8 Arc’Teryx alternatives – Quality and style

James

Arc’Teryx is known as one of the worlds best outdoor clothing and gear companies, period. However the prices as we know are very high, availability isn’t always certain, and sometimes it’s just nice to look for an Arc’Teryx alternative.

Note: All brands listed I have either personally tried on, used, or researched a lot before including. I am not paid/sponsored by anyone on this list!

Additionally, this list involved my personal opinions and conjecture! I also own multiple items from Arc’Teryx with varying satisfaction. Anyways…

This easy list of the best alternative brands to Arc’Teryx will help you find more high-quality outdoor gear which may either save you some cash or differentiate yourself from the flock which popularized the bird.

This Arc’teryx Alternatives cheat sheet gives 3 options for the best in each category.

Lower down I’ve compiled a larger list of brands which offer lower prices or similar-quality gear to Arc’Teryx though not ‘special’ in any way. Quick link here.

1 – Most stylish Arc’Teryx Alternative

Klättermusen

klattermusen-logo

A Swedish mountaineering brand, Klattermusen makes exceptional gear with a stylistic brevity. In fact, they’re one of the few in my opinion who sometimes surpass Arc’Teryx and the others in terms of design ethos and creativity. In the USA you can find Klattermusen at Moosejaw.

Excellent colours, undeniable styling, and a price to match, Klättermusen is an Arc’Teryx alternative which might even be a tier above. Of course they wouldn’t be mentioned on this list if their gear wasn’t seriously high-quality as well. Which it is.

moosejaw logo
In the USA you can find Klattermusen at Moosejaw.

Instead of Gore-Tex they use Cutan fabrics. This is one of those brands I’ll certainly grab something from once I find the right colour/fit. I tried on a handful of pieces in store many times and they all looked and felt outstanding as well as very unique, though a bit heavier and bulkier than their Arc’Teryx counterparts. The Allgron jacket did quite impress me with its non crinkly feeling.

In Canada you can find Klattermusen at MEC.

klattermusen-iving-jacket-black
Iving 2.0 jacket
Klattermusen-Asynja-brush-green
Asynja jacket
klattermusen-skoll-white
Skoll zip

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Professional cold-weather gear
  • Futuristic & contemporary styling
  • Funky Swedish flair

Downsides

  • Limited North American availability
  • High price

2 – Most similar Arc’Teryx alternative

Nørrona

Norrona-logo

The Arc’Teryx of Norway- Nørrona offers that clinical, professional, and refined look. If you’re fond of the minimalist design which is a no-frills approach towards serious gear, then Norrona is worth looking into. All their stuff is seriously high-performing and well-made. In the USA you can find Nørrona at Moosejaw

Too, the Kvinnherad, Finnskogen, and Recon lines from Norrona are equivalent to Arc’Teryx LEAF lineup without the credentialed barrier of entry for direct purchase. Otherwise the Trollveggenand and Falketind designed for mountaineering and ice climbing will be great choices to look into.

moosejaw logo
In the USA you can find Nørrona at Moosejaw

Norway is a very expensive country and the prices match. So does the build quality. They also make gear for mountain biking and surfing as well as lifestyle clothing which can be compared to Arc’Teryx Veilance gear. Overall, a very good brand if you want top-tier clothing with Scandinavian finesse.

norrona-kvinnherad-parka-camo
Kvinnherad parka
norrona-trollveggen-jacket-black
Trollveggen jacket
norrona-falketind-sweater-green-olive
Falketind hoody

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Sophisticated, expensive style
  • High-quality, premium build
  • Scandinavian ethos

Downsides

  • $$ Very high price
  • Limited North America availability

3 – Most advanced Arc’Teryx alternative

Artilect Systems

When I came across this Colorado brand in a store in Europe. I was so impressed by the fit and styling of the piece that I bought it. Nice minimalist branding, great aesthetic design, and seemingly very high quality. High price tag to boot too.

