/ PRODUCT NEWS: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Glove
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=3320
I'm gonna get some of these...oh no wait, they're £200!!
for some gloves.
The staff and I had a good play with these in UTE in Trondheim when they first hit the shelves in the summer. The gloves themselves certainly are very very nice but even with the latest and greatest 'tri dex' or whatever finger cut, which is just a fancy way of saying we sewed the seams differently, I can't see the justification for the asking price. Cause in all they are just another gore tex, leather palmed glove with a removable liner.
We also noted that the leather seemed very thin and although very dexterous, no I could not pick up a needle with them. Along with this the buckle, which threads with elastic, seemed very flimsey and probably with use the elastic would start to crinkle and cut, maybe it would have been better the other way around, with an elastic attachment and a webbing adjustment.
However they were very warm, and the fit around the hand was way better than any of the gloves with removable liners, that they were bing compared to in the shop. We thought that with the agressive articulation that the fingers would be chunky and have lots of excess material which wasn't the case and there was no streching over the knuckles. It was also nice to see good attention to detail inside with neat thin seam sealing, A feature I know is non existant on any of the gloves I use currently (Marmot and BD).
I think the main selling point of these gloves is the cut and seam layout, but... If anyone has used their other gloves think gamma sv, delta sv etc. Do you remember that seam that cut across the palm of the hand from the inside of the thumb to the middle of the wrist..? Well it is still there, its not as pronounced as with thier softshell gloves but its a shame to see it's been overlooked. As with those gloves one would recieve a deep imprint of the seam into the palm of your hand and between your thumb and index finger from holding axes or ski/walking poles. Which is rather uncomfortable. I will leave it to someone else to discover if that is still the case with these gloves.
Would I buy them..? No, not for the retail price, we've all managed without them till now. However if they ever dropped in price (unlikley with Arc'teryx as they will just bring out a new one which is just as expensive) then I would be very tempted, or if they became available on sale, heavily discounted, but then anyone probably would!
only arcteryx would bring out 200 pound gloves. im amazed theres such a market, but seems there must be. same people that spend $800 on their jackets i suppose.
im sure theyre nice gloves. all arcteryx stuff seems to be. the colours cool too. but not for me.
not when i can get 2 or 3 pairs of bd gloves for that.
The Alpha SV's have been constructed from a piece of Gore-tex Pro Shell in the same way as a jacket. This mean the whole glove (apart from the removeable fleece inner) is one piece. Therefore water cannot get trapped between the outer layer and membrane as they are bonded together. This construction also decreases bulk and increases dexterity as you are manipulating essentially one layer of fabric rather than an inner, gore-tex membrane and outer.
I have a friend who has a pair of these gloves and rates them highly, but he is a bit of Arc'teryx geek! They are undoutably extremely expensive gloves, but given the number of forum threads and gear articles devoted to how to keep your hands warm, maybe £200 is justified for those who can afford it. Hopefully these gloves are a step forward in terms of performance. Hope my explantion makes sense!
I am generally a huge fan of Alteryx. Just not their gloves. If you have tried their other gloves for climbing you'll understand. I am much more critical of this glove..even with out the unrealistic price tag. Nice to see another more realistic review here. Thin yes, but fit, sizing, detailing, cuff strap are all wrong in a standard XL. Great technology, poorly done imo.
Mtn Hardware and OutDry are currently the clear leader in climbing specific gloves imo.
Yes Jon, I am an Arc'Teryx Geek.
I've had these gloves for around 10 weeks now, and for the first few weeks I was thinking, "Oh my God, Ive spent how much on a single pair of gloves?!". But my initial excitement has proved to be more than justified.
I guess the best way to describe them is similar to superfeet insoles, or a really good boot fit. It's not so much how great they are in use, it's the lack of attention I pay them in use, and just like superfeet, I now won't go without.
I was climbing the lower section of Force Crag a week ago, and I literally froze when I realised I'd put my crampons, and threaded the split rings without taking my gloves off. I hadn't given it a second thought, I'd just taken the poons out of the bag and put them on, and started climbing.
The gloves have been stood on with said crampons, scraped up and down frozen waterfalls, up gully's in the rain, and general scrambling in the lakes. The leather, though thin, is of very high quality, and has remained mark free. The rest of the glove looks similarly as new.
I guess the main thing is the articulation of the fingers, not necessarily the ability to pick up a pin. I've found this means my fingers remain more active, blood flow is improved, and remain warmer in use.
