|Arc'teryx Venta MX Hoody||$313.99|
|Arc'teryx Venta AR Jacket||$193.99 - $299.00|
|Arc'teryx Venta SV Jacket||$239.99 - $399.00|
Okay so I got the chance to try out both the venta mx and the sv. The sv is noticeably heavier than the mx for obvious reasons. The cut of the mx is longer than the sv both front and back. I would say that the mx has a closer/trimmer fit than the sv in all the areas of the body (chest, waist, arms). The arm length of the mx is a tad bit longer. As far as the materials go. The sv incorporates 3 windstopper fabrics and is a more burly jacket than the mx. The mx has a stretchy windstopper material in the articulated areas (shoulders and outsides of arms, and back). The stretchy windstopper material screams quality and is probably why the jacket is $50 dollars more than the sv. The chest pockets and pit zips use water tight zippers which are used with more of arc'teryx' hardshells. These zippers do not glide as easily as the zippers used on the sv, but offer better water protection. My main reasons why I like the mx more is because of the trimmer fit, extra coverage, and the storm hood. The drop hood of the sv works great with a helmet, I just found that the storm hood offers an even better fit with a helmet as well as more face protection. I am tall and lanky (which the venta mx accommodates this body style very nicely) 5'11" and weigh 125 lbs with ~35-36 inch chest and the mx in a small offers room for layering even though it has a trimmer cut than the SV. The MX is a bit more breathable than the SV due to the less heavy materials used, but the sv provides more warmth. The mx is very lightly insulated but has enough to be used as a stand alone piece in fall/spring conditions with a long sleeve base layer. I got the brimstone color, and it is BRIGHT ( I wanna say it is a bit brighter in person than the picture), which is great for being visible on the slopes or anywhere.
I have a beloved Cloudveil Koven shell and wanted a soft shell for everyday skiing to preserve the Koven.
I like the jacket very much. It feels bomb proof. My one day in it was Stowe's 2012-13 closing day. 20s in the AM on the scratchy top with hard wind. Mid-40s at the bottom in the PM on wet mashed potatoes and corn. Started with an Arc'teryx Atom LT hoody underneath and over a long sleeve wicking shirt. At mid-day I switched the hoody for a Patagonia Nano Puff vest.
Less windproof than the Koven, but acceptable. Breathability was great as the temperature rose.
As an every day winter jacket, I would prefer my TNF Apex Bionic jacket or the Arc'tyrex Atom LT Hoody. The primary reasons for this is that there are no slash pockets on the shell. I don't find this an issue for skiing because I would always have something underneath. My layers, OR down jacket, Atom Hoody and Nano vest all have slash zippers. The inside slash pockets can be reached via the pit zips for storage access. It does leave a nice clean looking front, but I would add pockets if designers asked me. The other limitation for everyday use is the sleeve. I leave it as loose as the velcro closure permits, because I cannot get my hands through otherwise. Fiddling with the velcro would be a pain just to go outside for wood or similar simple errand.
My ski gloves are guantlets, so I cover the lower sleeve while skiing. I am supposing it would be difficult to get the sleeve over gloves like my XXL Black Diamond Guides.
Fit is a half size small if you don't have a trim waist. I wear XL in TNF, but XXL in Arc'teryx, meaning the XL is tight around the waist and the XXL is loose. I plan to use it skiing and picked XL because it will handle layers. I am 6'2" 265 with a football player's build and about a 38" waist.
This is a great fitting softshell made from top notch materials. It has a longer length and is slightly fitted compared to most arcteryx shells. The fabric moves nicely with the body during activities and has a touch of warmth with the fleece lining. Very durable face fabric, completely windproof and waterproof to a certain degree (Not sure how much water the finishing tape can hold out). Well placed pit zips that are easy to open
The cons: PRICEY! yikes $450 for a windstopper shell (A well made shell however). But at this price point I would want a Watertight Vislon front zip.
Lack of pockets. I am not a huge fan of crossover (Napoleon) chest pockets but it could use another pocket on the shoulder and perhaps another inside mesh pocket.
3 1/2 stars Overall due to cost factor and missing features
This is a very nice jacket. It was a very pronounced drop back hem. The chest pockets are big but stay out of the way of your harness. Sheds water well with the windstopper fabric and off course it blocks the cold winter breeze. I use this mostly for backcountry snowboarding. The slim cuffs are nice but a little snug when I pull them over my snowboarding gloves for the descent. This fits slimmer than most of my other Arc'teryx pieces and so it might be a good idea to size up if you want to layer underneath. I love the articulated sleeves and huge pit zips. I just wish the main zipper had the same waterproof treatment that the pit zips and pocket zips have.
Used it so far skiing in -20 conditions out west. Worked great, stayed warm. I have the brimstone color and I personally love the color.
The only minus is that the sleeves are quite long for me, probably an extra 3" than I need, so the arms bunch up and I need to tighten the wrist straps.
I won't go into too much detail because everything I would say has already been covered in depth. Suffice to say it is a very well made garment cut to fit a slim fellow quite comfortably. I am 5'11" 160 lb and the medium was perfect.
Anyway, I give this product 3 stars because for my purposes, the lack of pockets is a total deal breaker. I am not a clever man and didn't realize that jackets were made without side pockets. Also, I guess I didn't look closely enough at the pictures or the description--this is all on me.
However, if you think that you will miss having side pockets on your jacket, don't buy this one, because you will.