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Arc'teryx Beta LT Review

A top-tier rain jacket with excellent water protection, adjustability, and durability from hood to waist
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Arc'teryx Beta LT Review
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch
Price:  $450 List
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Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 10, 2023
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 17
  • Water Resistance - 30% 9.5
  • Breathability - 25% 7.5
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 7.5
  • Weight - 15% 5.8
  • Durability - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Beta LT is our favorite rain jacket overall. It kept us almost completely dry throughout our testing and has high-value features like hood adjusters to fine-tune the fit around your head, dual waist cinch cords, and pit zips for ventilation in warmer rain. Its thick and hearty fabric is highly resistant to snagging on errant branches and it is thick enough to serve admirably as a waterproof shell in the winter over a couple of mid-layers. This jacket is very expensive so it might be overkill for a day hike or car camping. However, we think it is a great option for those who are going out on extended backpacking trips in wet weather.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent waterproofing
Pit zips
Durable
REASONS TO AVOID
Less breathable
Stiffer fabric
Expensive

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Bottom Line This high-performance rain jacket will keep you dry in the backcountry trip after tripHighly breathable and versatile jacket which holds up well to any weather short of torrential downpourA solid all-around option for the price, with great mobility and respectable storm protectionA super stretchy and breathable jacket that's great for staying dry when on the moveA fully-featured but vastly less expensive jacket that does enough to make it a great deal
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Beta LT Outdoor Research Fo... Black Diamond Storm... Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Helly Hansen Loke
Water Resistance (30%)
9.5
7.5
7.5
5.5
6.0
Breathability (25%)
7.5
9.0
7.0
9.5
7.5
Comfort and Mobility (20%)
7.5
9.0
8.0
8.5
7.0
Weight (15%)
5.8
4.7
6.9
5.1
8.1
Durability (10%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.5
5.0
Specs Arc'teryx Beta LT Outdoor Research Fo... Black Diamond Storm... Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Helly Hansen Loke
Measured Weight 13.3 oz 15.0 oz 11.5 oz 14.4 oz 9.5 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material 3-layer N40p GORE-TEX with tricot GORE-TEX Paclite 2.5-layer BD.dry Proflex fabric with a breathable waterproof membrane HELLY TECH
Pockets 2 hand 2 hand, 1 left chest 2 hand 2 hand, 1 interior left chest 2 hand
Pit Zips Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Stows Into Pocket No No Yes No Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood Yes Yes No Yes No
Hipbelt Friendly Hand Pockets No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

This triple-layer, waterproof, and windproof shell is a great addition to most wet- or cold-weather kits. Its Gore-tex shell and taped seams create a waterproof barrier that's made to withstand hard weather. The cut of the fabric is flattering for warm weather but accommodating of bulky fleece jackets.

Performance Comparison


arc'teryx beta lt - the beta lt protected us not only in the rain but the whipping wind...
The Beta LT protected us not only in the rain but the whipping wind of high-altitude ridgelines.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Water Resistance


Made from N40p Gore-Tex fabric with 3L tricot technology, this jacket is one of the most waterproof models that we tested. It has a Gore-tex membrane bonded to an outer shell fabric and an inner layer ("3L technology"). In fact, it did so well that we barely noticed any wetting out after a few minutes in our shower test, which subjects our coats to much higher water pressures than they face from natural rain. In fact, the biggest issue that we noticed is that water simply slid off of the jacket and onto our pants. The back of the jacket also hangs slightly lower than the front. It's not low enough to protect your butt while sitting down, but it does shield you from moisture when leaning against a wet log or rock.


Every zipper is waterproof, from the main body to the pockets to the pit zips. The taped seams inspire confidence, and the hood has a robust visor and wonderfully high collar that is both comfortable and protects against drips coming off of the top and from sideways rain. It is also roomy enough that you can really pull it down almost entirely over your face if you need to wait out a gust of wind or hail before moving forward. The shell is also equipped with standard velcro tabs at each wrist as well as two toggles - one on each side of the waist - that create a tight seal to keep underlayers protected. We were pleasantly surprised that these toggles never really inadvertently loosened, which is something that often happens after miles of wear.

