As outdoor enthusiasts, we expect a lot from our hiking gear. We want them to protect us from the wind, snow, rain, and intense sun. We want them to dry quickly, breathe well, and insulate us from the cold. Many of us also want these clothes to be as stylish and eye-catching as possible.
However, style and functionality rarely go together regarding apparel that protects you from foul weather. Not in the case of Arc’Teryx jackets, this company specializes in high-quality, durable, effective, and fashionable apparel.
Located only a few minutes from the Canadian North Shore mountains, Arc’Teryx is a brand that knows a thing or two about harsh-weather clothing. Every Arc’Teryx jacket is designed to protect its wearer from a myriad of difficult weather conditions and has been tested against the harsh climate of western Canada. In addition, these are the sleekest-looking outdoor clothes on the market – they’re as pretty as a picture.
If you’ve decided to get yourself an Arc’Teryx jacket, you’re probably overwhelmed by the available options – there are dozens of different models on offer. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the company’s most popular models and closely examined their most important features. Here’s what we found:
Table of Contents
- 1 Reviews of the Best ArcTeryx Jackets
- 1.1 Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Jacket
- 1.2 Arc’Teryx Covert Hoody Jacket
- 1.3 Arc’Teryx Atom LT Jacket
- 1.4 Arc’Teryx Gamma LT
- 1.5 Arc’Teryx Zeta LT Rain Jacket
- 1.6 Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket
- 1.7 Arc’Teryx Thorium AR Jacket
- 1.8 Arc’Teryx Alpha SV Jacket
- 1.9 Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody Jacket
- 2 Best Arc’Teryx Jackets – The Verdict
Reviews of the Best ArcTeryx Jackets
Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Jacket
- Weight: 10.8 ounces
- Material: Arato 10 nylon
- Insulation: 850-fill goose down & Coreloft 80/100
Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hoody is a fantastic down jacket – that much is certain. This jacket is guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable even in the most severe weather conditions.
The model works well as both an underlayer or an outer layer and can be used for many different outdoor activities. With a comfortable fit and warm-down insulation, it provides excellent weather protection while also making you look good.
Although it looks quite puffy, Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hoody actually provides a tight fit. A fitted hood and a high collar make it even cozier than it already is.
An important thing to mention about this jacket is that it generally runs small, so it’s recommended to go for a size up. This is particularly important if you’re planning to wear it with underlayers.
As you can see in the specifications, this Arc’Teryx LT jacket (LT stands for lightweight, by the way) uses both down and synthetic insulation. As such, it can effortlessly trap your body heat and keep you dry and warm no matter the weather.
In the case of this jacket, synthetic insulation (Coreloft 80 and Coreloft 100) was used in places where moisture buildup is most likely to occur. This makes the jacket even more effective at keeping its user warm.
This Arc’Teryx jacket can and will repel moisture – that much is certain. However, it is neither windproof or waterproof. For that matter, it should always be worn under a shell or hardshell jacket in adverse weather conditions.
This is particularly important if we take the model’s down fill into account. As you probably already know, down-insulated jackets stop keeping their users warm once they’re soaked by rain or snow.
This down/synthetic-insulated jacket can be worn as the primary jacket while trekking, camping, or just hanging around town. However, it also works very well as a mid-layer for winter sports such as snowboarding or skiing.
- High-quality down insulation combined with strategically placed Coreloft insulation
- Reasonable price for the quality
- Not wind or waterproof
Arc’Teryx Covert Hoody Jacket
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Material: Alpenex II polyester fleece
- Insulation: N/A
This Arc’Teryx clothing is much more casual than most other jackets in our roundup. Although it’s made of polyester fleece and is as far from a rugged hardshell as possible, it is exceptionally warm and breathable. In addition, it provides a great fit and can be worn on its own or layered.
Arc’Teryx Covert Hoody has a fit that goes well with most body types. The front of the jacket comes down to one’s hips, while its back is long enough to keep the cold weather at bay.
In terms of pockets, Arc’Teryx Covert has one sleeve pocket, two laminated hand pockets, and three standard jacket pockets. We especially liked the hand pockets and the sleeve pocket since it’s great for things like cash or cards. Furthermore, this jacket is available in 13 different colors – pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?
As its name suggests, this jacket comes equipped with a hood. The hood is the company’s proprietary “Scuba-Hood”, and it conforms to the wearer’s head to provide a warm and comfortable fit.
