cute but lightweight
I love Arc'teryx but their jackets tend to be too long and narrow for me. I splurged on this because when I compared it to the NF apex in the store, the fit was better and the comfort was unparallelled. For once they have made something that fits someone small and curvy. I wasn't sure how it would hold up to extreme weather, but I thought at the very worst, I could layer it.
The quality of the jacket is not up to Arc'teryx old standards -- it's obvious that they aren't quite as high quality as the products made in Canada, so I did hesitate slightly when deciding to purchase the jacket--the seams are a little rough and the materials don't seem quite as solid, but that might be because they're so high tech.
I tested it bike riding on a cool day. No rain yet. The jacket is good for aerobic activity, it definitely kept me from overheating, but I was disappointed in how little wind it blocked. Granted, there's a lot of wind when you bicycle. On the other hand, if I weren't producing a lot of heat, I think it might not have kept me warm.
I still like this jacket and will keep it, it seems versatile and has a great cut, but I think I'll be sticking with my backup plan and layering something over it, like a windbreaker or a down vest. It might work out well in milder weather -- I'd suggest it as the jacket you could use if expecting varied weather conditions, but I wouldn't plan on using it alone in chilly or windy weather.
great lightweight jacket
This is a great jacket. I bought this as a lightweight jacket to wear when it's raining or chilly, and I wear it mostly while the kids are playing soccer on the weekends or when I'm camping. I would not wear this as a winter jacket, but it's perfect for chilly spring, summer or fall days/evenings.
Drizzling rain does absolutely nothing to the jacket; it just rolls right off. One time, I was stuck in pouring rain at a soccer game and I was very surprised at how well it kept me dry. The jacket was drenched, but my upper body was not. I would say on a very windy day, I feel a little bit of wind coming through, but I would say it blocks most of the wind. I especially love to wear it camping when I just want a light layer to throw over myself. I loved this jacket so much that I bought one for my husband...and now it's his favorite jacket.
As far as sizing goes, I find that the Arcteryx sizes are a bit smaller than the NorthFace sizes. The XS Arcteryx fits me perfect (5' and 92 lbs); I could wear two thin layers under this jacket, but not a sweatshirt.
Excellent spring/fall jacket & mid-layer
This is an excellent jacket for cool weather. it's perfect our spring and fall here in the Northeast! Other reviews state it doesn't do the job, but I think it's great for resisting wind and does exactly what it's supposed to! It's for "aerobic use in mixed weather"! It isn't a winter jacket. It's not windproof, but it resists wind really well. It's lightwieght and has a great warmth to wieght ratio.
You never know when it'll rain in RI, and I got caught in the rain yesterday w/this jacket on and was AMAZED!!! It rained pretty hard for about 15 minutes- and I stayed warm and dry!!! For just a water resistant jacket it did an great job at keeping me dry! I LOVE IT!!! About the other review who got the Apex instead- If your looking for a heavy softshell -the Apex's ok(but it's short, thick, and much more boxy than arcteryx jackets)For more warmth than the epsilon and much nicer feel and fit than the Apex you might want to try the Arcteryx Atom LT. I hope this helps!
Excellent all-around jacket
I LOVE this jacket! Got it in '08 as a gift, and it is the only thing I wear from October to May, usually just over a thin short or long-sleeved shirt. It is a very versatile jacket, very comfortable, very nicely made and nicely tailored for a slim profile. The pocket on the sleeve is perfect for keeping some cash in if you're going for a jog or just walking the kids around the neighborhood, the hood fits snugly and is easily adjustable, and the little stretchy panels at the inside of the wrist prevent chafing. I haven't had this jacket in heavy rain for an extended period of time, but for all other conditions it has been excellent. I would like to get a nice, thin zip-up wool sweater for layering underneath in colder weather. For now, if it is much below freezing, or I'll be standing still outside for a long time and not generating my own heat, I bust out the heavy-duty coat I've had for years.
Get what you pay for
For a very long time I thought Arc'teryx was a bunch of over-priced, over-hyped stuff for people with too much money on their hands and wanted everyone to know it. But, I finally succumbed and got this jacket...I get it now. I still think their products are expensive, but I see why. EXCELLENT jacket. I had a little issue with the hood adjustment technique, but once I understood it, it's great. NO leaks to either wind or water, great length, insulated but not heavy, sizing is good for layering pieces under if you need extra warmth. There is nothing on this jacket that I thought "If only they had....I wish they hadn't...." It's been around Baker Lake, up Baker trails and will be going with me to Rainier and Adams later this summer.
This is a MUST! I'll give two examples to explain my true love for this jacket. One: Blizzards in MN/ND. This jacket is very windproof, and with an additional down or fleece underlayer-was more than warm enough. I wear it most of the winter with long sleeves and am protected well, and do not get hot inside stores, etc. Example number two: Big fat rain in Muir woods on the west coast. Hot fat rain pouring down, damp air, and me without a raincoat. This softshell performed beautifully. I was dry, and there was no clammy damp feeling while walking trails.
This will be my workhorse jacket for many years to come. And with no fabric pilling or collecting of lint, it will look great for a long time too.
I am elated to find this product ON SALE This is a wonderful jacket!! Arc'Teryx is an expensive brand but I continue to come back to get this specific jacket (I've lost my last two over the last 4 years) because of it's incredible fit. Durable, warm, light and very, very stylish. I am an athletic woman with a swimmer's shape and as long as you are trim and (most likely) small to medium sized chested, I think you will really enjoy this. I suppose one word of caution is that it may be difficult to layer under this jacket if you use bulky layers otherwise this is a true gem! I use it for everything.
Love this jacket!
Before I got this jacket last winter, its hard to remember what my everyday go-to jacket was. This isn't the jacket for extremely cold temperatures (well below freezing), but its pretty perfect for most winter days in Seattle. I've found this jacket to be quite water-resistant -- enough to withstand a few hours in the Seattle rain. Although, note that when its really pouring, I add a waterproof shell (the jacket is not 100% waterproof, which I consider an ok sacrifice for its breathabilty).
My only complaint is that the sleeves are a touch long for me, but that is a relatively minor concern. Overall, highly recommended.
Love this jacket and already wrote a review, but forgot to add how the sizing is. I find that Arcteryx size chart is great for the most part with all that I've bought from them(3 jackets, 2 mid-layers) If you use their size chart, and match up your measurements to their chart, you should find the right size. I'm 5'7 125-130 lbs, and the small fits me perfectly with room for a sweatshirt under it.
Fit very well, comfortable, and the price is good.