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Arc'teryx Kyanite AR Hoody
|Price||$200.00 at REI|
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|$101.40 at Backcountry|
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|$60.47 at Backcountry|
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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$149.00 at REI
|Bottom Line||From demanding cold weather mountain adventures to evenings around town, Arcteryx brought a great performance piece||A stylish and comfortable fleece that is lightweight yet warm||This lightweight and breathable fleece with excellent performance at a price that's hard to beat||A basic fleece meant for style as much as warmth||A casual hoody with a lot of stretch for a variety of physical activities|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Kyanite A...||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip||REI Co-op Hyperaxis...|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Kyanite A...||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip||REI Co-op Hyperaxis...|
|Measured Weight||15.0 oz||12.8 oz||13.2 oz||12.9 oz||16.7 oz|
|Main Material||53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane||100% polyester||94% polyester, 6% spandex||Shell: 100% recycled polyester fleece
Stripes: repurposed polyester taffeta with DWR finish
|Polartec Power Stretch Pro polyester|
|# of Pockets||2||3||3||4||3|
|Unique Features||Scuba hood, stretchy fabric||Slim-fit hood, quick drying||Thumb holes, UPF 30, 3-panel hood with binding||Recycled and repurposed materials||Thumb loops, bluesign-approved 4-way stretch polyester|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arc'teryx Kyanite AR hits the summit of fleece comfort with the brushed line interior and Polartec Power Stretch Pro material. The stretchy material of the Polartec and the softness of the fleece create an incredibly cozy feeling jacket that falls into the midweight level of warmth. The jacket has a fitted, low-profile hood that blocks wind while allowing movement. The articulated elbows and the gusseted underarms create an amazing level of mobility in this jacket. While simple with its two zippered pockets, the Kyanite has incredible function, making it one of our favorites in the review.
This fleece works incredibly well as a stand-alone piece. The brushed interior feels soft against the skin and provides a substantial amount of warmth. Our testers felt like they could wear this jacket during cold weather missions on its own, great for when you'd rather not have to put on multiple layers.
One of the problems with the piece is that it's actually too warm for many applications — moving in less-than-cold temperatures caused our testers to overheat. While climbing during chilly fall mornings in finger-numbing temperatures in Rifle, Colorado, our testers felt okay, but during slightly warmer conditions, they overheated. Think good for under a jacket on the ski lift but poor for spring ski tours.
Wow! That's the best description for this jacket's comfort level. The brushed fleece liner feels amazing against the skin. The cut is also flattering and fits very well, making the Kyanite a pleasure to wear. While this level of quality is typical in many Arc'teryx jackets, our testers were still immensely pleased. One problem with the high comfort level was that a tester let his friend borrow it while climbing. His friend promptly cozied up in the jacket and fell asleep, leaving the climber without a belayer.
The Polartec Power Stretch Pro works well to stretch and move with the body, making activities like climbing and skiing that much easier. The athletic fit presses perfectly against the body, and Arc'teryx's thoughtful design creates an unparalleled level of ease of movement.
The craftsmanship extends to the features of the Kyanite. Soft fabric lines the front zipper's top to prevent chafing against the skin of the chin and neck. The low-profile hood wraps around the head nicely and doesn't droop onto the eyes. The zippers on the two handwarmer pockets move and sit well even while under a harness or backpack waist belt.
The Kyanite AR did well regarding breathability, especially for being a midweight fleece. While other, thinner fleeces performed better, air still flowed easily through the Kyanite during cold early morning hikes. It has a bit of wind resistance from the tight weave, but we still got a bit chilly when biking or skiing quickly downhill.
While breathable, the Kyanite AR feels a bit heavy for more athletic pursuits in warmer conditions. Due to the jacket's ability to trap heat, it's not our top choice for more high-output activities such as hiking or skinning up steep trails. That said, it is breathable enough for colder weather pursuits, especially as part of a well-thought-out layering system. For the right outing, this is an excellent layer.
The Kyanite AR does a solid job with layering, fitting under hard shell jackets or larger down jackets quite well. The Polartec Power Stretch Pro fits well against the skin and glides under a second layer. The fitted hood also does a great job moving under other hoods.
One thing that this jacket is missing is thumb loops to help prevent the sleeves from riding up and getting bunched under other outer layers. While the jacket's fit does well to prevent this, our testers liked having the option to keep the sleeves tucked into their gloves.
This jacket came in at a midweight level, weighing 15 ounces for a medium. The level of warmth it provides makes up for its heft, though. If you're looking for a super packable, ultra-light piece for backcountry missions, then this fleece may be on the heavier side, but if you want casual comfort and a great weight-to-warmth ratio, then this piece works well.
Arc'teryx shaved weight off this fleece by using a simple design with few frills. The Kyanite has low profile zippers, only two hand warmer pockets, a simple hood, and adjustment at the hem. While some of our testers liked having these features, their exclusion would create a more streamlined and lighter jacket. It really all depends on what your needs are for your preferred activities.
Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Kyanite AR Hoody?
This jacket's understated quality makes it an incredible piece. Durable, with an excellent fit and an unbelievable amount of comfort, the Kyanite AR works extremely well for cold weather activities. While not as breathable as a thin and lighter fleece, if you're looking for a combination of warmth and style for use in the mountains and around town, this is one of our favorite fleece jackets and one to seriously consider if you can swing the price.
What Other Fleece Jackets Should You Consider?
The Arc'teryx Kyanite AR defines comfort in a fleece with its fit and quality craftsmanship. Ideal for hiking, skiing, climbing, or any movement-heavy activity, it has a great weight-to-warmth ratio. However, if you are after a technical lightweight fleece, the Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody is an exceptional performer. If you need to save some dollars, we also really like the Outdoor Research Vigor Full Zip for more technical applications and the Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip for a casual, hip vibe.