Is the arc’teryx beta ar really worth the price?

The price tag on consumer items like rain jackets are at an all time high. I want to chat about why that is and determine if a $750+ rain jacket is really worth it for you.

The outdoor industry grosses 887 billion dollars annually. It’s one of the fastest and largest growing business sectors in the world. The price tag on consumer items like rain jackets are at an all time high. I want to chat about why that is and determine if a $750+ rain jacket is really worth it for you. Or if it’s just a clever rouse to take your money.

First of all, if you simply want a badass jacket to wear around the city because you like the look and feel of it, that’s cool! This article is to help you navigate the features and benefits of the Beta AR and whether or not it’s really worth the price. After all, you could can travel or experience a lot of cool things with $750 dollars.

Inspired by

I recently had a good friend join me on a backpacking trip through a remote region of the Canadian Rockies. He had just about everything he needed for the trip with the exception of a rain jacket. I lent him mine as I had an extra. a few hours into the first day of the trip he explained to me that he never new the difference a quality rain jacket could make.

By the end of the trip, my friend vowed to invest in his own Arc’teryx Beta AR rain jacket. You see, with most trips or adventures, there is a cost associated to the thing you want to do. Why spend money on some costs like travel, and accommodations, but then cheap out on equipment that will keep you safe, dry, warm, and enjoying your adventure to the fullest?

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Beta AR Features

The “AR” stands for all around. And the series – Beta – belongs to Arc’eryx’ “all purpose” family. The alpha series is fine tuned specifically for alpine settings for example.

The hood

Not many people know this; Arc’teryx spends nearly 80% of their manufacturing time on the hood. The hood can make a break the jacket and getting it right takes a lot of time. The hood features a brim. Features an adjustable draw strings that are easy to use with gloves. It also features helmet compatibility.

The collar is probably my favourite feature that sets this jacket apart from the others in the Arc’teryx lineup. It sits comfortable against your chin when the zipper is done all the way up. I often wear the jacket with the zipper done up, but keep the hood down.

The GORE-TEX

Gore-tex is pretty transparent about their love affair with Arc’teryx. The company usually launches all their new products with Arc’teryx first. Because GORE-TEX is so great at what they do, and Arc’teryx is best at what they do as well, it’s a good partnership.

The Beta AR features a 3l GORE-TEX membrane. That means there’s an extra layer of protection on the inside of the jacket and not just the outside. This is important if you’re wearing a waterproof rain jacket for extended use. Especially in rough environments like the mountains.

The GORE-TEX “PRO” is not just more durable, it’s also noticeable more breathable. This is a great feature to have if you’re laying. It’s also great for summer objectives where you might need rain protection but it isn’t very cold outside.

The newest revision of the Beta AR includes GORE-TEX’ brand new Most Rugged Technology. This new technology makes the jacket – you guessed it – the Most Rugged.

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The fit

The way a jacket fits is most critical part in determining whether or not I’m going to love a jacket or not. That’s probably a pretty universal sentiment. You have to consider that you might be spending a lot of time in the rain jacket. I’ve been on a handful of trips where I hardly took the jacket of more than once or twice over the span of a week.

Make sure that when you try on this jacket, you’re trying it on with all your layers on underneath. Test out how it feels with your fleece, your insulation piece, and just a t-shirt. Make sure it’s going to work for you in every setting and circumstance. This is the Beta AR after all. Not the Beta “sometimes”.

The Cost Per Use Theory

Ultimately, if you’re exploring the mountains, or traveling to cold and wet environments where “shelter” means putting on a rain jacket… Then you absolutely need a rain jacket. Now you can buy a $200 rain jacket. You’ll save the steep up front cost. However, you will end up replacing it again and again if you use it frequently.

If you treat your Beta AR right, you can easily get 5-15 years of performance out of it. You’ll end up spending less money per use of the jacket than if you were to cheap out and get the bargain deal.

Final Thoughts

There’s tons of ways to save money and cut costs when it comes to your outdoor lifestyle. However, protection from the elements and having quality equipment you can rely on is worth the extra dollars.

I look at my rain jacket as an expensive safety item, not a fashion piece or “nice to have” item. Most weeks I’m in the mountains more than the city, and I never leave without packing my Beta AR.

GoPro Hero 7 Review PLUS My Worst Nightmare

I recently had a film project in Northern Norway. The project involved a lot of under water footage. I wasn’t thrilled about shelling out nearly $12000 in underwater housing for my mirrorless camera. So I chose to pull the trigger on the new GoPro Hero 7.

