The Arcteryx Atom AR Hoody is a versatile insulated hooded jacket that allows you to perform without restriction. It's ideal as an outer layer on cold dry days but when the weather turns wetter, it becomes the ideal mid layer. All in all, a very versatile jacket that is ideal for alpine climbing, ski-touring or trekking in the hills and mountains. Though it is equally at home around town too.
The outer fabric is constructed from a highly durable Tyono 30 that is also wind resistant and light. It also benefits from a DWR finish to repel any rain or snow. The AR Hoody utilizes Coreloft, this is a lightweight synthetic insulation that is very compressible and light but expands very quickly when unpacked. Coreloft is made up of thicker fibres than other leading insulation brands, which means they will not penetrate the outer fabric. The insulation is also body mapped to improve the thermal performance.
The Arcteryx Atom AR Hoody is cut to allow freedom of movement, with articulated elbows, gusseted underarms and superbly designed cuffs. These are constructed from a stretch knitted fabric to enable easy layering. The StormHood is insulated and helmet compatible. The No Slip Zip is an Arcteryx feature which works like a series of speed bumps down the zip, so the zip doesn't slip from the position you put it in, even when its not fully zipped up.
The Atom AR Hoody has become one of my favourite pieces of kit in recent years. The synthetic Coreloft fill used in the jacket offers idiot-proof insulation and is perfect for damp forays into the British hills during the colder months. The jackets ability to insulate in a damp environment has made it my favourite belay jacket for Scottish winter climbing, and at only 470g it is still light enough to be carried on routes either on your back or clipped to your harness. I have also used the jacket extensively in the Alps from Grandes Courses to ski-touring, and feel it has excelled every time.
Dave in testing conditions on the final pitch of 'Soul Vacation' VIII,8 Cambridge Crags, Langdale. Credit: Kevin Avery, CGR.
The design is simple and uncluttered with all the features needed but with nothing extra. The stretch-knit cuffs are perfect for use at belays where the jacket will be put on / taken off over gloves frequently, and are a well thought-out alternative to velcro which can freeze up when cold. The hood is helmet-compatible and features an elasticated seal and high collar to be able to close out the worst of the weather when the conditions turn nasty. The rip-stop face fabric is durable and stands up to 'thrutchy' routes well and doesn't make you feel like you will destroy your jacket with any full-body moves. The jacket breathes well when working hard and has a good cut allowing complete freedom of movement. This coupled with Arcteryx's usual high quality construction make it an easy choice for me time and time again.
Dave on the abseil approach to 'Cosmique Couloir', Mont Blanc Massif, France. Credit: John Crook.
After many years use I can say the Coreloft insulation resists compression better than most synthetic fibres I have used and the jacket dries very easily at the end of a long day on the Ben. With years of abuse my original Atom AR Hoody has this season been replaced with a new one but apart from being a different colour and having an improved hood, the jacket has stayed the same and I look forward to many more years of warmth!
Dave is a Trainee IFMGA Mountain Guide and rope access IRATA L3 based in Kendal. He enjoys all different types of climbing and skiing, but has a particular passion for Scottish winter climbing and Alpine climbing. Click here to see his page.
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