Team Dead Bird

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to join with the really fine folk at the Seattle Arc’teryx store and serve as their ambassador. Team Dead Bird (as we affectionately call Arc’teryx in the outdoor world). This might come as much of a surprise to you as it does to me…if you know anything about me I’m usually wearing the same clothes for days at a time, said clothes generally have holes in them, and my backpacks don’t look much better. I climbed for over a month in Patagonia in pants that daily became more and more ventilated in the behind-region, and towards the height of the hole’s growth I think my friend Sarah was ready to call off our partnership on the basis of my attire (or lack thereof). Once, in an interview for a job at REI, I said, “I’m really just interested in working in the rentals or returns departments. I don’t think I could handle the…uh…materialism, of working retail.” I never got a call back. And then there’s that year when I vowed to myself not to spend a single dollar on clothing…

All that to say, I think this is a PERFECT partnership between Arc’teryx and myself. Why is that, you ask, you who spend about 1% of your income on clothing? Well let me tell you. Arc’teryx clothing and gear is incredibly well designed and made, making it durable and long-lasting (read: no rips in my butt anymore, and no need to buy new clothes as much). All mandatory Arc’teryx spray-age aside, throughout my training I have been genuinely blown away by the design, materials, and craftsmanship that go into each product.  Here’s a few things that might blow your mind too:

  • The industry standard for time taken to assemble a jacket is around 2-2.5 hours. Total time to assemble an Arc’teryx Alpha SV Jacket: 4 hours and 38 minutes.
  • The WaterTight zipper was invented by Arc’teryx, and is now used by almost every outdoor manufacturer in the world. Arc’teryx also invented the softshell.
  • Arc’teryx products are stitched together with microseams – 16 stiches per inch instead of the usual 8 – to make them stronger and sleeker.

Arc’teryx is careful about their social/environmental impact:

  • Wearing Arc’teryx clothing and using their gear is comparable to getting your coffee in a reusable mug every day. Such durability means that you’ll be wearing the same jacket 6 years later, when you might have gone through 3 not-so-well-made jackets in that same time.
  • Arc’teryx has an incredible warranty – they offer repair services worldwide!
  • While some production is sent abroad, many of Arc’teryx’s products are still made in their Vancouver factory – the most advanced outdoor apparel factory in the world. Woah.
  • Through the Bird’s Nest Project, Arc’teryx uses their scrap fabric to create waterproof capes for the local homeless populations. Now that’s cool.

So now that we’ve established that Arc’teryx gear and clothing lasts forever and that the company shares my anti-materialistic, anti-waste leanings, there’s one more reason why this is such a cool partnership for me. This is a chance for me to pick the brains of the really fine staff at the Seattle retail store and have them help me decipher all of the Dead Bird jumble that’s existed in my brain for so long. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, SL, SV, AR, LT, Ascent, Whiteline, Traverse… Maybe one day soon I’ll be an expert as well and can answer all of your questions, but for now, you should definitely just go into the store and get all that confusion cleared up. Downtown Seattle, on 4th & Pike. Even if you’re an online shopper, taking a trip to the store to learn more about the products you’re buying from some knowledgable, helpful people is a really good idea, especially when you might be buying a jacket or backpack that you could potentially have for the rest of your life.

All joking aside, this is going to be really fun for me, hopefully to the benefit of Arc’teryx as well. I’m excited to have a creative outlet, a huge amount of support, and a bit more purpose behind all of my climbing and adventuring. I’m stoked to share my excitement and passion for climbing on a greater level, and hopefully inspire others. And yep, to my penny-pinching, anti-materialism, dirtbag soul, the free clothes and gear sure doesn’t hurt. 😉


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