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Best Arc’teryx Jackets

last updated Feb 19, 2019

When it comes to battling snow, sleet, and dropping temperatures, and want a reliable winter jacket, you should look at Arc’teryx. Everything made by Arc’teryx is made with a quality guarantee that is hard to match and is made to keep you warm and safe in colder climates.

Tough yet breathable material and superior craftsmanship are what Arc’teryx looks to include in each and every one of their jackets. Expect a jacket from Arc’teryx to last you a number of years and each one of those years will provide you with the same quality as if you just purchased the jacket. This is why this brand has so many loyal customers who continue to purchase their products year after year.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research

icon
Men’s Rush
98.8/100 our score
Use
99
Insulation
97
Weather Resistance
100
Style
99
Men’s Rush
Why is it better?

Water and windproof

Good for layering

Armpit Ventilation

Snow skirt

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Men’s Rush
Test Winner: Men’s Rush
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
13
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2,190
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
16
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Sami Kritz
By Sami Kritz:

This updated list of Arc'teryx jackets continues to bring you the best of the best. We have added more buying options and organized the descriptions of each product. Founded in 1989 and excelling ever since, you can trust that these jackets will perform well and last you for years to come. Learn more in the FAQ section and don't forget to vote and tell us which criterion is most important to you!

Sorting Options
Use Insulation Weather Resistance Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Use
99 %
Insulation
97 %
Weather Resistance
100 %
Style
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$454.97
See Deal
Amazon Link
$699.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
Use
99 %
Insulation
98 %
Weather Resistance
98 %
Style
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$194.25
See Deal
Amazon Link
$224.88
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Use
98 %
Insulation
97 %
Weather Resistance
98 %
Style
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$404.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
$498.88
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Use
97 %
Insulation
96 %
Weather Resistance
96 %
Style
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$209.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
$299.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Use
96 %
Insulation
98 %
Weather Resistance
95 %
Style
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$179.97
See Deal
Amazon Link
$299.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Use
96 %
Insulation
96 %
Weather Resistance
96 %
Style
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$186.75
See Deal
Amazon Link
$249.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Use
95 %
Insulation
95 %
Weather Resistance
96 %
Style
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Amazon Link
$374.25
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Use
95 %
Insulation
95 %
Weather Resistance
96 %
Style
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Amazon Link
$399.98
Backcountry Link
$431.25
See Deal
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Use
95 %
Insulation
95 %
Weather Resistance
93 %
Style
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$194.25
See Deal
Amazon Link
$224.88
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Use
94 %
Insulation
95 %
Weather Resistance
92 %
Style
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.08.19)
Amazon Link
$248.88
Backcountry Link
$264.98
See Deal

Top 10 Picks

1. Men’s Rush

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Men’s Rush
Amazon Link
Use
99
Insulation
97
Weather Resistance
100
Style
99
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$699.00
Backcountry Link
$454.97
See Deal
Pros:

Water and windproof

Good for layering

Armpit Ventilation

Snow skirt

Cons:

Hood falls off easily

The Men’s Rush Jacket is designed for the mountains. This lightweight shell will keep the wind and cold out, and provides ample room to layer on the really cold days.

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Use
This jacket is made for snow sports. It is perfect for skiing on or off resort and can also be a great choice for winter hiking.

Insulation
The Gore-Tex Pro material that this jacket is made of keeps you warm by keeping the wind and snow out. However, it is an uninsulated shell, so plan on using it with layers on very cold days. Ventilation zippers can also be found under the arms for when you get hot ascending a mountain in skins or warm spring days on the slopes.

Weather Resistance
This jacket is made of two different materials, differentiated by the differing colors. The harder material located on the shoulders, upper arms, back, and chest, all areas that need to withstand more wear and tear. The lighter fabric is found on the lower arms and torso and allows for greater movement and breathability. Together these materials work to optimize comfort and minimize damage to the fabric. The jacket features Gore-Tex, a DWR finish, and watertight zippers. This jacket will keep you dry in many different scenarios.

Style and Fit
This jacket features a slim, athletic fit. Overall it runs true to size. A large hood can easily fit your helmet beneath it but has no way of being cinched down or can fall off when there is no helmet. This jacket also features a snow skirt that can be attached to your snow pants to keep the snow out on powder days.

Summary
The Men’s Rush Jacket is a great choice for skiing or snowboarding. It comes with all the features necessary to stay comfortable on the slopes and will keep you looking good in the process.