This Arc’Teryx jacket was made to keep its user warm – that much is certain. As you can see from the specifications, the main material used for its manufacture is Alpenex II polyester fleece.
This material makes the Covert Hoody tight enough to be worn under a hardshell. However, this special fabric is also loose enough to let the user add layers underneath the jacket. The hood hugs the face and prevents the cool breeze from sneaking inside.
As we already said, the primary function of Covert Hoody is to trap the user’s body heat. However, the fabric out of which it is made is also water-resistant (but not waterproof) and quick-drying.
In case you get stuck in snow or light rain, you won’t get soaked while wearing Arc’Teryx Covert Hoody. Unfortunately, the jacket won’t provide sufficient weather protection in case of a more intense storm – for such occasions, a hardshell is a much better choice.
As far as we’re concerned, this fleece-made shell is an excellent all-around choice for cold backcountry days. The fabric used in its manufacture is quick-drying and breathable. This is also a very lightweight jacket and makes a great top, mid, or single layer.
- Breathable & very comfortable
- Lots of color choices available
- Lots of convenient pockets
- The hood is not helmet-compatible
Arc’Teryx Atom LT Jacket
- Weight: 13.2 ounces
- Material: Performance-stretch fleece, 20D Tyono
- Insulation: Coreloft 60
Next up is probably the company’s most popular hardshell jacket – Atom LT. This model is lightweight, provides a slim fit, and is very versatile – it works well in various outdoor situations. The model works especially well as a base layer but is also an excellent everyday jacket.
As we mentioned above, this hardshell is a slim-fitting jacket. Therefore, those looking for extra layering space should probably go one size up.
The model has a high collar that protects the neck from cold winds. Furthermore, the Atom LT Jacket is one of those Arc’Teryx jackets that feature a helmet-compatible hood. However, the model’s hood can’t be cinched down – it can be bulky when used without a helmet.
The Coreloft 60 insulation turns this Arc’Teryx jacket into an ideal option for folks looking for a hard shell that is both warm and breathable.
However, it’s important to mention that this model should not be used on its own in freezing temperatures. In the case of really cold weather, your best bet is to combine the Arc’Teryx Atom LT jacket with another piece of clothing.
First things first – this is not a waterproof jacket. It is, however, made out of water-resistant material.
What does that mean? While it certainly can’t stay dry in a downpour, this hardshell successfully repels light rain. Its synthetic Coreloft 60 insulation will keep you dry in all but the foulest weather conditions.
As we said, this Arc’Teryx jacket is a great choice for everyday use around the city due to its sleek design. However, it is also breathable and lightweight enough to be a pretty good option for skiing or hiking.
On colder days, this jacket can easily fit under an outer shell due to its thin fabric. On warm days, on the other hand, you wear it as your top layer.
- One of the best Arc’Teryx garments on the market
- Breathable & lightweight hardshell
- Works well as both mid and top layer
- Not waterproof
Arc’Teryx Gamma LT
- Weight: 1 pound 3.2 ounces
- Material: Wee Burly Double Weave
- Insulation: N/A
Not everybody needs a hardshell jacket. Softshell jackets, such as Arct’Teryx Gamma LT, are ideal for outdoor activities on sunny but chilly days. Those looking for a softshell jacket that is light and breathable (especially during exercise) will find this model one of their best options.
This light jacket sports a slim, flattering fit, which is particularly obvious in the women’s variant. Just like in the case of Atom LT, this means that your best bet is to go for a size larger if you decide to buy this jacket, especially if you’re planning to wear it with layers.
The model features a high collar and a helmet-compatible hood. Fortunately, this time there’s a way to make the hood stay in place – you only have to tighten it with the drawstrings.
Unfortunately, Gamma LT is not an insulated jacket. You won’t have to worry about weather protection, though – this shell is guaranteed to keep you warm on chilly winter days, and that’s reflected in its price. Just keep in mind that Gamma LT was not designed for alpine expeditions and should be used with layers in the case of freezing temperatures.
The fabric used in the manufacture of this jacket is called Wee Burly Double Weave. Although not waterproof, this fabric is water-resistant – the jacket’s shell keeps the user dry in light rain. It will get soaked in inclement weather, though. Therefore, those who often hike in rainy areas are better off with a hardshell such as Arc’Teryx Rush.
