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Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody - Women's Review

A technical and stylish mobile-jacket suited for most adventures
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Price:  $259 List | $168.35 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Attractive style and fit, breathable, water resistant, cute colors
Cons:  Small pockets, lacks wind resistance, no stow-away system, expensive
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 14, 2020
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 5
  • Weight & Compression - 20% 7
  • Comfort & Coziness - 20% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Breathability - 15% 9
  • Style & Fit - 5% 9

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is a great standalone piece when kicking into high gear in the backcountry or running errands around town. It stands out for its temperature regulation ability, which comes in the form of breathability; it also provides sufficient weather protection on snowy days. Designed to be more breathable than the average insulated jacket, this hybrid hoody features gusseted fleece underarm panels that wick away sweat and allow for increased mobility while you're on the move. It's breathable and great for aerobic exercise in the winter or as a standalone piece in the fall or spring. As a stylish, high performer, it comes fully recommended as a jacket for movement or a simple layer on colder days.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This cute and stylish jacket is perfect for a mid-day skate ski in the winter months or for a meandering hike in the spring or fall. It has a mobile face design with two handwarming pockets and a chest pocket. The newest version we tested is a little smaller in size than the previous version, with an update to the breathable side panel; this makes it a little more durable, and it doesn't stretch out after long periods of use.

Performance Comparison


The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is cute  breathable  and offers excellent functionality as a technical midweight jacket. Take it with you as you explore the alpine.
The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is cute, breathable, and offers excellent functionality as a technical midweight jacket. Take it with you as you explore the alpine.

Warmth


Featuring 60 g/m2 of Coreloft insulation, this jacket is not the warmest out there. We love its great warmth features like the cinch cord at its hemline and a snug insulated hood to lock in heat. Though, many testers noted that warmth was lost from the breathable side panels and thinner fabrics. The outer water-resistant 20-Denier shell fabric gives the Atom LT an airy feel, while the fleece panels under the arms offer maximum coziness and breathability.

The hem drawcord helps to keep heat inside.
The hem drawcord helps to keep heat inside.

When wet, it still provides excellent insulation, keeping you warm if caught in an unexpected rainstorm (though not dry). That all said, this jacket performs well as a standalone piece in temperatures that dip to just above freezing. With a good layering system (i.e., mid-layer with a base layer), it would provide better warmth overall. It is also easy to layer with another jacket to function as an excellent mid-layer.

We also appreciate the elasticized hood that offers a specific fit  adding warmth to its design.
We also appreciate the elasticized hood that offers a specific fit, adding warmth to its design.

Weight & Compression


As one of the most compressible and lightweight jackets in this review, it is built for adventuring light.

This jacket almost fits into the palm of our hand. While it doesn't have an individual stuff sack  it's incredibly packable.
This jacket almost fits into the palm of our hand. While it doesn't have an individual stuff sack, it's incredibly packable.

The design and thinner fabrics allow it to get as small as a small bag of almonds, packing away nicely into a backpack. That said, this jacket does not feature its stow-away system (which is a bummer), making it a little less versatile than other contenders. On the scale, this coat weighs 10.85 ounces, making it a lightweight insulated jacket to be worn on or while stuffed away into a pack.

The newest version is lighter than the last version tested. It's also more packable than we remember. A great option for backpacking and alpine adventures.
The newest version is lighter than the last version tested. It's also more packable than we remember. A great option for backpacking and alpine adventures.

Comfort & Coziness


Featuring cozy fleece paneling and some great technical features, it's comfortable enough to wear all day. We love the cozy fleece panels under the arms, which are soft and provide excellent temperature regulation.

Amber enjoys a post-adventure brew while camping with friends. The Arc'teryx Atom LT makes for a great camping layer in early Spring in the mountains.
Amber enjoys a post-adventure brew while camping with friends. The Arc'teryx Atom LT makes for a great camping layer in early Spring in the mountains.

Additionally, these panels, along with the jacket's gusseted underarms and the shell's stretchy fabric, allow for fantastic mobility while you're on the move. The face and lining fabric are slippery, making it easy to put on layers either below or above (without them sticking to the jacket).

The handwarmer pockets are a bit shallow but provide enough depth to easily fit a cell phone  sandwich  or small notebook.
The handwarmer pockets are a bit shallow but provide enough depth to easily fit a cell phone, sandwich, or small notebook.

It's cozy, and the snug hood fits well under a helmet, while the hood cinches at the back to provide a great fit. We found that the fitted and stretchy fabric, in addition to the high collar, give enough room to nuzzle down into when the wind started to blow.

The elasticized cuffs are simple and provide good length in the arms.
The elasticized cuffs are simple and provide good length in the arms.

The stretch knit cuffs add to the sophisticated styling and feel nice on the wrists, and are glove compatible. We like the internal chest pocket and its fleece-lined hand pockets, but wished they were a little deeper.

The interior pocket is deep  offering great storage for gadgets or other items if you're wearing a pack or harness. We love this feature in an insulated jacket!
The interior pocket is deep, offering great storage for gadgets or other items if you're wearing a pack or harness. We love this feature in an insulated jacket!

Weather Resistance


While not the most weather-resistant jacket out there, it still does the trick when considering the performance expectation for an insulated jacket. It provides decent water resistance but lacks at cutting out the wind because of the porous and breathable face fabric. The fabrics are fairly thin and don't offer a whole lot of protection from the wind.

The continuous face fabric does a good job of breaking a sharp wind. However  the thinner fabrics don't keep you completely protected from it.
The continuous face fabric does a good job of breaking a sharp wind. However, the thinner fabrics don't keep you completely protected from it.

