It's hard to plan for your trip when the forecast says "a 30% chance of showers." You might escape without getting rained on at all, or you might get poured on for half an hour. Insure yourself against changing weather with the Arc'Teryx Beta SL jacket, a compressible raincoat that provides weather protection for hikers who don't need a laundry list of mountaineering-specific features.
The Beta SL uses 2.5-layer GORE-TEX® PacLite® fabric, which is as light and packable as its name implies. The jacket is intentionally and unapologetically not climbing-specific; rather, it is designed for those of us who usually don't find ourselves wearing harnesses and helmets in the rain. The shape and volume of the hood, as well as the layout of the pockets, is adjusted accordingly.
Feature list from Arc'Teryx:
Redesigned for 2012, the men's Beta SL Jacket from Arc'teryx now offers a slimmer fit so there isn't unneeded fabric bunching up and weighing you down. Lightweight GORE-TEX Paclite fabric offers waterproof breathability while staying super light and packing down uber-small when you don't need it. Throw it in your pack on spring or autumn hikes because it won't weigh you down but will keep you dry if a squall blows in unexpectedly. Don't worry about your jacket riding up when you're scrambling over rocks or fallen logs since it has no-lift gusseted underarms.
The Arc'teryx Beta SL Jacket is an excellent emergency GORE-TEX jacket for hikers and trekkers. Large hand-warmer pockets, a trim fitting Storm Hood and a dropped rear hem makes this jacket a great choice for take-along protection.
|Activity:||Hiking / Trekking|
|Clothing Fit:||Regular Fit|
|Cuffs:||Laminated die-cut Velcro® cuff adjusters reduce bulk, and won't catch or tear off|
|Fabrics/Materials:||340NR GORE-TEX® Paclite® 2L|
|Fit:||Anatomical shaping for fit and comfort|
|Hem:||One-hand adjustable drawcords, Laminated hem|
|Hood:||Adjustable hood drawcords, Laminated brim, Glove-friendly hood adjusters, Trim-fitting Storm Hood|
|Material:||N40r GORE-TEX fabric with Paclite product technology|
|Pockets:||Two hand pockets with WaterTight™ zippers,|
|Recommended Use :||Hiking, Trekking|
|Seam Sealed:||Fully seam-sealed for waterproofness with Tiny GORE® seam tape (13 mm)|
|Waist:||Adjustable elastic waist drawcord|
|Waterproof:||DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent) helps bead water from fabric surface|
|Waterproofing :||Yes, Waterproof|
|Weatherproof Material:||GORE-TEX Paclite|
|Weight:||11.1 oz / 314 g|
|Zipper:||WaterTight™ external zippers, Molded zipper garages, Corded zipper-pulls reduce noise and are easy to grab|
|Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket||$498.95 - $499.00|
|Arc'teryx Beta SL Pant||$198.95|
|Arc'teryx Beta SL Pant - Long Length||$198.95|
|Arc'teryx Alpha SL Jacket||$260.00 - $325.00|
I've been using this jacket for two years now and am very satisfied with it. I use it in a variety of sports, activities and conditions, but primarily for mountaineering and backpacking.
After two years of use, the jacket is still in great shape: all the seams and high-wear areas are completely intact. Indeed the jacket still likes fairly new despite heavy use. It breaths well and is completely waterproof and I like how the pockets are high enough so as to not be caught behind my backpack waist strap.
The reason that I give the jacket a 4-star review is because I really wish it had pit-zips. Another nice addition would be a a cord that allows you to tighten the area around the neck. The jacket currently has strings allowing you to tighten the hood around the face, but when it is cold I can feel heat escaping out around my neck and it would be nice to be able to cinch this area down.
I don't have any complaints, but just feel these changes would make a rock-solid product a perfect one. If Arc'teryx made these two changes, the jacket would be an absolute 5-star product.
As a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Gore for product testing of Gore-tex products for the purpose of product review and recommendation. I do receive items from Gore for these purposes.