I’ve picked up the Articlect Formation jacket as I was extremely impressed by the fit and technologies when testing in store. Permanent DWR? Trizar space thermoregulation tech? Hardshell performance with the comfort and stretch of a cozy and tough softshell? We’ll see how it performs in the long term but currently it’s my selected hardshell.

Waterproof without that crinkly and loud Gore-Tex feeling and their NuYarn merino clothing, Artilect Systems is seemingly on the very edge of practical material tech. New company with very few reviews – lets see how their jacket stands up!

artilect-formation-jacket
Artilect Formation jacket
artilect-formation-pants
Artilect Kinetic pants
artilect divide fusion
Artilect Divide Fusion hoodie

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Creative smaller brand
  • Contemporary, technical aesthetic
  • Arc’teryx-type design

Downsides

  • High price.
  • Scary models

4 – Most visually similar Arc’Teryx alternative

Jöttnar

jottnar-logo

Born in the Arctic Norway by two Royal Marine commandos, Jöttnar is designed for serious performance for mountaineers, climbers, and skiers. With an absolutely gorgeous design and colour philosophy which also challenges Arc’Teryx, this brand is definitely one to look for.

Using top-of-the-line materials and in-field testing, there’s nothing bad to say about any of their gear. The fact they’re much smaller and more unknown than almost all the aforementioned brands can be appealing too.

Pricing is along the lines as everyone else on this list – high and deservingly so. I really want to get me one of their lightweight hooded jackets, the Hjalmar, because the colour and design is just so sleek!

jottnar-sigvald-blue
Sigvald LX jacket
jottnar-grim-jacket-blue
Grim jacket
Jottnar-Floyen-LX-sage-green
Floyen LX jacket

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Modern, technical, minimalist.
  • Similar to Arc’Teryx colors & design.
  • Scandinavian cleanliness.

Downsides

  • High price.
  • Availability in North America is difficult

5 – Best priced Arc’Teryx alternative

Salewa

salewa-logo

Italian brand Salewa is commonly seen on mountaineers and adventurers in the Alps. With integration of merino/Tirolwool in many of their products, they’re an awesome option to consider if you enjoy the performance properties of merino wool merged with modern material science.

With gear primarily focused on mountaineering, climbing, hiking, and trekking, Salewa is no slouch and considering their logo is also a bird – they might be the Arc’Teryx killer you’ve been looking for. However, I find the prime colors not nearly as appealing (though practical when visibility is important). Too their styling is very ‘standard’ and high-tech.

moosejaw logo
In the USA you can find Salewa at Moosejaw

I love my Salewa Gore-Tex Pro jacket and have used it heavily while biking, hunting, and adventuring. I highly recommend their gear if you want that same professional ‘Teryx feeling, though their visual design leave a bit to be desired.

salewa-ortles-jacket-yellow
Ortles jacket
salewa-pedroc-hybrid-jacket
Pedroc hybrid jacket
salewa-pedroc-2-zip-off-pants-black
Pedroc zip pants

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Professional mountaineering, alpinism, adventure gear.
  • Wool and hemp composite clothing.
  • Fitted, slim clothing.

Downsides

  • Colors and styling not as good!
  • High price

6 – Highly technical Arc’Teryx alternative

Haglöfs

haglofs-logo

Another Swedish company, Haglöfs is all about L.I.M – or Less Is More as their lineup claims. I agree, less is definitely more and their high-quality gear is all about practicality. Reduced weight + improved comfort = better adventures, no?

Modern Scandivanian design – their gear looks sleek yet practical and that’s because it is. Even understated at times, their gear is simultaneously high-end yet modest. Sound a lot like what living in Denmark was like..!

moosejaw logo
In the USA you can find Halöfs at Moosejaw

Their prices are similar to other high-end brands here and rightfully so – everything is engineered well and will absolutely stand up to the tasks presented with. Very professional indeed, you definitely get what you pay for.

haglofs-roc-jacket-dark-ocean
Roc jacket
haglofs-LIM-hybrid-softshell-jacket-grey
L.I.M jacket
haglofs-rugged-slim-pant-olive-green
Rugged slim pants

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Modern, technical, minimalist.
  • Most similar to Arc’Teryx design.
  • Scandinavian modesty.

