Eagle Industries

Arc’teryx LEAF: 2021 Product and Program Updates  

Arc’teryx LEAF will launch six new models on March 3rd, 2021. The new models will be available from authorized Arc’teryx LEAF dealers beginning in late March and April 2021. 

To get more insight on LEAF’s first launch of 2021, we caught up with Arc’teryx LEAF’s Business Unit Director, Stephen Church.

SSD: Can you tell us what new products are available for 2021?

SC: As part of our first launch for 2021, we are releasing next-generation Assault AR Shirts and Pants and Naga mid-layers. We are also introducing a new Assault Balaclava colorway. As with all our products, the new models will be TAA compliant.

SSD: Can you give us some context and the backstory on each model that is being released?

SC: For this launch, LEAF focused on fine-tuning our product line in the areas of fit, function and durability –based on rounds of end-user feedback. The updates may not be as evident as an entirely new product or category, but the effort and craftmanship behind the revisions are considerable.

We’ve applied multiple updates in patterning to improve articulation, placements such as pockets for better access, and seam lines that reduce pressure points, especially from load carriage. We also made material updates to improve performance and reduce weight. There are a lot of subtleties with large payoffs.

And of course, all these updates are scrutinized by our product development and quality control teams. They’ve reviewed every cut and every stitch to ensure compliance with our product design and production standards. Large changes, or small, we put our heart and soul into all of it.

Here are some notes on the specific upgrades.

Assault Shirt AR Gen2

1. The mesh-like fabric in the underarm has been replaced with abrasion-resistant material to improve durability.
2. The collar has been refitted with a ¼ length zipper, and the buttons on the cuffs have been replaced with new hook and loop closures, offering more versatility for adjustment and temperature management.
3. The plastic V-Lite attachment loop has been replaced with a fabric loop for better durability.
4. The overall weight has been reduced by a few ounces, and the silhouette has been streamlined to reduce the chances of catching on sharp objects.

Assault Pant AR Gen2

1. The overall fit and articulation have been improved, increasing the range of motion, particularly around the crotch and hips, greatly improving the overall comfort.
2. The thigh pocket design has been carried over from the Assault Pant SV to improve accessibility while seated and provide more versatility and volume for storage.

Assault Balaclava FR Gen2

We’ve introduced our FR balaclava in a black colorway. Due to the technical difficulty in producing dark colours in flame-resistant materials, we’ve needed to employ a special dope dyed material –meaning the dye is added to the polymer before it’s extruded into fibres. The end product is a balaclava that has colour accuracy and consistency and withstands repeated washes while maintaining its FR properties.

Next Generation Naga Mid Layers

For our Naga mid-layers, we improved the consistency in fit, form and ergonomics. The new design elements that are consistent among the three Naga mid-layers include:

1. Set-in sleeve construction and a slightly shorter front length to improve overall fit and articulation for using tools, climbing, etc., as well as layering.
2. Thumb loops reinforced with bar tacking at the cuff for improved durability and grip while donning and doffing outer layers.

Design revisions that are unique to each style include:

Naga Hoody Full Zip Gen 2

1. Torso and sleeves that are more fitted.
2. Addition of a Coms port to the inside left pocket.

Naga Hoody Gen 3

1. A Polartec® upgrade from 6.8oz to 8.5oz for improved warmth. 

Naga Pullover Gen 2

1. Torso and sleeves that are more fitted.
2. External chest pocket redesigned to improve access with a gloved hand    
3. Side pocket placement updated for consistency with the Naga Hoody
4. Addition of a new nylon ripstop liner to improve breathability and durability
5. Addition of Wolf and Ranger Green colorways

SSD: Earlier, you mentioned “First Product Launch.” What did you mean by that?

SC: We’re aiming for a second product launch later in the year driven by evolutions in design innovation and product commercialization at Arc’teryx.

To accelerate design innovation, LEAF has expanded its R&D network to include subject experts in specialized fields and Arc’teryx’s own Advanced Research and Development team.

This has allowed us to reimagine how our layering system can function to meet the operational demands of our end-users today and into the future.

I don’t want to give away too much. However, our new approach augments a deep set of core competencies and capabilities, built over two decades at Arc’teryx, to enhance LEAF’s system of dress in ways that are intuitive and advantageous to our end users in the area of survivability.

