Arc'teryx Alpha SL Jacket - Women's


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A packable lightweight Gore-Tex® shell, the Arcteryx Alpha SL Jacket for women has all the features essential in a quality mountaineering shell without the extra weight. With a simplistic style and hip-length cut, the Alpha SL provides a no nonsense look while offering amazing waterproof characteristics and breathable performance when you’re summiting a lonely peak or just hiding from the elements. Waterproof zippers throughout keep water at bay without adding extra material and micro Gore® taped seams ensure you stay dry whatever the conditions. An anatomical gender specific cut with articulated elbows and pattern details allow this technical shell to move freely with you for all day comfort when hiking long hours to open powder fields or traveling through wet areas on your outdoor adventures.


  • Balades Randos Magazine Editor’s Choice Award
  • Material: Two layered GORE-TEX® Paclite®
  • DWR (Durable Water Repellant) finish for improved waterproofing
  • Fully micro GORE® seam sealed
  • Adjustable draw cords
  • Generous cut for layering
  • Anatomical gender specific cut
  • Articulated elbows and design details
  • Gusseted underarms
  • Helmet compatible hood with laminated brim
  • Glove friendly hood adjustment
  • Laminated chin guard
  • WaterTight™ water resistant external zippers
  • Front zippered hand pockets
  • Full front zip
  • Armpit zips
  • Velcro® die-cut laminated cuff adjusters
  • Adjustable waist draw cord
  • Embroidered logo

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Review Summary

4.9 out of 5

21 Reviews

  • Great design: 8
  • Build quality: 6
  • Performance: 5
  • Ease of use: 3

  • very lightweight: 1
Quality: 4.9 / 5
Comfort: 4.5 / 5
Durability: 4.4 / 5
Water Protection: 4.5 / 5
Fit: 4 / 5
Wind Protection: 4 / 5
Warmth: 2 / 5

21 Ratings & Reviews

Love this jacket
February 27, 2010

The fit it great; light-weight, comfortable, quiet. Very nice clean lines (no stupid ruching at the wrist, for example). I would have preferred it to be a little longer. I had originally purchased the Beta SL, but returned it to get this one which is longer. The fit is perfect besides that, however, and it is described as "hip length" which is accurate. It blocks the wind very well, but haven't had much chance to use it in heavy rain yet.

High Quality Jacket
March 26, 2010

I just wore this jacket on a trip to Europe. It was the perfect light jacket for walking all day. It protected me from all elements, and the pit zips made temperature control a breeze. I can't wait to use it while hiking this spring!

Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
WaterProtection: 4 / 5
from oregon
35-44 yrs

versatile jacket
January 09, 2011

I bought this jacket as a shell for skiing and I love it! It is absolutely waterproof and very lightweight. The fit is flattering and longer in the back. The extra large pockets are in the perfect place and add to the style. The lobelia color is so pretty and exactly the way it looks in the picture. I did order a size large in order to leave lots of room for layers underneath. I'm 5'5" and 130lbs. A medium may have been ok but I wanted to make sure it wasn't tight at all. I also have the arcteryx beta ar in small. Unfortunately, I didn't order it from altrec and the size small is confining with layers underneath for skiing. If I had ordered from altrec I could have returned it for a different size. The beta ar is a thicker material & probably better for skiing but I am psyched with my alpha purchase. The coat also went on sale right after I bought it and altrec adjusted the price!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Great value
Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5
Warmth: 4 / 5
WaterProtection: 4 / 5

Great jacket for Mountain Climbing!
January 30, 2011

I bought this jacket for my girlfriend, who practices mountain climbing, and it was great! She used it under heavy rain and snow and it was absolutely waterproof. It kept her dry during the whole trip. She said it was also very breathable, too. Also, what she liked the most about this jacket is that it is lightweight (space is very important in mountaineering and she could stuff the jacket into a very small space inside her bag) and durable. She has been using it in her climbing trips during the past months and it remains in perfect conditions. She's 5'6" and 130lbs and the medium size was perfect for her. Some details that she liked about the jacket were, for instance: the hood perfectly fitted her helmet and it was very comfortable to use with it. Also, the two front pockets were very useful to stuff those things she wanted to have at handy at all times. I would highly recommend this jacket for any girl who loves outdoor sports, specially rock climbing and mountaineering.

Pros: Great design, Performance, technical details
woo kyung jung

Very lightweight jacket
August 21, 2007

Excellent, super lightweight jacket.The jacket is somewhat fit and therefore flattering.Exactly what I was looking for to take to Bhutan this fall.

Comfort: 4 / 5
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
WaterProtection: 4 / 5
WindProtection: 4 / 5

Hurricane Irene proof
September 27, 2011

I live in Virginia and everyone saw that we got slammed on the east coast with hurricane Irene. We had sustained winds of over 60 miles an hour. My husband has the men's version of this jacket and after seeing how he stayed bone dry after being outside in the hurricane winds and rain of Irene, I was so impressed so I decided to shop around and see if they made a women's version of this jacket. They did and I love it. We are camp and hike and this jacket is light and packs well. It is very versatile, we wear our jackets on rainy days to Busch Gardens where they run the rides in any weather but lighting storms. We are always the driest and most comfortable visitors in the park. The only draw back is that although it is wind proof it is not cold proof. So... any area of the jacket that touched your skin can chill you to the bone if your in cooler temperatures. The quick fix to that is just make sure you have a great mid-layer or fleece and hat for your head. The are we live in is over run with North Face gear and Arc'teryx gear really sets you apart from the rest. We wish they made this jacket for kids because we would buy it for our daughter in a heartbeat!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use

Great jacket, light, flexible and flattering fit.
August 29, 2007

I bought a medium size for skiing, and a small in the same jacket, for sweep crew. I also used the jacket for cycling this summer.

