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Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody jacket

Written by Fiona

January 19 2016

Arc’teryx make well-designed, technical, practical and thoughtful outdoors products. The Atom LT Hoody jacket is one of their “essential” kit suggestions.

Before getting started with the review, I should say that I like Arc’teryx for a number of reasons. They make slim and athletically styled clothing that seem to fit me well. I like that they have a trim fit and long-ish arms and torso length.

Arc’teryx Atom LT Women’s Hoody jacket

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 13.38.30The hybrid hoody is designed to be an active-use insulation layer. The aim is for core warmth with lots of freedom of movement and breathability.

Arc’teryx reckon this is an “essential piece”. They state: “Fact: Every person at Head Office owns at least one Atom LT; most of the women have two.”

Technical details include:

  • Moisture-resistant outer face fabric with DWR
  • Breathable, stretch side panels for enhanced comfort and mobility
  • Insulated
  • Lightweight
  • Compressible and packable
  • Wind resistant
  • Articulated elbows
  • Gusseted underarms
  • Insulated, helmet compatible StormHood
  • Full front zip with wind flap
  • Stretch-knit cuffs
  • Adjustable hem drawcord
  • Laminated hem
  • Drop back hem
  • Internal chest pocket
  • Two hand pockets.
Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 13.38.07

I like the stretch details on the cuffs.

Insulation

Coreloft insulation is synthetic and has been added to the inside of a light taffeta shell. The insulation is also lightweight and highly compressible and retains its warmth in humid and wet conditions. It dries quickly if wet

Wind and water-resistant shell

Taffeta fabrics are light and airy but still windproof. The Atom series is treated with DWR (durable water resistant) finish to give them a long-lasting ability to shed moisture.

No sweat

In addition to being made of breathable Coreloft insulation, the Atom LT has breathable side panels of Polartec Power Stretch with Hardface technology to help regulate temperature during exertion.

Pack light

The Atom is highly compressible and “packs down into a tiny parcel of stored warmth”. The jacket can be stored inside its own pocket.

Stretch side panels and zip pockets.

Stretch side panels and zip pockets.

On test: Arc’teryx Atom LT Women’s Hoody jacket

 I have worn this lightweight jacket about the house on cold days, for dog walking on milder days as an outer layer, while hill and mountain walking – as an outer and mid layer – and also as an mid-layer while skiing. I agree with most of what Arc’teryx claim about the jacket.

It is super lightweight to wear. It feels as if you are wearing hardly anything yet the warmth-to-weight ratio is impressive. Within minutes of putting on the jacket I felt a nice warming layer about my upper body.

The stretch side panels are brilliant for allowing easy body movement and this adds to the feeling that this jacket is part of you; like an extra skin.

The outer fabric is very light and I wonder how robust this will be in the long-term. I expect Arc’teryx have throughly tested this,  though. Every other Arc’teryx product that I own has been super long-lasting and durable.

The colour range is another bonus of the Atom jacket. There are lots of colours to choose from. I love bright and beautiful colours in outdoor clothing, although there is a black option if you prefer to keep things more sober.

The fit, as ever, is great and the jacket is really comfortable to wear.

The hood will fit over a helmet if required.

The hood will fit over a helmet if required.

The DWR treatment helps to resist light rain and as soon as heavier rain comes along I simply add my waterproof shell. Because the Atom hoody is so thin and light it’s easy to add your normal outer layers on top.

But there is one thing that I am not so keen on. This jacket does get whiffy with stale sweat. I am not a big perspirer but after a day of wear on the ski slopes it ponged under the arms.

I was wearing a fairly well insulated ski jacket on top and synthetic baselayers underneath so this might have combined to make it tricky for the sweat to evaporate but if you are thinking about wearing this jacket day after day then you might need ot put up with a bit of sweat smell.

Great colour range.

Great colour range.

I do think this Atom jacket is the whiffiest Arc’teryx I have owned! Although, to be fair, it can be easily popped into the washing machine so the sweating isn’t much of a problem.

Because the jacket packs down into a tiny size it is great for carrying with you in case of a warm-up emergency, such as when stopping mid-bike ride for a coffee and cake, or after a running session.

The jacket is not cheap, but Arc’teryx is not a brand known for knock down value. You pay quite highly for Arc’teryx but their clothes last well and do a great job in the outdoors.

See men’s Arc’teryx LT Hoody and women’s Arc’teryx LT hoody. RRP £190.

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