Toughest Gear: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket

This Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket is overkill when you need it.

Arc’teryx bills this Gore-Tex Pro Shell jacket as “our most durable shell”—and we could almost end the review there. That’s because our testers know two things about this company:

1) It builds some of the sturdiest stuff ever seen in the outdoors, and 2) It doesn’t do hyperbole. The Alpha SV gets our nod for the same reasons that Western Mountaineering (at right) earns high praise for its sleeping bags: Obsessive attention to detail, from the smallest seam reinforcement to the functionality of each cordlock placement, plus a penchant for achieving lightweight durability. When you get five years down the line and find yourself on some remote Alaska peak in a howling storm, you’ll be glad you spent the money. $599; 1 lb. 1 oz.; 4 men’s and 4 women’s sizes;