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Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody - Women's Review

This classic windbreaker offers excellent protection in a lightweight shell, but sacrifices breathability in the process
arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review
Credit: Arc'teryx
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Price:  $160 List
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 19, 2022
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 15
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 9.0
  • Breathability - 30% 4.5
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 7.5
  • Versatility - 10% 7.0
  • Water Resistance - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Squamish is a solidly protective windbreaker that packs an excellent warmth to weight ratio. Its relaxed fit design makes it easy to wear over a warm layer on those truly cold days. A wider hood brim than most, a dual-adjusted hem, and half-elastic cuffs on stretchy fabric all help keep you warm and cozy on windy days. All this protection comes at a cost to breathability, making this a less than pleasant option for strenuous hikes on warm days. But if you want a lightweight, protective shell to throw on over your layers when the cool winds pick up, the Squamish has got you covered.
REASONS TO BUY
Very windproof
Decent rain protection
Easy to layer
Great warmth to weight ratio
REASONS TO AVOID
Only one small pocket
Not very breathable
Light colors are see-through
Editor's Note: We retested the latest, updated version of this jacket, side-by-side with the rest of our lineup on October 19, 2022.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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82
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51
Star Rating
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Pros Very windproof, decent rain protection, easy to layer, great warmth to weight ratioLightweight, very breathable, comfortable fit & feel, flexible, great cuffsMore waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wear, superb hood, good hand pocketsHelmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quicklyDecently wind resistant, moderate precipitation protection, lightweight, less expensive
Cons Only one small pocket, not very breathable, light colors are see-throughSlim fit difficult to layer, not ideal for really cold windDoesn't pack into its own pocket, no reflective logosNot the most waterproof, can see through thin fabricSleeves a bit short, small pockets, sloppy construction
Bottom Line This classic windbreaker offers excellent protection in a lightweight shell, but sacrifices breathability in the processA highly breathable, protective, and packable layer that will keep you moving whatever the weatherA blend of minimalist design and technical features, this jacket offers solid protection from the elements at a reasonable priceA true featherweight model that continues to impress, combining excellent performance with great valueA simple, casual jacket that's best for mild days and small budgets
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Squamish... Patagonia Houdini Air Rab Vital Hoody - W... Patagonia Houdini -... SoTeer Waterproof H...
Wind Resistance (30%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Breathability (30%)
4.5
8.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Weight and Packability (20%)
7.5
9.0
7.5
9.5
6.0
Versatility (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.5
7.0
6.5
Water Resistance (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.5
6.5
5.0
Specs Arc'teryx Squamish... Patagonia Houdini Air Rab Vital Hoody - W... Patagonia Houdini -... SoTeer Waterproof H...
Weight 4.1 oz 3.4 oz 4.1 oz 3.1 oz 6.6 oz
Material Tyono™ 30D ripstop nylon 90% nylon (51% recycled), 10% polyester double weave with DWR treatment Atmos woven nylon with fluorocarbon-free DWR 100% nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment 95% polyester, 5% spandex
Pockets 1 chest 1 chest 2 hand 1 chest 2 hand
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuffs Half elastic Half elastic Half elastic Half elastic Elastic
Stuffs Into Pocket Yes Yes No; stuff sack Yes No
Safety Reflective Material Reflective logo Reflective front logo None Reflective logo on front and back None
Fit Slim fit Slim fit Regular fit Slim fit Relaxed fit

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arc'teryx Squamish is a full-zip windbreaker with an adjustable hood made of ripstop nylon Tyono™ with mechanical stretch. It's a slim-cut jacket that weighs 4.1 ounces and has a single left chest pocket, reflective front logo, and DWR coating.