The other big thing is due to the construction. As briefly described by Jon above, the way they are put together means they can be patched or repaired just like a jacket. Considering the initial outlay, this is very reassuring!
My only gripe is the buckle is a little underwhelming. Considering the amount of thought, design, and astonishing construction techniques gone into the fabrics and design, I would have expected something special from Arc'Teryx. It works well, so there is no real problem.
Overall I would say these gloves are a concept you buy into. A bit like Paramo, something different to everything else on the market, and from the outside can look expensive and alien. If you are lucky enough to try a pair in use, and not just in a shop, they do justify the cost (just...they are still just a pair of gloves after all!), and you can see why and how they were months in development.
Oh and the seam issue raised above, not a problem, I actually just had to go and check my own gloves to see what was being mentioned. Had no issues when holding axes, poles, or drinks bottles.
aaahhhhhhhhh.....now i want the f&%$#"g things! your 'bloodflow' argument is selling me. i have nerve damage to one hand that is exacerbated by cold, so im up for anything.
your mentioning the repairability has got me too.
i withdraw my previous post, at least till ive tried these things.
(does the arcteryx cult take former mammut converts?)
I think i would rather buy 4-5 pairs of BD Torques & wear 1 per pitch. £200 for a pair of gloves for crying out loud. Get some wrist insulators & your blood flow will keep your hands warm
lardbrain@work but a bit bored
> I literally froze when I realised I'd put my crampons, and threaded the split rings without taking my gloves off.
Probably if you'd also spent £400 on the Arcteryx belay jacket that wouldn't have happened
Somebody from an outdoors gear manufacturer pointed out me once that gloves are much more complicated to make than jackets - different layers for one thing, plus complicated shapes and difficult stitching. Maybe we should be surprised that we don't get charged this much more often?
I can't say I'll be stumping up that sort of money very quickly, but I can sort of appreciate that it might be worth spending that much for those who use gloves a lot. And having tried a pair on in S&R I admit they do feel really nice...
As I mentioned above, it's a leap of faith in some ways. A £200 one if you don't like the gloves.
That said I have heard Arc'Teryx may be looking to run a test centre for next (this, rather, 2011) year.
For comparison I have spent almost 10 years looking for a quality pair of gloves and have in the wardrobe, amongst others - BD punishers, glissades, Marmot Exum work pro, Mammut Extreme Ice Gauntlet's, Various ME Guide Gloves, cheap gloves from B+Q, all sorts of gardening gloves.
Pardon me? That is likely the most uneducated comment I have ever seen relating to a pair of gloves. How they work outside has little to do with how they fit. Any number of climbing specific gloves fit better than the Arcteryx. Any Arcteryx glove.
I suspect they would sell even less of them if they were at a simialr price point. Because compared, side by side, to many of the better quality climbing gloves the Arcteryx clearly comes in 2nd place.
There is nothing special here, no matter what the level of hype. They are not overly warm, they are not overly sensitive. They are Goretex but that can be easily over loaded in actual use as most already know. Cuff is nice though as are the precurved fingers. But there are other gloves I can say the same about that will last longer for climbing and are 1/3 the price.
....but are they barbarella orange!!
£200 gloves that look like you could pick them up in your local garden centre.
Anyone who has done any Scottish winter climbing will realise that the pair of gloves you use to lead in (regardless of the technology employed) last about max one season. I don't think I'll be joining the queue.
> Pardon me? That is likely the most uneducated comment I have ever seen relating to a pair of gloves. How they work outside has little to do with how they fit.
Ok, so my point was badly written: Trying the gloves on in the shop can't give you a full idea of how warm and durable they will be.
As regards the fit having a bearing on this, a badly or tight fitting glove will impair circulation. Similarly if there's too much room, it can cause other issues.
Working in retail for a little while now, I see a fair few people who complain amount having cold hands, and it is purely down to having bought gloves too small for a snug fit in the shop. This is of course a small percentage of the majority who do know what they're doing.
I could be an absolute pain in the backside and jump all over this:
"That is likely the most uneducated comment I have ever seen relating to a pair of gloves. How they work outside has little to do with how they fit."
But because I can't articulate myself fully at the best of times, it would be rude to bandy around terms like uneducated.