Like most of the models in this review, it has a DWR finish that repels water but won't keep you dry during a full out rainstorm. It functions well in a dry climate with dry snow and kept us warm in environments like that of Colorado. However, when the moisture in the air increases (in places like the Northwest), any adventurer would benefit from a waterproof shell that can entirely repel wet snow or precipitation, as this jacket will not keep you completely dry.

The start of our water tests...this jacket beads for a moment then completely saturates on the surface...however...it still performs.
The start of our water tests...this jacket beads for a moment then completely saturates on the surface...however...it still performs.

Water beads for a while, but after about four minutes in a downpour, the fabric will wet out. That said, the insulation provides warmth (as all synthetics do). The fleece side panels also repel water, thanks to the Hardface Technology.

After 60 seconds of being under the showerhead  the interior is still dry! The pockets (sadly) are full of water and the material is completely soaked.
After 60 seconds of being under the showerhead, the interior is still dry! The pockets (sadly) are full of water and the material is completely soaked.

While the 20-Denier shell cuts the winds that aren't too cold or gusty, the fabric and thinner insulation combination isn't enough to keep the wind out. The breathable side panels are also an area where wind resistance deteriorates as a trade-off for breathability. While the face fabric repels the wind better than the side panels, it would be beneficial to use a wind jacket (or even a shell) for the ultimate in weather protection.

Here we see water trapped between the two main layers of fabric  pooling.
Here we see water trapped between the two main layers of fabric, pooling.

Breathability


With a continuous face fabric design and stretchy, super breathable side paneling, it's excellent for aerobic endeavors in the winter.

This jacket is an excellent choice while cross-country skiing in the winter.
This jacket is an excellent choice while cross-country skiing in the winter.

The side panels and thinner fabric design allows warm air to escape when you start to heat up. When hiking uphill, we didn't have to take this jacket off in fifty-degree weather because it did such a great job at regulating temperature. With a combination of decent weather protection and breathability (and lightweight design), it's perfect for alpine adventures or rock climbing at the local crag.

We flip the jacket inside out to reveal the side fleece panels that do an excellent job at wicking away moisture and providing breathability.
We flip the jacket inside out to reveal the side fleece panels that do an excellent job at wicking away moisture and providing breathability.

Style & Fit


Arc'teryx is known for its sleek styling, awesome colors, and slim athletic fit, so we weren't surprised at all when we slipped on the Atom LT and felt good. At the top end of the outdoor chic, this jacket is flattering through the torso; it used to have a longer profile but seems to have changed in the last year or so, and now has a shorter and slimmer fit with longer arms.

The fit is a bit short on this 5"5 tester. We do appreciate how it's easy to layer  but the pockets become unusable when layered with a backpack or harness on top  unfortunately.
The fit is a bit short on this 5"5 tester. We do appreciate how it's easy to layer, but the pockets become unusable when layered with a backpack or harness on top, unfortunately.

Our main tester has always worn a small in this jacket. When she slipped on a new version, she noticed the jacket had gotten a bit slimmer and smaller; those with broad shoulders will feel some snugness. The fabric stretch adds good mobility, but this tightness can be constricting.


This jacket offers plenty of room through the arms but is really short in the torso. We found when layering it with a harness or backpack  the material pouches  and even rides up a bit. We wish this jacket was a touch bit longer like it used to be.
This jacket offers plenty of room through the arms but is really short in the torso. We found when layering it with a harness or backpack, the material pouches, and even rides up a bit. We wish this jacket was a touch bit longer like it used to be.

The hem falls just above the hip. The arms are still long, but taller women may find this fit short in the torso. The breathable side panel has been redesigned and still functions the same, but Arc'teryx has fixed the problem with the material stretching out. We love its two-toned contrasting colors and hand pockets, which blend into the design.

The profile of this chic jacket is sleek and continuous. We love the alternative colors and cute style  earning top points in this metric.
The profile of this chic jacket is sleek and continuous. We love the alternative colors and cute style, earning top points in this metric.

Value


The hooded version is on the expensive side of the price spectrum, but features some of the best craftsmanship and durability of any piece tested. Unlike several of the other models we reviewed, the Atom LT didn't get any snags or tears throughout our testing process. Our testers wore this piece crack climbing and put it to the test while bushwhacking in the backcountry - and it endured beautifully. The outer shell is surprisingly abrasion-resistant despite its seemingly fragile feel.

A look at the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody. Claire's favorite jacket. It layers well and offers excellent versatility for camping  mountaineering  and hanging out in town. It's also very cute  breathable  and packable.
A look at the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody. Claire's favorite jacket. It layers well and offers excellent versatility for camping, mountaineering, and hanging out in town. It's also very cute, breathable, and packable.

The stitching is also very tight, which also helped prevent unwanted snags. Our testers appreciate its solid construction and wish that all manufacturers would provide the same level of craftsmanship. Given its durability, versatility, and lifetime warranty, we think it's well worth the money.

This jacket comes with a lifetime warranty that covers Lifetime zippers, buckles, and other manufacturer defects.

Conclusion


The Arc'teryx Atom LT is an excellent option for alpine adventures because of its outstanding technical features, which balance mobility and breathability. We love its flattering design and breathable performance. Wear it as a standalone piece during the warmer months or layer it under another jacket during the coldest days of the year. Wear it around town or on your most technical missions skiing, hiking, camping, or ice climbing, and it will serve you well.

Enjoy this layer while hiking  climbing  backpacking or simply exploring your backyard. We do...almost every day.
Enjoy this layer while hiking, climbing, backpacking or simply exploring your backyard. We do...almost every day.

Amber King