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Arc'teryx Atom Hoody - Women's Review

A very comfortable jacket that's great for adventures in diverse conditions where layering, mobility, and protection are key
arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review
Credit: Arc'teryx
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $260 List
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 1, 2022
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort - 25% 8.5
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 7.5
  • Weight and Compressibility - 15% 7.0
  • Breathability - 15% 8.5

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Atom Hoody is a different type of insulated jacket than most. It's soft rather than swishy, breathable, and has great mobility. We love wearing it on its own in mild to cold weather or as part of a layering system in frigid temps. Its unique fit and function have earned it our award for Top Pick for a Layering System. It swaps out crinkly fabric for soft, sweatshirt-like comfort that allows better breathability than most without giving up wind and water protection. Its oversized hood is also best worn layered and can fit over most helmets. Though it doesn't stuff into its own pocket, we found ourselves happily wearing it on a wide range of adventures and everyday activities.
REASONS TO BUY
Soft and comfortable
Breathable
Easy to layer
Great mobility
Weather resistant
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't stuff into its own pocket
Hood is very large

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Soft and comfortable, breathable, easy to layer, great mobility, weather resistantWarm without being bulky, great coverage all around, protective and comfortable cuffs, microfleece-lined pocketsLightweight and packable, more coverage, excellent cuffs, good warmth-to-weight ratio, versatile fit and functionWarmth, many comfort features, very weatherproofHighly breathable, great stretch and mobility, pockets are good for a pack or harness, very comfortable cuffs
Cons Doesn't stuff into its own pocket, hood is very largeRuns largeHood is drafty without a beanie or helmet, stuff pocket is oddly shapedNot breathable or very packableSlim fit runs snug, too ventilated for inactivity in serious cold, not very weather resistant, doesn't pack into pocket
Bottom Line A very comfortable jacket that's great for adventures in diverse conditions where layering, mobility, and protection are keyAn excellent midweight jacket with great warmth, top-notch coverage, and comfortable detailsA lightweight versatile jacket with good warmth and great coverage that's got your back on any missionA cute, high performing non-technical option that boasts an excellent priceA unique jacket with exceptional mobility and breathability that makes it a great high-octane adventure layer
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 Mountain Hardwear G... Columbia Heavenly H... Ortovox Swisswool P...
Warmth (25%)
7.0
7.5
6.5
9.0
4.5
Comfort (25%)
8.5
8.5
6.5
9.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
7.5
8.5
7.5
8.5
4.0
Weight and Compressibility (15%)
7.0
8.0
9.5
3.0
8.0
Breathability (15%)
8.5
6.5
6.5
3.0
10.0
Specs Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 Mountain Hardwear G... Columbia Heavenly H... Ortovox Swisswool P...
Weight, size small (ounces) 10.5 oz 12.1 oz 9.7 oz 22.4 oz 10.4 oz
Number of Pockets 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 4 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal drop) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 2 (2 zippered torso)
Hem Type Dual bungee adjustment Single bungee adjustment Single bungee adjustment No adjustment Elastic
Fit Relaxed Relaxed slim Relaxed slim Slim Athletic Trim
Insulation Coreloft 60 100% recycled polyester 100% recycled PrimaLoft Silver 80 g (body, sleeves), 60 g (hood, side panels) partially recycled synthetic 100% polyester Swisswool
Outer Fabric Tyono 20D 100% nylon
Stretch fleece side panels: 94% polyester, 6% elastane
30D Pertex Quantum ripstop Whisperer 10D x 10D Ripstop
100% Recycled Nylon
Storm-Lite DP II Polyester PERTEX QUANTUM: 100 % polyamide
Lining Dope Permeair 20D - 100% nylon 20D recycled Atmos ripstop Whisperer 10D x 10D Ripstop
100% Recycled Nylon
Luscious Pile Fleece Polyester 100 % polyamide
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in stow pocket No Yes; chest Yes; hand No No
Cuff construction Stretch-knit Elasticized with overhang Elasticized with overhang Stretch-knit wrist-warmer cuff with thumbholes Stretch-knit

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arc'teryx Atom Hoody is a pliable lightweight jacket with a helmet-compatible hood and a relaxed fit. Its exterior is made of Dope Permair 20D (100% nylon) and has two bungee adjustments on the hem. It has two zippered hand pockets and one internal zippered chest pocket.

Performance Comparison


arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - the atom is a great layer for cold winter starts that turn into mild...
The Atom is a great layer for cold winter starts that turn into mild winter days.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Warmth


The Atom Hoody is a lightweight insulated jacket that proves itself warmer than it first appears. Its thin insulation is denser than many and its soft material immediately feels warm when worn. It has good coverage as well, with a longer torso that ends in a drop hem on the back. Two adjustment points for the bungee around the hem allow you to easily cinch it closed against the wind or extreme cold. The sleeves are nice and long with soft, stretchy elastic cuffs that rest snuggly around your wrist, trapping your body heat.


