Best Arcteryx Jackets – 2021 Edition
Would you believe it if we told you that Arc’teryx has its production line down to such a science that they know exactly how many people touch each garment before it’s deemed worthy of being sold? It’s true. The Cerium LT jacket, for example, takes 259 to create and is passes through the hands of 67 people.
What makes Arc’teryx jackets so special is the fact that the garments, and gear, are designed and tested by people with a love for the outdoors, just like you. Located minutes away from the North Shore mountains in Canada, Arc’teryx knows a thing or two about winter sports and weather.
Their goal is to make you feel comfortable and confident in their clothing so let's dive into this guide and see who made the list of 10 best Arc’teryx jackets.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Strategically placed synthetic insulation
Top 10 Picks
1. Cerium LT
The most versatile option
Strategically placed synthetic insulation
Not water or windproof
The 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. With down insulation and a cozy fit, it will not only keep you warm but will make you look good as well.Read more
This Arc'teryx insulated 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.
With down insulation filling most of this Arc'teryx insulated 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.
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.
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.
2. Fission SV
The warmest option
2-layer Gore-tex membrane
Adjustable hem and cuffs
Some users said the fit was not true to size
The Fission SV jacket is designed for cold, snowy weather. It can keep out even the iciest winds, and It makes a great jacket 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.Read more
This winter jacket is made for snow sports. It is perfect for skiing on or off the resort slopes, and it can also be a great choice for winter hiking.
The Fission SV offers users Coreloft insulation, which helps keep heat in while maintaining some breathability. This paired with a helmet-compatible hood makes staying toasty warm during your favorite winter activities easy and comfortable.
Arc'teryx is known for its use of Gore-tex in many of its jackets, including the Fission SV. That's not by coincidence. Gore-tex textiles are often used in outdoorsy gear because of their both waterproof and breathable properties. This makes the Fission SV an ideal jacket for skiers, snowboarders, or anyone spending substantial time in cold weather.
It also features a slim, athletic fit. Overall it runs true to size. A large hood can easily fit your ski helmet beneath it if need as well.
3. Proton LT
The best everyday option
Lightweight and breathable
Works as a top or mid-layer
The Proton LT is a lightweight, breathable hoody that still manages to keep out icy winds. Insulated with top-tier fabrics along with a water-repelling finish, this jacket attracts users with different outdoor niches. Overall, the Proton LT is best-suited for those who can't get enough of winter sports and activities.Read more
This Arc'teryx 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.
The synthetic insulation in this jacket makes it a great choice if you are looking for something breathable while providing warmth. The Proton LT uses Coreloft 60 and 80 insulation, a fabric well-appreciated by skiers, climbers, and hikers alike. This, paired with Fortius Air 20, provides air permeability in a balanced manner while maintaining a comfortable warmth. The hood is also insulated, as well as being helmet-compatible, which allows the user to keep warm while hitting some slopes or hiking on a snowy day.
This jacket is made of water-resistant material. It features a DWR water-repelling finish, ensuring to keep out moisture and keep you comfortable. The Proton LT has also been tested and shown to provide exceptional resistance to abrasions. According to Arc'Teryx, the Proton LT did 60x better than the industry standard when it came to abrasion-resistance.
This Arc'teryx jacket has a trim fit specially designed for women. The face cover will keep you warm on cold days, and the large hood can fit a helmet underneath. It is also lightweight enough to layer up or down if needed.
Zipper placement causes mobility issues
Too loose of a fit according to some
The Sawyer jacket is a bit more casual than some of the other options on our list. You'll get the best use out of this jacket walking around a city or on more amateur hikes. It is a more minimalist jacket, but it still offers plenty of warmth and comfort.Read more
The Sawyer is for those seeking a sleek jacket to wear while they're out on the town. Whether it's taking a stroll at the park or running some errands, the Sawyer will keep dry and warm on rainy, chilly days without feeling suffocated in layers. This jacket would also do well on casual hikes in case of unexpected rain showers.
Although it does have the ability to deflect winds, the Sawyer is meant to keep you dry more so than warm. However, the slightly loose fit on this jacket allows for layering, making it a versatile option to use in all seasons.
The primary function of this jacket is to keep you dry while providing some warmth. Arc'teryx used Gore-tex, DWR coating, and WaterTight zippers for extra protection against moisture. The hood is also adjustable for additional protection against any rain or wind.
The trim fit of the Covert Hoody seems to be flattering on many body types. The back of the jacket is long enough to keep out cold breezes and the front of the jacket comes to your hips. There are three pockets, two laminated hand pockets, and one sleeve pocket. The sleeve pocket is great for cash, cards, or a list pass. Enabling you to show off a bit of your personal style, this jacket is available in thirteen different colors.
