Hands-on Gear Review

Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody - Women's Review

This fully featured piece provides more than lighter models, but the extra features can feel bulky.
By: Shey Kiester ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 27, 2018
Price:  $159 List  |  $159.00 at Backcountry
Pros:  Wind resistant, lightweight, packs into chest pocket, stretchy, layers well, fully featured
Cons:  Slightly bulky/heavy, expensive
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 8
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 10
  • Breathability - 20% 6
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 8
  • Water Resistance - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody was one of our testers favorites for scrambles and hikes. With its stretchy athletic fit, this jacket flexes in style with every post hole and talus hop. Articulated elbows and gusseted underarms keep it from flapping in the wind while still allowing you to move over terrain with ease. This jacket is soft to the touch and comfortable against your skin, but also abrasion and wind resistant. It also stows in its own chest pocket and has a convenient loop to clip it to a climbing harness or backpack. With a ton of features, like wrist cuff tabs and a hood brim, this jacket did feel like a bit much on some outings, but it might be just the right piece for your adventures.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody is made of a 100% nylon Tyono 30D shell with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. You'll find wrist cuff tabs, a hem that is drop back and features a cinch adjustment, and a hood with a drawstring, which allows you to cinch it in the back. There's one external chest pocket that the jacket stows into with a loop for clipping it onto your harness or pack. It weighs 5.1 ounces and comes in five different colors.

Value


At $149, the Squamish is the thoroughbred of windbreakers. Though it comes with a lofty price tag, this jacket exceeds the features provided by some of the other models we reviewed. If you don't like models that are streamlined and uber packable, than the extra features of the Squamish might be a good fit for you.

Performance Comparison


The Squamish is undeniably high performance, with superb construction and materials. However, its plethora of features made some of our reviewers balk, as it feels like a bit much for a windbreaker, which should be lightweight and streamlined.

This well-fitting model is versatile enough to easily transition from running to carrying a heavy pack.
This well-fitting model is versatile enough to easily transition from running to carrying a heavy pack.

Wind Resistance


This jacket rated high for wind resistance in our tests. The Velcro cuffs, drawstring drop back hem, adjustable hood and an almost imperceptible draft flap behind the zipper help to defy the wind. Plus, our testers also loved the feel of the fabric — it is soft, comfortable and warm even with only minimal layers underneath. The Patagonia Houdini was the only other piece as wind resistant as the Squamish, and the Rab Windveil was slightly less resistant than both.

This jacket is best suited to alpine pursuits where the wind blows strong and the temps are cooler. Jean Tucky tests out the wind resistant fabric on top of a giant glacial erratic on DAFF Dome  Tuolumne Meadows  CA.
This jacket is best suited to alpine pursuits where the wind blows strong and the temps are cooler. Jean Tucky tests out the wind resistant fabric on top of a giant glacial erratic on DAFF Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, CA.

Breathability


The Squamish, like the Patagonia Houdini, performed well in wind resistance at the cost of breathability, which is to be expected in a windbreaker. Although the Squamish was a bit more breathable than the Houdini, our tests found that this piece was likely to accumulate perspiration relatively quickly during high energy exercise, leaving the wearer feeling uncomfortable and clammy. If you anticipate needing a layer that handles wind and sweat better, we recommend the Black Diamond Alpine Start.

This model has less-than-ideal breathability  but when temps are frigid and the wind is whipping  it is one of the best to keep the wind off.
This model has less-than-ideal breathability, but when temps are frigid and the wind is whipping, it is one of the best to keep the wind off.

Durability


The Squamish is made of a Gossamera ripstop nylon and is abrasion resistant. We wore this jacket on climbs and hikes and bikes and noticed no abrasion. The Velcro tabs at the cuffs are heavy duty, though they did tend to catch and snag on rocks and vegetation. We like the Patagonia Houdini or Black Diamond Alpine Start if you're in the market for a highly durable piece.

This piece has more extra features then our reviewers' favorite pieces  including a hood brim and bulky wrist closures.
This piece has more extra features then our reviewers' favorite pieces, including a hood brim and bulky wrist closures.

Weight and Packability


The Squamish is in the middle of the pack when it comes to weight and packability. This piece weighs in at 5.1 ounces, which outweighs the Patagonia Houdini and Eddie Bauer Uplift's 3.9-ounce design significantly. However, it compresses well, and if you aren't hyper-aware of an extra ounce or two, this jacket can easily be shoved into the bottom of your pack and forgotten about until the time comes.

The jacket's packed size.
The jacket's packed size.

Versatility


This windbreaker is versatile, thanks to a hefty feature set. However, our testers felt that this feature set detracted from missions that required a streamlined piece, like the Patagonia Houdini. The jacket features a soft brim visor, Velcro wrist cuff tabs, and a drawstring waist and hood. With all of these moving parts, we found that it was easy to get parts of the jacket snagged on branches or your pack. Because of this, we liked pieces like the Black Diamond Alpine Start and Eddie Bauer Uplift because of their streamlined build.

This model is one of our most wind resistant  but lacks the comfortable fit of other contenders.
This model is one of our most wind resistant, but lacks the comfortable fit of other contenders.

Water Resistance


During our water tests, the DWR coating on this jacket beaded moisture well, thanks to its DWR (durable water repellent) finish. While none of the jackets that we tested were completely waterproof, if you are concerned about getting caught in a storm in your windbreaker then you'll be better off with the Squamish or the Patagonia Houdini, which repel water well and will dry relatively quickly once they do become saturated.

The piece's DWR finish helps it repel light precip.
The piece's DWR finish helps it repel light precip.

Best Applications


This jacket is great for missions with high wind potential, particularly in a cooler environment. It lends itself well to sailing, backcountry spring skiing, cycling, bouldering, and traveling.

If you have short arms  you may want to size down or just push the sleeves up  but otherwise this jacket is great for all athletic women.
If you have short arms, you may want to size down or just push the sleeves up, but otherwise this jacket is great for all athletic women.

Conclusion


The Arc'teryx Squamish comfortably moves with the outdoor adventurer when shifting weather conditions are part of the game. The well-thought-out craftsmanship allows this jacket to be comfortable and easy to move in. However, a plethora of extra features might make the minimalist turn their nose up at this piece.

Shey Kiester

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