Downsides

  • High price.
  • Availability in North America is sparse.

7 – Most contemporary Arc’Teryx alternative

Houdini

Didn’t ever hear about this brand until I wandered upon them in-store. Some very interesting and nice designs with good colours and seemingly strong build quality. Excellent attention to details and fabrics which simply felt very high quality. However with all companies with a smaller stature, one does wonder if their equivalent jackets are as small, compact, and high-performing as their Arc’ competitors.

moosejaw logo
In the USA you can find Houdini at Moosejaw

Their design ethos is great and while their prices match all the other top-level companies, their styling surpasses most. Personally the quality is unknown but absolutely a company I keep an eye on.

Minimal branding, casual and professional-friendly styling, and a huge sustainability philosophy, I really would like to see more reviews of their gear since their style really appeals to me.

houdini-D-jacket
Houdini ‘D’ jacket
houdini-bff-jacket
Houdini BFF jacket
houdini-the-orange-jacket
Houdini The Orange jacket

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Creative smaller brand
  • Casual, daily-friendly design
  • High sustainability ethos

Downsides

  • High price
  • Relatively untested

8 – Most interesting Arc’Teryx alternative

Vollebak

Vollebak-logo

The illustrious and cutting-edge British brand Vollebak is another brand with their eyes on the pinnacle of performance materials. Perhaps the strangest brand on this list – some gear doesn’t even appear like stuff you’d bring on an excursion on earth.

However their 100-year and Equator lineups are undeniably ready for action while appearing like a set of casual clothes – not speed-hiking technical wear. This can be important if you want to keep a low profile around town or even hitchhiking in dangerous areas where appearing like a walking moneybag is undesired.

Many of their clothes are made with materials from Swiss Schoeller – an advanced textiles company with some fabrics more advanced than what Gore-Tex makes.

While some of their masterful marketing is bold and perhaps gimmicky, there is absolutely no denying their commitment to creating the absolute best with styling which is all across the spectrum. Prices are quite high though.

vollebak-race-to-zero-jacket-khaki
Race to Zero jacket
vollebak-equator-pants-khaki
Equator pants
vollebak-waterfallproof-puffer-navy-blue
Waterfallproof puffer

Flagship pieces

Brand attributes

  • Causal-professional, space-age, bold.
  • Sophisticated material science & innovation.
  • Ultimate-quality and durable.

Downsides

  • Only 1 retail shop globally (in the middle of nowhere…)
  • $$$ Extremely high price
  • Limited-run availability

Honorable mentions

Wah wah.

The below companies just simply didn’t make the cut in terms of styling, and with Arc’Teryx as the standard, it’s hard to match!

However they all produce exceptionally high-quality gear which is well worth investigating.

Montbell

The Japanese have great eyes for style and quality, and entering the Montbell flagship store in Switzerland I was nothing but impressed by everything they had! So much so that I ended up buying some fantastic zip-off pants which are as functional as every but with the classy aesthetic as chinos.

From ultralight umbrellas to well-priced Gore-Tex jackets, definitely a company someone should consider. Especially if you’re looking for the puffiest 1000fp(!!!) down around or a very lightweight GTX hardshell jacket at a fair price.

Stone Island

Venturing into more streetwear design territory, Stone Island is making some very unique clothing with high-end textiles. I have not personally seen in-person any of the brands articles, though their perceived build quality and design principals are certainly encouraging.

I don’t believe they will be as lightweight or Alpine-practical as something from say Arc’Teryx, though they’ll certainly have many good characteristics if you choose the right piece.

