Arc’teryx Beta SL

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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Arc’teryx Beta SL Review Facts

In every life, a little rain must fall. That’s doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a great rain jacket to keep you protected when that rain comes. This is where the Arc’teryx Beta SL comes in. The Beta SL is a great, all-around weather jacket intended to keep you dry while you are out and about enjoying a life of activities. By offering an amazing range of motion, durability, and versatility this rain jacket allows those who love the great outdoors the opportunity to stay in the terrain you love, continue the activities you dream of completing, and staying dry all at the same time. Also, check out Arc’Teryx Kyanite LT Jacket as it's another great product.

Reviewers have found that the Arc’teryx Beta SL to be one of the best performing rain jackets on the market. By encompassing all the criteria one may be looking for in a jacket to help protect against an oncoming shower, the Beta SL pushes the boundaries of what’s expected and comes out on the other side looking like a champ. In this review, we will discuss both the pros and cons associated with this rain jacket, to help you decide whether the Arc’teryx Beta SL is the one you want to add to your wardrobe for your next outdoor excursion.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Great range of motion
  • Breathability
  • Versatility
  • Durability
  • Expensive
  • Poor ventilation


Is the Arc’teryx Beta SL waterproof? Yes, it is. This jacket uses a two-and-a-half-layer construction which consists of a Gore-Tex with a Paclite membrane. This membrane is what offers the Beta SL its weather protection. The difference between this Gore-Tex membrane and others on the market is the innermost layer. This layer is much thinner than most, which means it excels in breathability and offers a lighter weight and feel. The fabric used in the construction of the Beta SL is one of the best tested by reviewers, offering long-lasting DWR and amazing weather protection. This protection is ideal for long treks where you’ll find yourself facing off against more than the mountain you choose to climb or the trail you are hiking.


One of the biggest selling points of the Arc’teryx Beta SL is the lightweight feel. This allows those who wear this jacket the opportunity to keep active while not feeling overweighed by a heavy raincoat. This lightweight jacket is intended to be an emergency rain jacket. This means it is quite small and compact. This jacket is easily stowed away in your backpack until the cloud cover alerts you to oncoming rain showers. This is why the SL in the Beta SL stands for super light.

To minimize the weight of the Beta SL, Arc’teryx has done away with all the bells and whistles other rain jackets may incorporate. Seams are sealed with 13mm seam tape and the wrist straps are made of Velcro that is low profile to limit the weight of this jacket. There are no fancy zippers of super large pocket coverings. Instead, everything about this jacket is streamlined to offer users the lightweight feel they want when taking on the great outdoors.


Known as one of the most breathable material on the market, the Gore-Tex with Paclite materials used in the creation of this jacket allows for a great deal of breathability. The passage of this air allows those who wear this jacket the freedom to keep up with their activities without too much of an issue. It is important to remember, however, that the Arc’teryx Beta SL doesn’t offer much in the way of ventilation. This means, during heavy activity, it is harder to lose your internal heat and moisture. For many, this may not be a deal breaker, but for those who would prefer a more vented jacket, they may feel it important to continue their search.


Another area where the Arc’teryx Beta SL excels is comfort. Although its original design purpose is to protect you from weather, the team at Arc’teryx has strived to provide you with a comfortable jacket for those days when even the rain can’t keep you indoors. As mentioned previously, everything about this jacket is steam lined for a great, lightweight, fit. This makes wearing it quite comfortable, even if you find the need to layer it with a heavier, warmer, coat. Another addition that offers comfort is the micro-fleece lining located at the top of the zipper, intended to offer a bit of protection for the user's chin. Another lining is located at the back of the neck offering the same protection.

The fit of the Beta SL is possibly its greatest nod to keeping a person comfortable. By design, the arms of this jacket are somewhat longer. This offers superior weather protection but doesn’t hinder movement or provide a bulky, weighty, feel. By not pulling back at the wrists, rain has a harder time of slipping inside the confines of your jacket and putting a damper on your rainy, day festivities.


One of the most outstanding aspects of the Beta SL is the ease of movement you’ll experience while wearing it. The breathable material that makes of this great rain jacket offers a great deal of mobility. Whether you are a fan of mountain climbing, hiking, fishing, or even camping you’ll find yourself able to move quite easily during your excursions. With the extended arm lengths and lack of bulk around the armpits, you’ll find reaching and climbing to be much easier with this form-fitting jacket.


