Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody ReviewMay 10, 2016
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Compressible yet warm insulation
- Breathable fleece side panels
- Too short in the torso
- Hood is large and bulky
The Arc'teryx Atom LT hoody excels at warmth and breathability with its main downfall being how it fits. It is a great layer for cold winter activities and also provides good wind protection on its own for warmer days. This jacket is similar to the Rab Strata but did not score as highly due to its poor fit, which may be more specific to the person.
The Atom LT uses Coreloft insulation inside a nylon shell that provides more warmth than testers initially expected. Even on cold days, it provided a lot of warmth underneath a ski jacket and light windshell. The Atom also provided the perfect amount of warmth when used as an outer layer for running and cross country skiing since it allowed in air along the side panels to prevent overheating.
The fit of the Atom hoody is the main drawback to this layer. It fit snugly around the torso while still allowing for light layers underneath but it was much too short on the torso compared to all of the other layers in this category. In addition, despite its snug fit there was still loose fabric around the arms that gave it a bulky look. The Atom has an elastic drawstring around the bottom to cinch it down and also elastic wrist cuffs that don’t fit as well as many of the other layers. The hood is large but also uses an elastic cord so that it can be tightened down to fit either with or without a helmet.
The Atom LT was the most compressible of the jackets with hoods and had the most options for where to stow it away. Arc’teryx claims that the layer can pack down into its own pocket, arm sleeve and hood though testers were only able to successfully pack it into the sleeve or hood. One of the greatest attributes of this jacket is how compressible it is considering the warmth it provides.
The hood is a great feature of this jacket though it simultaneously takes away from its style. The hood is quite large so it can fit over a helmet but has an elastic cord on the back so that it can cinch down to fit snugly around the head. It also has a handy feature that the entire jacket can pack down in the hood, which serves as a great pillow if bringing along on a backpacking trip. Besides the standard two side pockets, the Atom LT also has a handy inside chest pocket, which only the Nano Air and the Strata also have. Lastly, it has fleece lined side pockets which is a great feature when gloveless.
Arc’teryx does a great job utilizing a hybrid design on the Atom LT to provide warmth and weather protection while allowing breathability through the fleece side panels. This is also the same style that the High Sierra Molo Hybrid uses but provides just slightly less breathability compared to the innovative material used on the Nano Air Hoody.
This jacket has a typical outdoorsy look that most people enjoy though it’s not a jacket you’d be likely to wear around town for style. In addition, the length and loose fabric around the arms took away slightly from the look of the jacket. Nevertheless, it is a nice looking jacket if you can get the right fit for your body type.