This is the best jacket I’ve ever owned. Period.
But since that isn’t enough for a legitimate gear review, allow me to back up my claim. The Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie is a lightweight insulated mid-layer jacket that does the job of a heavier coat. I’ve worn it everywhere from a freezing alpine ski trip to a night out at the bar, making it incredibly versatile. Whether you are sending a windy pitch, skiing a sick line or making the chilly bike commute to work, the Atom LT Hoodie does exactly what you need it to.
The Arc’teryx Atom LT is insulated with 60gm/m2 Coreloft™. Under the armpits and sides is a stretchy, non-insulated panel that allows for movement and breathability. With just a base layer underneath, it’s not too warm for sustained activity on a chilly day. Over a heavier fleece, it’s a great jacket for sitting around a cold camp. One of the main selling points for me is the insulated, helmet compatible hood. The hood adds that extra warmth but when it is down, you forget it is even there. For those extra bone chilling or windy days, the collar zips up enough to protect the lower face and works well with the hood up or down.
This jacket’s shell fabric is Polartec® Powerstretch® with Hardface. Compared to similar coats I have had, the Arc’teryx Atom LT is more resistant to little catches and abrasions. I like that it is durable enough to take to the crag without getting trashed on the rock. The outer shell (save for the side panels) is water resistant and holds up well in light moisture. Even in heavier snow or rain, the LT retains its loft rather well. For windy climbs or a winter bike commute, I always wear this jacket as it is an excellent warm wind layer.
The Atom boasts a slim fit without sacrificing any range of movement. Roomy enough for athletic shoulders and lady curves (if you have them), but trim in the waist and arms for wearing under another layer. The cinch cord in the bottom hem keeps the Atom snug around your hips when you need it to. Sleeves taper into a stretchy cuff that keeps the them in place and gives the coat an attractive finish.
The Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie has two outside hand pockets with zippers as well as one zippered chest pocket inside. For easy packing, the jacket stuffs into it’s own sleeve as a makeshift stuff sack. No matter what get’s you stoked, the Atom LT delivers the durability and versatility you need in a simple and stylish package. I give the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie 4/4 stars for a great all-around insulated mid-layer!
Katie Paulson is a Master’s student at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she loves to delve into the hidden corners of her homeland for frequent adventures. As a geologist, she has spent time traveling around the western US and will soon be taking her science international to study in central Asia. When she’s not being an academic gofer, Katie climbs, skis, hikes, and blogs at www.agoramanianw.blogspot.com.