Image from Arc’teryx.com
In looking around for a warm, light weight, and general all purpose jacket for day-to-day use, I was pointed towards the Arc’teryx Atom LT. After a bunch of research, and finding one on sale, I decided to purchase one to try out and see how I liked it.
First, lets go over some of the details of the jacket. The LT series from Arc’teryx is their light weight series. Basically minimalist in most forms… Limited bells and whistles, just the necessities to make a good product.
Because of the weight savings, the Atom LT doesn’t have 100 pockets, or a bunch of other crazy stuff. There are two hand pockets on the outside, an inside left chest pocket, and a draw cord around the waist, that’s about it. The inside chest pocket and draw cord around the waist are a surprise because some of the other LT models, even more expensive ones, don’t have them.
Something that I would have liked to see on the Atom LT is a stuff sack; this is something that is not included with the jacket. One of the Arc’teryx pros is giving the advice to stuff the jacket into it’s sleeve. While this works, in my mind it’s not as good as a nice stuff sack. It doesn’t protect against damage, spills or other things your jacket might run into while packed away.
The Atom LT is constructed of 100% nylon Tyono 20, it’s a light weight and semi-durable material that is DWR coated. Inside is Coreloft 60 g/m2 insulation, that is warm, but quite breathable. On the Atom LT there are side panels under the arms that are made of Polartec Power Stretch material that is a little elastic, and breathable. This helps with venting, but a side effect of that is that it doesn’t block wind very well.
For someone that runs warm like me, the breathable side panels are nice, especially in climates that change frequently. Though, if it’s windy, it’ll cool you down quick. Overall the jacket is very breathable, and pretty good at regulating heat.
How does this jacket work in cold weather? It works OK. It’s a good layer, and for me, down to the low 50s / high 40s it works just fine with a t-shirt under it.
Some final thoughts on the Atom LT… I’ve been using it for a few months, pretty regularly, and I really like it. It’s a great mid layer for mid-to-low temperature climates, and a good outer layer for dry mild temperature climates. The pockets are nice and warm and located high enough that they are easy to access if you have a pack with a waist strap or a climbing harness on.
Here’s a feature list from Arc’teryx.
- Moisture-resistant outer face fabric
- Compressible and packable
- Wind resistant
- DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent) helps repel water from fabric surface
- Composite construction
- Breathable, stretch side panels for enhanced comfort and mobility
- Articulated elbows
- Gusseted underarms
- Insulated, helmet compatible StormHood™
- Full front zip with wind flap
- Stretch-knit cuffs
- Drop back hem
- Laminated hem
- Adjustable hem drawcord
- Internal chest pocket
- Two hand pockets