2. Men’s Atom LT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
Men’s Atom LT
Amazon Link
Use
99
Insulation
98
Weather Resistance
98
Style
99
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Lightweight and breathable

Works as a top or mid layer

Synthetic insulation

Cons:

Not waterproof

The Men’s Atom LT Hoody is a versatile jacket with a slim fit. It is lightweight while remaining warm and therefore works well in a variety of situations.

Read more

Use
This jacket works great for everyday wear in the city, or as a lightweight and breathable option for hiking or skiing. On warm days, it can be worn as a top layer, and when it gets colder, it is thin enough to fit under an outer shell.

Insulation
The synthetic insulation in this jacket makes it a great choice if you are looking for something that is breathable while providing warmth. However, this jacket cannot stand alone on the coldest days and should be layered under something else when the temperatures become frigid.

Weather Resistance
This jacket is made of water-resistant material. This means that it won’t stay dry in a downpour, but will repel light rain. The synthetic insulation that it is lined with will keep you warm even once the jacket has become wet.

Style and Fit
This jacket is slim fitting, so if you are looking for extra space for layers make sure to size up. The high collar will keep your neck warm on cold days, and the large hood can fit a helmet underneath. The hood has no way of synching, so without a helmet it can be bulky and has been known to fall off.

Summary
The Men’s Atom LT Hoody is a warm jacket that offers versatility in wear. Its slim fit means it looks good as an everyday jacket and also works well as a base layer.

3. Men’s Beta AR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Men’s Beta AR
Amazon Link
Use
98
Insulation
97
Weather Resistance
98
Style
98
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Hood cinches to stay in place

Water and windproof

Breathable

Cons:

Arms run long

The Men’s Beta AR Jacket is designed to keep you warm and dry during any number of activities. Versatility is the name of the game with this jacket, and it has a number of features that make it a good all-around choice.

Read more

Use
Whether you are looking for a jacket to wear on long hikes, bike commutes, or while rock climbing, this jacket would be the perfect choice for you.

Insulation
This jacket is an uninsulated hardshell, so if you plan to wear it in frigid temperatures having space to layer is very important.

Weather Resistance
Made from Gore-Tex material, this jacket is at once windproof and waterproof while remaining breathable.

Style and Fit
This jacket features a slim and attractive fit, however, this means that if you plan to wear layers underneath it, sizing up is a good idea. An inner collar helps keep the wind out, and the large hood can fit a helmet beneath. When you’re not wearing a helmet the hood can be synched shut so it stays in place. The arm holes on this jacket also feature adjustable Velcro. The one issue that customers have with fit is that the arms run long.

Summary
The Men’s Beta AR Jacket is a great choice for an all-around jacket. It will keep you warm even on a cold day in the mountains but is stylish enough that you can wear it in the city with pride. With so much adaptability, this jacket is a no-brainer.

4. Men’s Gamma MX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Men’s Gamma MX
Amazon Link
Use
97
Insulation
96
Weather Resistance
96
Style
98
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$299.00
Backcountry Link
$209.99
See Deal
Pros:

Great for mixed weather

Lightweight and breathable

Cons:

Not water or windproof

Cuffs are tight

The Men’s Gamma MX Jacket is a great three season softshell jacket that is designed to be worn in mixed weather.

Read more

Use
This jacket is great for a variety of activities ranging from walking city streets on a chilly day to skiing and hiking. As a softshell, it is not waterproof and should be reserved for sunny or snowy days.

Insulation
This softshell jacket is warm yet breathable. It is designed to be worn in mixed weather conditions and should be used with insulated layers on warm days. This jacket is not a windbreaker and is colder on very windy days.

Weather Resistance
The material that this jacket is made of allows moisture to escape, which helps regulate your body temperature. It is water resistant, but not waterproof, meaning it can be worn in light rain or snow, but will not keep you dry in severe, wet conditions.

Style and Fit
This slim fitting jacket runs true to size and should be bought in a size up if you plan to place bulky layers beneath. It has a high collar to protect your neck on cold days. Some customers have complained that the cuffs are tight.

Summary
The Men’s Gamma MX Jacket is a great pick for a softshell jacket that is versatile and breathable within a variety of different weather conditions. It is best for days when the temperature will fluctuate between warm and cold.