66 North

Icelandic adventure clothing with a cozy twist. Their highly-sustainability ethos is excellent and all of their items feature high-performance textiles and practical integration. I would not be surprised if you could comfortably summit some good Rocky Mountains or inactive volcanoes in Iceland with their styling.

Unfortunately I have not had the chance to personally try any of their articles, though I keep my eye out for something possible.

Black Diamond

Another big company in the mountaineering and climbing world, Black Diamond is known for their high-quality gear and streamlined designs.

I own a few items from them and enjoy their stuff. While I wouldn’t put them on the level of Arc’Teryx in terms of style, their gear performs equally well for a price quite a bit lower. Would certainly recommend searching from them!

Millet

The French do things very nicely, and Millet is a good example of that. I personally don’t quite like the style, colours, and branding on many of their pieces of gear – but perhaps you’ll find something that calls to you!

Regardless, they make outstanding gear frequently seem on mountaineers in the Alps and Pyrenees and definitely make an upstanding product!

La Sportiva

Every climber on earth knows La Sportiva and likely owns a thing or three from them.

They’ve recently began with their outdoor wear line including jackets, pants, and other high-tech pieces of gear.

You can pretty much guarantee good function from their gear as they’re a climbing and outdoors focused brand with a great reputation.

RAB

RAB-logo

You’ll see RAB equipment all over the expeditioners in challenging mountain places. For a good reason too – undeniably high-quality gear which are often cheaper than Arc’Teryx. You couldn’t go wrong with any of RAB equipment.

Ortovox

Swiss mountaineering – sounds expensive, right? Yep. While I’m not so fond of the styling, their gear is very practical, high-quality, and they blend merino wool with a lot of their pieces. Well worth considering Ortovox equipment, especially if a sale is on.

They often make gear with Swisswool (a merino wool composite) which is certainly appealing as a good durable merino layer is always welcome. Again, highly sporty-styling which may or may not be for you.

Outdoor Research

This company’s name comes up often in threads where people for Arc’Teryx alternatives. Namely, their prices are really great and stylistically solid. Based out of and designed for the Pacific Northwest, Outdoor Research makes impressively good gear for a price you wouldn’t expect!

Many people absolutely highly recommend their gear and for a good reason.

Alpkit

alpkit-logo

About the only company on this list where you could pretty much outfit your entire life – Alpkit makes everything from mountaineering-ready merino to wetsuits, complete bikes, and very reasonably priced shell jackets. All that from a non-mega-corporation. Pretty neat!

Mammut & Marmot

mammut-logo
marmot-logo

Mammut, Marmot – eerily similar, no? While they have no relation to one another, they fill almost the same role with similar styling and prices.

Just like Marmot, Swiss-based Mammut produces gear which is high-quality and high-priced. They’re big-brands with stock all over the world and you’ll find a piece of gear for pretty much any occasion with these companies.

Mountain Hardwear

mountain-hardwear-logo

Arc’Teryx on a budget? This is where you’ll find a ton of high-quality Gore-Tex and insulated jackets for a good margin less than the bird with some nice modern and creative styling. I was amazed at how similar the Kor Strata was to my Atom LT for a good chunk less! Would definitely recommend this company!

Icebreaker

Icebreaker logo png

If you love Merino, then you’ll like Icebreaker. Their whole thing is all-about Merino and while most of their clothing is more casual-activewear, their more hardy clothing is undeniably high-quality.

I have dozens of Icebreaker pieces from shirts to socks to underwear and sweaters. I like most of them but I can’t say all their gear is quite as durable as others mentioned above. Still, a very good choice compared to ‘regular’ clothing.

Mountain equipment

Lame branding and moderate looks often makes for a lower priced product. While I don’t enjoy the styling and such of their gear at all, their prices and quality is still very very good. I often see Mountain Equipment gear for sale at good prices from local stores so you might be able to find something excellent here!

