Arc’teryx gear acquisition for me went something along the lines of…
Hmmm what is that interesting looking skeleton logo on your jacket there – what brand is that?
Thinks to self That looks interesting… I’ll check it out later
Finds Arc’teryx gear
HOLY $#!7! this stuff is expensive. No way.
Returns to generally boring day-to-day life in between adventures.
Eventually curiosity wins out and purchases an Arc’teryx Atom Hoody LT(review coming later) purchased on mega-sale through Amazon.
And now I have more than a few pieces of Arc’teryx gear for a variety of reasons. But this post isn’t about the brand overall but specifically, the Atom AR Hoody Jacket.
I was in the market for an insulated jacket to wear on very cold outings in mild activity or around town. I live in Maryland but regularly find myself in CO, UT, VT, NH, WY, B.C. etc.
Trying out the Atom AR Hoody during some fat snow mountain biking in Waterville Valley New Hampshire 2017
Packing my bag for New Hampshire, I was a bit torn whether to go with a lighter mid layer and hardshell or the AR in hopes of only wearing one jacket. I went with the Atom AR performed far above my expectations.
Weather for the weekend was set to be clear, but on the cold side. While we were out, it was between 10-25 F. The jacket accompanied me back country skiing, snow biking and hiking. I was fully expecting to be sweating through the jacket on mountain biking but surprisingly I didn’t overheat much at all. While hiking, the temperature was between 15-17 F, with no wind. I was kept perfectly warm with only a flannel shirt underneath.
I only wore one long sleeve active UA tee shirt under the jacket during the mountain biking. I did work up a mild sweat on my brow pedaling around the 4,500 ft mountain, but my core was generally stable and sweat free, while toasty.
Also surprising was how the jacket kept me warm going downhill, with a bit of wind. As it is marketed as a mid-layer, not a hard shell, I expected some chills to cut through the jacket, but none came.
Had I encountered some heavy sleet or rain, I would have thrown on a hardshell, and potentially overheated, but on its own it was all I needed on this bluebird weekend. The jacket does have a DWR coating which works pretty well, but you wouldn’t bank on it in dicey conditions.
“AR” stands for All Around, which is a title this jacket is most deserving.
I am about 6-3, 180lbs and the large fits me just about perfectly. There is some room for layering, but I wouldn’t layer too much unless it turned out to be single digits. It is marketed as “Athletic” fit, slightly roomier than the Atom LT’s “Trim” fit.
The hood fits very well, with an adjustable cinch cord and works very well under a helmet if you can adjust your helmet size a bit. The jacket also has cinch cords on the waist hem keeping out elements.
Three total pockets, two hand and one internal. Hand pockets are warm and well lined and the internal pocket could easily store a phone of any size and probably even a kindle during travel.
OK cool so the jacket is warm and all but what about compression?
While this is not marketed by Arc’teryx, I was even able to stuff the jacket into its own internal pocket for ease of packing on the flight home. I couldn’t quite zipper it shut, but it still gets the job done. For faster compression, the jacket also packs into one of its sleeves pretty easily.
Atom AR in dark blue in front, Atom LT in back. LT packs down a little smaller as expected but for twice the insulation, the AR compresses to an impressive scale.
I also own the Arc’teryx Atom LT which is my go to for layering under my hardshell. General differences is that the AR has roughly twice the synthetic insulation and a slightly tougher face fabric, allowing you to wear it in more standalone situations in cold weather. Review on the LT coming soon.
Atom AR: Tyono™ 30 denier shell with DWR treatment – 100% nylon
Atom LT: Tyono™ 20 denier shell with DWR treatment – 100% nylon
While this difference seems negligible, it is noticeable.
Feel free to email on the contact page if you have any questions.
The jacket has been cross country skiing, unplanned snow biking, hiking, cold dog walks and treks to the bar.
Thank you for reading.