BEST FOR: Nasty conditions.
THE TEST: The revamped Alpha SV is cut from an up-armored version of Gore's Pro 3L, which you'll also find on Arc'teryx's Gear of the Year-winning resort jacket. Put simply, it's one of the most durable fabrics we've ever tested. Cut a bit looser than your classic Arc'teryx jacket to fit over bulkier winter layers, the SV is near artisanal in its construction, with miniature bellows on the chest pockets so they'll lie flat when empty and foam tubing to keep the hem from riding up under your climbing harness.
THE VERDICT: It's a bit crinkly, which some testers found annoying, and definitvely pricey. But as one tester also noted, "it's the toughest hard shell I've ever worn." 18 oz