer three times.

Arc'teryx is the best in durability and laminating their nylon sheets to Goretex Pro Shell....actually Arc'teryx is the one that pushed GoreTex in making something that is lighter, more waterproof breathable and laminates better to nylong where they created GoreTex Pro.
If you get the Alpha SV like I have which is meant for Ascents, and the highest durability, it's made in Vancouver is is pretty cool.
With better nylon and attachment, it makes for better breathability which doesn't get perfomance tested, you'd just have to try it out.
Arc'teryx has a lifetime warranty....the cuffs on my Alpha SV were becoming unsealed exposing the elastic band, so I drove it over to North Van head office, and received a brand new jacket back within two weeks.

If I couldn't choose Arc'teryx I would go with Westcomb, who has some desingers who broke away from Arc'teryx, they have cool colours and they use Event which is probably a little more breathable than Pro Shell but Pro shell is still really good. And you'll save $200 Jackets are 400-500 instead of 500-700 for Arcteryx.

I look down on MEC clothing, I'll admit, haven't found anything that has caught my eye. Looks like they're trying to make something as cheap as possible and get the person out there which is totally upside down from most other outdoor gear companies, hence maybe the "average person" comment.

Hope this helps
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 10:53 PM
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I don't agree that Arc'teryx quality is significantly better than other brands, including MEC. They may have a slight edge in style and cut, but at the end of the day, Goretex is Goretex. Obviously Arc'teryx marketing is far more effective than MEC though.

In my opinion, it is simply not worth paying double or more for an Arc'teryx jacket that is marginally better than MEC brand using the same materials. Not to mention, MEC warranty is rock-solid. If you buy a "factory second" jacket from Arc'teryx you may not get the same warranty coverage.

Case in point: I have a MEC eVent jacket that I have used for mountaineering trips in all types of weather for the past 3 seasons and have had no issues. A friend had two Arc'teryx jackets delaminate over that same period, and had an incredibly difficult time getting warranty support from them.

Another thing to keep in mind when you are considering shelling out $$$ for Goretex Pro Shell is that the coast mountains tend to be a high humidity environment. Which means the alleged "breathability" will be minimal. Of course this applies equally to other fabrics like eVent, but the eVent will be half the price.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenarc View Post
In short, Arc'teryx really is the bomb. It's quality is outstanding and with the huge Arc'teryx tent sale on this weekend, starts at 6 tonight I believe, there's really no other reason to go with anything else right now. Heck even borrow some money to get a jacket for 300-400 bucks or so.
there's a sale ? do you have any links, i can't find any info about it
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 12:18 AM
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there's a sale ? do you have any links, i can't find any info about it
It's the same one I linked earlier

http://stores.arcteryx.com/NorthVancouver
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 08:00 PM
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I recently had the opportunity to return both an Arcteryx shell jacket (Goretex) and a Westcomb shell jacket (NeoShell) due to warranty issues.

The Arcteryx jacket had a side seam, along the pit zip, completely delaminate. I had received the jacket as a gift several years previously and had no receipt. I took it into the factory store on Dollarton. They checked the tag, determined it was not a factory second from their store and that therefore it was covered by warranty, and assured me that a warranty rep would be in touch.

By the time I got home, the rep had already sent me an email. They were out of that make of jacket, but he would be pleased to offer me any one of three other jackets. The jacket I had returned had originally sold new for $ (price) - he offered me a the choice of similar jacket at the same price, another similar jacket that sold for $50 more, or another, slightly different jacket that retailed for $100 more. I chose the model of the three that was most suited to my needs, in the nicest colour of the ones available, and Arcteryx shipped it directly to me at no cost. Total turn-around time was about one week.

In the case of the Westcomb jacket, I had owned it for about 2 years and it was starting to get dirty, so I washed it. I washed it exactly according to the tag instructions and reproofed it before drying it using the recommended squirt-on reproofing treatment and drier temperature.

When it came out of the drier, the glue on the drawstring tunnels had delaminated all the way around the jacket.

I took this one back to the point-of-sale where I had bought the jacket. I didn't have the receipt for this one either, but they were able to look up my purchase on their database and verify that I had bought it there.

The vendor sent it off to Westcomb for warranty. Westcomb reglued the delaminated drawstring tunnels and mailed the jacket back to the store. They called me when it came in, and I went back there to pick up my repaired jacket. Total turn-around time was almost exactly one month.

With those data points out of the way (and lest I be accused of hidden bias - I worked for one year for Arcteryx, about 15 years ago, but I did no deal with any of my old co-workers, or call in any special favours, during my warranty experience there. I also tested two prototype Goretex jackets for MEC head-to-head at a later date) I will also speak to the claim above that "it's all the same stuff".

This is, flatly, wrong.

Goretex and other membranes are, indeed, similar in nature. But there is a wide difference in the face fabrics which are applied to the membrane, and those make a vast difference in performance of the membrane to which they are applied,both to durability and to DWR lifespan and to resulting breathability. The thread count, type and weight of nylon, tightness of weave, stitching, sewing, and other factors all differ between products and manufacturers. These factors play into the product quality and also into the price, although fashion and brand reputation also play significant roles in the ultimate retail price.

Last edited by Dru; 04-11-2015 at 08:02 PM.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mj24 View Post
...Case in point: I have a MEC eVent jacket...
MEC makes eVent jackets? Do you know if they still make it / what the product name is?
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 04:08 AM
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My experience is that those who rave about Arcteryx clothing tend to have very little experience with any else (besides crappy MEC clothing). There is nothing wrong with their stuff, but there are many alternatives that have at least as high quality.

Also, the one time I warrantied something with them, they charged me $60, so my experience there was pretty "meh".

Disclaimer: there have been a few exceptions to the above rule.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 04:47 AM
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If you get a jacket with Goretex Pro Shell from any brand, you're doing really well, because of the way you have to bond your nylon fabrics to that membrane material.

Does it really matter if you get Arc'teryx or not, not really, depends on the way you look at it. Your jacket might pill a bit more than Arc'teryx after a few years, but that might not really matter. Your sweat might not evaporate through as fast, which you might not really notice 75% of the time or more you use it. They are cut a bit better for specific sports which might not be that great if you're like most and use your jacket for everything anyway.

Salomon tried to make a jacket of the same quality as Arc'teryx a few years ago, then everyone in the trade laughed when they said it would be about 750-800$ retail.

Arc'teryx isn't the best just because of their marketing or however you say it, if you want to start looking at jackets under the microscope, Arc'teryx's patterns, weaves on their jackets are far superior. Does it matter...probably not to most people...but it's Arc'teryx's mission for you to know when you're on a mountain in a really bad situation for you to know that you have the best....it's a psychological advantage and that's why they do it.
Their jackets look so good because they have four full time staff that all they do is pick out paint colours and make sure they bind in to the jackets for a long lasting look.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Greenarc View Post
if you want to start looking at jackets under the microscope, Arc'teryx's patterns, weaves on their jackets are far superior.
Far superior to what?
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 03:59 PM
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Far superior to what?
Superior to every other goretex pro shell jacket out on the market. Arc'teryx only makes stuff in the technical side and in the category they're making it for that they know is better than any other product out there. If they don't think they can make it better, they won't attempt it. Example being they love North Face down jackets, they have great down and do a good job at it, also having a lot of market share in that category.

The point of this thread is Arc'teryx really worth it...yes it is...but you'd be probably happier in another company's shell if you don't get Arc'teryx product.
There's a lot bigger gaps when comparing companies' products, with tents being one of the biggest ones in my opinion.
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