If you go through shells like other people go through T-shirts, the Beta AR might makes sense for you. Yes, it’s expensive, but it can handle the worst abuse on glacier expeditions and ice climbing trips. It survived a full season of ice, rock, and skis around Alaska’s Turnagain Pass and Chugach State Park without a scratch, all the while holding off the region’s notoriously gnarly weather. The key is an exclusive version of Gore-Tex Pro Shell made with a 40-denier ripstop nylon fabric, plus 80-denier nylon patches on the cuffs, tops of the arms, and shoulders for extra durability.
The Beta AR has adjustable everything: hem, cuffs, and helmet-friendly hood. Long-cut sleeves never exposed our wrists when we reached high with ice tools, and the cut is roomy enough for piling on several layers underneath. Caveat: price.
“On Hatcher Pass, the sun was strong and the snow was sticky. I expected to have to fiddle with layers, but the Beta breathed well enough to prevent me from turning into a sweatbox while skinning—the pit zips helped,” says an Alaska tester.
Weight: 1 lb.
Sizes: Men’s XS-XXL, Women’s XS-XL
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