5. Men's Thorium AR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Men's Thorium AR
Amazon Link
Use
96
Insulation
98
Weather Resistance
95
Style
97
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$299.00
Backcountry Link
$179.97
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Pros:

Strategically placed synthetic insulation

Down insulation for warmth

Cons:

Not waterproof nor resistant

The Men’s Thorium AR Hoody is a puffy down jacket that will keep you toasty even on the most frigid days.

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Use
This is an everyday jacket, designed to be worn around town. It can also work great for hiking and backpacking on cool, sunny days.

Insulation
Down insulation in the body of this jacket means that is it extremely warm. The hood has synthetic insulation, which allows for more breathability. The synthetic insulation is most crucial by your head as this area of the body is especially important for temperature regulation.

Weather Resistance
This jacket does help to stop the wind but is not waterproof. In fact, it is advised to only wear it when you are certain it won’t get wet, as down insulation loses its ability to keep you warm after becoming wet. The strategic placement of synthetic insulation, which dries quickly and retains its warmth when wet, in the hood, along with the cuffs, and in the underarms, allows for more versatility and makes this jacket a great choice for a base layer under a shell.

Style and Fit
Although this jacket is puffy, its fitted style still hugs the body and will make you look great. The hood and high collar make it more adaptable. Customers find that it runs true to size.

Summary
The Men’s Thorium AR Hoody is the perfect jacket for cold days around town. Although it is not waterproof, it can also be a good choice for backcountry adventure if you pair it with a high-quality shell.

6. Women’s Gamma LT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Women’s Gamma LT
Amazon Link
Use
96
Insulation
96
Weather Resistance
96
Style
97
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$249.00
Backcountry Link
$186.75
See Deal
Pros:

Windproof

Breathable material

Hood cinches to stay in place

Cons:

Not waterproof

The Women’s Gamma LT Hoody is a great softshell jacket for a variety of activities on chilly, sunny days. It also has a stylish look that can make it an attractive choice for everyday wear.

Read more

Use
This is a fabulous jacket for activities like skiing, hiking, and just hanging out around town on a cold day.

Insulation
This softshell jacket is not insulated, but does keep out wind and will do a great job at keeping you warm on chilly winter days. It is meant to be worn with other insulating layers on chilly days.

Weather Resistance
The material that this jacket is made of is water resistant, meaning it will keep you dry in light rain or snow. However, it is not waterproof and will get soaked through in any truly inclement weather. The material is also very breathable, and will release excess body heat, helping to regulate your body temperature when you get hot.

Style and Fit
This jacket comes in a slim, flattering fit that is meant to contour a women’s body. The slim fit does mean that it should be bought in a size larger than you would normally purchase if you plan to wear it with layers. It has a high collar and large hood, which can either be fitted over a helmet or tightened with drawstrings so that it stays in place.

Summary
The Women’s Gamma LT Hoody is an excellent jacket that offers versatility and comfort. If you are looking for a lightweight softshell jacket that breaths as you exercise, then this is the jacket for you.

7. Women’s Stingray

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Women’s Stingray
Amazon Link
Use
95
Insulation
95
Weather Resistance
96
Style
95
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$374.25
Pros:

Powder skirt

Pit vents

Water and windproof

Breathable

Cons:

Helmet falls off easily

Some customers have been disappointed in the colors

The Women’s Stingray Jacket is a fully waterproof jacket that is excellent for adventuring in the mountains in any kind of weather.

Read more

Use
This jacket is made for skiing and snowboarding and has multiple features that are specifically designed for these sports. These features include a powder skirt that can attach to your snow pants and pit vents that can be opened to create ventilation when you become hot.

Insulation
This jacket is a hardshell and is made to be worn with multiple layers. However, it is still breathable and warm on its own, meaning it won’t let you get too cold or too hot.

Weather Resistance
The Gore-Tex material that this jacket is made from is highly waterproof and will keep you dry in any type of weather.

Style and Fit
This jacket has an attractive, slim fit that is true to size.

Summary
The Women’s Stingray Jacket is a great choice if you are looking for a new jacket for the ski season. It can also work well as a snowshoeing or hiking jacket.

8. Women’s Beta AR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Women’s Beta AR
Amazon Link
Use
95
Insulation
95
Weather Resistance
96
Style
93
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$399.98
Backcountry Link
$431.25
See Deal
Pros:

Water and windproof

Works well for a variety of activities

Hood cinches to stay in place

Cons:

Sleeves run long

The Women’s Beta AR Jacket is a great jacket that is perfect for a large variety of activities. With fully-waterproof material, it is also appropriate to wear in all types of weather.

