How to Understand the Arc’Teryx Naming Scheme

A quick guide on what the names of the Arc'Teryx models (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, AR, LT, SV, etc.) mean and how to choose the perfect garment for you

When a manufacturer launches their products, selecting their names usually corresponds to factors such as marketing, mnemonic hook, or homage to a person, place or thing, among others. But rarely does the nomenclature use a scheme that allows those who understand it, to know only with the name of the model what type of product it is, what characteristics it has, and what are the intended uses. The Canadian brand Arc'teryx is one of these rare examples. The names of its main products follow a system that indicates its use and characteristics, and by understanding it, you will be able to orient yourself easily and choose the products most suitable for your needs.

Arc'teryx products consist of a three part naming scheme:

  • The first part indicates the range
  • The second (2-letter code) describes the characteristics of the particular garment within the range
  • The 3rd part indicates the type of garment (Jacket, Hoody, Pants, Gloves, Backpack, etc).
  • Regarding the women’s models, they will add a W at the end of the name

Before explaining the nomenclature, we have chosen a random product that will help you in understanding the system. We will use the Beta AR Jacket as an example. The first part of the name indicates that it belongs to the Beta range (3rd layer, waterproof and breathable, all around use, medium length), the second to the AR series (All Round, all use, the most versatile), and Jacket tells us the type of garment.

This system is implemented for the most used mountain clothes (3rd layer, softshell, insulated), besides individualized exceptions whose design does not fit the standard. Ski and trail running garments only use a 2-letter code, as they do not indicate the range.


Indicates the activity for which it is intended and, in the case of clothing, also the type of garment (3rd layer, down, fiber, polar, etc).

Outer Layers

  • Alpha: These are the most technical products (hardshell) and are specifically designed for climbing and technical mountaineering. If they are garments, outer layers that are waterproof and breathable.
  • Beta: Best-selling range of outer layer waterproof and breathable hardshells. Described as "All Around Mountain", true all-terrain garments with which you can do everything from skiing to mountaineering without any issues.
  • Gamma: This is their range of softshells. They are very breathable, elastic materials, with different degrees of thermal efficiency. They can be used as external layers as they are resistant to water and offer a high degree of resistance to chafing.

As an example: if you find the name Alpha, be it a jacket, a backpack, gloves, or trousers, you will know that it is specially designed for the most technical mountaineering, and will offer you good protection against the elements (including the backpack).

Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket

Garments with Insulation


  • Cerium: The most modern garments with insulating mid and outer layers. Warm garments with down insulation and lightweight for mid-layers or as an outer layer in dry conditions.
  • Thorium: More traditional down insulated garments. Classic down has more weight and provides less agility during activities.


  • Proton: Highly technical, warm mountaineering clothes with fiber insulation. Lightweight mid-layers or good for outer layers in dry conditions. The most modern garments for mid or outer layer insulating. (The equivalent of Alpha, but for insulated garments).
  • Atom: Warm, multipurpose garments with Coreloft fiber insulation, lightweight mid layer or as an outer layer in dry conditions. The most modern garments for mid or outer layer insulating. (The equivalent of Beta, but for garments with insulation).

Each range has a wide selection (with hood, without hood, vest, pants, etc).

Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody

Second Layers

Arc'teryx Delta LT Jacket W

Base Layers

  • Rho: Garments made with thin Polartec Powerstrech, for use as T-shirts or internal thermal pants. Thermal base layer.
  • Satoro: Base layer garments made of merino wool.
  • Phase:Base layer made with synthetic fiber.


After the name of the range (Alpha, Beta, etc), you will see two letters (Alpha SV, Alpha SL, etc)

  • SV: Severe Weather – designed to be worn for prolonged periods in the harshest weather conditions imaginable. They use the warmest, most durable, and most weather-resistant materials to keep you warm, dry and performing your best in the most severe environments on earth.
  • AR: All Round – ideal for multiple activities thanks to the range of features that each product has. AR products are designed with more of a focus on weatherproof technology rather than on shedding grams, which makes them perfect all around gear for activities that demand protection and performance.
  • LT:Lightweight – designed with a streamlined set of features that make them exceptionally light and robust while still providing ample weather protection. The materials used in their designs are durable, and built for the highest performance on the toughest outdoor pursuits, from summit scrambles to granite multi-pitches.
  • FL: Fast and Light – indicates minimalist products are created to be exceptionally lightweight while still providing a high level of performance. They are designed for those looking to travel fast and light in an assortment of weather conditions including rain, sleet, snow and wind.
  • SL: Superlight – products that are designed with the lightest materials possible and prioritize a lighter weight. They provide exceptional weather protection, performance and are highly packable.

Arc'teryx Alpha FL Jacket
By understanding this system, you will be able to identify the characteristics and uses for any Arc’teryx product. It is important to always check the third part of the name because based on this system, you will find several repeated names. For example, there is a backpack and jacket called the Alpha FL and there are gloves, a jacket and pants that are called Alpha AR.

Arc'teryx Alpha FL 30 Backpack
Knowing this naming scheme will ultimately help you choose the most suitable garment for you. If you are a versatile mountaineer who goes ski touring in the summer or trail running in the winter, the Beta range would be most suited for you. If you spend hard winters on the mountain and go on expeditions, then you would choose the SV range which will provide you with the most protection in severe weather conditions. If you are going on hikes, treks and more relaxed mountain activities, then the AR range would be the best as it provides a good balance between performance and weather protection in addition to versatility. For any longer activity or one where speed is desired, go with the LT range as it will minimize the weight and help you get to where you are going the quickest.

Explore our wide selection of Arc’Teryx at

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