Arc'teryx Atom AR Jacket - availability? (men's, black, medium)

TheWombat

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I've never bought Arc'teryx before, but was looking to buy the Arc'terynx Atom AR Jacket in black, size medium, men's as an ultra warm midlayer for under my shell. My plan was to use it for when skiing on cold nights since my local resort has slow, slow ski lifts and I am finding 10 minutes sitting in the cold wind to not be so fun.

However, I was surprised that I cannot find the jacket in stock anywhere in the USA. I am not that familiar with the brand, so does anyone know:
a) if it normal for Arc'teryx to be out of stock by mid January on their website and all their resellers, or is this unusual?
b) do they typically get new stock in before the end of the season?
c) How good is their 'Notify Me' feature on their website for when an item is back in stock?

thanks
 

pais alto

me encanta el país alto
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A. Yes*
B. No
C.:huh:

*Edit: for certain values of “normal.”
 
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BLiP

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I was surprised that I cannot find the jacket in stock anywhere in the USA
Don't be. Since COVID, they have been running low on stock. Combined with the fashion crowd "discovering" the dead bird over the past couple of years, you are going to have a hard time finding anything in stock.

Also, if you've never tried on an Arc jacket, keep in mind they generally run small/trim. I wear a medium in most brands but need a large in Arcteryx.
 

Analisa

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It’s not completely unexpected. Apparel supply chains are in a weird spot. Some places caught up to “pandemic, good economy” demand rates and are massively overstocked right now. Some places are still seeing a few interruptions. Most ski related brands are pretty heavy on inventory since the season was slow to start, and really still hasn’t in population-dense areas like New England.

Arc’teryx carries some styles only seasonally, and others year-round. I know the Atom LT is a year-rounder and I think the AR is too, but don’t quote me on that. Colors change with seasons, but black tends to be a constant. I’ve only used their “Notify Me” on their ReGear site and I never got anything from it, despite entering a lot of colors I was open to. I also noticed that Arc’teryx was really clear with delivery timelines for some of their delayed product in fall. (Like it showed out of stock, but had a “this product is expected to deliver 10/5” sort of callout underneath.) Arc’teryx also got new leadership from their Chinese parent company 2 years ago, and Fall 2022 saw some pretty big shifts in strategy and line plans. I imagine the Atom will survive any strategy shifts, but wouldn’t put it past them to reduce versions as they adjust their assortment and appease the Asian, luxury buyer where there’s a huge business opportunity.

I’d recommend asking their CS team about their delivery timeline (they’re pretty transparent). ReGear, REI Used, and eBay might turn something up, but units either move fast or for a not-super-discounted price. And there are a few close comparisons on the market if you’re open to shopping other brands.
 

Fuller

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It’s not completely unexpected. Apparel supply chains are in a weird spot. Some places caught up to “pandemic, good economy” demand rates and are massively overstocked right now. Some places are still seeing a few interruptions. Most ski related brands are pretty heavy on inventory since the season was slow to start, and really still hasn’t in population-dense areas like New England.

Arc’teryx carries some styles only seasonally, and others year-round. I know the Atom LT is a year-rounder and I think the AR is too, but don’t quote me on that. Colors change with seasons, but black tends to be a constant. I’ve only used their “Notify Me” on their ReGear site and I never got anything from it, despite entering a lot of colors I was open to. I also noticed that Arc’teryx was really clear with delivery timelines for some of their delayed product in fall. (Like it showed out of stock, but had a “this product is expected to deliver 10/5” sort of callout underneath.) Arc’teryx also got new leadership from their Chinese parent company 2 years ago, and Fall 2022 saw some pretty big shifts in strategy and line plans. I imagine the Atom will survive any strategy shifts, but wouldn’t put it past them to reduce versions as they adjust their assortment and appease the Asian, luxury buyer where there’s a huge business opportunity.

I’d recommend asking their CS team about their delivery timeline (they’re pretty transparent). ReGear, REI Used, and eBay might turn something up, but units either move fast or for a not-super-discounted price. And there are a few close comparisons on the market if you’re open to shopping other brands.
I followed your post on this subject on your femignarly.com site - you have some great content there so keep up the good work. I had no idea that Arc'teryx had a Chinese parent company and it made me think about my buying decisions a bit:

I'm your typical SkiTalk member and North American resort skier, male, 69 years old, able to purchase premium gear if I desire and subject to all the "aspirational" marketing that the major brands throw at me. I do have to say that the aspirational part, skinning up in a blinding storm and skiing down under bluebird skies, is slowly being replaced with "you're not going to live forever so just buy the best product and enjoy the quality".

