Arc'teryx is a brand synonymous with high end, technical outdoor gear so I had great expectations for the Atom LT mid-layer jacket when I headed off to the Snowy Mountains for a four-day hike.
I was looking for a jacket that was technical enough to do what it’s meant to do when I was wearing it and light enough to not take up much pack space when I wasn’t.
As soon as I zipped up the Atom and went outside, I could feel the jacket 'turn on' and start performing. It was like a blanket of warmth had surrounded my torso as I began walking.
The interior lining was soft and smooth, and the stretchy sides and athletic cut offered plenty of mobility on the track even with my pack on.
The Coreloft insulation created a pillow-like barrier from the outside world and as the weather turned cool the jacket kept me warm without making me sweat.
There’s nothing worse than being dry on the outside of your jacket but hot and gammy on the inside so I was impressed by the Atom on this point.
Arc'teryx claims updated Tyono 20 face fabric offers improved abrasion resistance and protection from wind and moisture and I can vouch for that. The durable water repellent (DWR) finish will repel light rain, but it won't keep you dry on a downpour - it's not meant to. That's what your outer shell is for.
There are some nice touches on the jacket like a fleece-like lining inside the hand pockets and smooth cuffs making the Atom a cozy and versatile jacket.
Another thing I like are the zips, they’re more durable than many on similar jackets I've reviewed, and the main zipper never got tangled in the material - a pet hate of mine. Also, the pull tab is extra-long so you're not fumbling with the zipper when wearing gloves.
Thanks to its impressive balance of warmth, comfort, and styling, the Atom easily crosses over between daily wear and outdoor use so you could head straight to the pub with it on after a day in the bush, which is exactly what I did!
Now at $400 it’s a pricey piece of kit but I reckon buying an Arc'teryx product is an investment in high quality outdoor gear that should offer a fair bit of longevity.
Summary: A versatile, synthetic insulated mid-layer offering a high degree of weather resistance.
RRP: $400. More info click here