If it’s Good Enough for Hollywood

I recently had a film project in Northern Norway. The project involved a lot of under water footage. I wasn’t thrilled about shelling out nearly $12000 in underwater housing for my mirrorless camera. So I chose to pull the trigger on the new GoPro Hero 7. I was convinced I made the right choice when I heard that the popular Hollywood movie, The Hobbit, had used a GoPro Hero 7 for an underwater scene. I figured if the GoPro Hero 7 was good enough for them, it would be just fine for me.

Watch Swimming with Orcas Here

Stabilization Vs. Gimbal

I traveled with my Crane 2 Gimbal for my mirrorless camera. I intended on using most of my high action and fast moving shots with the gimbal. how ever, the GoPro Hero 7 had such buttery smooth digital stabilization. It kind of felt like a waste of time trying to set up my gimbal on our boat. Because a lot of the filming was out at sea, it was difficult to balance my camera on the gimbal for the setup. I also wasn’t super keen on getting salt water all over my gimbal, if I could avoid it. I can be pretty rough on my equipment, but salt water is nasty.

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The trade off wasn’t between which stabilized shot I liked more. Both the gimbal and the stabilization were basically totally a draw. The GoPro Hero 7 won out on accessibility and ease of use in a real world “run-‘n’-gun” situation over the gimbal hands down. The only reservation I have with using the GoPro Hero 7 exclusively for stabilized shots, it’s the low light, and dynamic light capabilities of the GoPro Hero 7 versus my Sony A7RII.

Ultimately I ended up using both cameras and supplemented my final film of the Orcas with footage from both cameras, and stabilization setups. I was really happy with the marriage of the two. I think the shots worked together almost seamlessly.

Woman Snorkeling.

Time-lapses and HyperSmooth

I shot a ton of time-lapses and hyper-lapses on this trip. I haven’t really used them for anything and they didn’t make it into my short film, how ever I really enjoyed them. The time-lapse and hyper-lapse footage would look really cool in longer documentary style films. Travel films, and travel recaps would also benefit from having cool HyperSmooth shots.

The HyperSmooth pretty much acted how I expected it would after seeing the digital stabilization. It only makes sense that the GoPro Hero 7 would also use the stabilization for hyper-lapse scenarios. For those of you who don’t know, the HyperSmooth mode is just a time-lapse, but it’s engaging the digital stabilization. The benefit of during time-lapses, is that you can move around with the GoPro and create really smooth hyper-lapses, right out of camera. No need for annoying post processing warp stabilization!

Everything About the GoPro Hero 7 was Great, Except for This

Swimming with orcas in Norway is by far the most unique and among the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. On our last day of filming and swimming with orcas, and humpbacks, the Go Pro Hero 7 failed me. In an epic, extraordinary way.

Orca swimming underwater.

It was perfect, The sun was low in the sky, no other boats were in sight. Our Captain found a massive ball of millions of herring fish, which the orca hunt. There was a pod of a dozen or so orcas. I got into the water and swam with the killer whales for hours. I couldn’t believe how curious they were. For hours they would swim up to us, slowly swim by while clearly making eye contact. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was by far the best swimming session of all from the last four days, maybe twenty sessions total.

Orca underwater.

It was all going so well. Until I reviewed the footage.

I kept checking my GoPro Hero 7. I wanted to ensure I was capturing every moment. The red light was on, the entire time. I was elated. Until I got back to our Air BNB. I reviewed the footage. The entire session was recorded in time-lapse mode. I couldn’t believe it. All of the footage right before, and right after the swimming session was all in 4k, 60fps video mode. I somehow hit the “mode” button while in the water. The footage was unusable.

I felt like I was going to throw up. But I quickly got over it. Things happen. I’m just beyond thankful to have experienced such an incredible encounter with such an amazing predator, truly one of the most beautiful wildlife experiences I’ve ever had. I’ll always wish I had the footage to share with others.

Final Thoughts.

I’m a massive fan. I’ll be investing in a few more GoPro Hero 7 cameras for a few upcoming action projects this year. Ultimately, my only bad experience was user error. I should have paid better attention and in hindsight I would have been better off reviewing the footage in the moment. It’s hard to balance filmmaking common sense, when you’re engaging in incredible, once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Couple high five in ocean.

I would like to see a better way to switch the modes in the future. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has missed a shot or epic footage as a result. Otherwise I’m beyond stoked about all the new features. I couldn’t have come even close to creating the short film without my GoPro Hero 7. I’m super proud of how everything turned out and I would definitely recommend the new GoPro Hero 7 to anybody filming travel, adventure, and action sports.