5. Zeta LT
A frontal hood drawcord would provide a better fit
No pit zips
The minimalist design and weight of the women's Zeta LT make a great waterproof jacket for any adventure. It is easily packed down and weighs only about 10.6-ounces. While it doesn't have any insulation built-in, the trim fit of the jacket leaves room for layering underneath.Read more
A better question would be what can you not use this jacket for? The Zeta LT (LT for lightweight) is a great accessory to bring with you if there’s a chance of rain. It’s a great addition to any hiking, trekking, or trip to the grocery store.
This is designed as a strong rain jacket and doesn’t provide much insulation. To aid in comfort and keeping air out (or in), there is a microsuede collar and velcro wrist cuffs. While the jacket itself doesn’t provide much warmth, the overall fit of the jacket leaves room for warm layers if you need them.
Humid jungle? Unexpected downpour? Light rain? You’re good to encounter any rainstorm with the Zeta LT. The Zeta LT is made from 3-layer Gore-Tex and features Gore C-Knit backer for ultimate comfort and breathability. The exterior zippers are watertight and the baseball cap style storm hood is easily adjusted with a single pull cord.
This jacket provides a trim fit with a 27.5-inch back length. This fit is slightly loose and leaves room for layers underneath. However, if you choose to wear just a camisole, the C-Knit material is very soft to touch. There is great flexibility through the elbows and underarms. There are two exterior waterproof pockets and one interior laminated zippered pocket. Overall, the jacket weighs about 10.6-ounces.
6. Gamma LT
Hood cinches to stay in place
The 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. If you are looking for a lightweight softshell jacket that breaths as you exercise, then this is the best Arc'teryx jacket for you.Read more
This is a fabulous jacket for activities like skiing, hiking, and just hanging out around town on a cold day.
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.
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.
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.
7. Thorium AR
Strategically placed synthetic insulation
Down insulation for warmth
Staff sack for the jacket
Not waterproof nor resistant
The 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.Read more
This is an everyday jacket, designed to be worn around town. It can also work great for hiking and backpacking on cool, sunny days.
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 for your head as this area of the body is especially important for temperature regulation.
This warmest Arc'teryx 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.
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.
8. Beta AR
Water and windproof
Works well for a variety of activities
Hood cinches to stay in place
Sleeves run long
The 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. The jacket is versatile and breathable, and since it is a shell that can be paired with different layers so that it stays comfortable at different temperatures.Read more
This jacket is a perfect choice for pretty much any activity in the mountains. From hiking and ice climbing to skiing and snowboarding, the jacket will keep you warm and dry no matter how far into the backcountry you wander.
This jacket features a hardshell and is therefore designed to be worn with multiple layers underneath.
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.
With a slim fit style, sizing up is recommended if you plan to layer it. 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.
9. Squamish Hoody
Great color choices
Stows away into the chest pocket
Lightweight and portable
Only one pocket
Breathability could be improved
The Squamish Hoody is a jacket that you'll always want to carry with you. It is lightweight and stows away into its own chest pocket. It is namely a windbreaker, but provides a bit of warmth when you need it and is finished with a DWR treatment that makes it water-resistant as well.Read more
The Squamish Hoody is a lightweight jacket that is the perfect addition for any gearhead. It stows away into its pocket and weighs only 5.5-ounces. It’s a great jacket to always have in your bag in case of unexpected winds or a rain shower. The reflective logo always helps you to be seen in low-light conditions.
There is no added insulation into this jacket. It functions more like a windbreaker and relief from a light rain shower. The fit is slightly fitted, but you could slide a long sleeve shirt underneath if you needed extra warmth.
The Squamish is made from ripstop nylon and finished with a DWR treatment. It is a dependable wind-shell that will additionally protect you from light rain and a subtle drop in temperature. The storm hood can be easily fitted with just one hand.
The athletic fit of this jacket fits a little bit closer to the body. If you prefer your jacket to be loose, you may want to go up a size. The elbows of the jacket are articulated, allowing for a full range of motion. Additionally, the hood, hem, and cuff adjustability allow for a customizable fit.
10. Sabre AR
3 layers of Gore-tex
Wind and waterproof
Allows for excellent mobility
WaterTight zippers are water resistant- not waterproof
Could use more insulation
The Sabre AR is designed with snowsports in mind, particularly skiing and snowboarding. It made with well-known weather-proof materials, and many of the features included provide the user a breathable, mobile jacket.Read more
Depending on the intended use, the fact that there is little built-in insulation may be great or bad. However, the fit of the jacket leaves plenty of room for warm layers underneath. If you do get hot while wearing the Sabre AR, there are pit zips to give you some room to breathe.
