Reviews You Can Rely On

Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's Review

A high-tech, durable, and weather-resistant resort shell that stands out above the competition
arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney
Price:  $700 List
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Jacqueline Kearney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 13, 2023
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 15
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 9.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 9.0
  • Warmth - 20% 5.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 9.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

Arc'teryx is known for making some of the most weather-resistant, high-end gear on the market, and the Sentinel is no different. The hefty Gore-Tex 70 denier shell construction feels impervious to wind and moisture, and the fully taped seams and watertight zippers leave very little room for error. It was hard to deny how well protected from the elements we felt when wearing this shell. However, all of this sleek and high-tech construction comes with a significant price tag, which may or may not be worth it, depending on your frequency of use and budget. If you're looking for the best shell to wear at the resort, the Sentinel should be at the top of your list.
REASONS TO BUY
Durable
Weather resistant
Stylish
Breathable
Refined
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Powder skirt non-removable
Editor's Note: We updated this review on January 13, 2023 to share our findings on the updated Sentinel jacket. It has been redesigned with a roomier cut in the waist and chest to allow for easier layering underneath.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $700.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$450 List
$450.00 at REI
$799.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$299 List
$299.00 at REI
$360 List
$360.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
79
76
73
71
66
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Durable, weather resistant, stylish, breathable, refinedWarm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fitDurable, weather resistant, thoughtful design, excellent for ski touringRelatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilationWarm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile
Cons Expensive, powder skirt non-removableLackluster ventilationExpensive, less ideal for regular resort useNon-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiersSlim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn
Bottom Line A high-tech, durable, and weather-resistant resort shell that stands out above the competitionA super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who runs a little colderThis high end shell is a striking and thoughtfully designed piece for the avid backcountry skierAn excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountryThis jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Sentinel... Helly Hansen Powder... Norrona Lofoten Gor... Outdoor Research Ca... The North Face Ther...
Weather Resistance (20%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Warmth (20%)
5.0
8.0
3.0
2.0
8.0
Ventilation (20%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Style (10%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Features (10%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Arc'teryx Sentinel... Helly Hansen Powder... Norrona Lofoten Gor... Outdoor Research Ca... The North Face Ther...
Main Fabric 70D nylon 70% nylon, 30% polyester 70Dx70D recycled Gore-Tex Pro 100% Nylon 100% Nylon
Insulation Flannel backer Body: 60g PrimaLoft Sleeves: 40g PrimaLoft None None 100% Postconsumer recycled polyester
Waterproofing Gore-Tex PFC free DWR Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer Pertex Shield 2-layer DryVent
Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered pass, one internal mesh, 1 zippered internal 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 2 internal drop-in 2 zippered chest, 1 zippered arm, 1 zippered internal, 1 internal mesh 2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand
Weight 1.3 lbs 2.2 lbs 1.3 lbs (with powderskirt) 1.2 lbs 2.0 lbs
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pit Zips Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuff construction Velcro Velcro with wrist gaiters Velcro with wrist gaiters Velcro Velcro
Powder skirt Yes Yes Yes, removable Yes Yes, behind insulating layer
RECCO Yes Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Know for consistently producing some of the best weather-resistant gear on the market, Arc'teryx continues to fit the mold with the Sentinel. We found the features of this jacket to be a perfect mix between resort features and the vetted simplicity of many backcountry-specific products. The slightly thicker and stiff feel of the 3L construction was quickly overcome during testing for this jacket. The complete seal-out of wind and moisture in a sleek package really impressed us. We also received many compliments on the color and slightly tapered look of this shell.

Performance Comparison


arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - the sentinel is great for crushing pow on a stormy day in colorado.
The Sentinel is great for crushing pow on a stormy day in Colorado.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Weather Resistance


The Sentinel, like many Arc'teryx products, is second to none in weather resistance. The heavier DWR treated 3L Gore-Tex shell cut out wind and kept us dry for hours on end with its 28,000mm waterproof rated ability. This material feels burly and consistently beaded moisture all day long. The fully taped seams and zippers, taped instead of sewn, eliminate leaks. Additionally, the Arc'teryx specific water-resistant "WaterTight" zippers on all closures and pockets help keep you and your belongings drier longer.


