I’ve been using the Arc'teryx Alpha FL Jacket for just under 12 months now. I was looking for a waterproof jacket that would cover a couple of my general activities such as walking, bike packing and running. The Alpha FL immediately ticked all the boxes; one jacket; all activities covered, great.
First impressions were; super lightweight, very packable, minimalist. Gore-Tex pro as well, sorted.
What really impresses me with this jacket is the crossover for each activity it can adapt to.
For me, a walking jacket is to be put in my rucksack and forgotten. I don’t often find a use for a waterproof jacket when walking, doing the man thing and just getting wet. Not with the Alpha, it was a pleasure to pull out of my pack and put it on.
Cycling is where I think this jacket ticks all my boxes; lightweight, packable, great visible colour – I have the flame one. It’s minimalist; only 1 chest pocket on the outside of the jacket and a small inside chest pocket. The outside one stores my reading glasses whilst riding, which is always handy for map reading. The inside pocket is ideal for a phone. The Alpha FL is close fitting which stops it flapping about. The helmet compatible hood fits easily over a cycle helmet and doesn't restrict your vision. It works well if you need to batten down the hatches whilst riding.
The Alpha FL really excelled on a couple of bike and bothy weekends earlier this year in Wales. On the first day, the rain started mid-morning which gave an opportunity to give the jacket a good test. I wore the jacket all day, keeping comfortable just by doing the zip up or down. The jacket did a great job of wicking moisture, even when riding hard up the forest fire roads. In contrast, my friends constantly needed to change their layers and complained about being too hot, cold or wet.
On day 2 we were greeted by a cold wet morning but when I reached for the Arc'teryx Alpha FL jacket it was completely dry from the day before. My mates were moaning about their cold wet jackets. If you are looking for a great all-round jacket that covers a couple of activities, I recommend you have a look at the Alpha FL, I can honestly say that this jacket delivers. Some people may be a little concerned about the minimalism, but I can only sing its praises.
As for using the Alpha FL for running, I have not got around to that yet due to a knee injury and the driest summer on record, but I’m not complaining!