Great jacket. I was a little weary of getting this at first, and honestly figured I would end up returning it, but in the end I will definitely be holding onto this. Since getting it, I honestly have not taken it off. The lining is buttery soft and extremely comfortable. The outer fabric is pretty stellar as well... has a bit of stretch to it much like a Gamma MX, but has less of a soft shell type feel... almost like a sturdy cotton texture. It poured today, and the DWR repelled the rain without any problem. The fit is a little closer than the fit of the Gamma MX, but not too close. The outer fabric seems to be pretty bomber as well... it should be able to take abrasions pretty well, probably even better than the Fortius material. Stitching is really nicely done, zippers are great, and the lining around the collar is REALLY soft and nice. The hood is perfect... great adjustability, and could accomodate a helmet easily, yet I was able to cinch it down perfectly on my head today almost like a I was wearing a ball cap. Perfect construction on the hood, very pleased. Wind resistance... not too bad really, but it is not windproof, nor does it claim to be. It breathes very well, without ever becoming clammy at all. Only two downfalls I noticed first hand... no side pockets. Yes, I know it's because it is for climbing and to allow access with a pack on, and yes, in that aspect the front pockets are money. But when not on the trail and out around town or around base camp it would be great to have two simple pockets to throw my hands in. Just sayin'... and especially at a 300 dollar price tag. And that brings me to the second downfall... the price is high. Yes, I love this piece, and yes, I will keep it... but is it worth 300? That's really something you will have to decide... for me, I can see myself literally wearing this almost everyday, and so while it hurts, I can cough it up. With that said though, I can honestly say it's priced pretty high for what it is, even though the fabric is top notch and the garment as a whole is amazing... it's still almost impossible to justify the 300 dollar price tag. The other downfall is the back... it seems to drop quite a bit lower than other Arc'teryx pieces I have. It's not a big deal, but in the future maybe not so long would be a bit better.
Overall, great product, though a little high in price for what you get... but then again, that's Arc'teryx. Top notch gear, with an equally top notch price. If you can swallow the price factor, get this... I can tell you you will love it and it will quickly become your go to everyday hoody/light jacket/etc. I honestly will wear this far more than my Gamma MX/LT or any other light everyday jacket, and as part of a layering system it's perfect. Great option for climbing in too as a result of the bomber outer fabric and nice stretch.
I recently got this hard fleece to add to the versatility of my alpine touring quiver, and it is delivering in a major way! I am 5'10 and weigh 170lbs, went for the medium and it is a perfect fit for what I am doing.
On non storm days my setup is an Arc'teryx s/s synthetic t-shirt, Patagonia Cap 4 hoody, and the Acto MX hoody for the torso. Down below I am using the Mammut Eisfeld pant over a Patagonia Merino boot top base layer and some light Icebreaker ski socks. That's it. IF it is a storm day I swap the Eisfeld for my Theta SV bibs and thrown my Beta FL shell on top of the Acto MX. I do pretty much always keep the Beta FL in my pack regardless in case the wind starts ripping.
Things I really like about the Acto would be the fact that it cuts just enough wind to be useful, but not so much that I am roasting. I also like the fact that each of the chest pockets are huge and easily fit my skins (1 on each side) when I am ready to ski. The hood has multiple adjustments so it is easy to deal with whether or not I am wearing a helmet without impeding my visibility. And lastly the main zipper is super easy to operate one handed without the piece moving around (some people feel that it opens and closes too easily and the zipper works its way down during activity, suppose that is the trade off for silky smooth action).
In terms of breathability under the Beta FL, I feel this is the best system I have encountered at this point for high output cardio. The Beta FL and the Acto MX both lack pit zips which gave me pause at first but the breathability of the garments working in tandem means you don't need them. When I am truly redlining i will open the chest zips or the main zips to dump any excess heat but generally I leave them closed. The only area that I end up getting sweaty in is against my back but that's because there is a pack there.
