The Arc'teryx Procline is a specialized hybrid fleece designed for high output activities, specifically, ski touring. It has the soft next-to-skin comfort of fleece, with with a lightweight Tyono shell covering the front, back, and hood of the jacket. The result is a nearly windproof, water-resistant fleece that could simplify your layering system. That said, a wind layer and a lightweight fleece perform the same tasks of insulating and blocking the breeze, and we like the option of having either/or. As an active insulator, the Procline doesn't hit the sweet spot of warmth and breathability as an insulated Jacket like the Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Hoody or the versatility of the Patagonia R1 Techface.
Arc'teryx Procline Hybrid Hoody Review
Cons: Expensive, not as breathable as we'd like
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Procline is another hybrid entry in the fleece category, and it shares similar pitfalls and advantages as the Outdoor Research Deviator and the Patagonia R1 Techface. Each of these models have more weather resistant capabilities than the average fleece, at the cost of reduced breathability. Our testers gravitated towards the Techface over the Procline because of the Techface has a roomier fit and is more breathable.
For the fleece component of the Procline, Arc'teryx uses Polartec Classic 100, a lightweight fleece with a breathable grid pattern, with a similar weight and feel as the Outdoor Research Transition Hoody, and a lighter weight than the Patagonia R1 Hoody and the Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody. Purely as an insulating layer, The Procline isn't as warm as the R1 or the CoEfficient Hoody, but the Tyono shell provides more protection from the cold wind if you aren't wearing a shell layer. Compared to the other hybrid fleece, the Procline feels warmer than the Techface due to it's slimmer fit, and softer, slightly more insulating feel.
This jacket has a very slim fit and designed to be worn over a light baselayer, maximizing fleece to skin contact, therefore maximizing moisture movement and breathability. The Hood is fleece-lined, and an elastic cinch cord keeps the hood in place, while a semi-rigid brim keeps light precip off your face. While this fleece has a great feel against the skin, the slim fit has some drawbacks regarding comfort. The tight cuffs that keep the sleeves in place for layering where a pain for our large handed lead tester to get his big mitts out of, and the short hem makes it ride up over a climbing harness, and a little difficult to keep it tucked into you're ski pants. The Procline has two cozy fleece-lined handwarmer pockets.
The sides and underarms of the Procline aren't covered in Tyono shell fabric. Here, the breathable microgrid Polartech fleece move air and moisture uninhibited, helping our testers stay drier than heavier fleece like the REI Co-op FlowCore and the REI Co-op Hyperaxis. The Patagonia R1 Techface is more breathable than the Procline because it is comprised of a breathable hard face fleece, without a windproof layer.
Like we mentioned previously, this jacket has a slim cut. It fits perfectly as mid layer, on top of a light base layer or under an insulated jacket or a hard shell. While the Procline doesn't have thumb loops, the cuffs are tight and stay in place when you shove your arms into the sleeves of another layer. The hood is thin, low profile, and hardly noticeable underneath heavier layers.
The Procline manages to be one of the most weather resistant jackets in the fleece category, while still being lightweight and breathable. It achieves this with the light windproof shell covering all but the sides of the jacket. The Tyono shell is more wind resistant than the Patagonia R1 Techface, and just as wind resistant as the bulky The North Face Denali 2. Under light precipitation, the R1 Techface is the top performer because of it's DWR finish that covers the entire jacket. The Procline repels water just as well as the R1 Techface on the back, shoulders, and front, while water soaks through instantly on the sides and underarms. With his back to the shower head, water rolled right of the shoulders and hood of our lead tester as if he was wearing a rain layer.
Our men's small-sized Procline fleeced weighs 13.4oz, the same as the Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody, but just as warm and much more weather resistant. It's a touch lighter than the Patagonia R1 Techface, but the Techface has a much bigger cut.
At first glance, this jacket has the appearance of a techy wind layer. Put it on, and it feels fleecy soft, but it the slim fit strongly suggests high octane mountain fun, not casual dining. Our testers chose comfier, roomier fleece like the REI Co-op Hyperaxis or the Patagonia Synchilla Snap T for hanging out at the coffee shop or the climbing gym.
This $249 fleece is one of the most expensive models in our review. It's a lot of dough, especially considering that you can buy a Patagonia R1 Hoody plus a Patagonia Houdini wind jacket for around $260.
The Procline is designed as a part of Arc'teryx's ski mountaineering line, prioritizing breathability and wind resistance. It's a put-it-on and leave-it-on layer and feels more similar to an active insulation piece like the Patagonia Nano-air Light Hybrid Hoody than a traditional fleece. Our testers felt it worked well for its intended use, though some like the option of having a fleece and a separate wind layer instead of having one jacket trying to be both.
We're seeing more hybrid styles and manufacturers strive to create one layer to do it all. Like the Outdoor Research Deviator and the Patagonia R1 Techface, the Procline is an attempt to squeeze out a little more versatility than your average fleece, compromising breathability for a bit more weather resistance. If you're looking for a mid layer that will breathe while you charge uphill and keep the wind off while you traverse the ridges, keep in mind that this jacket fits small, and size accordingly.
— Matt Bento