The Beta LT had the strongest waterproof performance in our shower test.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Breathability


It certainly has some redeeming breathability features, but we want this model to be more breathable than it is. Two large pit zips are equipped to vent heat. Each one has two zippers so they can be opened from either the top or bottom. It is a slightly awkward motion, but it's possible to unzip them while wearing the jacket.


However, this jacket can certainly feel hot fast when on the move. We loved having it on in 50-degree windy conditions but moving into still conditions and warmer temperatures into the 60s we got sweaty pretty quickly. Once that happened, even the pit zips were not enough to make wearing the jacket comfortable enough while actively hiking.

The Arc'Teryx Beta LT has pretty standard-size dual-zipper pit zips that help throw heat in warmer weather.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort & Mobility


Overall, this jacket is a little stiff, but it makes up for it with its weather protection. It is roomy enough to fit comfortably over a heavy mid-layer but has a slim fit cut that prevented us from swimming in it in warmer weather. Because of its stiffness, it has a distinct crinkle when on the move, but we didn't notice any meaningful mobility limitations beyond what we would expect from the average jacket. The drop hem (the extra part that hangs down at the back) also ensured that it didn't ride up above our waistline when reaching up.


The hood is large enough for a heavy winter hat or climbing helmet but also cinches down in three places — one cord at the back of the head and one on each side of the neck to secure it tightly. We also appreciate the microsuede chin guard that prevents a cold zipper from coming in direct contact with skin, as well as the long zipper, pulls that make it easy to zip and unzip the jacket while wearing glove liners. There are both pros and cons when considering the comfort of this model but ultimately, we think it offers more mobility and a good balance of fit and performance features than other comparable but bulkier jackets.

The Beta LT has a cord at the back of the hood that cinches down around the back of the head for a super secure fit.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The pockets aren't exceptionally large, and they aren't quite high enough to avoid being covered by the hipbelt of a backpack, but neither of these quips is a dealbreaker.

Weight


We measured the Beta LT at 13.3 ounces, over half an ounce less than advertised. It is over an ounce heavier than the average jacket in the category, however, the protection it provides is well worth the nominal extra weight.


It is certainly much heavier than the lightest models in this review so it isn't a perfect option for ultralight trips. However, for most people on a day hike or multi-day adventures, it packs down small enough that we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for the long haul.

arc'teryx beta lt - this jacket is fantastic in the rain and a worthwhile addition even...
This jacket is fantastic in the rain and a worthwhile addition even when you just need another layer for cold weather.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Durability


The triple-layer material is super durable. It's not liable to get snagged on rogue branches or thorns. The metal zippers are all hearty and glide smoothly without getting caught on the interior fabric. Even the plastic toggles inspired confidence that they would last for pull after pull.


Like any jacket, it will have to be re-waterproofed eventually, but water beaded up just as well by the end of the test period as it did at the beginning. Fortunately, it is machine washable, so cleaning and care are no hassle for this bluesign-approved shell.

arc'teryx beta lt - all elements of the beta lt are made to last including all of the...
All elements of the Beta LT are made to last including all of the waterproof zippers.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Beta LT?


This jacket is for those who need exceptional protection from wet weather hour after hour, day after day. It stands up to inundation beyond what we have come to expect from other jackets and it has thoughtful, durable features that make it stand out from the pack. It's very expensive so it is more than most people need for most activities. However, for extended backpacking trips in soggy climates like the Pacific Northwest or New England, this is a phenomenal choice. It is highly durable, adjustable, and one of the best jackets we have ever tested. If you are willing to shell out for it, we recommend it highly.

The Beta LT has elastic cords on both sides that make it possible to cinch down the waist tightly.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

What Other Men's Rain Jackets Should You Consider?


Other options with great weatherproofing include the Outdoor Research Microgravity and Patagonia Torrentshell 3L. If you need even more ventilation than the pit zips in the Betta LT offer, then the Outdoor Research Foray II is the right move. For greater comfort and mobility, you can't go wrong with theMountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket or Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0.

arc'teryx beta lt - this jacket is a reliable shell for both cold and damp weather...
This jacket is a reliable shell for both cold and damp weather conditions.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch