ARC’TERYX BETA AR
OUR TAKE 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 DETAILS 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.
TRAIL CRED “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. $575; 1 lb.; m’s XS-XXL, w’s XS-XL; arcteryx.com