Smartwool

In a similar vein as Icebreaker, Smartwool is all about merino-based clothing. While they do have performance tops, they’re more focused on small-items; socks, underwear, gloves, etc.

A bit more casual-oriented with some seriously awesome colorways and patterns, I’d pick up a pair of socks or undies that your eyes love – they’re really good!

Micklagaard

micklagaard-logo

Wool? Scandinavian? Traditional-styling? Micklagaard is all 3 of those and more. Their clothing is actually intended for hunting rather than mountaineering as all their gear is intended to be as quiet as possible. I wouldn’t choose these for high-output alpine activities but rather moderate output in cool weather – hunting! Handmade, unique, and charming, I couldn’t help but throw them on this list.

The North Face

Ew.

If you can get around how popular and streetwear-focused The North Face has gotten, they actually have some darned good equipment with some good styling. In particular their gear designed for mountaineering/alpinism is often seen on expeditioners around the world for good reason.

However, you need due diligence to avoid their trendy and generic stuff, which, is a lot of their catalogue.

Patagonia

Patagucci is both hit and miss for me. Some of their clothing looks very dad-like and plain, a lot has very mediocre performance and material merits, while others are completely excellent and a 100% definite buy.

With that in mind, their company ethos is really great too with their sustainability and charitable work. One of those companies you’re just really happy to endorse. I don’t even own any Patagonia gear, though many friends have pieces which they adore and perform flawlessly.

Decathlon

Decathlon Logo

Damn you Decathlon! While I wouldn’t say any of the gear you’ll find at Decathlon performs, looks, or fits as well as anything from Arc’Teryx or the any above listed manufacturers, you’ll get 80% of the performance for less than half the price of the above.

The secret? Well, there’s always a cost to low prices. Merinos, downs, manufacturing – definitely not ethical. While I won’t pretend that all or most of the companies above are morally excellent, Decathlon doesn’t have a good track record.

Check out the Decathlon vs Icebreaker comparison to see a budget vs expensive merino brand showdown.

With that being said you can outfit yourself impressively well for a fraction of the cost – merino underwear and socks, light insulated jackets, lightweight windbreakers, etc. If you’re looking for a cheap Arc’Teryx alternative, there is no brand that beats Decathlon. Look for their Forclaz-branded gear in particular.

Summary

Does anyone beat Arc’Teryx? That is of course subjective, though there are strong cases to be made for some of the brands above. For what it’s worth, the bird sets the standard for outdoor gear and there’s a reason the brand is huge now in both the technical and streetwear scene.

There are likely dozens of other brands I haven’t listed and aren’t aware of – if you know of any please let me know so I can investigate and update this list to help out others!

Looking for sales on Arc’Teryx and other high-end brands in Canada, GB/EU, or USA? Here are my personal 3 favourite stores to shop from (links open in new tab):

VPO logo
VPO or MEC (Canada)
moosejaw logo
Moosejaw (US)

I will continue to use and purchase Arc’Teryx gear, even after their Chinese acquisition and production shift, however I’m not as loyal to them as I might’ve once been. I hope this Arc’Teryx alternatives list help you out and please drop a comment below if you have anything to add! 🙂

Check out my Arc’Teryx Atom vs Beta vs Alpha comparison for more information about the gear!

  • Review: Artilect Formation 3L Jacket – Watch out, Arc’Teryx!

    Review: Artilect Formation 3L Jacket – Watch out, Arc’Teryx!

  • review: Arc’Teryx Atom jacket – what OutdoorGearLab doesn’t tell you…

    review: Arc’Teryx Atom jacket – what OutdoorGearLab doesn’t tell you…

  • DIY Arc’Teryx repairs – how to fix your Arc’Teryx gear!

    DIY Arc’Teryx repairs – how to fix your Arc’Teryx gear!

Leave a Comment

I don’t serve ads

(because they suck!)

So if you want to support me please subscribe to my YT channel <3