Read more

Use
This jacket is a perfect choice for pretty much any activity in the mountains. From hiking and ice climbing to skiing and snowboarding, this jacket will keep you warm and dry no matter how far into the backcountry you wander.

Insulation
This jacket features a hardshell and is therefore designed to be worn with multiple layers underneath.

Weather Resistance
The Gore-Tex material that this jacket is made of will repel the fiercest winds, heaviest rains, and keep you cozy in deep snow. It is still lightweight and breathable, so you won’t overheat even while working up a sweat.

Style and Fit
With a slim fit style, sizing up is recommended if you plan to layer this jacket. One downside of sizing up though is that the sleeves tend to be too long, however, this is worth being able to easily fit all the layers you need. A high collar and large hood that can fit over a helmet, will keep your neck and head warm even on the coldest, windiest days. Draw strays in the hood allow you to tighten it so that it doesn’t come off when you are not wearing a helmet.

Summary
The Women’s Beta AR Jacket is a fabulous choice if you are looking for a jacket that can be used for a variety of activities. It is versatile and breathable, and since it is a shell can be paired with different layers so that it stays comfortable at different temperatures.

9. Women’s Atom LT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Women’s Atom LT
Amazon Link
Use
95
Insulation
95
Weather Resistance
93
Style
93
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$224.88
Backcountry Link
$194.25
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Pros:

Works well for a variety of activities

Works as top and mid layer

Breathable and lightweight

Cons:

Not waterproof

Sizing runs small

The Women’s Atom LT Hoody is a lightweight and flexible jacket that performs well in a variety of conditions. If you are looking for a jacket that will keep you warm and comfortable on your hike, this is a great choice.

Read more

Use
Instead of being designed for one activity, this jacket is made to be versatile. It can be worn on the ski slopes, for ice climbing, and for hiking. It also works great as a stylish everyday jacket and some women have found that it is perfect for running in cold weather.

Insulation
Synthetic insulation makes this jacket warm, while also allowing it to be breathable. The breathability means it will regulate your temperature, stopping you from overheating while you exercise.

Weather Resistance
This jacket is made from water resistant material, but it is not waterproof and should not be worn without a hardshell layer in very wet weather. The synthetic insulation does mean that it will keep you warm even after the jacket gets wet.

Style and Fit
This jacket is slim fitting, and does tend to run small, so sizing up may be a good idea. It has a large hood that can fit a helmet beneath it and a high neck, which works to insulate your body heat.

Summary
The Women’s Atom LT Hoody is an all-round great choice for a jacket. It is warm and versatile, but still small enough that it can be placed under a hardshell to work as a mid-layer on extremely cold days.

10. Women’s Cerium LT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Women’s Cerium LT
Amazon Link
Use
94
Insulation
95
Weather Resistance
92
Style
93
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$248.88
Backcountry Link
$264.98
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Pros:

Down insulation

Strategically placed synthetic insulation

Very warm

Cons:

Not water or windproof

The Women’s Cerium LT Hoody is a great down jacket that will keep you warm even on the coldest winter days. It does well as an outer layer or an underlayer and is a great choice for a variety of activities.

Read more

Use
This jacket can be worn as your main jacket while hiking, camping, or just around town. It also works great as an extremely warm mid layer for snow sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Insulation
With down insulation filling most of this jacket, it traps heat and keeps you cozy warm even on extremely cold days. Synthetic insulation, which can stay warm even once it has become wet, is placed where moisture buildup is likely, making this jacket that much more effective at keeping the warmth in.

Weather Resistance
This jacket does repel some moisture, however, it is not water or windproof and should be worn under a shell in inclement weather. This is especially important due to its down fill, which will stop keeping you warm once it becomes wet.

Style and Fit
With a tight fit, this jacket looks good despite being so puffy. A high collar and fitted hood make this jacket even cozier. It does run small, and so sizing up is recommended, especially if you wish to wear it with some bulky under layers.

Summary
The Women’s Cerium LT Hoody is a cozy jacket perfect for extra chilly winter days. With down insulation and a cozy fit, it will not only keep you warm but will make you look good as well.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

The first thing you should think about before purchasing a new jacket, whether this jacket is Arc’teryx or another brand, is how you wish to use it. There are many different activities that one can engage in during the winter months, all of which have slightly different needs in terms of warmth, versatility, and protection from inclement weather. If you are buying a jacket for ice climbing your needs will be very different from someone who is buying a jacket for winter time running. Spend some time carefully going over everything that you will want to use your jacket for and you’ll increase your chances of finding one that works for everything that you want to do.

