Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody - Women's Review
Cons: Expensive, fewer features
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Squamish is a great, simple jacket. It breathes well while also protecting from the elements, and its fabric is soft and doesn't get sticky when you sweat. It doesn't have many great features, which is why it didn't take home any awards, but it is a good buy for those who want a no-frills type of wind layer.
Whether you're a new runner or have a serious distance addiction, we guarantee that you sweat when you run. No matter what the temperature is outside, it's impossible to not build up some heat during high-output activity, which is why breathability is the #1 most important metric in this review. If y layers don't let you get enough ventilation, you're surely in for a miserable workout.
The Squamish is surprisingly breathable for a jacket with just one material. This nylon product has a better overall breathability performance than other one-material jackets, but it's still not as breathable as jackets with strategic panels of a second material or vents. While these layers are certainly more complicated and often come at the cost of weather protection or price, underarm and back vents are definitely a favorite feature of ours and, unfortunately, the Squamish doesn't offer either.
If the weather was perfect every day, we wouldn't need a jacket, now would we? Since conditions are always changing, even during the span of a single workout, you need a layer that can keep up. In this category, we looked at three types of weather — wind, rain, and cold — and we found some great results with the Squamish. While it's certainly not a rain jacket, it did hold up better in our hose test than other similar products. Water beaded up easily on the surface, and it took quite a while to penetrate. If you live in a wet climate, this jacket is a great partner for misty days.
The Squamish also has great wind resistance. It's not quite as burly as a few of the other jackets we tested, but it's definitely above average. That said, while it provides some relief from cooler temperatures, it's not at all insulated, and the thin build means that you'll need something more for winter running.
Comfort and Mobility
While it may seem that comfort is too subjective to judge in a controlled test like this one, our reviewers beg to differ. We were able to identify a few key features that help explain a jacket's overall feel, and we sought the feedback of many runners on each jacket's performance. The Squamish has a nice feel with none of the trash bag-esque qualities of some of its competitors. The material is soft and smooth, and it feels light next to the skin. That being said, it's not exactly luxurious, and there are other jackets in this review that have incredibly soft interiors. And, with just a minimal amount of stretch, this jacket isn't the top scorer in this category, but it is well above average.
Because conditions are always changing, it's crucial that a running jacket is easy to carry, even if you intend to wear them for the duration of your run. It may be cloudy when you head out, but once the sun comes out, you may need to shed a layer. For this section, we weighed each jacket and then packed them up to compare their size.
The Squamish scores highly in this category for two reasons. One, it only weighs 4.2 ounces, making it one of the lightest models we tested. If weight is your chief concern, you can go lighter than the Squamish — but not by a ton. Next, this jacket packs away into its own chest pocket easily and comes with a handy clip loop. This is a nice versatile feature that means you're more likely to use this jacket for other activities in addition to running. We appreciate how small it packs down, even if that means you have to use a little elbow grease to get it into its pouch.
The Squamish is a really simple jacket, and it doesn't have a whole lot of features. Despite its high scores in most other categories, it gets a really low one here. It has just one small reflective logo on the front, providing essentially no protection from drivers at night. There is one chest pocket, but it might not be large enough for your phone, depending on what type you have. We do like the drawstrings at the waist and on the hood, but with no media port, sun protection, or hand warmth, there isn't much to boost the Squamish's score in this category.
The Squamish is not the most affordable jacket in this review. While we like its breathability and weather protection, we aren't sure that this combo is worth the price for many users, especially considering how few features it has. This is a nice jacket, but its price tag is a little high.
The Arc'teryx Squamish is a simple, effective jacket that does comfort, breathability, and weather protection right. The combination of these metrics is hard to come by, and if that is your highest priority, this jacket may be worth the price. Otherwise, the lack of features hinder our support of it as a top pick.
— Lauren DeLaunay
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