Ever use a tool lending library? Man, they’re the best. Bike tools, yard tools, hammers, saws, drills—stuff you need sometimes but don’t have the need, space, or money to purchase yourself, there for the taking. Usually, these are in urban zones or college towns, staffed by down-to-earth volunteers who just wanna help out.
Gear libraries for outdoor goods are popping up more and more often too these days. Often for kids, or in communities where people might not be able to afford buying their own backpacks, tents, and jackets. Same deal as the tool libraries. Donation-based, volunteer-staffed, good vibes all around.
Now, Arc’teryx is loaning out some of their gear too, totally free. Of course, it’s not quite the same idea as tool libraries. Arc’teryx is definitely hoping that once you get your mitts on their gear, you’ll be so in love you’ll become a dedicated customer of the brand. But it’s still a great idea, and a good way for gear shoppers to test an expensive piece out for a little bit before they decide to break out the credit card. Their program will loan you a piece of gear for four days. After that, you take it back, and can collect another.
At the moment, there are four products available for lending. A jacket (Alpha AR for men; Beta LT for women), the Alpha SK 32 backpack, Norvan LD GTX trail runners (men and women’s), and a men’s and women’s climbing harness.
Five Arc’teryx stores across the country are participating so far. Washington, D.C., Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Palo Alto.
Individual Arc’teryx stores have rented seasonal products before, but as far as we know, this is the first time they’ve had an official program loaning gear gratis. Pretty cool.