Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody is a top scorer in our review based mainly upon its performance in two of the most critically important categories for a lightweight down jacket — warmth and weight. Its 850-fill power down gives it super high loft and heat retention, while also weighing less than the competitors who used lower fill-power down. Arc'teryx pairs its warm and light down with Arato 10 denier super light nylon shell fabric, ensuring that this jacket uses only the lightest materials available. However, while its high quality led to maximum performance, it doesn't come without a price.
The Cerium LT stuffs a ton of high-loft down into its hood and sewn-through compartments on the back of the neck. It also uses Arc'teryx's Down Composite Mapping to include panels of Coreloft synthetic insulation in places where there is a high threat of moisture build-up, and in this case, that meant on top of the shoulders.
Despite being noticeably thinner than the down-filled baffles surrounding it, we found that there was no drop-off in these panel's heat-trapping capabilities, making it one of the warmer jackets in our test.
The Cerium LT Hoody weighed 12 ounces on our independent scale, including its stuff sack that comes in the internal zippered chest pocket. For a size men's large with a hood to weigh not even two ounces more (than the small) is an impressive accomplishment and ensures that weight will never be an excuse for leaving the Cerium LT behind. If you love the Cerium LT but want an even lighter option, we've added the Cerium SL to the mix, which uses even lighter materials and pairs down the features to maximize weight savings.
When it came to the performance of the DWR treatment on its face fabric, the Cerium LT was merely average, leading to some minor absorption of water into the nylon, especially around the shoulders and front zipper. That said, in most other areas, the DWR coating remained effective and intact, even after a couple of months of testing.
This jacket does not use any form of hydrophobically treated down. Instead, it uses panels of Coreloft synthetic insulation in a rather small area on top of each shoulder, where it is most likely to get wet from falling rain, to try and lessen the impact of getting wet. That said, the tops of the arms and hood don't have these Coreloft panels, so there is still plenty of areas where the down could become compromised and be a liability of it gets severely soaked. Overall we liked the idea and think it works well.
We felt that the Cerium LT offered an excellent fit. This jacket is loose and highly mobile, without crossing the boundary into being baggy. In particular, we loved how this jacket featured long sleeves that wouldn't ride up above our wrists when moving our arms overhead or to the side, and also had a spacious enough cut that we never felt constricted in our shoulders, chest, or upper back. On the other hand, we were thrilled that this jacket didn't cross the line into being too baggy like we found with some models.
The Cerium LT stuffs into an included, super-thin stuff sack that comes girth hitched inside the zippered interior chest pocket. While this stuff sack has a clip-in loop and weighs next to nothing, it isn't super easy to get the jacket fully stuffed within. Once stuffed, this jacket is roughly the size of a Nalgene. While we worry slightly about the possibility of losing the stuff sack on an important climb or adventure, we can't argue with how incredibly compressible this jacket is.
While the Cerium LT has a minimum of usable features, we found them to perform slightly less awesome than many of the features found on competitor's jackets.
It comes with two zippered handwarmer pockets, as well as a single interior chest pocket where the stuff sack lives, so it does not have an integrated stash pocket. To secure the hood, there is a single drawcord at the back of the head, but we found that when pulled tight, it tends to create uncomfortable pressure on the ears when worn for too long.
It also has dual hem drawcords that are easy to tighten and do an effective job of tucking the tail ends up under the hem, but with no buckle present, we found the tightening system to be quite challenging to loosen with gloves on, or even with one hand. Overall, the performance of its features was nowhere near the best.
This jacket is quite a bit more expensive than an average down jacket and makes it one of the priciest in our review. However, if you have the cash and want to spend it, it is a great value.
The Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody has a solid combination of superior fit, lightweight, and incredible warmth. It's a wonderfully designed jacket with an awesome warmth to weight ratio.