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Arcteryx Alpha SV vs. Sabre

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey Fellas,  I am in the mood to pick up a new Gore Tex Shell  and have narrowed it to the Arcteryx Alpha SV vs. the Arcteryx Sabre--Living in the the east, I don't have access to try  those models on..so I am relying on any input you may have for me... I get out West to Ski maybe only 5-10 days per winter and and want this jacket primarily for Skiing while I'm out in Colorado.  Otherwise, I will just wear it for as much as needed here around town when the elements require it. I am looking for something tough, which is why I like the alpha sv, but also with some skier-specific features, like length, powder skirt, pockets, etc.       ------I think the Sabre is a little more skier specific, but also like the Alpha SV possibly for more year round activities..   I have done a fair amount of research on both- don't want the sidewinder or stingray,   but will the Alpha SV "get me by"  when I'm out West if we get powder?  Is the Alpha SV long enough?  I will also be layering underneath and kind of like the bigger cut to layer underneath--I don't have to have the powder skirt but like it for skiing-----please compare models if you have any experience---length?  warmth?  fit?  features?  


post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

anybody have any info on either?

post #3 of 10

I also considered these jackets as my shell for skiing. Ive seen them and they are bombproof gore tex shells. Very high quality face fabrics, zippers and stitching. They are pretty simple with a somewhat loose fit. The Sabre has some snowsport specific features like a powderskirt which is nice. 


I opted for the Arteryx Venta MX jacket as my winter sports jacket and it has been amazing. 

post #4 of 10

I ski with an alpha sv as my outer jacket and have been very happy with it. The fit is precise to the point that I've never felt a need for a powder skirt; it never rides up. It is also seemingly indestructible. After ~5 years of owning it, I've blocked many tree branches with my forearms, more than a few GS gates as well, and the jacket remains unscathed and looks brand new. I even fell off my bike and landed on my elbow on concrete with the jacket on, and there wasn't even a mark on the jacket. Incredible.


It breathes well enough to wear it as a rain shell in hellacious Texas weather, but I usually have the pit zips open about halfway when I ski. 


It has plenty of pockets without having an absurd amount like spyder stuff does. It is definitely long enough for powder, I am 6'3 and the large fits me perfectly with a capilene baselayer and monkey man fleece midlayer underneath. In warmer weather I trade the monkey man for a delta lt half-zip [which is probably the most versatile piece of gear that I own, but I digress].


I hope this is helpful.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

very helpful and Thanks!    i kind of feell like both will do the trick--anybody else?

post #6 of 10
I have the alpha sv and wouldn't trade it... Indestructible this
post #7 of 10

The Sabre fits differently.  Depends on your body type, if you like the baggy (aka "freeride") fit, or something more trim (aka "athletic").


I'd go ski specific.  In fact, I did when I recently bought an Arcteryx shell.  I tried the Sabre, but it's more baggy near the bottom and tighter through the shoulders.  Good length though.  The Theta was also long enough but you need to be a football player to fill out the shoulders. The Alpha wasn't ski-specific so I passed on it.


 In the end, I actually went with something a bit different: the Rush jacket.  Long enough, more trim/athletic, happy middle for the shoulders, and is ski-specific.  The Rush also has 2 different types of Pro Shell for the more high-wear areas vs the softer material for the comfort. I recommend taking a look at the Rush.


Regardless of what you choose, you really should choose the one that fits the best, because they are all different in the fit.  Pick the one that works best for your body type.

post #8 of 10

I do not now from where you are but i am selling fall model 2012 Alpha SV, M size, Summit Sky color. It is new and unused with original bill and labels on it. Let me know if you are interested.

Jacket will stay the same color, in spring 2013.



post #9 of 10
Good question, I have experience with most Arc'teryx shells and their features. The alpha is a more durable face fabric than the sabre, but is not ideal for skiing for a few reasons. The cut in the front is pretty short, while the back is an adequate drop tail. The sabre has a powder skirt, drop in pocket and a storm hood (same as alpha). The difference other than features that will really determine what is best is the fabric. The sabre has a soft backing to the three layer gore tex... Both are completely waterproof, just the sabre has a touch of fuzz. This limits the jackets use in the warmer months, while the alpha has gore pro which is more durable and has no fuzz. The fuzz helps keep the jacket from getting clammy, and they claim adds a touch of warmth. If it is strictly a ski jacket get the sabre or stingray (less baggy). If you want 4 season use you need the alpha, but to will be sacrificing winter use a bit. If money is no object get the sidewinder, it's a top of the line ski pro shell.
post #10 of 10

I have the Rush and I've been wearing it everyday in Italy since December 4th. It seems indestructible, the colours are awesome, the hood fits over my Smith Vantage and I/OX making me look ready for an Artic expedition BUT most of all - the fit is epic. I wear a pack every day for skiing to carry my camera and other gear whilst working and the shoulders have triple layer Gore Pro, no issues for two months now and I'm not anticipating any. It breathes as well as you could expect for a Pro Shell, but the venting is great and the pow skirt is effective although we don't know what pow is over here ;-)

All the SV gear is fantastic at what it does and I tried the Alpha myself, but IMHO SV is more limited to just that - severe weather. As I'm English, the Rush will get use throughout the "summer" in the rain and can be layered up or down accordingly. Which makes my £450 a much more acceptable investment. 

The Sabre is lightly insulated, so factor that in. I wear Sabre pants with my Rush and the light insulation allows wear without thermals in comfort and to about +2/3. Below that I wear merino leggings. So just bear in mind the insulation in a Sabre jacket as that may affect your usage outside of the mountain.

For me the Rush is a superb purchase and I couldn't be more happy with it.

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