My old Patagonia shell is in tatters and needs to be replaced so what do I make of this China focused company, Arc'teryx? I like their product from a design and quality standpoint, I know that the Chinese are fully capable of making good stuff but politically I'd rather not do business with them. Is there a better choice than the Arc'teryx Rush Jacket which was the focus of my attention?
 

Analisa

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So what do I make of this China focused company, Arc'teryx?

Garment quality will likely remain consistent. Assortment has been changing, and fit for women only was overhauled in F22. They're keeping a lot of best selling lines, but condensing them, also especially in women's. The Atom SL, LT, and AR became an Atom & Atom Heavyweight. The Alpha and Beta shells dropped the SL, Gore PacLite versions. The 2 versions of the Zeta condensed into the "Beta Jacket" with more casual pockets compared to the usual harness-mindful design of the Alpha and Beta hardshells. That freed up space in their line plans for new products that cater to the Asian market: luxury lifestyle, high quality goose down in more silhouettes, and more insulated ski outerwear (at least for the fall-winter season; very intrigued to see spring-summer launch in a month or two).

I have not noticed any sourcing/quality changes. In fact, any international brand focus is likely to increase quality. The US market is #1 when it comes to buying insane amounts of cheap clothing, wearing it 7-10 times, and feeling charitable when we donate it (even though the vast majority ends up getting trashed). Every other market is less interested in fast fashion and more interested in moderate price points, solid quality/durability, and wears their pieces more often/for longer. As you mentioned, the Chinese supply chain is solid. 50 years is plenty of time to get good at manufacturing. The rest of SE Asia is up there too. Vietnam is where most of my business went when the tariff wars with China picked up. Other SE Asian countries and India are about a step behind. Bangladesh makes a ton of stuff and runs the gamut quality-wise (but can be a hot bed for human rights violations). Africa is newer, and can make a solid garment as long as the seamwork is simple. But source country alone doesn't make for a quality garment. It really comes down to the brand, their ability to find the right manufacturers, willingness to send their sourcing team to make factory visits, tight QA process and either the longstanding partnerships that lead to low defect rates or the willingness & leverage to reject sub-par goods. Those things can go right or wrong in any country.

So looking at the Rush in particular, the easiest dupe is the Patagonia PowSlayer. Both are ski shells made with GoreTex Pro and a nylon ripstop face fabric. The Arc'teryx one uses a higher denier fabric (80D for deadbird, 40D for Patagonia) and weighs a little more, so the fabric will be more durable, but the membrane will likely give up before that becomes an issue. Burton ak Hover Gore Pro is also an 80D nylon (more similar to the Rush). They don't disclose country of origin (only required on the tag, website just legally needs to disclose imported or not). Goretex has a lot of requirements for any brand that licenses their membranes, but Pro is next level. They require 30D+ fabric (minimum used to be 40D) and have testing standards for tear & abrasion resistance.

Now, Gore Pro gets a reputation for being a higher quality membrane because it's a higher price. It is more breathable, but it's higher maintenance. It's only ePTFE vs. traditional Gore using a mix of ePTFE and PU. The polyurethane holds up better against dirt and oils that can degrade ePTFE. If you run really hot or do a lot of uphilling in your shell, Pro is a great option. I'm far from the sweatiest person on the hill, but I've been really pleased with Gore Pro in my all around, general alpine hardshell. But I tend to go for "regular" Goretex where I don't need the breathability because I'm a gross little gremlin who gets a lot of grease and grime on her kit from chairlift grease, brushing up against my bumper, and using my pants as both a plate and a napkin while housing a breakfast burrito on my way to the resort. It also knocks ~$100 off the price (or more if you swap to polyester). Opens up some options like the OR Hemisphere (sewn in Bangladesh), BD Mission, Armada Haydon, Arc'teryx Sabre (sewn in HK), and a few others by Haglofs. Really irks me that Patagonia doesn't have that combo in their assortment.

Hope you find something you like and happy to add comments if there are any other options you're not sure about.
 

François Pugh

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The notifiction may or may not work. I was just now able to order a jacket. Last week when I tried, they said it was out of stock, and they would let me know when it was in stock. Maybe all that changed was now I can order and pay for out of stock items. :huh:. That would be a change that would lower my opinion of Arc'teryx, which currently is quite high (thanks to their expensive BIB pants).
 
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TheWombat

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Thanks for the responses. I ended up finding a Black Atom AR jacket in ReGear that was size Small so went for it. I typically wear Small size for other gear so will see if it fits as a layer, otherwise will keep an eye out for a Medium size one as well. Should arrive on Tuesday, so all going well will be able to try it out Tuesday night.
 

