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Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody - Women's Review

This is an outstanding down jacket for layering in cold conditions, well suited to activities that require adept moisture management.
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Price:  $380 List | $299.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, well placed synthetic insulation, versatile
Cons:  Less durable than some models, expensive
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 10, 2018
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Compressibility - 15% 9
  • Features - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Water Resistance - 10% 8
  • Style - 5% 6

The Skinny

The Cerium LT from Arc'teryx is a lighter weight version of our award-winning, the Cerium SV. The letters LT stand for light weight, while the SV stands for severe. They LT is exceptionally versatile, and we enjoyed wearing it around town, as well as in the mountains. It is incredibly lightweight and includes Coreloft synthetic insulation in the shoulders, cuffs, and armpits for outstanding moisture management. As such, it is a jacket well suited to layering under a hard or softshell; it excels in around town adventures or during cold and drippy ice climbs where water tends to trickle down your arms. The lighter weight fabric is not the most durable in the review, another reason we liked layering it under another jacket. However, the warmth to weight of the LT makes for an excellent and versatile mid or outer layer.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cerium LT is an excellent lightweight down jacket from Arc'teryx. While it does not earn an award here, it is still a great choice for anyone looking for a very light, warm, and versatile down jacket.

Performance Comparison


Zipping up as the sun dips below the horizon on a late-season ascent of the North Face of Mount Shuksan. The Cerium LT was an ideal companion with its excellent warmth for the weight. It boasts well-placed synthetic insulation for a long day  when hoping the weather wouldn't move in sooner than forecasted.
Zipping up as the sun dips below the horizon on a late-season ascent of the North Face of Mount Shuksan. The Cerium LT was an ideal companion with its excellent warmth for the weight. It boasts well-placed synthetic insulation for a long day, when hoping the weather wouldn't move in sooner than forecasted.

Warmth


The Cerium LT from Arc'teryx is a lightweight jacket featuring 850 fill down. This high fill power is some of the best quality down available, but it is important to recognize that this reflects the warmth for the weight, not the overall warmth of the jacket. In short, this is not a jacket that would be adequate to get you to the summit of Everest. However, for most applications, the level of warmth will be adequate.

We held the Cerium LT up to the light to see how dense and well distributed the down is in the baffles. This is a well-made jacket  warm for the weight.
We held the Cerium LT up to the light to see how dense and well distributed the down is in the baffles. This is a well-made jacket, warm for the weight.

This jacket is thin but exceptionally warm for its size. We really enjoyed wearing it during mild, fall temperatures, as well layering under hard shell jackets or bigger down jackets in particularly cold places. It is longer than some lightweight jackets, too, which helps keep body heat in— exactly where you want it.

When the weather became stormy and frigid, we would layer the Cerium LT under a hardshell. Thanks to the careful placement of synthetic Coreloft insulation at the shoulders, cuffs, and armpits, this jacket is well-suited to keep you cozy. This layering strategy also protects the jacket from abrasion.

Weight


At 9.5 ounces, the Cerium LT is among the lighter jackets in this review. The use of Coreloft synthetic insulation boosts its weight when compared with some of the award winners in this review, such as the amazingly lightweight Ghost Whisperer from Mountain Hardwear, which comes in at 4.5 ounces.

Compressibility


The compressibility of down jackets is primarily a function of the quality of the down. Higher fill power, which is typically 750 and above, means the jacket has better down, making it warmer for its weight. This higher quality fill down is also more compressible; these are the features which make down such an excellent companion in the backcountry (so long as it doesn't get wet).

All stuffed up and ready for any adventure. The Cerium LT is highly compressible with 850 fill down and a snug stuff sack cached in the chest pocket.
All stuffed up and ready for any adventure. The Cerium LT is highly compressible with 850 fill down and a snug stuff sack cached in the chest pocket.

The excellent 850 fill down in the Cerium LT allow it to be incredibly warm and compressible for the weight. It is not quite up to the Ghost Whisperer standard due to the small amount of Coreloft synthetic insulation, which is less compressible than down, but this might be a tradeoff worth your while if you use this jacket in wet climates.

Features


The Cerium LT does not boast a lot of features, which helps to keep it lightweight. But the suite of features it does include offers up convenience while promoting a good fit, and ensuring utility in its intended uses.

We love the clever design of the stuff sack. It is girth-hitched inside the chest pocket so that you don't accidentally pull it out and send off into the wind. It's clever to use another material for the stuff sack instead of stuffing the jacket into the pocket in case you were to scrape the stuffed jacket up against something abrasive (then you won't get a hole in your pocket).
We love the clever design of the stuff sack. It is girth-hitched inside the chest pocket so that you don't accidentally pull it out and send off into the wind. It's clever to use another material for the stuff sack instead of stuffing the jacket into the pocket in case you were to scrape the stuffed jacket up against something abrasive (then you won't get a hole in your pocket).

