Arc'teryx Rush LT Review
Cons: Bib is too warm and inhibits layer changes, expensive, over-designed
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rush LT is a backcountry-specific hardshell pant. Most users will want more warmth, more features, or more versatility out of their pants.
With the Rush LT, Arc'Teryx uses a high-quality Gore-Tex shell and a closely tailored fit. The result, predictably, is excellent weather protection. These protect against the harshest and wettest of weather, with virtually no compromises. Our only criticism is that one pocket does not have a zipper (so snow and wetness can get inside the pocket. It won't get inside the pants, but it will sit there, cold and wet, against your leg). Otherwise, the Gore-Tex fabric and waterproof zippers are complemented by excellent seam sealing and Arc'Teryx's "durable water repellent" coating that is virtually unmatched.
Fit and Comfort
First, on sizing. The Rush LT seems to run just a touch small and short. If you are between sizes, order the larger of your two options. If you are true to size, you'll be fine. The sizing differential isn't significant, but it is there.
Next, on comfort. In testing other categories of shell gear, we have long wished that Arc'teryx would make their shells from quieter and softer fabric. The same goes for the Rush LT. Especially when users might wear this product against the skin and in high-output situations, employing a more flexible and less "scratchy" external fabric would be appreciated. The Rush LT (and other Arc'Teryx shell clothing) eventually quiets down with wear and use, but it is pretty crinkly when new. If you choose to wear these directly against your skin, make sure it is a warm day, or you are putting out tons of heat because the thin fabric is pretty cold against the skin. A more robust "fleecy" lining would be appreciated for most conditions.
The exterior, non-mesh backed vents lead the field. One of the side zips goes all the way to the high waistband for both further venting and for donning and doffing of the pants. The shell material is thin and breathes well. However, the bib construction keeps in heat from the torso and complicates layer adjustments.
You shouldn't be expecting much warmth from the Rush LT. These are just shell pants. In initial product selection, when reading Arc'teryx catalog copy, we expected that the "C-Knit" fabric lining would provide a little more fleecy or fuzzy warmth and comfort. That is not the case. The Gore-Tex C-Knit fabric is a little softer on the inside than your typical rain pants, but it doesn't add any insulating value. The bib component retains more warmth from the torso area than regular pants.
The only features to note are the pockets. The bib pocket is configured to hold an avalanche transceiver, with a place to tether it. The two thigh pockets are useful, though the one just has a flap and no zipper. Smaller things will not be as secure in that pocket.
These are function-first ski pants. The look is decidedly "alpine." Aside from the wide cuffs to go over ski boots, these look like your typical hiking or climbing rain pants.
These bibs are super expensive and fill a narrow niche. Unless you are a backcountry skier in the Cascades or Coast Range of BC, these pants are not a great value.
Arc'Teryx makes both proven and established products, and these pants offer the great weather resistance that the company is known for. The product lacks versatility, for which we cannot recommend these pants for everyday resort skiing.
— Jediah Porter