Arc'teryx Acto MX Hoody
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $250
Go-to jacket for almost all activities in the colder months. Layers well and is great to use alone. A hidden gem in the Arc'teryx clothing line.
- Great design
- Needs different hood adjustments
- Needs a hem drawcord
The Arc'teryx Acto MX Hoody is designed to be a very breathable, but protective jacket for high-energy exercise in cold weather. It is made of Aerius Gridloft, which is a lightweight grid fleece laminated to a wind- and water-resistant shell fabric. Or in other words, take the Patagonia R1 Hoody and make it highly water- and wind-resistant, but don't take away very much of its breathability.
The wind- and water-resistance is due to the tightness of the weave of the face fabric, not a membrane (like windstopper or conduit, etc). Therefore, it breathes significantly better, though it doesn't block all of the wind. I would guess, based on my own experience, that it blocks about 95% of the wind. That 5% that it does let in helps to move water vapor out of the garment and speeds up drying if somebody has already sweat.
The features of this jacket are simple: two chest pockets, a helmet-compatible hood with two-way adjustment (Needs a different adjustment system, imo. More about that later), and that's about it.
I absolutely love the simplicity of this jacket. No pockets where a harness or hipbelt go. No pit zips (not necessary). The seams are taped to increase comfort while wearing as a midlayer, not for increased water resistance. The cuffs and hem are impeccably finished, but I think Arc'teryx could improve the function of those as well.
Abrasion resistance on this jacket has been top-notch so far, though it is only about 2 months old. I have dry-tooled in it and scraped up against rocks and bricks and so far no sign of wear. Time will tell, I guess.
This Jacket is beautiful. While ice climbing in it, I ran into a friend. From about 50 feet away while hiking up toward us he said, "Dang. What jacket is that? That looks nice!" And then he inspected it for about 5 minutes. And the compliments keep coming. Pretty much wherever I wear this jacket, people are making comments about how nice it looks.
I love this jacket and I use it almost everytime I go into the mountains, but it's not perfect. First of all, the cuffs and hem that I said were finished so nicely, need a little work. I thought I'd love the cuffs (because Arc'teryx always nails the cuffs - see Atom lt), but I don't like that they're not adjustable.
When I climb in them, they're great. But when I want to put the jacket on or take it off, I have to take my gloves off as well. I didn't think that would be a problem, but I was surprised how often I would get slightly annoyed that I couldn't get my jacket off with gloves on. Maybe if they were just a little stretchier. I'm not sure the best solution, but the cuffs need a little work.
The hem also needs work. There is no hem drawcord on this jacket. Again, I didn't think I would care about this when I first got the jacket, but because I usually use this as my outerlayer, I would like to be able to keep cold wind out of the jacket a little better. A hem drawcord would be nice.
Finally, I think that the hood needs a little work. It works pretty well while wearing a climbing helmet, but I can't seem to get the hood adjusted right when I'm not wearing one. I like a hood to move with my head when I turn. This one doesn't very well, especially without a helmet. The size of the hood is perfect, but they need a drawcord to cinch the hood to the head from behind. Again, I'm not sure exactly what the best solution is, but I think the hood needs work. Arc'teryx has been making the best products for years, I'm sure they could figure something out.
- Helmet-compatible hood with two adjustments. The lower adjustment takes volume out of the hood when not wearing a helmet. The other adjustment cinches hood around the face. I think a third cinch from the back of the head would help when not wearing a helmet.
Though not the perfect jacket, there is something to be said about a jacket that is my first choice for almost every outdoor trip, from ice climbing to snowshoeing to mountaineering to looking good at the movies. This jacket has all but replaced by Gore-tex shell, occasionally replaced my Atom lt, and totally replaced all my other fleece midlayers.
The material is top-notch. I haven't ever seen or used a better softshell (Arc'teryx calls it a hard fleece) for high-aerobic activities, including my Gamma MX Hoody. If I expect to be in absolutely horrendous weather, I still take the waterproof shell. For everything else, I take the Acto.
Worth its $300 retail price? I guess that totally depends on your income and how much time you spend in the outdoors. If you have $300 to spend on a softshell, this would be a great way to go. If buying this means your family goes hungry, probably not.
I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars. 5 out of 5 stars for the fabric, but 4 out of 5 overall.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Arc'teryx designed the Men's Acto MX Hooded Fleece Jacket for the fast-and-light crowd. The Acto weighs barely more than a pound and provides bulk-free insulation and a smooth, weather-resistant, easy-to-layer face fabric.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version
On Sale. Free Shipping. Arcteryx Men's Acto MX Hoody DECENT FEATURES of the Arcteryx Men's Acto MX Hoody Moisture-resistant outer face fabric Snow-shedding Highly air permeable - allows air and moisture to move through the fabric to speed drying Highly breathable - maintains comfort during aerobic activity DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent) helps bead water from fabric surface Soft, brushed lining adds light insulation Finish-taped seams for a clean aesthetic Anatomical shaping for fit and comfort No-lift gusseted underarms Adjustable hood drawcords Storm Hood Soft hood brim Quick-pull full front zip for easy venting Corded zipper-pulls reduce noise and are easy to grab Stretchy cuffs Laminated hem Two high, crossover hand pockets Smooth, durable Aerius Grid Loft Fabric sheds snow and layers easily High permeability keeps air and moisture moving through the fabric for quick drying moisture management Laminated seam allowances create a flat, clean profile Activity: Ski Touring / Alpine Climbing The SPECS of the Arcteryx Men's Acto MX Hoody Weight: (M): 17.9 oz / 508 g Fit: Trim, hip length Aerius Grid Loft - 100% stretch nylon face 96% polyester 4% spandex backer Care Instructions Machine wash in cold water Wash dark colors separately Tumble dry on low heat Iron on low heat Do not use fabric softener This product can only be shipped within the United States. Please don't hate us.
- Moosejaw refers to the men's version
Slip into the light, stretchy comfort of ARCTERYX's Acto MX Hoody. This breathable hoody keeps you dry and cool when you're moving fast with durable, smooth, Aerius Grid Loft Fabric that allows air to circulate near your skin so that sweat can dry quickly. An excellent standalone and a great addition to a waterproof shell when you need a little extra warmth.
- Mountain Gear refers to the men's version
Ideal for backcountry skiing and alpine climbing, the Arcteryx Acto MX Jacket for men is a highly breathable jacket that can handle mixed weather. Similar in appearance to a soft shell, the Acto MX jacket is actually made from a hardfaced fleece material that breathes, sheds precip and wicks moisture away from your body with unmatched prowess. When the weather really packs in, you can throw on a shell, but you can run this jacket on its own much of the time. The Acto MX is the ultimate in breathable, insulated layering. The trim fit compliments the fabrics natural low-bulk appearance and stretch feel. It is the answer to a hardfaced jacked that performs at a high level when you are breaking trail, climbing or hiking in cold weather. Of course, Arcteryx adds all of the technical details that you would expect including a great hood, no-lift arm gussets and easy-pull zipper tabs. The Arcteryx Acto MX Jacket for men is the mountain adventure partner you have always wanted.
- Altrec Outdoors refers to the men's version