In building a commercialization approach that supports our product ambitions, we’re also revising how we launch our product.

The core of LEAF’s mission statement is to enable mission success. It’s, therefore, counterproductive to roll out new products around commercial and industry schedules. Instead, we’re focusing on launching our innovations as soon as our product design and commercialization timelines allow.

To that end, LEAF is working hard to get a few more updates launched by the end of 2021 and then shifting our efforts into producing exciting new product innovations for 2022 and beyond.

SSD: Anything else exciting coming from LEAF in the near future?

SC: Like the rest of the world, we’ve had to adapt to some major challenges over the past year due to pandemic. It’s forced us to rethink how we connect with our end-users and industry partners. In that respect, we are working on further leveraging mediums such as video, web and rich media to tell more of our stories.

SSD: Thanks for your time Stephen.

SC: Thanks Eric, we hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy out there and that we will be able to interact again in-person soon.

20 Responses to “Arc’teryx LEAF: 2021 Product and Program Updates  ”

  1. Vic Toree says:

    They briefly had a Berry Compliant line (or more accurately a select few garments that were / could be made Berry) in … 2018? 2019? Don’t hold me to the timeline but end result is it went away. Any word on Berry garments making a come back?

    Not sure how much demand they saw, guessing not enough to justify it, but just curious.

  2. JS says:

    Long Live the Bird!!

  3. Starlight_and_Storm says:

    Evolve per factum.

  4. roy says:

    I speculate that later this year (or next) we will see an update to the Alpha. A Gen 3 Alpha would not be surprising.

    An Assault pack 60 would also be a good complement to the Assault packs 30 and 45.

    An update and relaunch of the Wraith would be welcome. A wind shirt can be a very useful and versatile garment.

  5. Joe says:

    Bring back the Wraith!

    • mike says:

      and write WIND BREAKER or similar super big on the tag so people stop trying to return them. “This rain jacket sucks!” well… that’s because it’s a wind jacket.

  6. Matt Lambdin says:

    I would line the entire Arc’teryx line up for my unit if I could get it Berry compliant. Stephen Church is a great unit director, really switched on. Just need him to get it south of the border.

    • Ed says:

      They should bring back – introduce a Berry Compliant line of apparel, including assault uniforms, alpha jackets etc.

    • SSD says:

      If it’s below $150k, you can buy it below the Berry threshold.

      • Matt Lambdin says:

        $150K doesn’t go far with Arc’teryx in the acquisition plan….Split purchases prevent me from a bulk purchase (<$150K) and would cause a single group to have different manufacturers/models of the same requirement. Sticking with a US manufacturer allows for bulk purchases.

  7. Ed says:

    The new assault gen 2 uniforms look so amazing. Congrats you guys.. Deadbird is the best..

  8. Jamie says:

    A Berry Compliant line up of combat garments, would be much appreciated by the law enforcement and armed forces community.

    • SSD says:

      The LE community has long established that since they don’t require Berry compliance, they aren’t willing to pay for it.

      The issue that Arc’teryx and others run into when considering whether or not to invest in a US supply chain is whether or not the juice will be worth the squeeze. The problem is that there are already several domestic brands. There is also competition for needle time in the same factories as their competitors. They have to be both quality and price competitive. Plus, they have to compete with programs of record and as the DoD shrinks, there is more and more pressure to rely on those sources of supply. Arc’teryx offers several best-in-class products that I’d love to see Made in USA, simply because there isn’t much like them on the US scene, like Alpha and Atom. But the demand isn’t there to substantiate setting up US-based production for the full line.

  9. Bill says:

    Arcteryx, you wanna listen to a great idea; Start making things that are Berry Compliant.. ? Except for that, you should manufacture more things at your Canadian headquarters..

  10. Marián says:

    This new stuff looks awesome, but only thing i don’t understand. The Pullover… I’m big fan of LEAF stuff and i also have lot of LEAF products and they work very well, but.. I think this Pullover is more outdoor style than LEAF style. More weather protective material on the body and less on the sleeves are good at Outdoor environment, but at LEAF environment, where operators most of time use plate carriers is better use less weather protective material on the body and more on the sleeves. Same as old Halfshell glory. But it’s only my opinion and others can dissagree with me.