Some of the most specialized jackets on the market are those designed for skiing and snowboarding. These jackets have special features such as snow skirts that attach to snow pants and pit vents that allow for greater ventilation on hot days. If these type of snow sports will be the primary space where you use your jacket, look for one that is specifically designed to cater to the unique needs you have on the slopes. A fully waterproof shell is also a good idea since this will keep you from getting wet on snowy days, and also allows you to get most of your warmth from layering, which is an advantage since temperatures can be extremely variable throughout the ski season.

If you are looking for an all-around mountain adventure jacket for activities such as hiking, camping, and climbing, definitely choose something that is fully water and windproof. The weather in the mountains can shift quickly, so it is important to be prepared with a jacket that will keep you warm and dry no matter what. Hardshell jackets tend to be a good choice for these activities since they are made to be layered, which adds versatility. However, insulated jackets and softshells can also work well when paired with a raincoat or other fully waterproof layer.

Finally, you may be looking for a jacket for everyday wear during the winter. Puffy jackets and softshells are a great choice for this, as it is unlikely you will get very wet while moving around town. Jackets with down insulation do not regulate your temperature as well as ones with synthetic insulation, however, this is not a problem when your main concern is staying warm. Furthermore, many jackets that Arc’teryx makes are great for both adventuring and everyday wear, so it is very possible that you can buy a jacket that will work for all the activities you plan to do this winter. The most important thing you can do to achieve that goal is to think carefully about what those needs are and do your research.

Insulation

Depending on how you use your jacket, you may want it to be cooler or warmer. If you are looking for a hardshell or softshell jacket to layer with other clothes, you will want something that doesn’t provide very much of its own heat. However, it is also possible that you want your jacket to be the primary source of insulation in your outfit. If that is the case you then need to decide if down or synthetic insulation is right for you.

Insulation is not the only way that a jacket works to keep you warm. How water and windproof a jacket is also has a huge effect on your body temperature and comfort level. If you are looking for something that you can wear in inclement weather, make sure it is fully waterproof. A cozy down jacket that lets moisture in might actually make you colder on days like this. Hardshells tend to be the best choice for fully waterproof jackets.

It is also possible that you are buying a jacket for activities that will cause you to sweat even in the cold. If this is the case you want a jacket that will breathe well, and release your excess body heat. Softshells and synthetically insulated jackets are probably the best choices if these are your needs. Think about where you live and how you will be using your jacket before buying it so that you can tailor your purchase to the needs presented by the weather you encounter and the activities you engage in.

Weather Resistance

Arc'Teryx offers jackets for every occasion. From trail running to skiing to everyday wear, there is something for everyone. However, depending on the occasion, it is important to take note of the weather resistance of your jacket.

If you will be in the vicinity of rain, sleet, or snow, a jacket that features Gore-Tex material is a must. Gore-Tex is a synthetic fabric that is waterproof and creates a strong impermeable barrier between you and the outside air and vapors. This material prides itself in being breathable, windproof, and 100% waterproof. A new version of this material has recently hit the market and it is called Gore-Tex Infinium. This is very similar to the original material but features more flexibility, making it a better choice for active wear.

Style

Most Arc'teryx jackets are offered in a beautiful variety of colors. You will be able to reflect your personal style while staying warm and practical.

Arc’teryx jackets are known for having a slim, athletic cut. This styling makes them look great, but also means they tend to be tight. They are ideal for the outdoors and outfitted with useful pockets and zippers. Arc'teryx does everything for a reason, but you may want to keep the athletic fit in mind when buying a jacket. If you plan to layer your jacket know that it is probably a good idea to buy a size larger than you normally would.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
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#1
ico Use
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#2
ico Insulation
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#3
ico Weather Resistance
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#4
ico Style
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expert tips icon
Don't Overwash

Knowing how to wash your jacket is important. However, each jacket comes with its own set of guidelines. With most Arc'Teryx jackets, whether they are waterproof or a down jacket, it is best to only wash it when necessary. These jackets have a delicate filling and/or a waterproof finish that may need to be restored after a certain amount of washes and use.

Arc'Teryx Abbreviations

Knowing the abbreviations that Arc'Teryx uses can help you make your decision faster and with less research. These abbreviations are found the product name of each jacket.