Fuller

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Garment quality will likely remain consistent. Assortment has been changing, and fit for women only was overhauled in F22. They're keeping a lot of best selling lines, but condensing them, also especially in women's. The Atom SL, LT, and AR became an Atom & Atom Heavyweight. The Alpha and Beta shells dropped the SL, Gore PacLite versions. The 2 versions of the Zeta condensed into the "Beta Jacket" with more casual pockets compared to the usual harness-mindful design of the Alpha and Beta hardshells. That freed up space in their line plans for new products that cater to the Asian market: luxury lifestyle, high quality goose down in more silhouettes, and more insulated ski outerwear (at least for the fall-winter season; very intrigued to see spring-summer launch in a month or two).

I have not noticed any sourcing/quality changes. In fact, any international brand focus is likely to increase quality. The US market is #1 when it comes to buying insane amounts of cheap clothing, wearing it 7-10 times, and feeling charitable when we donate it (even though the vast majority ends up getting trashed). Every other market is less interested in fast fashion and more interested in moderate price points, solid quality/durability, and wears their pieces more often/for longer. As you mentioned, the Chinese supply chain is solid. 50 years is plenty of time to get good at manufacturing. The rest of SE Asia is up there too. Vietnam is where most of my business went when the tariff wars with China picked up. Other SE Asian countries and India are about a step behind. Bangladesh makes a ton of stuff and runs the gamut quality-wise (but can be a hot bed for human rights violations). Africa is newer, and can make a solid garment as long as the seamwork is simple. But source country alone doesn't make for a quality garment. It really comes down to the brand, their ability to find the right manufacturers, willingness to send their sourcing team to make factory visits, tight QA process and either the longstanding partnerships that lead to low defect rates or the willingness & leverage to reject sub-par goods. Those things can go right or wrong in any country.

So looking at the Rush in particular, the easiest dupe is the Patagonia PowSlayer. Both are ski shells made with GoreTex Pro and a nylon ripstop face fabric. The Arc'teryx one uses a higher denier fabric (80D for deadbird, 40D for Patagonia) and weighs a little more, so the fabric will be more durable, but the membrane will likely give up before that becomes an issue. Burton ak Hover Gore Pro is also an 80D nylon (more similar to the Rush). They don't disclose country of origin (only required on the tag, website just legally needs to disclose imported or not). Goretex has a lot of requirements for any brand that licenses their membranes, but Pro is next level. They require 30D+ fabric (minimum used to be 40D) and have testing standards for tear & abrasion resistance.

Now, Gore Pro gets a reputation for being a higher quality membrane because it's a higher price. It is more breathable, but it's higher maintenance. It's only ePTFE vs. traditional Gore using a mix of ePTFE and PU. The polyurethane holds up better against dirt and oils that can degrade ePTFE. If you run really hot or do a lot of uphilling in your shell, Pro is a great option. I'm far from the sweatiest person on the hill, but I've been really pleased with Gore Pro in my all around, general alpine hardshell. But I tend to go for "regular" Goretex where I don't need the breathability because I'm a gross little gremlin who gets a lot of grease and grime on her kit from chairlift grease, brushing up against my bumper, and using my pants as both a plate and a napkin while housing a breakfast burrito on my way to the resort. It also knocks ~$100 off the price (or more if you swap to polyester). Opens up some options like the OR Hemisphere (sewn in Bangladesh), BD Mission, Armada Haydon, Arc'teryx Sabre (sewn in HK), and a few others by Haglofs. Really irks me that Patagonia doesn't have that combo in their assortment.

Hope you find something you like and happy to add comments if there are any other options you're not sure about.
Thanks for the insightful and complete reply. I went down to the Kalispell REI and tried on some Arc'teryx jackets. They didn't have the Rush in stock but the sales gal was very easy to work with and we ended up ordering a Rush in the Men's L size. If it doesn't fit we'll just reorder in size M. It's a lot of money for a jacket but hopefully I'll be happy, warm, stylish and the envy of my ski buddies!

In the end my desire for the right product overrode my ethical concerns about supporting the PRC. Oh well.

Thanks again!
 

Quandary

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I own the Patagonia Powslayer Jacket, eh. Expensive and not to substantial. For a jacket for skinning it would be fine. For everyday wear and resort skiing not so much. I foresee Arc'tyrex going the way of North Face a once great brand destroyed by going fashion, upscale or whatever you want to call it. Which is sad as I own a number of Arc'tyrex pieces, including the Atom jacket which is fantastically warm for its weight and size. Generally I now go with Black Diamond. U.S. owned, focused on its mission (pun intended). Plus their corporate parent owns Sierra Bullets, what could be better?
 

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