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Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody - Women's Review

A technical and stylish mobile-jacket suited for most adventures
Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody - Women's
Photo: Arc'teryx
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Price:  $259 List | Check Price at REI
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  ⋅  Nov 19, 2020
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Warmth - 25% 4
  • Weight & Compression - 20% 7
  • Comfort & Coziness - 20% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Breathability - 15% 8
  • Style & Fit - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is a great stand-alone piece when kicking into high gear in the backcountry or while running errands around town. It stands out for its get temperature regulation ability that 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 stand-alone 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.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award 
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$329 List$238.93 at REI
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$126.72 at Backcountry
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Pros Attractive style and fit, breathable, water resistant, cute colorsExcellent water resistance, warm, packable, versatileDeliciously comfortable, amazing weather resistance, light and packable, cozy, cute style, versatile fitWarm, lightweight, packable, windproof, water resistant, slippery smooth face fabricsWarmth, many comfort features, very weatherproof
Cons Small pockets, lacks wind resistance, no stow-away system, expensiveShell can tear easily, less breathableExpensive, lacks a chest pocket, zipper is stickyNot breathable, boxy fit, zipper gets stuck in fabric and can ripNot breathable or very packable
Bottom Line A technical and stylish mobile-jacket suited for most adventuresA high performer that'll keep you warm and protected throughout the seasonsAn amazing continuous shell jacket with excellent packability and warmthWarm and compressible, this continuous shell jacket is an excellent option for all types of adventuresA cute, high performing non technical option that boasts an excellent price
Rating Categories Atom LT Hoody DAS Light Hoody Arc'teryx Nuclei FL... Rab Xenon Hoodie -... Heavenly Hoody
Warmth (25%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
Weight & Compression (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
Comfort & Coziness (20%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
10.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Breathability (15%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
2.0
Style & Fit (5%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Atom LT Hoody DAS Light Hoody Arc'teryx Nuclei FL... Rab Xenon Hoodie -... Heavenly Hoody
Weight 10.85 oz 10.50 oz 9.70 oz 8.75 oz 21 oz
Number of Pockets 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest) 3 (1 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest)
Insulation 60g/m squared Coreloft 65g PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester Coreloft 65 synthetic 60g Stratus 100% polyester
Outer Fabric Tyno 20D Shell, Polartec Power Stretch with Hardface Technology - 88% polyester, 12% elastane, 230 g/m squared Nylon - Endurance Quantum Pertex Arato 10R ripstop nylon Atmos ripstop Storm-Lite DP II
Lining Synthetic textile Nylon Nylon Nylon Luscious Pile Fleece, 100% polyester
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in stash pocket? No Yes Yes Yes No
Cuff construction Stretch-knit Elasticized cuffs Elasticized cuffs Elasticized cuffs Internal elastic cuff

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 hand-warming 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 won't stretch out after long periods of use.

Performance Comparison


The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is cute, breathable, and offers...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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 of our 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.
Photo: Amber King

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 stand-alone 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...
We also appreciate the elasticized hood that offers a specific fit, adding warmth to its design.
Photo: Amber King

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

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 oz, 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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

Comfort & Coziness


Featuring cozy fleece paneling and some great technical features, it is quite comfortable to wear all day. We love the cozy fleece panels under the arms that are not only soft and touchable but also provides great temperature regulation, so your armpits don't get swampy.

Amber enjoys a post-adventure brew while camping with friends. The...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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

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, provide 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.
Photo: Amber King

The stretch knit cuffs of the jacket add to the sophisticated styling of this piece and feel nice on the wrists, and are glove compatible. Finally, 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...
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!
Photo: Amber King

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. This jacket 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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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 climates 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 fully 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...
The start of our water tests...this jacket beads for a moment then completely saturates on the surface...however...it still performs.
Photo: Amber King

Water beads for a while, but after about four minutes in a downpour, the fabric will wet out. That said, the insulation still 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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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's still not enough. This jacket would benefit from 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...
Here we see water trapped between the two main layers of fabric, pooling.
Photo: Amber King

Breathability


With a continuous face fabric design and stretchy, super breathable side paneling, it is great for aerobic endeavors in the Winter.

This jacket is an excellent choice while cross-country skiing in the...
This jacket is an excellent choice while cross-country skiing in the winter.
Photo: Amber King

Its side panels and thinner fabric design allows warm air to escape when you start to heat up. We found that 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), this jacket is perfect for alpine adventures or rock climbing at the local crag.

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

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 just a little sexier. At the top end of the outdoor chic, this jacket is flattering through the torso. This jacket 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 long arms.

The fit is a bit short on this 5"5 tester. We do appreciate how it's...
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.
Photo: Amber King

Our main tester has always worn a small in this jacket. When she slipped on a new version, we noticed the jackets 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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
This jacket offers plenty of room through the arms but is really...
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.
Photo: Amber King

The hem of the jacket 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 has fixed the problem with the previous jacket that was said to stretch out. Aside from that, we love its two-toned contrasting colors and hand pockets that blend into the design.

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

Value


The hooded version is a little more expensive (and on sale in some places online) and features some of the best craftsmanship and durability of any piece tested. Unlike several of the other insulated jackets that 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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

The stitching is also very tight, which also helped prevent unwanted snags. Overall, 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 a great option for alpine adventures because of its great technical features that balance mobility and breathability. We love this hoody's flattering design and breathable performance. Wear it as a stand-alone 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 - it will serve you well. It's only a little expensive.

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

Amber King