The Sabre AR is made from 3-layers Gore-Tex waterproof materials, as well as water-resistant zippers known as WaterTight. It includes a powder skirt, which will help prevent any snow from tricking into your clothing. Overall, despite not being the warmest without additional layers, the Sabre AR certainly stands up to whatever winter throws at it.
The fit of this jacket isn't overly snug. It serves rather as a good mid-layer, and the cuffs are made to be a bit more relaxed in order to accommodate gloves. Most importantly, this jacket is made to provide the user with optimal mobility, ventilation, and visibility.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 wintertime 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 affordable Arc'teryx 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 thoroughly water and windproof. The weather in the mountains can shift quickly, so it is essential to be prepared with a jacket that will keep you warm and dry no matter what.
Hardshell jackets tend to be the right 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 wondering what is the top Arc'teryx jacket and looking for a model for everyday wear during the winter. Puffy jackets and softshells are an excellent choice for this, as it is unlikely you will get very wet while moving around the 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 primary concern is staying warm.
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 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 coat is also has a considerable 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 jacket. A cozy down jacket that lets moisture in might 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 coat 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.
Arc'Teryx offers jackets for every occasion.
From trail running to skiing jackets 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 on 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 activewear.
Most Arc'teryx jackets are offered in a nice variety of colors.
You will be able to reflect your 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 usually would.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Knowing how to wash your jacket is essential. However, each coat comes with its own set of guidelines. With most Arc'Teryx jackets, whether they are waterproof or a down jacket, it is best only to wash it when necessary. These jackets have a delicate filling and a waterproof finish that may need to be restored after a certain amount of washes and use.
Knowing the abbreviations that Arc'Teryx uses can help you make your decision faster and with less research. These abbreviations are found in 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
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 coat 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 is the number one thing I should look for in a winter coat?
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.
q: What do the Arc'teryx letters mean?
If you haven’t noticed, Arc'teryx loves their acronyms! It may be a little confusing at first, but once you realize what they stand for it makes picking out the right design for your needs super easy. Below, we have listed the different classifications and what they mean.
SL: SUPER LIGHT. This is a great choice for those that need protection from wind and rain but hate heavy and hot fabrics.
FL: FAST & LIGHT. Ideal for climbers or those that need a full range of motion in their arms. It protects your body from wind and rain without holding you back.
LT: LIGHTWEIGHT. This is perfect for those that hate heavy gear, but still need something that will keep them warm in cooler climates.
MX: MIXED WEATHER. The MX is ideal for those that live in a part of the world where the weather cannot make up its mind. Is it often cold in the morning and then hot in the afternoon? Then the MX is a perfect option.
AR: ALL AROUND. Unsure of what style that you need for your adventures? The AR covers all bases.
SV: SEVERE WEATHER. The SV takes all of the protective features in other designs and dials it up to an 11, which is great for harsh weather.
q: What’s the difference between a softshell and hardshell jacket?
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 at 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 softshell.
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 hard shells 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 is all examples of sports where a softshell will serve you better than a hardshell.
q: What’s the difference between synthetic and down insulation?
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.
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q: How can I layer properly for the cold?
For staying warm on a chilly day, nothing can beat functional 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 insulating 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 icy out an outer shell jacket is an essential addition to your layers. A hardshell is the right choice if the weather is terrible, but on frigid yet sunny days, a softshell will keep the wind out while letting your layers breathe.
q: What is the difference between a parka and a jacket?
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. In general, parkas come just below your waist or below.
q: Are Arc'teryx jackets made in China?
As Arc'teryx grows as a brand, it has opened up new facilities all over the world. While ⅓ of their products are still made in their Vancouver facility, a majority are made in their plants in China (as well as Vietnam).
Users often feel that a “Made in China” tag often means that the quality suffers, and this could not be further from the truth. Chinese facilities still use the same machines and materials as facilities in Canada, so the quality does not suffer.
q: Why is Arc'teryx expensive?
Although at first glance Arc'teryx may seem quite expensive, their prices make sense once you take into consideration their use of Gore-tex materials and waterproof designs often included in their jackets.
If you're looking for outerwear that can endure the outdoors for several years, the initial higher upfront cost is well worth it.
q: Is Arc'teryx better than Patagonia?
Arc'teryx and Patagonia are both brands beloved by lovers of the outdoors. Many often even incorporate pieces from both brands into their gear. Even so, Arc'teryx has impressed skiers, climbers, as well as casual hikers, with their innovative, hydrophobic, and windproof designs. A key factor that seems to tip in Arc'teryx's favor is their knick to put Gore-tex in all the right places.
- Arc'teryx Sizing, Consumer Website ,
- Why is Arc’teryx so Expensive? Are Their Jackets Worth the Price?, Consumer Website ,