MX=Mixed Weather; AR=All Round; LT=Lightweight; SV=Severe Weather; FL=Fast and Light; SL=Super Light

Other Factors to Consider

Features

One of the most important aspects of a jacket is the pocket feature. If you are going to be using your jacket for strenuous activities where you don’t want to carry a bag, having pockets that can fit everything you need is very important. Running is an example of an activity where pockets can make a huge difference. Skiing and snowboarding in resorts are also sports where pockets are crucial for carrying all of your belongings. Jackets designed for snow sports can also have special pockets that allow easy access to things like your ski pass and headphones.

Besides holding your belonging, pockets are also incredibly helpful for keeping your hands warm in the winter. Some Arc’teryx jackets, especially those designed for everyday use, are known for having tiny pockets. If you are buying your jacket in an Arc’teryx store it is easy to inspect the pockets to see if they are large enough. However, figuring out if the pockets on a jacket will fit your needs can be much more difficult online. Photos and customer reviews are the best ways to get this information.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What’s the difference between a softshell and hardshell jacket?

a:

Hardshell and softshell jackets are both designed to be worn with layers underneath. Neither of these types of jackets offers insulation, but rather are meant to provide protection from the elements. With a shell jacket, insulation and warmth are gathered from what one wears beneath. Still, hardshell and softshell jackets do not work the same and should be chosen for different activities and in different types of weather.

The primary differences between hardshell and softshell jackets are water resistance and breathability. Hardshell jackets are fully waterproof and should be worn any time there is a chance that you will get caught in the rain. They are ideal for backpacking since they provide full protection from bad weather and are more lightweight than softshells. They can also be a good choice for snow sports on cold days and in heavy snow. However, a hardshell jacket will most likely be too hot for skiing on a sunny, warm day. The only exception to this is if the jacket has pit ventilation.

Softshell jackets are water resistant and windproof but not waterproof. This means they can work in light snow but will let moisture in during heavy snowfall or rain. However, softshells are infinitely more breathable than hardshells, and therefore tend to be a better choice for winter activities that cause you to work up a sweat. Skiing and snowboarding, day hikes, running, and biking are all examples of sports where a softshell will serve you better than a hardshell.

q: What’s the difference between synthetic and down insulation?

a:

There are two types of insulation that a jacket might use: synthetic and down. Synthetic insulation is made from polyester fibers, while down is the fluffy stuff the is found beneath the outer feathers of ducks and geese. Both types of insulation have their advantages and disadvantages which should be measured before you choose to buy an insulated jacket made with either of these materials.

Synthetic jackets are more breathable and less expensive than down. They are also able to retain their warmth after becoming wet and dry much more quickly than down. However, down jackets are warmer, making them the optimal choice for coziness is your primary concern. Down also compresses more easily than synthetic insulation, and is lighter weight, making down jackets a more desirable choice for backpacking.

q: How can I layer properly for the cold?

a:

For staying warm on a chilly day, nothing can beat good layers. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, that will remove excess sweat from the skin, keeping you warm and dry. Next should be an insulated layer. For super chilly days when you want to keep at much heat in as you can, down insulation is a great choice. However, on warmer days synthetic insulation will allow for better temperature regulation. Depending on the temperature and weather this may be enough to keep you warm, but if it is truly cold out an outer shell jacket is an important addition to your layers. A hardshell is the right choice if the weather is bad, but on frigid yet sunny days, a softshell will keep the wind out while letting your layers breath.

q: What is the difference between a parka and a jacket?

a:

Typically, parkas are longer than jackets. Parkas are usually warmer than a typical jacket, because of their length, which keeps your lower body covered and insulated from the cold. While Arc’teryx does offer parkas, there are none on this list; however, they are a great option if you need something that covers your lower half. If this is the case, check out the Camosun Parka. In general, parkas come just below your waist or below.

q: What is the number one thing I should look for in a winter coat?

a:

When you are looking for a winter coat, make sure that you prioritize one thing. And that one thing is warmth. It doesn’t matter what the trends are, or how good a jacket looks on you, if it doesn’t keep you warm, it’s not doing its job. Not to mention, when it’s minus 30 and you are wearing a coat that barely feels like it’s there, because it doesn’t sufficiently block out the winds, cold, and icy temperatures won’t do you any favors. If you have the choice between a fashionable or highly warm coat, go for warmth — every time.

Sources

  1. Peter, Linsay, and Melinda, Best Arc'Teryx Jackets for Men, Review
  2. Justin Archer, Best Arc’teryx Jacket for Hiking, Buying Guide