The month of May has a weather habit of producing rain, hail, grapple, snow, and sleet in an indescribable manky mix of wet and misery. All of this will conspire to try and cause you to cancel plans and sulk indoors. So when May unleashes its arsenal of heavy weather on you, grab an ArcTeryx Alpha SL or Beta SL waterproof jacket, and go ahead, keep your plans, and get outside.
Both the Alpha SL and Beta SL are pretty similar on the surface. Both are very lightweight, compressible, and waterproof. Both have watertight zippers and full coverage hoods. Both show off the ArcTeryx minimalistic design but there is a choice to made between the two.
The Beta SL fit is very athletic, trim, and feels really good while you wear it since there is little extra fabric to blow in the wind, feel baggy, and make noise. The trim fit also helps with increasing the breathability. This jacket is ideal for hiking, backpacking, trekking and camping… the range of motion through the arms is very good due to the gusseted underarms but you’ll notice the sleeve length isn’t built for lots of overhead reaches. The sleeve shortens as you reach higher and higher.
The Alpha SL on the other hand, while sharing many of the same features as the Beta SL has a little fuller cut that can allow for a variety of thin or thicker layers underneath this shell. The Alpha is designed with climbing in mind considering the one chest pocket and more room for layers (higher altitudes and colder temps). The sleeves are cut longer so as you reach forward or high above your head the sleeve won’t shorten leaving your wrist (or some of your forearm) exposed.
Alpha and Betta Shared Features:
– Superlight materials and design, emphasizing light weight and packability over durablity.
– Waterproof, windproof and breathable.
– Full coverage Stormhood (helmet compatible with the Alpha SL).
– Fully seam taped (tiny seams and tiny taping, very impressive)
– Watertight zippers.
The Alpha SL and Beta SL choice is pretty simple. Are you a hiker or a climber? Overall, the minimalist, great fitting, sleek, ArcTeryx design will leave you warm and dry and happy no matter what May come!
Ski Haus stocks both the Alpha SL ($279.00) and Beta SL ($299.00) for men. We stock the Beta SL for women.