I love this jacket. Super breathable. Durable face when sliding across rock. Super nice fleece interior with nice taped seams.
I own the gamma mx, gamma ar and gamma lt. This would be my favorite overall. It is the second most breathable next to the gamma lt. The gamma lt is more wind resistant but less warm. The gamma mx is warmer and more wind resistant too. The gamma ar is the most warm and wind resistant.
I've used this touring in the chugach on 20 degree days to days where it's 50 in Denali. It seems I always want a hard shell in alaska because it always rains or the wind rips so much- so I have used this the most while the gamma mx is near new. The gamma mx is just to warm for really high output unless its 20 degrees or colder IMO. But then the gamma mx gets to cold if theres any serious wind. This fills the void.
I would say this fits normal arc'teryx. The new gamma mx runs big/sloppy. This is more similar to the older gamma mx or the gamma lt. Even closer to the venta sv. I wear medium in all arc'teryx and this is about a perfect fit for me.
Bottom line. This is what a true soft shell is. Super breathable. Light wind resistance and warmth.
Faced with the choice of a warmer Gamma MX hoody or the Acto MX hoody, I favored the Acto due to the breathability and greater versatility.
Having worn this in zero degree Celsius, it's comfortable over just a thin base layer. The wind-cutting ability is great, with just enough air flow to keep high-output activity perspiration vented but without getting a chill from big gusts.
The trim fit permits just enough room to wear a base layer and thin puff or fleece underneath; but the cut is excellent as the lack of bulk avoids the jacket getting in the way during hiking or climbing.
Hood adjustments are great with or without a helmet. The helmet-sized hood seems large at times, but the draw-cords on front, and the volume-adjuster on the back side assist in minimizing volume and keeping it snug when necessary.
The Acto has now become my go-to hoody for minimalist layers both for the autumn and winter season.
I absolutely love this jacket. I am 6'1" 160 pounds and went with a large because the arms in the medium were just a little too short. I use this jacket mainly for aerobic cold weather activities, like snowshoeing. It breathes very well. I like the pockets, even they are reverse entry. It handles light precipitation well. In a stiff wind when I was snowshoeing, though, I was cold. Overall awesome jacket, thrives well by itself or under a shell. Feels light, room for layering, and smooth outer articulates well with other layers.
I've used a variety of softshell jackets over the years and I've finally found my perfect one. This jacket certainly would not be perfect for everyone, but here is what I like about it... extremely breathable, warm for the weight, long length, close-fit yet still allows room for layers underneath.
Beware that this jacket does not block wind, like say a WINDSTOPPER softshell, but it breathes about a billion times better. It works best when you are working hard in cold conditions, like skinning or snowshoeing.
I'm 5'8" 155 and small fits me perfectly
I completely love this jacket for backcountry ski touring. I wear this with a lightweight baselayer(Icebreker Merino 200 or Arc'teryx Phase SL Crew) and I'm golden. This is usually plenty for most days of touring. Not windproof, but the hardface fabric does well with abrasion and some precipitation. The breathability of the small waffle fleece is near perfect. I can throw it over my baselayer and call it good for the up and the down on cold days.
I have come to love this jacket, though I don't think it's quite perfect. I'd give it 5 of 5 stars for the fabric, but only 4 of 5 stars overall. I'd give it 4.5 stars if that was an option. I personally think the cuffs, hem, and hood need a little work. I wrote a full review with pictures at
In the last month I've ski toured, mountain biked, and camped in this jacket. Breathes better than any layering piece I've ever owned and still blocks wind and moisture. I was weary of the chest pockets at first, but they're much more accessible than traditional side pockets near the hip. At 6'2" 185 lbs, the large is perfect.
This is my new favorite jacket for when it's not pouring. The most versatile piece I own, can wear it in everything from a light rain to windy bluebird. Breaths great on the uphills, and fits nicely under the shell for the ride down.