The Atom's hood is quite large. It begs to be worn with a beanie and easily accommodates most helmets. A high chin helps keep your neck warm, whether the hood is up or down. Inside the pockets is a layer of microfleece on one side, keeping the backs of your hands protected from the cold. Though the Atom is fitted in the shoulders, it's also easy to move in without feeling restricted. Its relaxed slim fit slides on easily over your underlayers. Its thinness and pliability also allow it to comfortably layer under a shell or even a parka when the temps really dip.

arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - the atom hood easily fits over most helmets and beanies, and can be...
The Atom hood easily fits over most helmets and beanies, and can be cinched smaller when worn over a bare head.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Comfort


That layering ability also lends a lot of comfort to the Atom Hoody. Its thinness makes it flexible and its relaxed fit feels like a sweatshirt rather than a puffy jacket. The stretch-knit cuffs feel silky soft and perfectly fitted on the wrists. With two hem adjustment points, the Atom can be worn long, over the top of your butt, or cinched up, again adding to that sweatshirt-like vibe. The hood of the Atom is the only one we tested with a bungee cord on the back, so you can cinch it down when not wearing a beanie or helmet underneath.


Crucially, the Atom has no seams in its armpits. This adds comfort in motion by preventing rubbing — even through other layers — and mobility to the shoulders that many of its competitors can't match. The whole side panels are each a single piece of stretchy, breathable, knit fabric with low-pile fleece on the inside. The Atom is built with comfort in mind and is well-designed to be a very effective midlayer in a comprehensive layering system.

arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - the stretch-knit cuffs of the atom hoody add even more comfort to an...
The stretch-knit cuffs of the Atom Hoody add even more comfort to an all-around comfortable jacket, making it feel more like wearing a sweatshirt than a puffy.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weather Resistance


Though its soft fabric may not look as weatherproof as others, it performed well above average in our tests. It's thinner than those models that out-competed it in wind resistance but packs a powerful punch for its build. A wind guard secures the entire main zipper, and the pockets even have an overhang to protect their zippers too. Our 5'4" main tester could cinch the hem closed almost all the way below her butt, adding further protection. When the hood is tightened on a bare head, it exposes the back corners of your face, but it also leaves a slightly stiffened brim to offer some small protection over your eyes.


When pitted against rain, the Atom once again performed quite well. There are no baffle seams to offer weak points, and the main fabric of this jacket easily repelled light precipitation. The stretch knit cuffs and side panels aren't quite as protective, but they're significantly less exposed than most of the rest of the jacket.

arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - the atom hoody has no baffles to act as weak points for water to...
The Atom Hoody has no baffles to act as weak points for water to pass through.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weight and Compressibility


The size Small Arc'teryx Atom that we tested weighs 10.5 ounces. That makes it one of the lighter jackets we tested. Its smaller overall size makes it one of our favorite options to stuff in a daypack or suitcase.


The Atom is one of very few models in our lineup that doesn't stuff into its own pocket or come with a stuff sack. However, unless we have an overly full pack or are carrying things on a harness only, we rarely take the time to pack up a jacket — especially if we plan to need to pull it out and throw it on while we're out and about. The Atom is compact enough to be easily stuffed into a backpack or suitcase.

arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - the atom cuts weight by simplifying its two hem adjustment points.
The Atom cuts weight by simplifying its two hem adjustment points.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Breathability


The Atom Hoody earns one of the top scores for breathability in our testing. The comfortable, stretchy side panels do a pretty good job of letting out too much body heat as you recreate. The stretch-knit sleeves can also be pretty easily pulled up your arms if your baselayers will allow it.


Of course, you can also unzip the jacket completely, and it's light enough that we had no problems with it trying to slide off because of a heavy hood. The only way this jacket could be more breathable is by sacrificing its warm shell for fleece paneling, or by turning the pockets into vents rather than the microfleece-lined warming stations they currently are. We're quite happy with the breathability of this midlayer jacket.

arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - the atom has breathable side panels lined inside with fleece to help...
The Atom has breathable side panels lined inside with fleece to help regulate your body temperature.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Atom?


The Atom is a spendy purchase, but it's an ideal midlayer jacket for pretty much any possible use. We love wearing it alone in milder temperatures or as a midlayer when the day turns truly cold. If you're looking for a standalone insulated jacket for frigid temps, the Atom isn't the right choice. But for a versatile jacket that works well as part of a layering system, there's no model we love more than the Arc'teryx Atom, and we think this unique and comfortable coat is worth the investment.

What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?


The Arc'teryx Atom Hoody is a great insulated jacket with an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio, serious comfort, great breathability, and works excellently as a midlayer for a comprehensive layering system. If you'd prefer a standalone jacket that's great in pretty much every way for most everyday conditions and light adventuring, check out the Rab Xenon 2.0. Or if you need a jacket with the best breathability that you can wear all day snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, the Ortovox Piz Boe is that coat.

arc'teryx atom hoody for women insulated jacket review - we love the atom as a standalone layer when it's cold and a midlayer...
We love the Atom as a standalone layer when it's cold and a midlayer when it's frigid.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Maggie Nichols
 
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