Performance Comparison


arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - this newest version of the squamish is the best one yet.
This newest version of the Squamish is the best one yet.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Wind Resistance


The Squamish Hoody is one of the most windproof windbreakers we tested. Even without a storm flap behind the zipper, the Tyono™ nylon fabric does an exceptional job keeping gusts at bay. The half elastic cuffs are slightly longer over the backs of your hands, and a slight stretch in the material allows you to pull these sleeves down and bury your fingers inside away from the cold wind. A dually adjustable waist hem makes it easy to pull tight, even around bulky layers on a colder day. The chin guard comes up higher than most, allowing you to burrow your chin into this jacket on a cold day. The hood is also easily adjustable via cord — most windbreakers have just a velcro strap if any adjustability here at all. All in all, we're impressed at the wind resistance of this jacket, which offers one of the best warmth-to-weight ratios of any model we tested.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - an extra tall chin guard and bungee-tightening hood help keep you...
An extra tall chin guard and bungee-tightening hood help keep you protected even on gusty days.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Breathability


All that wind protection does come at a cost to the breathability of the Squamish. It has no venting features other than the usual unzip method of most windbreakers. The sleeves and cuffs are more comfortable to push up than we expected them to be, which does help. However, we aren't fans of this jacket during high output activities, particularly during something that's also high impact — like running. On a cool day, it easily collects condensation from your body on the inside of the jacket. Though this updated version has a lighter hood than previous iterations, the collar is still extra tall, which does flop around a bit during a run. If you're after a breathable windbreaker, this isn't the ideal option.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - though they're "crinkle cuffs" on the bottom, these half-elastic...
Though they're "crinkle cuffs" on the bottom, these half-elastic cuffs are more comfortable to wear pushed up our arms than we expected based on their appearance.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weight and Packability


Weighing 4.1 ounces, the Squamish Hoody weighs less than average within this group — and is eight tenths of an ounce lighter than the previous version we tested! It stows easily into its own left chest pocket and has a carabiner loop for added ease. While previous versions struggled to fit the stiffened brim into this small package, this latest version does so with ease. This shell is one of the easiest to pack into a small, neat little package and is simple to clip onto your harness or pack.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - this newest version of the squamish is lighter and easier to pack up...
This newest version of the Squamish is lighter and easier to pack up than ever before.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Versatility


The Squamish has some solid features that make it reasonably versatile within a specific weather type (aka on the colder side). The stretchy fabric that we've already discussed is augmented with underarm gussets that help give a full range of motion to your arms. The single chest pocket isn't large enough for a smartphone, though, and the shell-like material feels a bit crinkly and less comfortable than others against bare skin. This latest version of the Squamish has an updated fit as well. Gone is the rectangular boxy shape of past designs — the Squamish now has a slightly tapered waist while maintaining its overall relaxed fit. It manages to perfectly sit in the middle ground: fitted enough to look more stylish with plenty of space inside for adding layers. This is a great jacket for fall hiking, climbing on exposed faces, or evening walks with the dog.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - we love bringing the squamish along in the shoulder seasons for when...
We love bringing the Squamish along in the shoulder seasons for when the weather turns cold.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Water Resistance


A DWR coating helps the Squamish to be reasonably water repellent. It's slightly better than average when it comes to withstanding heavier rain or longer periods of lighter rain. That is to say, it will help keep you dry for a while, but it certainly can't replace a true rain jacket. After spending an extended neighborhood walk-in medium to light rain, portions of the Squamish were wet, as were our layers underneath. But for intermittent drizzle or short periods of time in light rain, it works reasonably well.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - dwr coating on the squamish helps it repel mild precipitation for...
DWR coating on the Squamish helps it repel mild precipitation for short periods of time.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Squamish?


The Arc'teryx Squamish is among the more expensive models we tested, but it's not the most expensive. It's an excellent windbreaker for colder weather and works very well as an emergency layer on an alpine backpacking trip. It's durable enough to last through years of adventures, though not breathable enough to be pleasant when you're very sweaty. If you're after a long-lasting jacket that's lightweight but still warm and protective, this is a great option.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - the squamish is adjustable at two points around the hem, fully...
The Squamish is adjustable at two points around the hem, fully cinching shut to keep your body heat inside.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

What Other Windbreakers Should You Consider?


The Squamish Hoody is a well-built windbreaker that boasts one of the best warmth to weight ratios of any jacket we tested. It offers impressive wind protection and decent water protection in a lightweight, compact package. If you need even more warmth, consider fully lined windbreaker like the Columbia Flash Forward Lined. But if lightweight is your game, we love the Squamish Hoody as a mini shell for adventures on days when the weather is iffy and we think it makes a great emergency layer.

arc'teryx squamish hoody for women wind breaker jacket review - the arc'teryx squamish gets better with every updated version...
The Arc'teryx Squamish gets better with every updated version released.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Maggie Nichols
 
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