The Men's Venta AR Jacket by Arcteryx is a windproof, breathable, lightly insulated jacket perfect for skiing or hiking on cold days. This soft shell jacket provides excellent wind protection with increased breathability. If the forecasted dry conditions become fictional, whether it be rain or snow, the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish helps bead water from the fabrics surface making this an excellent quick-drying, snow-shedding garment. As you find yourself in an unprotected part of the mountain and your body temperature drops, bundle by inching up the full front zip, designed with a windflap for extra protection, tighten the adjustable hem drawcord and stuff your hands in the two pockets. Tiny GORE seam tape is used for reinforced insulation in weaker areas, and everything must be strong, strong like bull!
|Back Length:||Waist length with drop back hem|
|Fabrics/Materials:||520SNP WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell with Brushed Knit Backer|
|Hem:||Drop back hem|
|Lining :||720N WINDSTOPPER with Micro Check Backer|
|Material :||800SNP WINDSTOPPER with Micro Check Backer|
|Pockets:||One internal chest pocket with laminated zip, Two hand pockets|
|Recommended Use :||Hiking; Nordic; Snowshoeing; Ski Touring; Trekking|
|Type of Waterproofing:||DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent)|
|Ventilation :||Breathable; Adjustable hem drawcord|
|Warranty :||Practical Lifetime Guarantee|
|Waterproofing :||DWR Finish; Tiny GORE seam tape|
|Zipper:||Full front zip with interior wind flap, Moulded zipper garage|
|Arc'teryx Venta SV Jacket||$239.99 - $399.00|
|Arc'teryx Venta MX Hooded Softshell Jacket||$449.95|
This jacket is my bread and butter. It has so many uses in different climates and is truly all around.
I am 5'8" 125lbs. and wear a Mens small.
For low exertion hikes, I wear a thin crew base underneath. This works great for long hours in the city too especially when the coffee shop blasts the ac nonstop over my head.
With a midweight base underneath the Venta keeps my temps stable down to -5C, provided I'm on the move and have the drawstring pulled. The tight wrist is great for keeping the wind out provided you are of average build; for my thin wrists I get about an inch of opening so this doesn't work out very well but I'm sure for most of you it's snug, if not constricting.
The jacket doesn't pack down much and I can't tell where it actually stretches enough to notice while worn.
I do appreciate the different material thicknesses at various spots but the effect seems more for thermal effect rather than stretch. The whole jacket does stretch, ranging from 1-2cm of expansion. The stretch ends abruptly so the impression on use is that the jacket is static and the stretch only manifests with tight fit and wide motions.
Overall cut is smart. The jacket has surprising room underneath for both a base and insulating layer but is still fashionably acceptable on my rather skinny frame.
Either the Atom LT or the First Ascent Microtherm down shirt fits under this without much change in shape. I personally can't stand so much insulation so I usually wear the Venta AR with just a baselayer and adjust the weight and material of that instead.
For me, any temperature or activity level that the Venta + heavy base cannot handle, I replace the Venta with a First Ascent Downlight sweater or Atom SV instead of layering due to breathability issues.
An Alpha SL pullover goes over this for those rare times when I don't want my hat totally saturated from heavy snowfall or rain. I personally wouldn't recommend having both on at once for very long unless idle.
The DWR is ok, though not as durable as a hardshell for reasons I cannot deduce. The area where I put my watch over the sleeve as well as underneath both sleeves seem to have areas where water will not bead well, areas where I guess the rubber watch strap and other things rub against.
I have washed once and treated with Grangers XT but the sleeves remain a trouble spot, even more so than the shoulder where the pack straps rub. This is just nitpicking because the total area of soaking is probably less than one square inch, and I do wear this very often and rub against tables (probably oils and other contaminants on the table)
On the whole, this jacket in my opinion provides good value for the amount of use it gets and the deceptively high protection it provides in situations I couldn't have imagined possible upon casual inspection of the garment.
If you want a very good looking softshell that protects you from the wind and rain, look no further than this jacket.
Not only is it technologically perfect, it is one of the best looking jackets to wear around town. But like all soft shells, it can only keep you so warm.
If the outdoor temperature range is 32+-50 degrees then this jacket by itself and a knit long sleeve cotton shirt does the trick. Anything colder then a light mid layer fleece is necessary.
So this jacket plus a mid layer fleece is all you need to cope with freezing cold winter to mild spring weather. If you have to sit in the football stands freezing with light drizzle then this jacket + mid layer + hat will keep you as warm as any combination.
In colder weather, a down jacket works equally well, but only if there is no rain. I recommend this jacket for anyone who appreciates quality, functionality, and great looks.
Finally with sizing... I am between a medium and a large (42" chest, 32" waist) Mediums fit my lower torso but they are always a bit tight under the armpits. So the way for me to go with 99% of the jackets is large. No way you want your jacket pinching in the back.
The ONLY exception is Patagonia Brand. Patagonia sizing is slightly larger for all sizes and they are generally cut generously through the mid section. Therefore, a large size in Patagonia makes me look like Santa Claus. It is huge in the mid section. To avoid this, I am forced to buy medium for better fit and so that the jacket captures heat.
Not an ideal solution, because all Patagonia medium jackets are tight in the back and in the armpits. Anyone who is in between sizes will have to choose between ballooning fit, or slightly tighter better insultated fits with Patagonia. Arc'teryx does not have this problem.
I love this jacket with a passion, I really have used it for almost anything that i can think of: ice climbing, rock climbing, mixed climbing, hiking, walking around, being bored, cooking and what i mostly use it for is being happy. See i like being happy and this jacket allows for that very thing. Once you get to know this jacket(its limits, when it over heats, its dwr repellentcy etc...) it is like a leather hiking boot in how it just gets better and better. The pockets are out of the way, so i can always use it, harness or backpack. On the out sides of the jacket(neck, shoulders, arms) the fabric has some spandex in it compared to the insider fabric, but has the same amount of fleece. This allows for more durability, and in my opinion, comfort. The fabric on the torso sides is very thin and has almost no fleece whatsoever. There is one problem that i have had with it, and that is that the cuffs very quickly pilled, I was a little disappointed in it ,but it is only the cuffs, no big deal. I gave it 4 stars because it was not extremely great just really great. I didn't have the extra cash to by dwr wash ,but i have only washed it once in the time i owned it, it made the jacket more soft and it just worked better, my ignorance for not accomplishing this early. Overall great jacket , just don't forget to wash it after every, say,30 good , not crazy, days of use. Hope this helped someone.
I bought the Venta AR to replace my old worn out Gamma MX (which I loved). I thought about just getting another Gamma MX, but decided to go with something a bit warmer.
It's got a little bit of stretchiness to it, but nothing compared to the Gamma MX fabric, although on the flip side, the exterior is a bit burlier, and I wouldn't worry about it snagging on anything. The breathability is also noticeably less, which conversely means the wind blocking ability is noticeably more. This is great when you're not doing something really vigorous in the cold/wind, but not so great when doing something like trail running in the cold (which is where the Gamma MX would shine, keeping you warm, but generally not overly hot and clammy). As such, it can function well as a warmer insulation layer beneath a hard shell. The temperature comfort range between the two jackets has a large overlapping mid-range with a difference of about 10*F at either end, with the Gamma MX slightly better suited towards warmer conditions, and the Venta AR slightly better for colder conditions.
Also worth noting is that despite being made in China, and all the negative connotations with that, it's still very well built, with no noticeable quality differences to my older Canadian made pieces.
I think the one downside is that the cuffs aren't adjustable/stretchy. When zipped up, and I move my arms about, I can feel warm air being pushed out and lost through the gap between the cuffs and my wrists. An adjustable strap or stretchier material there would help greatly.
I bought this to replace my 6 year old Gamma AR that has been to hell and back. I was hesitant to buy this because I really like the stretchiness of my Gamma (made of the old polartec material) and this jacket has almost no stretch to it. But I found it on sale in black for under $200 locally and it fit me pretty well so I bought it anyway.
I'm 5'7" and float between 174-182 (muscular/athletic) with broad shoulders and this jacket in a medium fits me very closely with a T-shirt, polo, or other thin layer under it, which is what I was going for. I used to layer my Gamma (size L) over a hoody for cold days, but this jacket is to trim for that. The fit and style is clean and sharp, which is great for wearing around town.
It's thin and light, but deceptively warm but breathable. I've used it for running hills in 28-30degree weather, warming up for tennis in 50degree weather, and I even wore it watching a baseball game in sunny, 70 degree weather last weekend. I could probably use it for drier days on the ski slopes, but I have other jackets for that so I probably won't.
This is my 5th Arcteryx jacket (and my 2nd China-made one), and the construction is second to none, as always. Just like everyone else, I was disappointed when they moved their manufacturing to China, but I have seen no evidence that quality has suffered as a result and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another China-made Arcteryx jacket.
I am 6 foot 2 190 pounds, and I got a large. I have super long arms so I appreciate the length of this jacket's arms. It does have a slim fit and is very short (most non-technical fleeces hang out the bottom). I have used this jacket so far skiing, walking in a rainstorm, and out about in the city. Windproof is excellent, water repellant is excellent, high collar is the perfect height to be able to snuggle into on the chair lift or in the rain.