Another important thing to mention here is that this fabric is very breathable. In other words, it does a great job of releasing excess body heat, helping the wearer regulate his or her body temperature when exercising.
We think that it’s pretty safe to say that this is a fabulous jacket for outdoor exercise, as well as for activities like hiking and skiing. Due to its sleek, minimalistic design, it is also a pretty good choice for hanging out around town in chilly weather.
- Best Arc’Teryx jacket for outdoor exercise
- Windproof & breathable
- Hood stays in place thanks to drawstrings
- Not waterproof
Arc’Teryx Zeta LT Rain Jacket
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Material: 40D nylon, Gore-Tex
- Insulation: N/A
Next up is what many outdoor enthusiasts consider to be one of the best Arc’Teryx jackets on the market – Zeta LT. While this isn’t a Gore-Tex Pro shell, it features a 40D nylon fabric that is combined with a 3-layer Gore-Tex membrane – it’s one of the most waterproof jackets out there. It is also very light and packs down easily.
The Arc’Teryx Zeta LT jacket has a 27.5” back length and provides a slim fit. However, this slim fit is slightly loose and leaves enough space for underlayers. There’s also plenty of flexibility throughout the model’s underarms and elbows.
In terms of pockets, this jacket sports a single chest pocket (zippered & laminated) and two external waterproof pockets.
This Arc’Teryx jacket has no built-in insulation. However, as we already said, its trim fit leaves plenty of space for layering underneath. This jacket is, after all, a strong anti-rain hardshell – those looking for cozy insulation should consider getting one of the company’s down jackets.
To aid in keeping the cold air out and keeping the wearer as warm as possible, this Arc’Teryx rain shell features Velcro wrist cuffs and a microsuede collar. Once again, you can always combine it with other jackets for your alpine-like adventures.
Light rain? Unexpected downpour? Humid jungle? With this Arc’Teryx jacket, none of those situations will be a problem. As we already said, this is a fully waterproof hardshell thanks to its 3-layer Gore-Tex construction. Gore-Tex and Gore-Tex Pro technologies are an industry standard when it comes to waterproof jackets – it’s a feature that rarely disappoints.
Besides the 3-layer Gore-Tex, this Arc’Teryx jacket also sports a Gore C-Knit backer for additional breathability and comfort. Its external zippers are also waterproof, and its storm hood sports a baseball cap style and can be easily tightened with the pull-cord.
So, who is this jacket best for? In our opinion, Arc’Teryx Zeta LT is a great choice for folks who are often hiking in areas with unpredictable weather. It provides excellent rain protection due to its Gore-Tex construction and it’s one of those quality rain jackets that won’t let you down.
Besides the high price, which is something you can expect from Arc’Teryx jackets, our only complaint is the lack of pit zips.
- One of the best Arc’Teryx jackets for rain
- 3-layer Gore-Tex construction
- Waterproof zippers
- No pit zips
Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket
Hiking enthusiasts who know a thing or two about Arc’Teryx jackets know about their Beta AR Jacket, which is the more durable (and more expensive) cousin of the company’s Beta SL model.
The Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket is popular for a lot of reasons. Made out of fully waterproof fabric, the Beta AR Jacket provides ample protection from the elements, including both light rain and alpine blizzards. Furthermore, the Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket is breathable and versatile – it’s a hardshell that you can combine with different layers for the highest level of comfort in all situations.
Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket features a slim fit style. Just like in the case of jackets we’ve analyzed above, sizing up is recommended for those who plan to layer it.
One thing we particularly like about the Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket is that it comes with a high collar that keeps the wearer’s neck dry and warm in alpine conditions. Moreover, Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket also has a helmet-compatible hood with drawstrings that allow easy tightening. And just like its Beta SL cousin, the Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket also features pit zips.
As mentioned above, Arc’Teryx Beta AR is a hardshell jacket. In other words, it features no insulation – it was designed for layering with other clothes. This is especially true when it comes to alpine conditions, where the Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket can’t really keep its user warm on its own.
The best thing about Arc’Teryx Beta AR is how weather-resistant it is – there’s no doubt about that. This hardshell was made to repel heavy rain and fierce winds. However, Arc’Teryx Beta AR is still very lightweight and breathable – you won’t have to worry about overheating while wearing it.