The oversized helmet-compatible hood feels bombproof when quickly cinched down with exterior drawcords on the collar and back of the hood. The location of these adjustments means you do not have to remove your gloves to adjust them quickly. We find that the high collar comfortably zips up and protects our face well, even if we aren't wearing a buff. Additionally, this function allows us to adjust the hood to an appropriate tightness even without a helmet underneath. At the base of the jacket, an adjustable hem and snug-fitting powder skirt keeps snow and wind out.

arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - the sentinel features water resistant zippers, high collar and...
The sentinel features water resistant zippers, high collar and helmet compatible hood for those extra deep days.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Comfort and Fit


We found that this shell fit true to size for an ideal hardshell — meaning, the tapered and stylish cut leaves plenty of room for one or even two insulating layers to be worn underneath. The slight taper is flattering, but in no way does it restrict movement. In fact, the taper leaves extra room around the hips for freedom of movement. The cut also leaves extra room in the chest and shoulders, an area that trends to the slim side in many women's-specific cuts. The hood is also well-designed, fitting well over helmets with two drawcords to adjust for a custom fit. The stiff brim of the hood is functional with or without a helmet.


The Gore-Tex initially felt stiff, but we found it did not restrict our movement unless we stuffed the jacket with an expedition thickness puffy. Part of this is due to the jacket's articulated elbow sewing and gusseted armpits, a smart design adjustment for the rigid, durable fabric.

arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - the soft flannel backing provides a small amount of extra warmth...
The soft flannel backing provides a small amount of extra warmth, but there's no hiding the Sentinel's thin shell construction.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Warmth


There isn't too much to say about the Sentinel's warmth, as its shell design lacks insulation. However, the flannel backer provides a minimal extra layer compared to some other shells, and we found the excellent windproof qualities of this material greatly improved our warmth when paired with an insulating layer.


Ventilation


The Sentinel does not have so much as a detached liner to keep water vapor and heat from reaching the technical Gore-Tex shell material. When we started working up a sweat in this jacket, it proved decently breathable, allowing our heat to escape as we exerted more energy while bootpacking or touring up after a side country lap.


While the powder skirt is not removable, it connects to the shell's body with mesh, which provides minimal increased airflow. We reached for the gaping, open pit zips to increase airflow and keep the sweat at bay, which provides great relief. The large pit zips don't have a mesh lining, maximizing airflow. This feature is crucial for shell ski jackets, and the Sentinel doesn't disappoint.

arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - the mesh attachment on the powder skirt provides extra ventilation.
The mesh attachment on the powder skirt provides extra ventilation.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Style


The Sentinel nails it in its slightly tapered cut and longer hemline. It looks and feels refined in a sea of boxy, less flattering ski jackets. Arc'teryx continues to impress with its understated color block and matching zips. The colorways provide everything from muted earth tones to brights for every skier.


arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - the cut of the sentinel is roomy while still having a flattering...
The cut of the Sentinel is roomy while still having a flattering taper.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Ski Features


The most stand-out features of this jacket are the strategically located pockets. A tall and narrower interior drop pocket kept goggles, skins, or snacks smoothly against our frame, and a small, stretchy, thin interior zip pocket kept valuables tight. Additionally, the hand pockets are located slightly higher on the torso, allowing easy access even if you are wearing a pack. This design was great for deep days when we wanted to carry avalanche rescue equipment or extra layers and lunch.


The powder skirt with mesh functions adequately, but we wish it could snap away or, even better, be removable. There is also the interesting "Slide'n'Loc" feature, which connects pants to the inside of the powder skirt. However, we could not evaluate its function as it is only compatible with matching ski pants from Arc'teryx.

arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - high-set pockets allow for easy access when wearing a backpack or...
High-set pockets allow for easy access when wearing a backpack or harness.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Should You Buy the Sentinel?


The materials and construction of the Arc'teryx Sentinel give it a bombproof feel and top-of-the-line performance. If you're looking for this caliber quality in a hardshell jacket and you're ready to invest, this may just be the pick for you. It provides nearly unmatched performance to help you seize the day, powder lap after powder lap. If the price tag is too high, there are still many other comparable options in this review. That being said, if skiing is your life and you're in a position to splurge on a quality investment, we emphatically think the Sentinel is worth it.

What Other Women's Ski Jackets Should You Consider?


If you are in the market to spend big, you will certainly not be disappointed with the quality of the Arc'teryx Sentinel, but other options perform almost as well at a fraction of the price. If you want an all-in-one, insulated jacket that offers a bit more warmth, the award-winning Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 is our choice. For those backcountry skiers who seek comparable performance at an approachable price point, the Outdoor Research Carbide is an outstanding value.

arc'teryx sentinel for women ski jacket review - the sentinel is an excellent pick for powder hounds and fun hogs...
The Sentinel is an excellent pick for powder hounds and fun hogs everywhere. It kept us dry no matter how many overhead pow turns we made.
Credit: Jacqueline Kearney

Jacqueline Kearney
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More