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Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody Review

An extremely comfortable and well built fleece that’s ready to accompany you as far into the mountains
Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody
Photo: Backcountry
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $179 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Incredibly soft brushed fleece interior, athletic fit
Cons:  Expensive, no thumb loops
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Buck Yedor ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 26, 2021
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 20% 9
  • Breathability - 20% 7
  • Layering Ability - 15% 9
  • Weather resistance - 10% 7
  • Weight - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Kyanite is a high-performance piece of outerwear and one of the top-scoring fleeces we tested. The brushed fleece liner, athletic cut, and stretchy material used throughout make this fleece a pleasure to wear while climbing, skiing, or just hanging out. The design is simple but incredibly functional. With two zippered hand pockets and one internal zip pocket, it provides just the right amount of storage space without becoming bulky. The scuba style hood is great for keeping the wind out, and the slim fit makes it easy to layer over. If you can afford the hefty price tag, you won't be disappointed with this high-quality fleece.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$99.00 at Backcountry$59.37 at BackcountryCheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Incredibly soft brushed fleece interior, athletic fitCozy, athletic fit, breathable, lightweightBreathable, lightweight, inexpensive, comfortable for athleticsPerfect fit for most active uses, ideal weight for many conditions, great hood designWeather resistant, good stretch, breathable, looks good
Cons Expensive, no thumb loopsPoor weather resistance, no thumb loopsNot incredibly warm, poor weather resistanceNot as warm for its weight as some high-loft modelsBaggy fit doesn't work well as a mid layer
Bottom Line An extremely comfortable and well built fleece that’s ready to accompany you as far into the mountainsA well rounded and highly versatile fleece that offers a great warmth to weight ratio in a surprisingly cozy packageThis lightweight and breathable fleece offers the same or better performance than many of the more expensive optionsA perfect layering piece that regulates body temperature so well you'll leave it on from summit to sleeping bag and everywhere in betweenThis isn't your typical midlayer fleece jacket, it is cut loose to fit well over other layers
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Kyanite H... Patagonia R1 Air Vigor Full Zip Patagonia R1 Hoody Patagonia R1 TechFa...
Warmth (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort (20%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Breathability (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Layering Ability (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Weather Resistance (10%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
10.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Arc'teryx Kyanite H... Patagonia R1 Air Vigor Full Zip Patagonia R1 Hoody Patagonia R1 TechFa...
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight
Weight 13.97 oz 9.7 oz 12 oz 11.1 oz 14.4 oz
Main Material Polartec Power Stretch Pro - 53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane 100% recycled polyester Grid-back fleece: 94% polyester, 6% spandex 6.9-oz polartec power grid 93% recycled polyester 7% spandex with Polygiene permanent odor control Regulator fleece
# of Pockets 3 1 3 1 3
Unique Features Scuba hood, stretchy fabric Hollow-core fabric is highly breathable for high-output activities
offset shoulder seams
Balaclava style hood, thumb loops Balaclava style hood, thumb loops, Polygiene permanent odor control, longer length to stay tucked under a harness Adjustable hem, scuba hood, thumb loops
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arc'teryx Kyanite is the cream of the crop when it comes to performance fleece wear. Warm, incredibly comfortable, and built to move, this fleece is ready for any cold-weather adventure you have in mind. The scuba style hood fits comfortably under a helmet, while the stretchy wrist cuffs help keep out cold air. This jacket accommodates wide-set shoulders and doesn't obstruct your range of motion in the slightest.

Performance Comparison


The Kyanite Hoody, with its excellent range of motion, is the...
The Kyanite Hoody, with its excellent range of motion, is the perfect layer to bring to the crag.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Warmth


This fleece straddles the line between being a light and midweight fleece. Warmer and more wind resistant than micro grid fleeces, this piece makes a decent stand-alone option in moderately cold weather and adds substantial warmth if you're using it as a part of a layering system. If you are looking to build out your cold-weather layering system for wintertime pursuits, this is an ideal choice.