What makes the Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket so weather-resistant? The main materials used in its manufacture are two different types of Gore-Tex Pro – N40r-X and N80p. When combined with the DWR coating, fully taped seams, and the already-mentioned waterproof underarm zips, these make Arc’Teryx Beta AR as windproof and waterproof as possible. In fact, this jacket is probably the best choice for folks whose hiking adventures take them to places where they have to endure hours of rain.
The Arc’Teryx Beta Ar is a phenomenal choice for pretty much all outdoor activities that involve rain and snow. It justifies its high price by being a genuinely waterproof jacket – its combination of two different high-quality Gore-Tex Pro fabrics turns it into a hardshell that provides exceptional protection from moisture.
If you, however, need something a bit more lightweight and packable, make sure to check the company’s Beta SL jacket. But if you often hike in rainy areas, the Arc’Teryx Beta AR is undoubtedly the best jacket for you.
- The best waterproof Arc’Teryx jacket
- More protective and durable than Beta SL
- A great all-around hardshell for layering
- High price
Arc’Teryx Thorium AR Jacket
- Weight: 1 pound 1.3 ounces
- Material: 30D Arato nylon
- Insulation: Coreloft 80 & 140, 750-fill goose down
While not as water-resistant as the Arc’Teryx Beta AR jacket we’ve analyzed above, Thorium AR is still a great option for cold walks around town. When paired with a high-quality hardshell, it becomes a pretty good choice for hiking adventures, too.
First things first – the fit. As you can see from the image, Thorium AR is a puffy jacket. However, its design and construction allow it to tightly hug the user’s body.
The high collar and the hood of this eye-catching jacket make it even more adaptable than it already is. Finally, most of the users find that this is one of those jackets that run true to size.
As you can see from the specifications, this winter jacket combines standard down insulation with Coreloft synthetic insulation (two types of it – Coreloft 80 and Coreloft 140). Obviously, the down insulation makes this jacket extremely warm and therefore suitable for cold-weather hiking escapades.
The synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is mostly present around the head area, i.e. inside the model’s hood. It makes the hood somewhat breathable, which can come in very handy when you don’t want to wear your beanie.
Unfortunately, this jacket isn’t as water-resistant as the Arc’Teryx Beta AR jacket. While it certainly does its best to keep the wind at bay, this jacket won’t protect you from moisture. In our opinion, it should be worn on its own only when you’re certain you won’t get wet.
The strategic placement of synthetic insulation (in the underarms, along with the cuffs, and in the hood) contributes to the model’s overall versatility and turns it into a pretty good choice for folks who need a puffer to use it underneath their hardshell.
Arc’Teryx Thorium AR works best when worn around town – it’s one of the better everyday jackets in the company’s lineup of garments. However, it can also be used for activities such as hiking, particularly on not-so-chilly days or when combined with a hardshell such as the Arc’Teryx Beta AR jacket.
- One of the best everyday jackets from Arc’Teryx
- Combination of down & synthetic insulation
- Works great underneath a hardshell
- The price – not for those on a budget
Arc’Teryx Alpha SV Jacket
- Weight: 1 pound 1.3 ounces
- Material: 100D N100p-X nylon, Gore-Tex Pro
- Insulation: N/A
Arc’Teryx Beta AR is the best Arc’Teryx jacket in terms of water resistance – that much is certain. But which Arc’Teryx jacket is the most durable? Described by thousands of users as “indestructible” and “bombproof”, the Arc’Teryx Alpha SV jacket is one of the most durable jackets on the market.
While it’s not the best choice for everyday use, its wind, water, and abrasion-resistance make it a great choice for those who often spend weeks hiking in the mountains.
Arc’Teryx Alpha SV jacket finds its place among jackets that offer a regular fit. Its arms and elbows are very mobile and flexible, and there are plenty of pockets for all of your hiking essentials, including outdoor gear such as small flashlights or compasses.
The Arc’Teryx Alpha SV jacket sports one internal dump pocket, two internal laminated pockets, one WaterTight left bicep pocket, and two external WaterTight zippers. The Alpha Sv jacket is also quite lightweight for a shell of this construction, at only 1lb 1.3oz.
The fact that the Alpha SV jacket comes without built-in insulation can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on what you’re planning to use it for. However, the fit of the Alpha SV jacket leaves a lot of space for layering. Read more about how to layer for outdoor activities.
