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Arc'teryx Jackets

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I am looking at buying a new jacket for skiing and as a all around rain jacket. I have been looking at the Arc'teryx stingray, beta ar, and theta ar. I know the stingray was specifically made for skiing and comes with a small insulating layer inside the shell and a powder skirt. I only ski front side at resorts and I live in Alabama so it can get pretty humid here. I am just looking to get some opinions on which of the three would fit my needs best. Although this would double as a rain jacket, I would prefer the one that would be best for skiing as long as it doesn't have any major negatives as a all around jacket.

post #2 of 27
I ski in a Beta AR and like it just fine, but it doesn't have the ski-specific features that the stingray does. Also, the Theta is just a longer version of the Beta... basically the same jacket.

You can't really go wrong either way, although the Beta/Theta will make a better rain jacket, especially in Alabama. The Stingray is a bit warmer/heavier, but probably not that much.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Where does the theta come down to on you compared to the beta? Is the goretex different on the beta and theta. I'm thinking not having the powderskirt want affect me since I will be only skiing in resorts. 

post #4 of 27

I'm short (5'5") so I don't think I even tried on the Theta. The Beta comes just to the bottom of my butt, so it's perfect length. Same exact materials (the website tells you what Goretex is used in each jacket).

 

I really love the light weight of the Beta. It literally weighs nothing and feels totally bombproof. That said, I do wish there were a few more pockets on it. I've skied powder with it and don't miss the powder skirt - I removed it on my last jacket anyway. But my wife has a Sidewinder and there are all these wonderful little pockets everywhere that I wish I had.

 

One nitpicky issue I have with the Stingray is that the logos are like decals rather than embroidered. I know some people don't care but I think it looks a little cheap. I recently tried on the Sabre and the Rush, and I liked those a lot... I'd probably go with one of those over the Stingray if I was going for a ski-specific model.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

What size do you wear, I am 5' 10", so if we wear the same size I would think the beta wouldn't fall as low on my body.

post #6 of 27
I have the medium. Not sure where you're planning to buy, but my local REI stocks Beta and Theta so you could at least try on them on first.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

That's probably what I will do. I liked the sabre except the hood for a all around jacket. If the sabre had the same hood as the beta and stingray I would get it.

post #8 of 27

Interestingly enough, I was faced with this same decision a few weeks ago.

 

I opted for the Beta A/R as the price was too good to pass up.  At 5'7, 185 the medium fits me well. I can still layer with a soft shell and thermals and I feel like I have plenty of room. (no need to bundle up that tight just yet) The back comes down to just below my waist. The Theta would probably have been a bit too long for me.

 

The weight should be just fine to act as a stand alone rain jacket come spring.  

 

I am worried that I will miss the powder skirt on my Sidewinder and am also disappointed by the lack of pocket space.  I do appreciate the interior media pocket they included.

 

Hope this helps.

post #9 of 27

I love my 5 y.o. Sidewinder layered up in CO cold, it would make a fine rain jacket, but it is 3L gore-tex Pro and doesn't breathe as well as my Cloudveil Koven, which breathes too much in cold weather....great for SoFLA. My third shell at present is a Columbia Deep Ghyll, similar in many respects to the Sidewinder without the pow skirt or price, it is my 'cold' weather FL shell

or when I don't want a long sleeve shirt layer, and it breathes about the same, just a more updated color, look and trimmer build than the S'winder.

The Sidewinder is cut fuller, mine is a leftover XL that Mom spotted some time back at a sale in Vail...if there is such a thing. lol It is big on me at 6'2" and 200 lbs., but works like I said when I use my MH Windstopper Tech softy. The Columbia and Cloudveil are both Larges.

The Clouveil also looks less like a ski shell color being green, so I don't stick out like a sore thumb (is that a Pun) while on the golf course or walking the dawg.

post #10 of 27

I pretty much have one of each of the Arc shell jackets (sometimes two of the same model in different colors), and like the Beta AR in large best (5:9, 180). I've never missed not having a powder skirt (some of the other jackets have it - meh), although as mentioned, I do miss the fact that there isn't a lot of pockets, although I often have a small pack when skiing large areas.

 

I also have the Theta SV, and the longer fit seems sort of dorky. I had a Stingray but sold it a couple of months ago as it didn't do much for me.