Our testers found this jacket to be a little too warm to wear while on the go for spring ski tours but just right for wearing under a shell while sitting on the lift at the resort. All in all, this jacket has an excellent weight to warmth ratio.

From skiing to spring fishing, the Kyanite is a versatile piece that...
From skiing to spring fishing, the Kyanite is a versatile piece that offers all day warmth and comfort.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Comfort


What separates this jacket from the pack is how comfortable it is. The brushed fleece liner feels great against bare skin, and the seams didn't rub or feel tight on the shoulders or under the armpits.


The material used throughout is incredibly stretchy and leaves you feeling unencumbered while on the move, even during sustained overhead movements like rock climbing.

This midweight fleece offers more protection from the wind than...
This midweight fleece offers more protection from the wind than alternatives made from gridded fleece.
Photo: Buck Yedor

The top of the front zipper is lined with a soft fabric, so when you're fully zipped, there is no unpleasant rubbing against your chin. The scuba style hood fits snuggly against your head and doesn't droop down over the eyes.

This was one of testers' favorite fleeces to wear, whether on the...
This was one of testers' favorite fleeces to wear, whether on the move or at home.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Breathability


This is one of the most breathable midweight fleeces we reviewed. While it's not as breathable as some of the lightweight microgrid fleece options we tested, it does a good job considering how much warmth it provides.


This wouldn't be our first choice to use as a jacket to go running in, but it is breathable enough to wear while wintertime skiing and hiking.

The scuba style hood excels at keeping out the wind.
The scuba style hood excels at keeping out the wind.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Layering Ability


With a slim but not skin-tight fit, this piece is the ideal cut to both layer over and under. The wearer has plenty of room to wear a long sleeve base layer, and the slim fit makes putting an insulating layer and a shell over top a non-issue.


Our testers would have liked to see the inclusion of thumb loops in the wrist cuffs to make layering even easier. Having loops to hook your thumbs on keeps your sleeves from getting bunched up underneath other layers and helps keep the sleeve securely tucked into gloves when it's cold and windy out.

The slim fit makes it comfortable and easy to layer over.
The slim fit makes it comfortable and easy to layer over.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Weather Resistance


While the tight weave of the material does a moderately okay job at keeping out the wind, there is no waterproofing to speak of, and you'll need to immediately layer up if you encounter any precipitation.


The jacket is an ideal standalone piece for cold and dry environments and makes a great layer to wear under a shell for when it's wet and cold.

The brushed fleece interior is extremely comfortable.
The brushed fleece interior is extremely comfortable.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Weight


Our size medium weighed in at 13.97 ounces. While it's not the lightest fleece available, it does have one of the best weight to warmth ratios. It's packable enough for the backcountry or a long hike, but if you're after a fleece that's ultra lightweight, you may want to look elsewhere. If you're after more warmth and wind resistance, the extra weight you'll be carrying will be well worth the trade-off.


Value


Our testers had very few complaints about this jacket and found the comfort to be superb and the details refined. Arc'teryx products are often priced well out of the range of many consumers, but we found this piece to offer a good value. While it's one of the most expensive fleeces we reviewed, it wasn't priced so extravagantly over our other top picks. We think for the extra money, you really are getting a superior product.

Conclusion


The Arc'teryx Kyanite is one of the most comfortable fleeces on the market. Its athletic cut makes it ideal for hiking, skiing, climbing, or any movement heavy activity. While it is quite warm for a fleece, it offers little protection from moisture and only moderate protection from the wind. It has an excellent weight to warmth ratio and accommodates layering over and under without issue. This is a great fleece for cool to cold weather pursuits. While it's priced on the higher end of the price spectrum, it will be hard to find a better-made fleece jacket.

The Kyanite is an athletic fitting fleece that tapers from the...
The Kyanite is an athletic fitting fleece that tapers from the shoulders down to the waist.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Buck Yedor