The key to this piece is the fabric that was developed for use by U.S. Special Forces with a simple objective: eliminate the need of adding or dropping layers during dynamic and static activities. We saw this as a solution to the cyclists layering problem. The fabric technology also allows for the transport of moisture without getting cold; so, unlike your puffy down jacket, this vest will keep you warm when moisture is involved.
We gave the shell of this piece a C6 DWR water resistant treatment. This allows water to bead up and keeps the surface of the piece from becoming saturated with moisture.
This is an incredibly tight fitting vest! I unfortunately had to return it. So disappointing! I have a stocky/muscular build. Thick chest, wide shoulders, thickish biceps. A tiny bit overweight! The Front Range Merino Sweatshirt size M fits me snug with minimal slack all around. I ordered the Arcana Vest size M so I could layer it over the Front Range Merino Sweatshirt, but this was so impossibly tight I couldn't close the front. The vest does not stretch. So I exchanged with a size L, but that still felt tight around my shoulder blades with the Front Range Merino Sweater inside. When I'd hunch over to reach the handlebars, I could feel the vest fabric around the shoulder blades being pulled apart almost to the max. I'd prefer to have more room around there when I'm in a riding position. I decided not to exchange for a size XL, because the arm holes would probably look too big above the shoulders. I think the arm hole is designed to have a gap right above your shoulder that allows your arms to reach forward with minimal interference with the vest. At L the gap was already noticeable. I would have a bigger gap with an XL. I certainly am not built like a Rapha model, but I don't think my body shape is completely uncommon. I'm a size M most of the time with any manufacturer. It puzzles me why I couldn't get an acceptable fit even in size L. I give the Arcana Vest 3 stars - a neutral score in my book, as I did not get to test its outdoor performance on a bike.
Should be nice to wear but still too cold here in NYC. A bit disappointed that none of the pockets fit my iPhone XS Max. Fit is good.
It runs very small so size up! I'm a medium in the icon v2 and I needed an XL in this to be comfortable. I'd like to see it be longer in the torso at 6'1". Most shirts hang way below the vest.
Love this vest for use on and off the bike. This is the only technical piece of kit that I own that can go from the bike to the bar with equal aplomb. And at this price point it shouldn't be used just for bike rides. I'm the type of guy who can overheat quickly and as a result also get a chill quickly. The Alpha Vest can handle my temperature extremes whether I'm on the bike or going out around town. It seems that everytime I wear it I find a new feature. The magnetic snap when zipped all the way up is awesome and keeps the collar tight when bombing descents. For how light this garment feels it keeps me warm. I love the Alpha Vest so much that I bought one for my nephew for Christmas. I'm 6'4 210lbs and the XXL fits very well and is quite slimming.
Great fit, I sized up for a little extra layer room. Felt very comfortable climbing in ~47f with long sleeve base.
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