All I have tried to do is give my two penn'th. I bought these gloves to offer warmth and protection for my hands. Some comments were being made above, and I thought I would, hopefully, add something to the discussion, as I own a pair, and have used them more than most out on the hill.
At the end of the day, you pays your money and takes your choice.
> Ok, so my point was badly written: Trying the gloves on in the shop can't give you a full idea of how warm and durable they will be.
> Working in retail for a little while now,
No personal offense intended Sean. My sincere apologies if it was taken as such. But I did want to make a point on the gloves.
I think the comments made earlier pretty much covers durability. If you climb a lot you go through gloves. Raps and mixed eats them rather quickly...no matter what they are made of.
Working in retail most likely means you got them at a 40% discount as well.
Decent glove at $100 or $125.00....just not impressed with anything else on the glove at that suggested retail price.
I'll disagree again. You can in general figure out the warmth of a glove by the insulation in comparison to other gloves you have used. Fit should be easy with a little experience. As might be durability but that one you generally have to wear a pair out first before you really know.
How breathable and how water proof generally has to be left to actual testing.
Reviews that don't make actual comparisons when the retail are so different, as in this case, are of questionable use to me.
Which is why I would compare the Arcteryx so easily to the MH Hydra or Typhon at a 1/3 of the price.
Arcteryz has a habit of offering very good products at stupid retail prices. Duelly Parka comes to mind as well @ $500 when it isn't that much better than others that can be had easily at $300.
I suspect most by the brand name and not the actual product...or get a signifigant discount when they do.
No offense taken.
I guess the most interesting thing for me is to hear other people's opinions of the gloves, and also the debate the price tag causes.
I was in a position to get the gloves for less than £200 (Not 40% discount), and I knew if i didn't take it, I'd be umming and arring, and be searching the net, asking people's advice, etc, etc.
And also I knew that it would be a very limited pool of people who had used them on the hill whose advice I could get. With that in mind, I just bought them, hoping it will prove to have been the right buy.
In an ideal world, they will turn out in a similar way to how icebreaker/merino products hit the market. People said "How much?? For Wool??" and to some degree more people will shell out £50+ on baselayers, as opposed to £20 on a Helly that does a decent job.
Who Knows? I could well end up in the tiny minority, and people will point and laugh in the street and say "That man has a £200 pair of gloves! What a div!"
I'm very aware that it's a very bold move for a manufacturer, even Arc'Teryx who have a history of high prices, to bring a pair of gloves to market with a price tag so high. Not just a little more than the next priciest gloves, but a big step in price.
I guess, playing devils advocate with myself, for £200, you'd want something very special, and in the shop, they come across as a nice pair of gloves, and that's it.
Seeing as the money came out of my own pocket, I hope i'll be the one with the same pair of gloves in 5 seasons time, and they'll have proved to be very good value.
As a big fan of Arc'Teryx, and my Theta AR looks great after 4 years of serious abuse, I must admit I'm a little apprehensive, considering how much abuse I throw at gloves. I'm not going to take them at their word, but I sure will test it.
Cheers Dane1, you obviously have half a brain about you, and it's been interesting to read your replies.
Dane1, I've just put two and two together and worked out who you are. Your blog has been a source of reference for a while now, so thanks!.
Also next time I'm in the states I will definitely be tracking down a pair of your picks for my BD tools!
While my Mountain Hardwear Hydra Gloves were awesome (Outdry is the most important tech leap glove wise in 20 years) They only lasted 1 waterfall climb and 11 short alpine climb. I still use them but they are more Seam Sealer than glove. 2 seams split and there are several holes in the actual leather (how is that even possible). So I would NEVER buy gloves like the Alpha SV's, even if I'm not paying retail it's like throwing money out the window.
@Dane: Are there any other more durable alternatives to the hydra?
Have you looked as Hestra gloves? Very similar, they use goat leather too. Got myself a pair of the army leather goretex ones and they are a really nice fit and are more dexterous than the teryx softshell and goretex ones I was trying in the same shop.
Can't tell you about reliability yet as I am yet to give them a proper hammering.
I have them as well, awesome gloves but super-warm so only for the coldest days. The thing I loved about the hydras is that it was completely and utterly impossible to get them wet or soaking, they stayed dry and when they got sweaty they dried up while I was on the belay. Hestra should take their bomber construction and quality and make outdry gloves instead of GTX, would be a definite winner.
Now that is a good idea! Perhaps we should email them?
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