Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's Review
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Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's
|Price||$700.00 at REI|
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Check Price at REI
$599.25 at Evo
|$179.37 at Backcountry|
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|$215.97 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Durable, weather resistant, stylish, breathable, refined||Warm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fit||Durable, weather resistant, thoughtful design, excellent for ski touring||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile|
|Cons||Expensive, powder skirt non-removable||Lackluster ventilation||Expensive, less ideal for regular resort use||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Slim 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 competition||A super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who runs a little colder||This high end shell is a striking and thoughtfully designed piece for the avid backcountry skier||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||This 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%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|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|
|Cuff construction||Velcro||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro||Velcro|
|Powder skirt||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable||Yes||Yes, behind insulating layer|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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