 

Another jacket I got at the end of last season and am really looking forward to trying is the Mountain Hardwear Keplar, that sometimes shows up for great prices on Steepandcheap.com. It's heavier "Dry Q" material that got great reviews from my Homie Finndog, and it's also a nice softshell material, so I look forward to putting it through its paces in 10 days at WB.

 

My opinion - Beta AR - mine's in the "Blaze" color that I absolutely love, but it takes more maintenance than the darker colors.

post #11 of 27

I've owned several Arcteryx jackets, found them to be solid in terms of durability and design. For your needs, I'd say either the Theta or Beta in a medium should do the trick. As with all important ski issues, base your ultimate choice on color...

post #12 of 27

I've never owned arcteryex but as advice I would get a rain jacket type model. I lived in colorado the last 4 years, skied aprox 40 days a year and I still used my mountain hardware shell which is more of a rain jacket then a ski jacket. Never had any problems even when skiing thigh deep powder.

 

Your situation makes it an easy choice

post #13 of 27

If it's only between the jackets you've mentioned I would definitely go with the Theta AR or Stingray. I say this because you will be using it for skiing. I purchased the Beta AR and I love it but I barely use it for skiing anymore. Theta is a bit longer in the front, has a longer cut in the back so your behind is protected when sitting, has an extra and very useful arm pocket for lift pass and is also light enough to use as a rain jacket. If you want a warmer, little heavier and more specific ski jacket then go for Stingray. Either way you can't go wrong. To me Theta is exactly what you are looking for, half way in between the other two options.  Beta to me is too minimalistic for a ski jacket, not enough pockets and too short...more for trekking, walking or hiking.

post #14 of 27

With Arcteryx jackets pick the one that has the best mix of the following for your purpose:

 

  1. soft shell / hard shell
  2. pure shell or fleece lined
  3. overall length
  4. number and placement of pockets
  5. hood treatment (external or stowable)

 

If you feel you need a powder skirt that helps to narrow your focus.

 

You can get into different weights of GoreTex (SV, AR, LT etc.) but once I'd decided on a jacket I'd just be looking for the best deal.  Plus, as an example, the SV Sidewinder has an external hood, while the AR Sidewinder has a stowable hood (or at least they did when I was looking for one).

 

Be aware that Arcteryx jackets run a little large size-wise.  If you think you're in between sizes (without trying them on) the smaller of the two will probably work nicely.

 

So far I have a Sidewinder SV, a Stinger and a Stingray.  I bought the Stinger as I like to duck behind the higher collar (like a turtle) on the lift in bad weather, and the Sidewinder collar wasn't high enough for this.

 

Best of luck.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnySide View Post

If it's only between the jackets you've mentioned I would definitely go with the Theta AR or Stingray. I say this because you will be using it for skiing. I purchased the Beta AR and I love it but I barely use it for skiing anymore. Theta is a bit longer in the front, has a longer cut in the back so your behind is protected when sitting, has an extra and very useful arm pocket for lift pass and is also light enough to use as a rain jacket. If you want a warmer, little heavier and more specific ski jacket then go for Stingray. Either way you can't go wrong. To me Theta is exactly what you are looking for, half way in between the other two options.  Beta to me is too minimalistic for a ski jacket, not enough pockets and too short...more for trekking, walking or hiking.

I'm not dead set on one of the three jackets I listed. Those seemed like the best three for what I was looking for from Arcteryx. I am also looking at jackets from TNF and Mountain Hardwear and am open to any suggestions. I am just making sure I get the best jacket for my situation since I only get to ski once a year.

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssimmons88 View Post

I'm not dead set on one of the three jackets I listed. Those seemed like the best three for what I was looking for from Arcteryx. I am also looking at jackets from TNF and Mountain Hardwear and am open to any suggestions. I am just making sure I get the best jacket for my situation since I only get to ski once a year.

If you're only using it to ski once a year (and using it as a rain jacket in Alabama the rest of the year), then I would definitely go for something like the Beta/Theta over a snowsports-specific model. It'll be a lot lighter as a rain jacket. I ski multiple times per week in a Beta and, like I said, it works great. And as a rain jacket it's definitely preferable.

 

And honestly, think about what Sinbad said about the different Goretex. My wife has a Beta SL which is Paclite which she uses just as a rain jacket. It's surprisingly sturdy. If you're only going on one ski trip a year I think it would probably be just fine and it's a whole lot cheaper than the Beta AR.

post #17 of 27

The Stingray is that last one you'd want as you said it'll be your rain jacket in Alabama, as it has the furry lining which is a bit of insulation, so it would be far too warm.