This shell is great as long as you dont pretend it is something that it is not. This is a great layer to throw in your bag in case it might rain or to use if you want to go super light-weight but without stressing about getting caught out in the rain. It weighs almost nothing, packs down super small, looks stylish, and is waterproof/breathable enough to make it a few days in the rain.
This is not a long term expedition shell. It is noticeably less waterproof and breathable than a Gore-Tex pro shell, less durable too. It doesn't have pit zips, and I would usually get a little wet in a downpour. I wouldn't take it skiing in the trees either.
All in all, it's great, it just isn't a great coat if you plan/expect on being out in the rain for days at a time while exercising. I've had mine for a few years, it mostly lives in the bottom of my day-pack, but when I get caught in the rain, it does just fine till I get home.
These go on sale everywhere got mine for 140$ just cant beat it.
super light , well thats whats SL is , water proof and breathable. Got it to use in 4 seasons for rain water protection im 6 150lb but i got small because it was onsale i tried it and it fit alright but a bit short something i can deal with. used it couple times on hikes low mid 30s only drawback if u hide ur hands from wind with no gloves pockets get very cold inside.. i know they are made for ventilation . i dont use helments and hood still isnt as big as on my beta ar so with few adjustments it fits perfectly , so i think its best deal for 4season hard shell . I would prob go with medium but in small i still can fit 1 midlayer under it very easy but two layers already picks it up but still doable.
Here is a jacket that weighs next to nothing and lets you laugh at the rain. Made out of Gore-tex paclite material, it sheds rain with ease and still breathes pretty well. The sleeves are plenty long enough and the hood is easily adjustable. It is not large enough to wear over a helmet, but I don't expect to wear such a light coat if I need my ski helmet on. The pockets are placed lower on the jacket so it is easy rest you hands in them. This jacket is my around town rain jacket and my just in case it rains jacket because it is so easy to throw in the pack. I hardly know I am wearing a jacket it is so light. This is the perfect jacket for hikes spring to fall time. I belong to a group that gets to test clothing and this is one of the favorite items I have tested so far.
As a member of Gore MountainTechs, I have the opportunity to field test GORE-TEX gear in some of the harshest conditions. This jacket is my go to jacket for backpacking. Very lightweight and packabe, yet still very waterproof. Zippers are not as hefty as I'd like, but help shave ounces so I guess it's worth it. No pit zips, which is a huge downfall for me, but not a show stopper as it's still quite breathable. The length is good for sleeves and torso, but it's pretty bulky in the torso (I'm 6', 185 lbs, and have this jacket in large.) The bulk does help when layering with down underneath, so I wear this jacket in all conditions. But as a shell, just a bit large in the torso for my liking. Overall, would still highly recommend this jacket, but you may want to consider stepping one size down if you're slim and don't need the length.
I am a Gore MountainTech and I test products for W.L. Gore. I have tested numerous styles and brands and can say that this is definitely my go-to jacket from spring to fall. What I love about it is that it is extremely light-weight and extremely comfortable. It almost feels as though I am not wearing a jacket at all. Although it was clearly designed for expeditions where minimizing weight and bulk are essential, this jacket gets a lot of casual use from me as well. Construction is high quality, which is expected coming from Arc'teryx. Hood is appropriately sized and has a simple and effective rear cord for easy adjustment. I was initially concerned about ventilation, since there are no pit zips, but I am pleased with the breathability of the Gore-Tex PacLite fabric. No pit zips necessary. I am 6'5" tall and 195 pounds and the XL fits great.
I had used the Beta SL Jacket for over 2 years and I had great moments and bad experience. It is very very small and compact so great for traveling, backpacks and very light. I love the fitting and the color looks good. I had the Patagonia and does not like the fitting. I paid high price for this so I used it all winter and keep me dry. I had couple of bad experience where it soak during heavy rain. I had to apply rain proof wash again to make sure that it is water proof and it works like magic again. Does not keep you warm since you need to layer with a fleece but block wind very well. I would recommend it but the price is just too expensive for rain jacket.
