The Alpha SV - An Outerwear Icon
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the ongoing relationship between Arc’teryx and the GORE-TEX brand is to follow the life story of the Alpha SV. Since their first introduction in the mountaineering world in 1998, SV’s have become a staple part of countless adventurer’s kits. With every iteration of the garment, weight is reduced, and new design features are added to constantly improve user experience and overall performance. As Arc’teryx’s Design Director Greg Grenzke puts it, “Climbers need something they can rely on, and the Alpha SV is a go-to piece for this reason.”
Innovation is a 2-Way Street
Arc’teryx and the GORE-TEX brand have been partners since the iconic Alpha SV entered development at the Canadian brand’s headquarters in North Vancouver. Arc’teryx hunted for the bleeding edge in waterproofing for their mountaineering jackets in 1995, it didn’t take long for them to land on GORE-TEX product technology as the obvious choice. They demanded a durable, waterproof material that could put up with the moisture-wicking abilities their designs demanded. After three years of back and forth and R&D, the SV launched and changed the outerwear industry forever.
From its entrance into the market in 1998, the Alpha SV has been continually optimized to reduce weight while improving function. Over the lifetime of the piece, its weight has been reduced by over 300 grams and remains a benchmark for outerwear performance. As the Alpha SV grew in popularity and gained notoriety in the industry, Arc’teryx continued to develop product lines utilizing GORE-TEX materials, and to this day, nearly all their outerwear utilizes GORE-TEX product technology and materials.
Arc’teryx was the first GORE-TEX licensed brand that had never previously produced apparel. From the inception of the partnership, we knew that Arc’teryx’s dedication to performance and innovation perfectly aligned with our own. As the years went on, the two brands have developed a symbiotic relationship, each pushing the other to improve technology and to experiment with new designs. Consequently, Arc’teryx now has a dedicated GORE-TEX materials team and gets nearly unfettered access to all of Gore’s current and upcoming products. Committed to constant improvement, Arc’teryx constantly questions and pushes the boundaries of what GORE-TEX materials are capable of, be it reducing seam tape width to reduce weight, or improved water and wind resistance. Taking these improvements to heart, Gore can take these innovations and deliver further innovations for all their product lines.