Adventure Canada Reviews

Top 7 Best Arcteryx Jacket – Climbers Choice

Canadian company Arc’teryx is known for its high quality and durable outdoor clothing range. Tested against the harsh climate of British Columbia’s Coast Mountain range, their jackets are designed to protect the user from a multitude of difficult weather conditions while you ascend your routes. We are going to be looking at many different jackets from the revolutionary brand, and discussing which is the best Arc’teryx jacket for climbing and hiking in Canada and around the world. From the warmest Arc’teryx jacket to the best Arc’teryx rain jacket and finally the ultimate best Arc’teryx ski jacket.

What’s the Best Arcteryx Jacket?

After looking through the range of Arc’teryx jackets on the marketplace, we have selected our 7 favorites below. While these are listed in roughly descending order, starting with our favorite, we will detail in each review the benefits and fallbacks of each jacket and how they are best used, meaning that some jackets further down the list might perform better at skiing than those at the top, for example. We have provided some useful tips for buying jackets from Arc’teryx after the reviews and answered some commonly asked questions.

Most jackets from Arc’teryx are designed to be part of a layering system. Each garment functions best when used as an outer shell, or a mid-layer, although outer shells do provide a certain amount of insulation, and mid-layers are usually at least weather resistant.

Useful Tips

Below are a few useful tips to help you decide on which Arc’teryx jacket is the right one for you.

Most Important Features to Look out for

When buying a jacket, you have to personally prioritize what is important to you and to tailor these priorities along with how you intend to use it. If you are looking for a good jacket that you will be able to climb in, look for the durability and flexibility of the materials used to make it.

Top 7 Best Arcteryx Jacket Comparisons

If you are going to be taking your jacket on an alpine expedition, waterproofing, windproofing and insulation should be at the top of your list. Consider what other items you are likely to pair your jacket with when layering up before deciding on the most insulating jacket, as you may well have the warmth aspect already covered with your current wardrobe, and you don’t want to overheat.

Types of Material of Arc’teryx Jackets

Arc’teryx tests all of its products and materials in the British Columbian Coast Mountains. Many of their synthetic materials are Bluesign certified, meaning they are safe for the environment. Most of their products are made of a mixture of natural and artificial materials, and they have teamed up with Ocean Wise to help to understand how microplastics are shed, intending to reduce their environmental impact.

Types of Sports Arc’teryx products are best for

Arc’teryx was founded as a rock-climbing gear company in 1989 under the name “Rock Solid”, and carry a range of climbing products like premium harnesses, rope bags and more. However, they have since developed to innovate clothing design for alpinism and skiing. Their products are well suited to particularly cold and harsh conditions like ice climbing but can be used for a variety of different outdoor activities such as hiking and trail running.

1. Arc’teryx Zeta AR Jacket

PROS

A good, all-around waterproof layer

Versatile enough to be used for multiple outdoor activities

Lightweight and easily packable

CONS

Not as insulated as other Arc’teryx jackets

Better used as a lightweight protective outer shell

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A robust, lightweight jacket made from Gore-Tex material, guaranteed to keep you dry. The Zeta AR jacket is perfect for those who explore difficult and hostile terrain with unpredictable weather patterns, as it is made from strong durable material, is windproof, waterproof, and breathable, all while being light and compact enough to stuff into a sturdy climbing backpack. This is arguably Arc’teryx’s best rain jacket.

2. Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket

PROS

Excellent warmth to weight ratio

Lightweight

Easy to stuff into small spaces in a backpack

CONS

Water-resistant which is different from being waterproof

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This is an extremely warm, minimalistic puffy jacket. The Cerium LT jacket works exceptionally well as an additional layer under a waterproof shell, providing incredible amounts of warmth despite being so lightweight and packable. The outer layer is made of a moisture-resistant fabric that is breathable and wind-resistant, so this can also be used as a standalone garment in drier conditions.

3. Arc’teryx Thorium AR Hoody

PROS

Fantastic warmth to weight ratio

Durable

Lightweight

Easy to carry around

CONS

Not entirely waterproof, although does provide some moderate protection from rainfall

Best used as a mid-layer, paired with a waterproof outer shell

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Similar to the Cerium LT jacket the Arc’teryx Thorium AR Hoody is designed to be a mid-layer jacket despite having a weather-protective outer liner. It is also very lightweight and easily stuffed into a backpack, providing an excellent warmth to weight ratio, but is generally found at a slightly higher price than the Cerium.