In case you get hot while wearing the Alpha SV jacket, you can simply use the built-in armpit vents. Those who want to keep the cold at bay, on the other hand, can tighten the model’s drawcord hem and the adjustable Velcro wrist cuffs.
Although not as great as Arc’Teryx Beta AR in terms of weather protection, the Alpha SV jacket justifies its price by being extremely waterproof, windproof, and abrasion-resistant. As we already said, it is the best Arc’Teryx shell in terms of durability. What makes this jacket so rugged is its combination of Gore-Tex Pro technology and 100D N100p-X nylon.
To enhance its waterproofness even further, the company decided to use the Nu water repellent treatment and to equip the jacket with taped seams. Furthermore, this is one of those jackets that feature an easily adjustable and helmet-compatible hood.
The fact that the Alpha SV jacket is built for the toughest of terrains is obvious right from the start. While not as impressive as the Arc’Teryx Beta AR hardshell in the weather resistance department, this jacket easily stands up to abrasions, rain, and wind. After all, the “SV” stands for “Severe Weather”!
In our opinion, you should get this jacket if you need a lightweight hardshell for hiking in harsh, alpine-like conditions. It’s also among the best jackets for folks hiking in areas with lots of rain, although the Beta AR may be a better choice in that department.
- The best shell in terms of durability
- Wind & rain-proof
- Low weight & plenty of pockets
- High price
Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody Jacket
- Weight: 4.9 ounces
- Material: Nylon
- Insulation: N/A
Those who want to save some money but still want to get a top-level Arc’Teryx windshell should seriously consider getting the company’s Squamish Hoody. Coming at a more reasonable price, this is a model you’re bound to like – it is lightweight, warm, water-resistant, and even stowable. While not the best choice for alpine hiking, this is one of those jackets that easily become an inseparable part of one’s outdoor gear.
Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody sports a tight, athletic fit. As such, it’s not the best choice for folks who like loose jackets. The model’s elbows are articulated and very flexible and mobile. The model also allows its users to find the best fit through the use of its cuffs, hem, and hood.
Furthermore, Arc’Teryx Squamish stows away into its own pocket and sports a reflective logo that can literally save your life in low-visibility conditions.
It goes without saying, but this low-price windshell comes without any type of insulation. This is, after all, a windbreaker that provides protection from light showers. In case you find yourself needing some extra warmth, you’ll be pleased to know that the Squamish Hoody can be easily layered with other clothes.
While it’s certainly not as waterproof as, say, Beta AR (Squamish has no Gore-Tex in its construction), this garment still offers decent weather resistance.
In our opinion, it’s a dependable windshell that successfully protects its wearer from things like subtle drops in temperature, light rain, or chilly breeze. When used with underlayers, it can be pretty useful even in freezing temperatures – this is, after all, an Arc’Teryx jacket.
Coming at an affordable price, Arc’Teryx Squamish is the best choice for weekend hikers on a budget. It’s a dependable, lightweight, and reasonably-priced model and a great piece of clothing to have in your backpack in case of unexpected showers.
- Best Arc’Teryx windshell for folks on a budget
- Reasonably weather-resistant
- Stows away into its own pocket
- A single pocket
Best Arc’Teryx Jackets – The Verdict
So, there you have it – our in-depth analysis of the best down and synthetic jackets made by this famous Canadian manufacturer of outdoor apparel has come to an end.
Which of these jackets is the best? Finding an answer to this question is all but easy. All of the models we’ve reviewed above sport top-notch design and are more than capable of keeping their users warm, comfortable, and protected from the elements. However, most of them are also quite pricey – Arc’Teryx garments are rarely a good choice for those on a budget (there are exceptions, of course – see Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody Jacket).
If we would have to choose a winner, that would probably be . As we mentioned a couple of times through this article, this hardshell is the most waterproof Arc’Teryx jacket in our roundup, thanks to its combination of two different types of Gore-Tex fabrics. Alpha SV is a close second – it’s an ideal choice for hikers who need their jackets to be as durable as possible.
In addition to high-quality jackets, do know that Arc’Teryx also makes some of the best hiking pants on the market (softshell pants in particular), so be sure to check them out as well. If you are interested in Arx’teryx alternatives, I recommend checking out my Arc’teryx vs Outdoor Research comparison.
And if you think that a jacket might be overkill for you after all, consider investing in a down vest. For more information, check out my Down Vest vs Jacket comparison.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.