“Lightweight, packable and windproof, Arro is a jacket conceived for hard use with a soft touch, non-rustle fabric, anatomically cut for mobility, with classic styling that shows you are in great shape. Run like the wind rather than get blown about by the wind.” That’s the big sell from Alpkit on their fabulous Arro windshell. I have to say that I agree!

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This is an incredibly lightweight top – the sort of thing you can slip into a rucksack pocket or clip to the back of your climbing harness, and forget its there until needed. I’m a new convert to the wonders of Alpkit gear and clothing, and wasn’t really expecting to be quite so blown away by the Arro as I actually was. During the summer the Arro became my number one ’emergency warmth layer’ for rock climbing, and it still lives clipped to the back of my harness.

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The Alpkit Arro at work on Shepherd’s Crag

I had a couple of minor reservations when I first received the Arro. One was durability, the other was to do with pockets.

After a busy summer on the rock, the Alpkit Arro is still going strong and looking almost as good as the day it arrived. The only slight flaw is at the waist pull-cord where the material is looking a bit tatty – though to be honest this is hardly surprising given that it’s at the exact height that all my rock climbing gear gets clipped onto the harness, so occasional snagging was inevitable.

The other initial niggle was pockets. All of the other wind shells I’ve reviewed recently have either a big front pocket, or twin side pockets, which I do find very useful for carry a guidebook or snack on a rock climb. The Arro only has one pocket – a tiny pouch tucked around the back, and this is actually just its own stuff-sack. With hindsight I can now appreciate that adding pockets adds weight, and lack of weight is indeed the Arro’s strongest asset. On reflection, I’m actually happy to compromise on pockets, and just enjoy the beauty of Arro for what it is – an elegant, well-conceived, extremely lightweight, wind proof layer for extreme sports.

The Alpkit Arro retails at an astonishing £32. For more details check out Alpkit Arro

 

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