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Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody Review

An extremely comfortable fleece that equally belongs in the city or in the mountains
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Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody Review
Credit: Zach Lovell
Price:  $200 List
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Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Zach Lovell ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 24, 2024
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 8.0
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Breathability - 20% 8.5
  • Layering Ability - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.1

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody is an impressively versatile fleece for hanging around town or adventuring. With a Nylon face acting as a shell, the brushed interior makes this piece among the most comfortable options tested while still offering mountain performance. With 4-way stretch fabric, we loved the freedom of movement found in the Kyanite, whether rock climbing, skiing, or winter hiking. Much to our surprise, this midweight fleece also boasts great breathability, keeping us from overheating on big days outside. This garment started pilling fairly quickly, and we did miss having a chest pocket, but if this option fits your budget, it's a phenomenal pick for your next fleece. Some prefer an athletic fit in their fleece, but the Kyanite is a baggier cut than other options, so be sure to check out our full review on fleece jacket men.
REASONS TO BUY
Stylish
Highly breathable
Incredible comfort
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Pilling
Costly
No chest pocket
Baggy fit
Editor's note: The Kyanite Hoody was previously known as the Kyanite AR Hoody. Also, it is substantially different from the similarly named Kyanite Lightweight Hoody. Among more granular changes in materials, the largest difference is that this Kyanite Hoody is a midweight-class fleece, and the Kyanite Lightweight Hoody, as the name suggests, is a lightweight-class fleece.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line A stylish and comfy fleece that’s both functional and fashionableA stylish and comfortable fleece that is lightweight yet warmA year-round layer for any of your technical mountain pursuits, even in stormy conditionsThis lightweight and breathable fleece with excellent performance at a price that's hard to beatA featherweight fleece that doesn’t compromise warmth for weight. This is a layer you'll always keep with you
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Kyanite H... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Rab Ascendor Summit... Outdoor Research Vi... The North Face Summ...
Warmth (25%)
8.0
6.5
7.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.5
7.0
Breathability (20%)
8.5
8.5
7.0
8.5
8.0
Layering Ability (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.5
Weight (15%)
6.1
8.5
7.9
8.5
10.0
Specs Arc'teryx Kyanite H... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Rab Ascendor Summit... Outdoor Research Vi... The North Face Summ...
Measured Weight 14.8 oz 12.8 oz 11.6 oz 13.2 oz 7.9 oz
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight
Main Material Body: 53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane Body: 100% polyester Body: 20D Pertex Quantum Air, Thermic G fleece, polyester knit Body: 94% polyester, 6% spandex Body: 55% polyester, 45% recycled polyester
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
# of Pockets 2 3 1 3 1
Features Nylon face outer with a brushed polyester interior, 4-way stretch textile Slim-fit hood, quick drying Body mapped fabric positioning, flatlocked seams, wind resistant zipper, under helmet hood, thumb loops Thumb holes, UPF 30, 3-panel hood with binding Pre-tensioned elastic hood, seamless shoulders, stretch underarm gussets, thumb loops

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody is one of our favorites due to its versatility. We could effortlessly go from a coffee shop hang to the ski slopes in this fleece without missing a beat. While this isn't the lightest option out there, if you want a do-it-all layer, the Kyanite is worthy of your consideration.

Performance Comparison


arc'teryx kyanite hoody - we tested the kyanite for several weeks across the western us.
We tested the Kyanite for several weeks across the western US.
Credit: Dan Wolfskill


Warmth


One of the primary jobs of a fleece is to offer warmth to its wearer, so we rated this metric at 25% of the total score. We tested this metric by putting boiled water into a bottle and measuring how long it took for that bottle to drop to 150°F while inside the fleece. We also investigated each fleece's wind resistance by putting each product in front of the same fan at the same setting. Finally, we made notations of perceived warmth while recreating in wintry environments. The Kyanite scored very well in this metric, landing near the top when compared to other products in our review.


The Kyanite offers excellent warmth, keeping the water bottle above 150°F for 1 hour and 25 minutes in testing. Compared to some, this was an impressive 20 minutes longer, making it an excellent choice for those seeking heat retention from their fleece.

arc'teryx kyanite hoody - this layer performed well during our thermometer test.
This layer performed well during our thermometer test.
Credit: Zach Lovell

The nylon face also acts as a sort of fleece shell, with decent wind resistance for this class of layer. In occasional light snow, we could even keep our hardshell jacket in the bag. After extensive field testing, we were thoroughly impressed with this product in the warmth metric.

arc'teryx kyanite hoody - even on snowy days, the kyanite offers excellent warmth for a fleece.
Even on snowy days, the Kyanite offers excellent warmth for a fleece.
Credit: Dan Wolfskill

Comfort


Comfort is one of the main aspects of a fleece's likeability, so it's worth 25% of the total score. We tested each fleece's comfort by assessing how much it bunches around the arms, waist, chest, neck, and stomach. We also sized up its coverage, moving our arms in various positions to see if the garment kept our upper body covered. Lastly, we made notations throughout testing to see how comfortable the fabric was against our skin. The Kyanite scored very highly in this metric.