 

1000

 

 

You need to choose what you want in length between the Theta and Beta.

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

Are there any Mountain Hardwear or TNF shells that are comparable to the beta or theta? The Enzo jacket from TNF looks pretty good.

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssimmons88 View Post

Are there any Mountain Hardwear or TNF shells that are comparable to the beta or theta? The Enzo jacket from TNF looks pretty good.


TNF makes quality jackets in their Summit model series.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssimmons88 View Post

Are there any Mountain Hardwear or TNF shells that are comparable to the beta or theta? The Enzo jacket from TNF looks pretty good.

 

I've had a couple of Arc jackets, and currently have the Sabre from last year.  I also have a TNF Enzo.

 

The quality of both jackets is outstanding.  Between the two, I have a slight preference for the Enzo due to fit and my perception of the durability of the materials, but you couldn't go wrong with either.

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssimmons88 View Post

Are there any Mountain Hardwear or TNF shells that are comparable to the beta or theta? The Enzo jacket from TNF looks pretty good.

 

Mountain Hardware Snowtastic, retails for $499, can be found in sale for $399, uses MH's DryQ Elite which is an in-house eVent based fabric. Their fit is boxier than Arc'teryx (which actually works well for me).

 

http://www.mountainhardwear.ca/Men%27s-Snowtastic%E2%84%A2-Jacket/OM4825,default,pd.html

post #22 of 27

Yeh, the Sidewinder AR collar is a bit short too,  even on my XL.

I did ski  MH paclite and use it in FL for a rain jacket, but it doesn't breathe as well as I would have liked.....I use a Cloudveil Koven Jacket now for rain as it really breathes nicely for southern climes.

post #23 of 27

I've got a Theta AR and live pretty close to you (Memphis), and it is not a great rain choice down here.  IMHO, the Goretex just doesn't breathe well enough.  Pit zips help, but still not enough.  I ended up with a Rab eVent shell that is awesome for the south, but probably too cold for cold weather-- almost feels like the wind goes through it.  

 

I use the Rab in the south, and a Patagonia Untracked hybrid jacket for harder efforts in the winter in Montana, and an Arc Ventii insulated jacket I found on clearance for resort stuff with the kids.

 

Hard to find one jacket that can do it all, sorry to say.

post #24 of 27

Sidewinder AR collar height

1000

post #25 of 27

+1 for the Sidewinder AR: just an excellent shell that let's you layer up according to temperature, with great armpit vents.

 

As for other brands: really like the concepts of the Mountain Hardwear products, but had problems with almost anything I bought from them (tents, jackets), but backed up by excellent customer service.  I'm not buying them anymore though.

 

ArcTeryx is a lot more durable, and some of their jackets are even still made in Canada (my Sidewinder is): would certainly recommend the brand

 

If you ski only once a year, maybe you don't need the powder skirt in the Sidewinder and could look at other jackets (recently bought an Alpha SL Hybrid that I really like).

post #26 of 27

Hi!

 

I live in the tropics but go skiing a few times each year. 

 

I have had a lot of jackets over the years. Honesty using any hard shell in warm weather suxs. None breathe well enough. I tried several gore-tex jackets and basically just got a Marmot Mica for about $100, that will serve as my warm weather shell. Its super light and packs down to almost nothing. Doesn't have pit zips though. 

 

For my winter shell I had the RAB Stretch Neo shell and it was awesome. Sold it and got a Arcteryx Venta MX softshell (windstopper). Its a heavier jacket but it is unreal, stretchy, soft and with the right features and fit. 

 

For skiing I prefer softshells but it is VERY rare to find a good softshell for skiing that isnt too heavy, with the right fit, that is stretchy and has the right features (but not a lot as to make it heavy) and is pretty stormproof. The Venta MX is it. I couldnt find anything else really. 

 

The thing is that for skiing you want good wind resistance but breathability, need water resistance but not water proof-ness and need decent durability but not a large amount of weight, need space but not a very baggy fit and its good to have some stretch. 

post #27 of 27

Have you looked into a Polartec NeoShell jacket? NeoShell is more breathable then Goretex, although they're coming out with a new goretex pro fabric next year that'll compete with it. As for current 3 layer goretex shells, The North Face Enzo is made with a rather lightweight fabric that i could see using for at the very least, three of the four seasons (w,s,s&f).

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