Canyons vs. concrete. National Parks vs. Central. New York City and Leadville, CO are worlds apart. Yet, despite their differences, the two share a common denominator: a need for clothes that can withstand the elements. Both extreme athletes in the Rockies and fashion editors in the Big Apple can agree on one thing: when it comes to high-tech gear, Vancouver’s own Arc’teryx is the definition of “grail.” However, unlike a lot of other lustworthy pieces, an Arc’teryx jacket needs more than a tagged logo shot to evaluate how much life it really has left.

Minding both aesthetic and performance, technical apparel ages much differently than a BOGO tee. It also carries different expectations. An Arc’teryx climbing jacket bought on Grailed may find itself passing from techninja to backcountry hiker. Even used, Arc’teryx Veilance coats can still command a four-figure price tag, much of that rooted in their reputation as shields against weather.

No one wants their “worn twice” grail piece to underwhelm when it cost half their rent. So, with winter in full swing, Dry Clean Only went straight to the source. We sat down with Drummond Lawson, Sustainability Director at Arc’teryx, to find out everything there is to know about used tech gear: how it wears, how it ages, and what to look for before you buy. Here’s Arc’teryx’s guide to buying used Arc’teryx.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Tags: techwear, gore-tex, arcteryx-veilance, arcteryx