We appreciate the stuff sack system Arc'teryx uses in this jacket, similar to our other award winner, the Arc'teryx Cerium SV. The jacket has a separate stuff sack, which is more beneficial than just stuffing the jacket into its own pocket. While stuffing into its pocket does the trick, it could get scraped along rocks while clipped to the back of your rock climbing harness, which could facilitate holes. The drawback is that you have to keep track of an extra stuff sack (plus the extra weight of the stuff sack, but that is minimal). Arc'teryx includes a loop of cord inside the chest pocket which the stuff sack is girth hitched to. This means you can leave the stuff sack in that pocket and still use the pocket without fear of accidentally pulling that little lightweight sack out and losing it to the wind.

Plus, did we mention the chest pocket? We love chest pockets; they make it simple to stash your phone, allowing ease of access. The two side pockets are also impressive, as they are large and high on the front of the jacket. The placement of the side pockets also facilitate ease of use and access when wearing a backpack or harness.

The simple design of the hood makes it cozy and useful.
The simple design of the hood makes it cozy and useful.

The jacket only has one adjustment point on the hood, but it is well placed and sufficiently keeps out cold drafts. The bottom hem can also be cinched to keep out cold drafts from below. It has a cinch point on both sides which ensures better wind-proofing.

Durability


The Cerium LT features 10D Arato nylon. While this denier is durable for its light weight, it is still nonetheless, very lightweight. We like it because it seems less prone to losing down (super light fabrics sometimes lose down because they can't resist the sharp little points of the feathers), but it is not designed to stand up to daily wear in rugged technical terrain. This makes the jacket less versatile for adventurous missions, but incredibly well-suited to those around town missions, fast-and-light trips, or activities that involve less abrasion.

Water Resistance


The Cerium LT features a Durable Water Repellent finish which does just that - repels moisture. This is a standard of nearly all outerwear these days and works well for light moisture. However, this jacket is not remotely designed to be waterproof.

The Coreloft synthetic insulation in the shoulders was a welcome addition for those times we got caught out in the rain and made a mad dash to the car.
The Coreloft synthetic insulation in the shoulders was a welcome addition for those times we got caught out in the rain and made a mad dash to the car.

The Cerium LT earned a relatively high score in this category due to its use of Coreloft synthetic insulation in areas prone to moisture, like the cuffs, shoulders, and armpits. The synthetic insulation aspect allowed us more confidence in wearing by itself or under a hardshell or rain jacket, if needed. If we overheated, the armpits wouldn't wet out and lose their insulating properties; the same goes if moisture leaked in at the cuffs, which happens to us on rainy days around town or during drippy ice climbs. The use of synthetic insulation in the shoulders also buys you time if you're caught out in a storm and need to run from the cafe back to your car - in the rain.

Style


Down jackets have established their own sort of urban style niche in recent years, especially in cities with strong outdoor cultures and changeable weather. A down jacket is light and compressible, making it a logical choice for outdoor activities where you carry all of your gear on your back.

In many urban environments, down jackets are an asset for a similar reason; they're light, compressible, warm, and easy to stuff into your laptop bag or backpack for your daily commute, just in case the weather turns. The Cerium LT is not designed as a stylish urban jacket, but it is well made and features several color options that ensure it will slide seamlessly from the mountains to the local coffee shop.

The Cerium LT is a very versatile down jacket. We took it to coffee shops and summits with equal ease.
The Cerium LT is a very versatile down jacket. We took it to coffee shops and summits with equal ease.

Best Applications


The Cerium LT is a lightweight down jacket best suited to sports and activities where every ounce counts. It is not the most abrasion resistant, but it is easy to layer under a hard or softshell jacket for colder weather activities. Of the most lightweight jackets in this review, this model boasts intelligently placed synthetic insulation, which is a bonus for wet climates. While it's also an excellent option for wearing around town, more affordable options exist out there and will provide outstanding performance.

Value


At $379, this is not a bargain down jacket. However, with Arc'teryx, you get what you pay for; the Cerium LT is well-made and uses the highest quality of materials. In our experience, Arc'teryx doesn't release any new products until they have tested it rigorously and perfected it. If this jacket suits your needs, you'll surely love it.

Conclusion


The Cerium LT is versatile and an exceptionally well-made  lightweight down jacket.
The Cerium LT is versatile and an exceptionally well-made, lightweight down jacket.

The Arc'teryx Cerium LT is an excellent lightweight down jacket. It is not the warmest in this review, though it is among those that are warmest for the weight. For the adventurous crowd, it features Coreloft synthetic insulation in the cuffs, shoulders, and armpits, which are areas most likely to experience moisture. While this contributes to a slightly higher weight for its warmth and size, it is an excellent feature for those using this jacket as a midlayer for cold weather aerobic activities, or in wetter climates. For most on the hunt for a new down jacket, this model will be more than adequate.


Lyra Pierotti