Note that the pockets are set higher than you would expect, which is designed so you can carry a pack with a waist strap and still access the pockets. Awesome for hiking, a little awkward trying to walk around the city with your hands in your pockets.
Also, I know this jacket says it has one interior pocket, but I have not been able to find it. A little weird that there is no wallet / chest interior pocket, but it means the jacket lies flat and looks great.
I bought this jacket to replace a beloved 10 year old Marmot softshell, so far it has worked great. Wind resistance is definitely better than my old softshell, and the only (tiny) complaint I have is the lack of an interior pocket. The only other complaint is that it doesn't come in bright red, but the grey isn't bad at all.
When my old North Face soft shell (size S) died after 7 years of use, I was in the market to replace it. Of course I checked out the current offering from TNF but noticed they've made it a lot bigger. The arms were too long, the chest was baggy, and the entire body was stretched out. I checked out all of the other soft shells out there from different brands and the S size of this one was the best fit for me. I had to order it online and cross my fingers, but I was very happy with it. I would say the only one smaller than this out there is the Patagonia Men's XS Adze (the only soft shell with XS as of this writing I'll note) but that was a bit too small and wouldn't fit another layer like a sweater under it. Note that I'm not tiny, but I usually wear small or extra small shirts from most name brands. So, this one was the winner when it came to fit.
As for quality, it's an Arc'teryx so you're going to be paying quite a bit. However, it really does amazing things in blocking even strong winds, and I haven't needed to put a sweater on under it for weather above 40F yet. I couldn't be happier with it.
This jacket is a real gem, its likely the most versatile piece in my closet. In temps of 40 to 50 I can wear it on it's own, anything warmer and this might be too warm. If it gets colder, I can still live with it, but a layer would be necessary. Where I think this jacket really shines is in the windstopper element, its much warmer for its weight than it appears, despite a lack of real insulation as it blocks the wind 100%. This windstopper also creates an insulative property when active, as it will not breathe like the Gamma MX, if extremely active it can be worn in cold temps. The only thing I miss would be a chest pocket, but realize that is an alpine minimalist piece so there arent even adjustable cuffs. Sleeve length is generous, and the fit of the jacket overall is close. I've worn this for any time I am going to be out in the cold temps with wind, and possible light rain.... the DWR and nylon outer fabric work great. The windstopper itself is actually quote waterproof, but the seams are only finished with finishing tape, so its not seam sealed for water. Compared to the Venta SV this is much trimmer jacket fit wise.
I have been searching for the perfect softshell to replace a well worn Marmot Dri-Clime. The Venta AR may not be perfect, but it is not far from it. It is quite warm and windproof for its thickness and weight. And a great option for the sidelines of fall soccer games or more active pursuits. So far, I have just two complaints: I wish that there were more than the two hand-warmer pockets (one chest pocket would be ideal); while the material has a little stretch/give, it is not quite enough at the cuffs (a small gap of stretch and a velcro closure would make this jacket even better).
It is a very worthwhile purchase.
At 6' and 165lbs, the large is a great fit.
I returned it promptly so I can't tell you how warm, windproof, or water resistant it is but I can help with sizing. I originally got a large and it was quite baggy on me (6'0" 170lb) in the chest and arms. It was also quite long in the sleeves. I swapped it for a medium and the sleeve length is perfect and the fit is much more 'athletic'. However, it is abnormally short in the torso. My T-shirts stick out of the bottom. It's longer in the back but I wish it was that length all the way around. Makes me look pretty goofy.
I owned an Arcteryx Venta AR Jacket for over a year and in many ways it was a great windproof jacket -- it was light, nicely cut, had a burly outer fabric, and its fleece backing added warmth so I could wear it on its own with a tshirt to the high 40s. However, it also had a lot of issues with it -- 1) the face fabric does not stretch so it's hard to layer more than one long sleeve top underneath 2) the arms taper to the handcuffs which make it even harder to layer 3) it's a very short jacket -- sure it's windproof, but it barely covers my hips which leaves my crotch a bit too cold. These issues together made me consider how well my money was spent on a jacket this expensive!
I finally sold this jacket one day after I tried on the Patagonia Adze in stores, as I found it better than the Venta in most aspects. It's similar in that they're both windproof jackets with no hood and a light fleece backing. However, the Adze has a super stretchy face fabric which makes it MUCH more comfortable, it has hand cuffs = easier layering, and it is slightly longer -- about 1 inch -- which helps cover my sensitive areas while still maintaining an athletic fit for backpack wearing. The only downside of the Adze is that its fabric is softer and likely less abrasion resistant than the Adze. But, the Adze costs less than half of the Venta retail!
The Arcteryx Venta is a very hard sell considering how awesome the Patagonia Adze is; while the Venta is a good jacket, there are certainly better out there at better prices.