It's easy to see that the Arc’teryx Beta SL is one of the most durable rain jackets on the market. By using 40 denier ripstop technology nylon, Arc’teryx has ensured the outer shell of this jacket is sturdy enough for anything you threw at it. This isn’t the only measures they’ve taken to ensure this durability, however. Most jackets have an issue around the shoulder area when it comes to seam tape busting loose. This isn’t going to be an issue with the Beta SL. By not having seams in the shoulders, they rid you of this worry. The seam tape that is used is quite small, which means there is less chance of peeling or other issues after long use. An extra bit of nylon is included around the chin area. This allows the membrane to remain unclogged by sweat which allows it to last longer without deterioration.


Considered an emergency rain jacket, it is important to take into consideration the size of the Beta SL, especially when you find yourself needing to pack it away until weather issues arise. Although there are other rain jackets on the market that will pack smaller than the Beta SL, there aren’t many. This lightweight, sleek, jacket will fold down quite small. This gives you the ability to stow it away into a small area of your pack without any issues. When the rain comes, you can easily snatch your jacket and get ready for what lies ahead.


The Arc’teryx Beta SL is one of the most versatile rain jackets on the market. This jacket doesn’t have to be considered a one-trick pony. Yes, it is great for keeping the weather at bay, it is also great for use when adventuring. No activity is too strenuous for the Beta SL to take on. With the durability and strong craftsmanship of this jacket, you’ll find yourself able to take on whatever sports or work you need to without worry about the destruction of the product. The same can be said for times when the weather is looking good. This versatile jacket can easily be stored away, not taking up too much space, and keeping safe until you need it again.


The Arc’teryx Beta SL offers quite a few features intended to not only keep the wearer more comfortable but to excel at its intended function, weather protection. Here, we will discuss a few of these features.

The Velcro wrist closures of this jacket are great at keeping water at bay. Whether you are taking part in activities where your arms are over your head, or simply doing your day to day things, these closures will allow the water to run down without any worry of penetrating the inner shell of your jacket. The Beta SL also features a watertight zipper that has a storm flap. Although small, this zipper and flap excel at keeping water at bay like it is intended to do.

The pockets of the Beta SL are located slightly higher than normal. This allows for easy access for those who love activities where they will be wearing a pack or perhaps using a harness. These higher pockets are still comfortably located and easily accessed.

One of the most liked features of the Beta SL, when reviewed, was the hood. Large enough to fit over helmets used for activities like biking or climbing, this hood still allowed users to cinch it tight when needed. Offering a brim to keep rain from the wearers face, this hood also allowed a great deal of peripheral vision which reviews seemed to love.


One of the downsides to the Arc’teryx Beta SL is the price. As one of the more expensive lightweight, rain jackets on the market, the Beta SL can leave people questioning whether it is worth the money. Yes, there are similar jackets on the market for less money, but it is important to note just how versatile the Beta SL is in comparison to some of the others out there. For a great, all-purpose rain jacket that can be used year-round, it is hard to beat the features and aspects of the Beta SL. For those who consider this jacket, it is important to consider how often you will be using it. The Beta SL isn’t made to sit in the closet. It is a jacket that wants to be put to use.

Best Applications

The Arc’teryx Beta SL is a great, all around jacket. When thinking of intended uses you’ll find yourself debating on which activity you want to tackle first. Are you a climber? Would you prefer a hike? Either way, you’ll find yourself able to do all the things you want to do while wearing this jacket without any issues. Still, with the durability and versatility of the Beta SL its important to remember the intended use of this jacket, to keep you dry. This is where the Beta SL truly excels. When the rain is coming down, you will find this jacket offers you the best protection around while staying lightweight. This means you can easily pack it away until the time to use it again comes around.

The Bottom Line

In most reviews, the Arc’teryx Beta SL has scored at the top of the leaderboard when comparing jackets that are intended to keep you protected from the weather. Their design of using Gore-Tex with Placite materials gives this jacket the ultimate in rain protection while also ensuring that it is breathable enough to offer those who wear it an extreme amount of comfort and mobility. This jacket will move with you, allowing you to keep up with your daily activities, no matter what they may be. All forms of outdoor adventures can be taken on while wearing this jacket. When the skies clear, the Beta SL is lightweight and compact enough to quickly pack away in your pack until you find yourself in need of it again.

When choosing the best emergency rain jacket for your needs, you should definitely keep the Arc’teryx Beta SL at the top of your list. Superior durability, breathability, and protection provide those who purchase this jacket with a great all-around product. With all the advantages of owning this jacket considered, its easy for those in need of a jacket to add to their outdoor activity gear to overlook issues such as the poor ventilation and hefty price tag. Weigh all your options, do your research, then decide whether the Arc’teryx Beta SL is the rain jacket you’ve been searching for.