When examining coverage and fabric-against-skin comfort, the Kyanite was nearly perfect, with the cozy brushed interior keeping us covered regardless of arm and body position. This version of the Kyanite has a more baggy fit, so it does bunch some around the chest and stomach. If you're looking for an athletic cut fleece, we'd steer you elsewhere, but many won't mind the more casual feel and aesthetic of the Kyanite. In field testing, we could effortlessly move our upper bodies rock climbing, and we even enjoyed this piece while working in the office.

This layer is incredibly comfortable and offers excellent range of motion.
Credit: Zach Lovell

Breathability


Breathability makes up 20% of the total score. We tested this metric by taking every fleece on sustained outdoor adventures of similar length and output, notating each garment's ability to breathe along the way. We also investigated features that can further enhance each product's breathability. The Kyanite greatly surprised us with a very high score despite being a midweight fleece.


The Kyanite kept us from overheating across several weeks of testing, from backcountry and resort skiing to ice climbing. The Polartec Powerstretch Pro includes a nylon face with a brushed interior underneath, helping usher body heat away from the innermost layer. The waist pockets do offer venting if left unzipped, though we wish Arc'Teryx had included a chest pocket as well, which can offer additional venting or convenience for carrying a cell phone. The bottom line is that breathability is one of the best reasons to consider this as your next fleece.

arc'teryx kyanite hoody - we were pleasantly surprised by the top-notch breathability of the...
We were pleasantly surprised by the top-notch breathability of the Kyanite even though it's a midweight fleece.
Credit: Zach Lovell

Layering Ability


We weighted layering ability at 15% of the total score, given that most fleece options will be part of a layering system. We tested this metric by comparing each option's ability to fit layers underneath and over the jacket. This fleece scored near the top in this metric, further confirming that it's a high-quality option.


The Kyanite, uniquely, can be used as a next-to-baselayer jacket or can be used as a mid-layer over other clothing. Arc'teryx managed to nail the delicate balance between having a relaxed, baggy fit without greatly increasing the overall bulk. The 4-way stretch also makes it easier for this jacket to be worn over other layers without feeling like a character out of “A Christmas Story” who puts on so many layers they can't put their arms down. For around-town hangs, this layer easily fit over a collared shirt and underneath a puffy coat.

arc'teryx kyanite hoody - we were able to use this fleece as an under or outer layer.
We were able to use this fleece as an under or outer layer.
Credit: Zach Lovell

Weight


We gave weight 15% of the overall score of the fleece jackets we tested. We tested this metric by weighing each fleece on the same scale and recording our findings. As a midweight fleece, the Kyanite lands further back in the pack.


While the Kyanite does most things well, it's not the lightest fleece we tested. Given the amount of warmth this layer offers, it wasn't a surprise to our testers when we saw the higher numbers on the scale. At 14.84 ounces, this is still a far cry from our heaviest options reviewed, and many will likely have no issues with the weight. It is a bit bulkier than some of the competition, but most shoppers will be able to fit this layer in their pack.

arc'teryx kyanite hoody - the strap used to contain this fleece weighs .05 ounces, putting the...
The strap used to contain this fleece weighs .05 ounces, putting the Kyanite at 14.84 ounces.
Credit: Zach Lovell

Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody?


If you're looking for a do-it-all hoody for going to dinner and the mountains, keep this at the top of your list. The Kyanite isn't the most technical layer, and we'd steer you elsewhere if you're seeking something light and boasting a more athletic cut. We thoroughly enjoyed testing this piece and were pleasantly surprised by its high performance despite its more casual appearance.

The Arc'teryx Kyanite is a worthy option for shoppers seeking a do-everything fleece.
Credit: Zach Lovell

What Other Fleece Jackets Should You Consider?


If you're looking for a more technical option, we'd recommend the Rab Ascendor Summit Hoody, which has a slimmer fit. If you were put off by the Kyanite's weight, take a look at The North Face Summit Series FutureFleece Full-Zip Hoodie.

Zach Lovell