Arc'teryx Beta LT - Women's Review
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Arc'teryx Beta LT - Women's
$450.00 at REI
$225.00 at REI
|$80.00 at Backcountry|
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|$89.25 at Amazon|
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|$64.97 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Excellent water resistance, fit, adjustability, and hood coverage||Excellent water resistance, whole size/pit vents, great range of motion||Comfortable, breathable, versatile, not crinkly, soft hand feel||Exceptionally packable, lightweight, breathable, good mobility||Simple but functional, hood packs away, good value|
|Cons||Expensive, stiff fabric||No stow pocket, heavy||Hood doesn't offer great coverage||No vents, no hand pockets||Small zipper pulls, internal fabric can stick to bare skin|
|Bottom Line||Exceptional water resistance and coverage for those who don't want to let extreme weather get in the way of a good adventure||Built to withstand the elements while on the move, this jacket offers a great balance of water resistance and breathability||An exceptionally breathable and comfortable jacket for active adventures offering a full range of motion while repelling light moisture||A great emergency layer that is feather-light, compresses into a tiny stow pocket and punches above its weight for breathability and water resistance||A solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Beta LT -...||Outdoor Research As...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Weight and Packability (15%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Beta LT -...||Outdoor Research As...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Measured Weight||12.3 oz||10.5 oz||9.7 oz||5.6 oz||9.2 oz|
|Number of Fabric Layers||3||2||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Material||100% Nylon||50D Polyester||50D Stretch Ripstop||30D Ripstop Nylon||100% Ripstop Nylon|
|Pockets||2 hand||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand, 1 chest||1 chest||2 hand|
|Pit Zip Length (in)||12||20||11||N/A||10|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Stows into Pocket||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arc'teryx Beta LT is a premium rain jacket. This garment separates itself from the pack with an exceptionally well-thought-out design that features a 2-way zipper, gusseted sleeves and articulated elbows for a full range of motion, and an oversized, fully adjustable and helmet-compatible hood. The Bluesign certified 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric excelled in every water resistance test we threw at it and is hard to beat when the weather gets truly gnarly. This jacket will keep you dry for extended adventures in the worst conditions possible.
The Beta has outstanding water-resistance capabilities and performed fantastically in all lab and field tests in this category. This contender outlasted all others in the shower test, and we were blown away with its performance in a Hawaiian tropical storm, where it kept our tester dry all day in a windy, torrential downpour. The 3-layer nylon Gore-Tex continued to bead water with no absorption.
The sealed zippers did an exceptional job keeping underlayers as well as pocket paper towels dry in our testing. The large hood will fit over a helmet for those looking for helmet capabilities. The oversized hood and visor offer good coverage, keeping rain off the face. The open neck kept water out better when tucked under the chin, as opposed to tucking the chin inside the collar. The Beta is the choice for anyone who thinks they will be spending extended periods of time outside in heavy rain.
With the 3-layer fabric, Gore-Tex's internal membrane could keep up for a bit expelling internal water vapor from sweat. As we continued to work hard and heat up, we got sweaty in the Beta LT on our set route test, where we walked the same steep mile in each jacket.
The pit vents performed their duties quite well, venting excess heat as it built up. On our set route test, we rapidly returned to a comfortable temperature after opening the vents. The vents have dual zippers, so you can dial in airflow exactly where you want it, partially or fully open.
Comfort and Mobility
With stiff fabric, there comes the potential of restricted motion. However, Arc'teryx cleverly designed the Beta LT to offer a full range of motion, and we found it quite comfortable. The gusseted underarms and articulated elbows offer great mobility through the shoulders and arms. Its tailored torso provides a flattering fit while still allowing room to move and layer. The back of the jacket has a dropped hemline, ensuring full coverage even when reaching or bending over.
The oversized hood is helmet-compatible and has dual adjustments, so it can be cinched down snuggly and comfortably with or without a helmet. We docked a point for the stiff, somewhat crinkly fabric. The neck is rigid and fairly tall, offering great coverage, but hits right at the chin, which we found slightly uncomfortable and sometimes needed to be adjusted.
Weight and Packability
Weighing in at 12.3 ounces, the Beta is on the heavier side, but there's a lot of performance packed into those ounces. The heavier weight comes from the burly fabric and bells and whistles like dual zippers and durable velcro adjusters at the wrists. When weight is the top priority, this may not be the right choice. But for those looking for maximum water resistance when in the backcountry for an extended period of time, the extra ounces will be worth it for the top-of-the-line waterproofing.
The Beta is not designed with a stow pocket. It easily fits into its oversized hood but is still relatively bulky. If space is not the top concern, we still think the excellent performance is worth the additional space it takes up for those traveling in wet environments.
The heavier Gore-Tex fabric maintained integrity throughout the duration of testing, holding up to months of frequent wear. The rugged fabric is resistant to abrasion from rough surfaces. All components are high-end and continued to function well throughout testing.
The zippers felt stiff and needed a little more force to use. We found it particularly challenging to unzip pit vents with our non-dominant hand. However, after a break-in period of a few weeks, the zippers ran more smoothly. We expect this jacket to hold up through many adventures, even if you're a bit rougher on your gear.
Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Beta LT?
The Arc'teryx Beta LT is a well-thought-out and exceptionally durable rain shell that should hold up well through years of adventuring. It also offers a great fit with a full range of motion and helmet compatibility for maximum mobility for climbing, hiking, biking, or whatever adventure your weekend holds. When the skies open and an epic rainstorm rolls in, this is the jacket that will keep you dry for the longest no matter how wild the weather gets.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
The Beta LT offers the pinnacle of water resistance and performance but also has the highest price tag by far. If this is out of reach, take a look at the Outdoor Research Aspire II, which was a close second for performance and is a great alternative offering excellent value. For an even more approachable price, check out the Marmot PreCip Eco, which still features decent performance for adventuring at a fraction of the cost of the top premium models.
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