The Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody is a fantastic jacket that we found ourselves reaching for again and again. It's relatively thin and light, making it well suited for aerobic outings such as snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, and climbing. While it's not the best for extreme wind or frigid temperatures, it is thicker than other pieces in our review and, if you're keeping your heart rate up, it strikes a pretty stellar balance between just enough and not too much. The material is highly durable yet also allows the body to breathe and ventilate effectively. Overall we find this to be an impressive layer on the more affordable end of typical Arc'teryx prices.
Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, durable, great arm length, flattering cut, excellent breathability and water resistance
Cons: Thin, cuffs aren't adjustable, pricey
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Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody - Women's
|Price||$249.00 at REI|
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|$109.20 at Amazon||$154.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Lightweight, durable, great arm length, flattering cut, excellent breathability and water resistance||Highly breathable, quick-drying, harness and helmet compatible, stowable hood, durable||This is a cozy insulated hybrid ideal for situations when you need a bit more warmth in a lightweight package.||Very lightweight, excellent mobility, highly breathable, great fit, affordable.||Full-legth side zippers, excellent fit, windproof, lined, thumbholes|
|Cons||Thin, cuffs aren't adjustable, pricey||Not very warm, only one pocket||If you need need good breathability and all-around comfort, this insulated hybrid is a great option.||Not warm, only two pockets||Less breathable due to windproofing, expensive|
|Bottom Line||While there are both warmer and lighter models in our review, in every other aspect this hoody is a winner, providing top notch breathability, durability, and mobility.||This lightweight and streamlined pullover is a fabulously durable layer that breathes like a dream and dries lightning fast.||Insulated, comfortable, stretchy, lightweight||This smart and ultralight softshell is extremely easy to move in and highly breathable - an excellent pick for the movement-minded adventure seeker.||This innovative hoody ups the ante with great features like full-length side zips, fantastic mobility, and excellent weather protection.|
|Rating Categories||Gamma LT Hoody||Sigma SL Anorak Pullover||Proton FL Hoody||Rab Borealis - Women's||Ultimate V SO Hooded Jacket|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Specs||Gamma LT Hoody||Sigma SL Anorak...||Proton FL Hoody||Rab Borealis -...||Ultimate V SO...|
|Measured Weight - Size Medium (oz)||15.3oz||9.5oz||10.7oz (size Large)||8.3oz||13.1oz|
|Material||Wee Burly Double Weave (56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane), DWR finish||Aequora Airperm - 86% nylon, 14% elastane||84% nylon, 16% elastane||Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR||100% polyester|
|Hood||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, 1-way adjustable||Yes, stretchy but not adjustable||Yes, 1-way adjustable|
|Helmet Compatible?||Yes||Yes||Yes, under||Yes, under||Yes, under|
|Wind Resistant?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, windproof|
|Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted)||3 (2 hand, 1 internal)||1 chest||4 (2 hand, 2 chest)||2 hand||2 hand|
|Available Sizes||XS - XL||XS - L||XS - XL||XS - XL||XS - XXL|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Gamma LT Hoody is well-tailored and moderately feature-rich, providing an excellent layer for more aerobic activities in swing season temperatures. Stellar mobility and breathability combine with durable fabric, harness-friendly pockets, and a helmet-compatible hood.
The Gamma LT didn't receive the highest score in this category due to its light, thin material. While it's an impressive shell all around, when stacked up against some of our thicker, more insulative models, this one isn't quite as warm. "LT" is the shorthand Arc'teryx gives to lightweight items, and they recommend this jacket in particular for alpine and backcountry excursions. We agree with this designation, though if the weather turns on you, you will be cold if you're not moving. But if the weather stays relatively temperate and you're staying active, we predict you'll be happy as a clam.
While the Gamma LT is thin enough to let some wind and cold through, the patented Wee Burly Double Weave fabric and DWR finish is notably impressive for keeping water out. We wore each jacket into the shower to see how long it could repel an intense dousing, and the Gamma LT was one of the more impressive performers.
The Gamma LT excels in this metric, providing some of the better breathability in our review. From climbing in the sun to early morning trail runs and high altitude snow hikes in variable temperatures, this layer keeps you protected but not stifled. The pockets are also mesh-lined for added ventilation when needed.
This is also a great jacket for mobility. It's constructed with a stretch textile and has gusseted underarms and an athletic fit — a pretty winning combination for movement. No matter what activity we undertook in the Gamma LT, it moved and stretched easily and naturally. We especially love how comfortable it is to climb in, never feeling cumbersome or bulky.
At 15.3 ounces for a size medium, this is a moderately heavy layer — our review contains quite a few lighter options. However, this is still a great shell to consider if you want to stay relatively light but desire just a wee bit more bulk and durability.
In most respects, the Gamma LT has everything we expect in a competent softshell making it very versatile. It provides excellent moisture resistance, highly breathable and durable fabric, gusseted underarms, stretch wrist gussets, a helmet-compatible two-way adjustable hood, two harness-compatible zippered hand pockets, and one internal zippered pocket. It also has an adjustable drawcord hem, a drop back hem for better coverage, and an athletic fit for a slim, flattering profile. While the cuffs aren't adjustable, they are a decent size, and the stretch gusset allows them to stay put when pushed up to the forearms.
This is a decently expensive jacket, no surprise. However, we think it's priced fairly for how well-made and high performing it is. The material is exceptionally durable, so there's little doubt it will last a long time and pay for itself over and over again. But it's important to consider what activities you will be using your softshell for. If you're primarily going to be in severe weather, then this layer alone won't be enough — you will want a hardshell or something else to wear over it. But if a decent amount of your time will also be spent in warmer temps or engaging in highly aerobic activities, this is an excellent layer to have as part of your outdoor wardrobe.
In many ways, the Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody is a favorite in our review. It's a damn good jacket that breathes impeccably, moves with ease, can withstand getting scratched and scuffed with no problem, and has all the right features for a plethora of outdoor adventures. While it's simply not thick or insulative enough for super intense wind or cold, its slim cut can easily fit under another burlier layer. Bottom line, we love this jacket and think it's an excellent layer at a committing-but-not-crazy price point that will serve you well for many years and many outings.
— Penney Garrett