Outdoor brands are numerous and some are comparable to each other in regards to how their products perform, their quality and, sometimes, their prices.
Expensive brands can be found everywhere, but some take it a bit to the extreme.
Why are certain brands so expensive and at the same time how come they are so popular?
We live in a time where fad brands that come and go are a dime a dozen and it’s always a bit surprising how high their prices are and how many people buy their products.
It is not surprising, however, when it comes to brands that have been around for years and seem to get more popular as the years go by.
We have looked at some of these outdoor brands that come with crazy prices, including Canada Goose, The North Face and Patagonia, and today we will look at Arc’teryx, one of the most beloved brands by the outdoors communities all over the world.
- 1. The Brand
- 2. Why are Arc’teryx Jackets so Expensive?
- 3. Where Are Their Jackets Made?
- 4. Are Arc’teryx Jackets Really Good?
- 5. Is Arc’teryx Worth It?
1. The Brand
Arc’teryx was established in 1991 by Dave Lane, who originally had founded the Rock Solid company in 1989. That company was then renamed to Arc’teryx, a reference to evolution as a means of representing the brand’s focus on innovation and product development.
Arc’teryx was founded by mountain climbers and for mountain climbers, with some of its earliest products being the notable Bora backpack and the Vapor harness, both of which were created by using the thermolamination technology.
Arc’teryx’s venture into the outdoor clothing market became notable when the brand partnered with Gore-Tex and obtained licensing for using this fabric technology in their products. Combining their visionary designs with the high-performance of Gore-Tex helped to the brand’s quick rise in popularity.
To this day, Arc’teryx continues to be one of the most recommended and raved about brands online among outdoors’ enthusiasts and athletes due to its high quality products.
2. Why are Arc’teryx Jackets so Expensive?
As we have mentioned in previous articles where we looked at the factors that contribute to the prices and popularity of certain brands, our main focus is on jackets and that is what we will be focusing on today as well.
It bears mentioning, however, that Arc’teryx provides a wide range of products that come with stellar reviews and are worth considering if you are looking to buy everything in one place.
Let’s now take a look at some of the main reasons why this brand is so expensive and at the same time so popular.
Quality of Products and Manufacturing
It is no secret that Arc’teryx products last for years and are extremely well-made. A long-lasting product is in itself an investment when taking into consideration that you will not have to repurchase the same jacket year after year because it cannot keep up.
That is not the case with Arc’teryx. The products are not just well-made in regards to manufacturing and overall construction, but they are also very well-made in regards to design.
Their technical pieces perform astonishingly and the odds are quite low that you will be disappointed with any of their jackets.
The quality of stitching, reinforcement and seam taping is so high that very few other brands can really compare, let alone outdo them.
Therefore, if you look at a product that is impeccable in its quality of manufacture it speaks for itself why the price tag is high.
Here we will be looking at two things:
- the fabrics
- and the insulation.
Being a brand that provides so much versatility of products means a wide range of materials used and thus it’s important to consider all of them.
First and foremost, the overall quality of the fabrics and insulation used is really high. We have said this about the other brands we have looked at but in the case of Arc’teryx it bears double mentioning. Their materials are really high quality.
The fabrics used are durable and high-performing and when it comes to the technology, the brand relies primarily on Gore-Tex, which has yet to be matched in its well-rounded weather protection.
The Polartec fleece used is also renowned as being one of the best available. It does not pill and it is also very durable.
The insulation used, be it natural down or synthetic ones, such as Coreloft and ThermaTek, are also of the highest quality.
In the case of down, the brand uses 750 fill power down and above, whereas the synthetic insulations are high performance ones that mimic down very closely, without suffering when wet.
You might also like: 11 Arc’teryx Jackets for your Favorite Winter Sport
Design and Fit
Arc’teryx focuses on functionality much more so than other brands out there. It is for that reason that their jackets (and other products) perform the way they do.
Performance of a jacket is not just how well it withstands the elements or how well it breathes, but also how it wears, fits and feels.
Their minimalistic approach to style is a major selling point as many people prefer the clean-cut look of their jackets.
We mentioned above that the brand’s designs are well-thought out and this is evident in how well their jackets fit. Their streamlined garments are great for moving around, fit comfortably and are easy to layer with. There is no unnecessary bulk or room that gets in the way.
Among their product series there are technical differences that meet certain requirements. The hems are also longer than average and in the drop-tail cut, which allows for better coverage when out and about.
Warranty and Product Life
We said before that their products last for years and the other great news is that the brand offers a warranty and services related to it that are impressive.
Free replacements and reasonably-priced repairs are the go-to method if something goes wrong with the product and should you accidentally damage your jacket. It’s easy to see why the brand is so beloved in this regard since you are not left helpless if something happens, and that’s a great selling point.
Having a product that is long-lasting is great as this not only cuts down on your expenses, but on the brand’s expenses and also the overall environmental impact of having to re-manufacture a product that keeps failing or getting damaged.
Year after year we are warned about what is happening to the environment and the damage suffered through the centuries of human activity on our planet.
For this reason, many of us try to be as mindful as we can when purchasing products and opt for brands that are mindful of their production means.
Those who love the outdoors don’t just love spending time and having fun outdoors, but they also respect and appreciate their surroundings, nature and the wildlife.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that outdoor brands who put great importance to sustainability and ethical means of sourcing and production are also the ones that tend to be favored.
Arc’teryx is one such brand. Being founded by people who were climbers themselves and respect nature, the brand has made great strides into minimizing their environmental footprint.
This is done through several means, one of which is that of ethical sourcing of their raw materials and fabrics. Traceable down, for example, is one of the natural materials used in their insulated jackets and it is sourced from humanely-treated birds.
Their polyester and nylon fabrics and other raw materials are also Bluesign® certified, which guarantees that the materials are free of harmful chemicals and safe to use for humans, and also gentler on the environment.
3. Where Are Their Jackets Made?
The brand manufactures a lot of the products in Canada, but there are many other facilities around the world. Nearly a third of their products are made in China and the rest are made in other countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia, and several others.
They have made sure that all of the production facilities are up to standard not solely when it comes to working conditions, but also in the treatment of their workers and in accordance with Labor and Human rights.
Being a brand that is so conscious about the environment is an important factor into why the products are so beloved.
4. Are Arc’teryx Jackets Really Good?
Yes. Their jackets are really good. Be it in performance or in longevity, it’s very hard to find other jackets that compare on both of these factors.
Especially when you take into consideration that these are technical pieces that are made not just to perform beautifully but to also wear and fit comfortably.
5. Is Arc’teryx Worth It?
Arc’teryx is not a cheap brand, and we mean it in all of its implications. It is not cheap in its attention to detail, quality of materials, manufacturing and it’s not cheap in its price.
But just because a jacket is not cheap in price it does not necessarily mean it is expensive either. Let us explain. In our opinion, something is expensive when its price does not really match up to the quality and performance.
In the case of Arc’teryx, while there are some jackets that can go upwards of $700, which is a lot of money, there is still room for considering their quality and performance.
Overall, their prices are not that much higher than other similar brands and when looking at how their products perform in comparison to the other brands, it gives you a pretty good idea as to for which ones you are actually paying more than they are worth.
Are their jackets worth their price?
Absolutely! Online reviewers, be they professional or regular commenters on forums, agree that Arc’teryx is a brand worthy of its reputation.