While we believe that lighter weight jackets are the ideal choice for the vast majority of outdoor activities, there is still at least one circumstance where something a little more is best - long expeditions to remote places with severe weather. Enter the Arc'teryx Alpha SV, which in our opinion is the best and most durable heavy duty hardshell jacket available today.
The Arc'teryx Alpha SV is tried and true body armor for mountain climbers; it's the most comfortable expedition-style shell we tested. It has a near perfect blend of features: two cross-over chest pockets provide quick access to abundant storage, ergonomic patterning provides a spacious and unrestricted fit, the most comfortable hardshell hood we've ever tested, and quick and easy zippers that allow on-the-go ventilation adjustments.
That said, unless you work outdoors as a climbing guide or are going on a super epic multi-month expedition we feel the Alpha SV is overkill. Instead we would recommend something like the Editors' Choice winner Arc'teryx Alpha FL. The Alpha SV weighs 18.4 ounces for a size large, an amount that is burdensome to carry in a backpack. However, if you want the peace of mind that comes with one of the toughest jackets available, and have the cash to push the performance envelope, it could be worth considering.