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Sizing: Standard Athletic (S-XXL)
Recommended Use: Ski Touring/Nordic/Snowshoeing
Paying $450 for a jacket seems insane right? Yep, sure does to me, but to be honest if you think of a jacket as a technical piece of gear that will last you for years then does it seem so far fetched? Not so much. This newest jacket from Arcteryx is dialed for adventure with a helmet compatible hood, two chest pockets, fully waterproofed zippers and Gore-Tex Active shell all in an 11oz package that stuffs down into a tiny pouch so you have no excuse to be caught out in wet weather unprotected.
Active Shell is the latest and greatest from Gore that is designed for done in a day activities where full range of movement is key and light and fast is the focus. Utilizing this technology in the Beta FL is a perfect fit. As a lightweight adventurers jacket Arcteryx thought of the minimal design needed for technical outerwear that will be abused and any slacking in the design is unacceptable. Take for instance the lack of pit zips and the positioning of the front pockets down the front of the jacket when they are still accessible with a pack on. And with the silky smooth finish of the interior of the Gore Active Shell you won't have that plastic bag feeling so many other jackets can leave you with. Thus far I have used this jacket ice climbing, skiing and snow shoeing and have been surprised by the breatheability. However being that I live in Colorado where we have a generally arid climate, heck even the snow is dry, the true test of this Active shell tech has yet to be tested by me, although I have heard good things.
In the spirit of adventure the shoulders and elbows of the jacket have been slightly reinforced to keep down the possible damage from rock scrapes, although this is in no way as durable as the Pro Shell used in more aggressive jackets. Arcteryx has also added a few reflective blazes to the jacket to aid in location when lit (by a light not as in when you are intoxicated!). The fit of the jacket runs on an industry standard although it is nicely cut into an athletic fit which nice but consider sizing if you plan on needing layers, especially since this jacket is a hard shell with no insulation.
We all know that Arcteryx is a spendy purchase and if I was buying a pub jacket I would balk at spending almost 5 bills for it, but the fact is this jacket will last you for years and should be looked at as an investment and so if you are one to spend $12 on a sixer of microbrew that will last you mere minutes than think of the wiser investment of technical gear built for a lifetime of adventure.