I have been a patagonia diehard for decades, but their totally inconsistent sizing has finally done me in. Started looking at the arc jackets - looking for lightweight raingear for hiking, etc. led me to this. I also got the corresponding pants. There's a patagonia jacket, the M10, that is 2/3's the weight. Doesn't have pockets, though, and an XS was big on my 6'2 170 friend. REALLY? Fit on this jacket is better for me, but at 5'8, 130lbs, I probably need a (nonexistent) XS. Sleeve length and arm fit is ok with a puffy on underneath, but otherwise it's a little baggy. Ideally, this would come in an XS, and have 20% lighter fabric. Otherwise, the collar, hood closure/adjustments, pockets, and details make it absolutely fantastic.
Anyone who has experienced Arc'teryx products before knows that they are in a league of their own when it comes to quality. This jacket is no exception. I've used it on the Oregon coast, hiking Montana in the spring, and climbing in the Utah Wasatch. I can't find a single complaint with the performance or style of this jacket. A lot of people casually throw around the term "favorite" on reviews, but I sincerely mean it when I say that this is my favorite jacket! The taped seams and gore-tex keep you dry, but it also breathes like no other jacket I've had! Well done, Arc'teryx. Well done.
Full disclosure, I test and review products as a GORE-TEX MountainTech. This is my favorite lightweight rain shell for extended trips in the backcountry and for fast and light climbs in the mountains. The beauty of this jacket is that it weighs next to nothing and compacts so small, I can forget about it in the bottom of my pack (until the rain starts falling!) The long hem and cinch cord on bottom fit well with my harness and help keep things dry. The sleeves and shoulders offer good range of movement. The hood is pretty good, but is a little small for my helmet (BD Half Dome).
After a walk in typical Oregon weather the iPhone I stashed in the "waterproof" pocket got drenched and now I'm in the market for a new phone and a new jacket. Check out the response I got from Arc'teryx customer service and you might think twice about buying this jacket.
Arc'teryx Service Team - Aidan
ARC'TERYX Equipment Inc.
Although our WaterTight zippers are highly water resistant, they are not fully waterproof. Pockets constructed using waterproof fabrics may collect water if they are opened or accessed during wet or snowy conditions.
We do not recommend keeping items in your pockets that may be damaged by moisture. We strongly recommend that you keep any fragile or electronic devices in a sealable plastic bag inside an internal pocket. Arc'teryx is not responsible for any damage to electronic devices or personal equipment.
I used this jacket two times under heavy rain. I ended up soaking wet both times and my cellphone died inside one of the pockets.
I love Arc'teryx and hopefully this is just a manufacturing mistake. I just bought the Alpha LT to replace this jacket.
I own the prior model Beta SL (drop hood). It's excellent. I bought new Beta SL (storm hood). I have nothing against storm hoods, but I'm highly disappointed with the new model because it's poorly designed around the neck and face. Call me a perfectionist if you like but for more money I expect more. I have three major complaints with the new Beta SL model:
1. When zipping it up the upper part of the jacket isn't comfortable and the draw strings project oddly;
2. My biggest complaint and the reason I'm sending it back is that the draw chords used to tighten the hood on the sides are poorly placed - they're on the INSIDE of the hood at face level rather than OUTSIDE the hood and low (like other Arc'teryx jackets such as the Sidewinder); Consequently when the chords are pulled to tighten the sides of the hood, these chords literally are in one's face. Why? I own the Sidewinder - its draw chords are perfectly placed: on the OUTSIDE of the hood and low - when you pull them they're out of your face and low - there's no way they're going to make you uncomfortable or be in your way.
3. A surprising disappointment with the new Beta SL is the cheap-feeling zipper tab - this might not seem like a big deal but when you grab the new zipper tab it feels like you're touching cheap string. The old model jacket has a thick hard plastic tab at the end to give you something to actually grab onto - it feels like quality. The new zipper tab feels like someone was trying to cut costs and put on this thin string - hardly reflecting the brand that produced quality jackets like the Alpha SV, Sidewinder, and Gamma MX.
I'll gladly retain my "old" and excellent red Beta SL and return the new olive one with its oddly placed draw chords and cheap-feeling string zipper tab.
PS - I'm a huge fan of Arc'teryx and all the other products I own I love, just not this one.