4. Arc’teryx Alpha AR Jacket

PROS

Lightweight

Minimalist jacket

Fully waterproof and windproof

Versatile enough to be used for multiple outdoor activities

CONS

Premium priced for a waterproof outer shell

Not particularly insulated

Works best as a protective outer shell rather than a standalone garment

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The Alpha range is a minimalist, alpine hardshell, reinforced in moving areas for extra durability and weather protection. The hood can easily be adjusted to fit over a helmet for activities such as skiing and climbing. Large hand pockets on the front of the garment are strategically located to not interfere with your backpack support belt or with a harness if worn during climbing. There are also zips under the arms to help you regulate your body temperature while in use. This jacket would be particularly suited to ice climbers or skiers.

5. Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody

PROS

Versatile and Lightweight

Easy to pack

Vibrant and fantastic to look at

CONS

Not completely waterproof

Should only be used in light wind and snow without a protective outer shell

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This is a lightweight synthetic insulated garment, available in a variety of vibrant colors. This works exceptionally well as a mid-layer jacket, weighing very little and consisting of a breathable, weather-resistant outer layer. The insulation has been synthetically manufactured to reduce the weight and size while not hindering the amount of insulation it provides. This is available in both a hooded and unhooded version.

6. Arc’teryx Kyanite Jacket

PROS

Cheaper product than many other Arc’teryx jackets

Flexible and warm

CONS

Not windproof or waterproof

Specifically good for cardio heavy exercises. In other situations, it may not function so well

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The Kyanite jacket is another mid-layer for a full winter set up or an outer layer for warmer conditions. This is an excellent piece to wear while climbing as it is air permeable and moisture-wicking for those cardio moments, and made of a stretching synthetic fleece for those difficult moves that require all of your upper body mobility. It is strong and durable and great to use for numerous outdoor activities.

7. Arc’teryx Proton LT Jacket

PROS

Stylish softshell jacket

Self-regulating temperature properties

CONS

Works best as a mid-layer and requires a bottom insulation layer and a resistant shell to be fully functional

Not fully waterproof

See it in your local store:

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United Kingdom
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The Proton LT jacket is another mid-layer jacket that offers some basic weather protection if used as an outer shell. It is specifically designed for alpinism climbing as a robust, air-permeable layer with self-regulating temperature properties. The jacket has been articulated and gusseted in key mobility areas to ensure maximum flexibility.

If you are heading out into the mountains and expecting sub-zero temperatures, it would be best to pair a Zeta AR jacket with a Cerium LT underneath to reap the insulation benefits of a mid-layer and the protection of an outer shell. This would be an expensive investment, however, when you are facing hostile conditions, it pays to have equipment that you can rely on.

Questions and Answers About Arcteryx Jacket

Is Arcteryx an ethical company?

Arc’teryx produces durable, high-quality products that are designed to last a long time, diminishing the need for replacement products as the years pass. This means that you are likely to pay a little more for the jacket when you buy it, but it should last a much longer time than a cheaper product. This has a positive effect on the environment. On top of this, they actively seek to use low-carbon materials and have set up multiple teams to help repair broken products, elongating their life, and demanding fewer materials from planet Earth.

Arc’teryx also ensures that animal products used are complying with animal welfare guidelines, and have joined many community programs, including their own initiative called Do Right.

Are Arcteryx jackets worth it?

The price of an Arc’teryx jacket can often seem a little intimidating at first as these tend to be at the higher end of the outdoor clothing scale. However, their strong and robust designs packed full of useful features and functional materials. They are manufactured to last a long time and withstand the harsh outdoor weather conditions all around the world, be it alpine climbing in Chamonix or multi-pitch climbing in USA in Winter.

Their jackets are also easily repaired when broken, meaning that it is more of a long term investment. If you add up the price of multiple jackets that would last the same time as a single Arc’teryx jacket, most of the time the Arc’teryx jacket will end up cheaper.

What is Arcteryx known for to climbers?

In 1993, the revolutionary Vapor Rock Climbing Harness was Arc’teryx’s best selling product. They make chalk bags, top quality harnesses for kids and adults, rope bags, and approach or canyoneering shoes specifically geared towards the needs of a modern climber.

Is Arc’teryx better than Patagonia?

Comparing two brands such as Patagonia and Arc’teryx is difficult to do in a couple of sentences, however, we have written an article comparing similar products from the two companies against each other. Both Patagonia and Arc’teryx make strong, durable outdoor products with an ethical and ecological compass.

Is Arc’teryx made in China?

While the head office of Arc’teryx is in British Columbia, production of roughly a third of their products has moved to the Chinese labor market. An additional third is made in Canada, and the remaining products are manufactured in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

What Arc’teryx products are made in Canada?

Some Arc’teryx jackets, backpacks, and harnesses are still made in Canada. Product design and testing still take place in British Columbia instead of being outsourced to other countries.

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