I Review: Arc'teryx Atom SL Hoody

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I got to test this hoody for Outdoor Women's Alliance as a part of a gift guide we put together.  "Testing" means I get the product for free from the brand, here Arc'teryx, and literally put it to the test.  After putting the product through the paces, I write a review for OWA (or whoever asked me to test it) and get to keep the gear! Pretty sweet right! (I have been volunteering for OWA for 3.5 years and this is a little perk to the non-paying job).

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My review on this jacket for OWA was super brief because it was a part of a gift guide that just gave blurbs about the products (you can see that here), so I wanted to do a full review. Because I LOVE THIS JACKET.

Move over Patagonia Hoodini, there's a better option in town.

The Pros: This jacket filled a blank spot in my outdoor wardrobe. It is lightweight and has just a touch of insulation around your core.  It does a good job of blocking wind and sheds water in light rain for an impressive amount of time for how breathable it is (still only like half an hour, but this is not a rain layer).  I love to take this layer with me on multipitch climbs, runs, or any time when I might get cold due to weather or being still for extended periods.  This jacket is not as packable as the hoodini from Patagonia because it has insulation but I have found that I almost always reach for this jacket instead of my hoodini now that I have it.  I have had this jacket for almost two years and it is holding up great- no rips or abrasions and I have done some flailing in cracks while wearing it.  That's the reason people pay so much for Arc'teryx products-they hold up so well.  I have also found Arc'teryx designs to be very well thought out and their clothes fit me well.  I do think they design for tall lanky people, so if you are petite or plus size I am not sure this brand is inclusive. But for me who's jacket arms are never long enough, Arc'teryx is a gift from above.  

This jacket has biked to work with me every morning and always makes it in my bag.  It functions equally well as a midlayer over a fleece, outerlayer over a puffy, and sole layer over a t-shirt depending on the conditions.  It's versatility makes it a must-pack for me.  The underarms and sides are made of stretchy material which keeps you from overheating and allows for excellent range of motion.  Here is the product info on Arc'teryx's website.

The Cons: This sucker is expensive. Arc'teryx retails it at $229... for a lightweight/midlayer jacket. It looks like you can find some less expensive pricing on Amazon so here is that link.  Honestly, other than that, this jacket does what it should.  It won't keep you dry in a downpour, but it's not a rain jacket.  It won't keep you warm in really cold weather, but it's not a puffy. It will warm you up after a rope swing into freezing cold water.

 June Lake, CA

June Lake, CA

I love having this piece in my gear closet but it is an investment.