Arc'teryx is simply the best...
June 18, 2006

Bought this for my wife after she got soaked at yosemite, while I stayed dry in mine. Now she's a believer. A great jacket for wind and rain when you don't want to add alot of bulk or warmth. Fit is also very flattering and stylish.

Great Quality Jacket!
May 12, 2010

I love Arc'teryx clothing. This is a high quality shell. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because of the collar. It stuck straight up into my chin and was too uncomfortable for me to keep zipped. Also, I originally bought the Beta AR-which I absolutely loved everything about it- just wanted a little more length. I returned that one to get the Alpha SL-which is supposed to be longer. Well it is, but only by a tiny bit. Not enough for me to give up on the Beta AR. Needless to say...THANK YOU ALTREC for putting up with my returns!!! I ended up back where I started...with the Beta AR. The cut of the Beta AR was a little more comfortable for me also(has a tiny bit more room in the chest but the waist measurements are the same as the Alpha), along with a better made collar/hood set-up so it won't bug my chin and the hood lays better. And it's more durable(but also more money unless you catch the sale like I did) I'm 5'7" 125 lbs and ended up w/xs(would've prob'ly had to go w/small in the Alpha)Hope this helps!


A remarkable jacket!
November 23, 2009

Purchased for my 16 year old daughter. Light, well made, and a great value. A wonderful jacket for rain, snow, and wind. Waterproof and windproof when the going gets tough.

ComfortShoes: 4 / 5
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
WarmthWear: 2 / 5
WaterProtectionJackets: 4 / 5
from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
25-34 yrs

cool gear
September 28, 2010

I bought this for my wife, would like to say for a girl, it has the perfect fit curve. The material is light and relatively smooth (comparing to SV). Great one!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Ease of use
Comfort: 4 / 5
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
WaterProtection: 4 / 5
WindProtection: 4 / 5

Alpha SL
July 19, 2011

This jacket is unbelievably light. The gortex waterproof fabric is rock solid. It packs down to an extremely small size. I use it as an outer layer with my strato jacket.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Ease of use
from Hood River, OR
25-34 yrs

Superfly Alpha Jacket
July 25, 2012

I am a GORE™ MOUNTAIN TECHS™ member. I test outdoor gear for Gore-Tex™, but I assure you, this is just my personal opinion on the gear. I’ve tested several light shell jackets, but this one wins. Very light and packable, especially if you have to take it on and off again, although the pit-zips help you to regulate your temp even better. This jacket is extremely waterproof and durable (I even sat on it on a wet day)… although I recommend caring for it with washing and treating and the fabric will last forever. I’ve used this mostly for hiking and backpacking, but have used it snowboarding on wet days over layers. It has a great cut for me having long arms and a long torso… I’m 5’6 and 140. It fits well when wearing a pack. It’s really a worry-free shell, so you can concentrate on having fun!

Pros: durable, pit-zips, breathable, fit, waterproof

very lightweight raingear
February 08, 2007

The fit is true to size for arcteryx I am able to fit a light softshell underneath if needed(I use the arcteryx epsilon jacket). It hits at top of my thigh in front and a little longer in back. Great for rain jacket or windbreaker when I am biking. Recommend this jacket!


Great light, spring jacket/windproof shell
February 18, 2011

Top quality jacket but they definitely mean SUPER light... Not good for winter unless you have a lot of layers. Probably ideal for spring hiking, biking.

Pros: Great design, Cons: very lightweight

gotta love goretex
August 27, 2006

Excellent, super lightweight shell. Rolls up very small. Keeps me completely dry and protected from the wind. Has a stylish, slimming cut but still fits over my down jacket. Exactly what I was looking for to take to Bhutan this fall.


Great jacket
January 15, 2010

This jacket is dope. It's super light and thin but really windproof. Perfect for warmer spring days when you don't want something heavy but it's windy on top of the mountain. The thin fleece lining inside the collar is great for protecting your face against wind.

Excellent jacket for all weather and all activities
January 31, 2010

The fabric, craftsmanship, and features make this jacket a great choice for people who like to do a lot of different outdoor activities almost all year around.

Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
Warmth: 2 / 5
WaterProtection: 5 / 5

from CA
35-44 yrs

Excellent quality and value
March 21, 2011

I've had my Alpha SL for quite a while now, and it's become my favorite hardshell because it's the most versitile. I use it for snowboarding, snowshoeing, and backpacking, yet it looks nice enough that I've even worn it to work on a rainy day. It's great in the rain--has never let me down. The helmet-compatible hood is a must, even without a helmet in my opinion--much better than the small hood on the Beta SL. Also the longer length of the Alpha SL is better than the Beta SL. Both are the same fabric, but the Alpha wins my vote.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Great value
ComfortShoes: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
WarmthWear: 2 / 5
WaterProtectionJackets: 5 / 5

from Eugene, OR

September 18, 2010

This jacket absolutely keeps me dry. And it is so light weight and stuffs into a small stuff sack, so I can take it along anywhere! Just spent 4 days camping in the pouring rain, and this jacket kept me totally dry. No leaking around cuffs, the zippers and pockets are completely waterproof. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and have several rain jackets, but this one is the best. I'm 5'9". 145 lb. with long arms, and the large fits really well, long enough, and with lots of room for fleece layers underneath. Very well tailored, not boxy. I love it. Worth every penny!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, small and lightweight

Great fit, nice weight, great rain protection
September 16, 2006

The day after I received this jacket, I got caught in a downpour and was fully protected. The jacket is somewhat fit and therefore flattering.

Also Available

Arc'teryx Women's Alpha SL Jacket Photo

Black, Mango Tango and Riptide.

Available sizes, while supplies last, include size xs, size small, size medium, size large and size extra large: xs, s, m, l, xl.

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