Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Arc'teryx Winter 2013 and the new Covent Garden Store in London, UK

Last week, Arc'teryx invited me to the unveiling of their new Winter 2013 range at the inaugural event at their first European Stand Alone Store in Covent Garden, London. This exciting new store, in partnership with Snow+Rock, is located in St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden – a lovely pedestrian shopping area linking Long Acre and Seven Dials, and also adjacent to Snow+Rock’s existing Mercer Street store. Snow+Rock introduced the UK to Arc'teryx and I look forward to working with them after chatting to the guy who heads up their ecommerce department.  More to come on that.

The great and the good were there, including Phoebe Smith, one-time writer for Trail magazine and now editor of Wanderlust. Arc’teryx has built a reputation as an innovator in the outdoor industry. Arc’teryx create products that enhance performance in the outdoors. The new store will showcase the essence of the entire Arc’teryx collection, which covers hiking, mountaineering, alpine climbing, wintersports, packs and lifestyle wear. The store will also be the first place to preview many new products, as well as being a home to events with team athletes including renowned British climber James McHaffie and bouldering sensation Mina Leslie-Wujastyk.

The showstopper for the evening was twofold, introduced by: its award-winning down technology and the new Gore-Tex Pro which they say is 22% more breathable, more windproof, waterproof and rugged than the previous product generation.

Arc'teryx's commitment to making durable, beautiful, innovative and timeless products makes them, in my view, well worth the price tag. Rock these for as long as you're outside, they say. And their kit does that.

Here is a video you may enjoy:


The talk from Carl Moriarty, Arc'teryx's Head of Design, was extremely interesting. Sure, you might think that chatting all evening about membrane fabrics, down, coreloft and breathability is something only the geeky and lifeless might engage in and, maybe you'd be right, but there's something uniquely sustaining about knowing what you're wearing, why it works and where the technology has come from - so I guess that makes me one of them! Listening to the guys at Arc'teryx wax lyrical about their methods of testing fabrics, how they innovate and create and where it all comes from was supremely engaging stuff.

I won't try and translate it all myself because Arc'teryx put it succinctly enough but here's what they say about their new down range:

"For centuries people have been using goose down in the pursuit of lightweight thermal comfort. Yet in the current world of high performance outdoor garments, the challenge has been integrating the luxury of down insulation into technical waterproof apparel without compromising the integrity of either component.

To alleviate this problem, Arc’teryx utilizes its new Down Composite Mapping. Placing synthetic insulation in the areas most subject to moisture: in the hood and collar, under the arms and at the hemlines, Down Composite Mapping (DCM) protects the down and targets its warmth toward the body’s core and shoulders, where comfort is most needed.

Down Contour Construction preserves the seam sealed integrity of a waterproof shell by using an inner fibre fill jacket (Coreloft) overlaid with a layer of down. Attached inside the shell, the fiber fill liner adds extra thermal value and protects the down from any condensation that may form inside the shell. The option of a down insulated waterproof/breathable garment broadens the reach of Arc’teryx insulation into new environments."

Down Composite Mapping strategically places 80g Coreloft synthetic insulation in areas where moisture may accumulate, and 850 fill European Goose down in the core to provide maximum warmth. To achieve weight targets Arc’teryx has simplified jacket construction, for example, reducing volume in the sleeves. They say savings gained through these processes allow for the selection of more durable materials, resulting in jackets that are more durable but almost 10% lighter than any others. And I have got one of these new down jackets - the 240g, ISPO Award Winning Cerium LT - to test this winter.

Additionally, Gore-Tex Pro is causing quite a storm. Here's what Arc'teryx had to say about that:

"The new generation of GORE-TEX® Pro. Significantly more breathable, yet still lightweight and durable, the new Pro technology is refined to match the interval pace of guides, mountaineers, backcountry skiers and high performance outdoor athletes.

Delivering up to 22% improvement in breathability, with a membrane that is more durable and extends the range of user comfort, Arc’teryx worked closely with W.L. Gore to test the technology and provide feedback during the development process.

Classic Arc’teryx design values: Driving design from the point of view of solving problems and creating functional products for unforgiving environments is at the heart of every design conception. Fits that enhance fabric performance; articulated patterns to anticipate the posture of an athlete in motion and allow freedom of layers inside the shell; micro seam technology to aid breathability and reduce the overall garment weights; exclusive face fabrics developed in partnership with W.L. Gore to meet Arc’teryx standards."

So it looks like being an exciting Winter for two new Arc'teryx ranges. Worth investigating and I'll let you know how the Cerium LT turns out, and there may be a new waterproof required too...


  1. Good to see Arc'teryx expanding more into the UK. Their products have a high price tag, but greater exposure will lead to greater understanding of the attributes each product carries: what distinguishes them from the rest and what goes in to make the difference.

    Let us know how you get on with the Cerium LT - and the new waterproof if you get a chance!