Arc'teryx Atom SV Hoody
Warm synthetic jacket, windproof, large. My "I passed…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $194
Warm synthetic jacket, windproof, large. My "I passed national boards" jacket.
Fit: Looser fit than other dead bird gear. I am 5'9", 195 lbs and I have a size large. It is almost too big on me. I have the Atom LT Jacket size large; it is just right on me.
Warmth: I have only used this jacket in SF for cold mornings going to school on my scooter. While my hands freeze, I'm not shivering at all. I know, SF is mild but this has been a cold winter.
Durability: Walking out of the dental clinic, the jacket snagged on door hinges. Small, almost invisible thread pull
That is the extent of my use for this jacket. I like it so far.
I had the TNF Summit series Optimus Jacket before…
Price Paid: $210
I had the TNF Summit series Optimus Jacket before it got stolen. I loved it, but I always was a bit cold in it (I live in Canada where winter hits with -10 to -30 degrees C). I thought that this was the price to pay not to be overly sweaty when cross country skiing or doing some other strenuous exercise.
This was until I got the new Arc'teryx SV (2011). This jacket is cozy, warm and breathes like nothing else. It keeps your body magically at the right temperature even at a windy -30 on top of a mountain and never have I got this cold sweaty feeling creeping up the spine when I stopped sking. The inside materials are silky smooth without any static or plastiky feel to it. You actually get kind of hooked to the feel, so you don't want to take it off anymore.
The outside layer keeps the wind out and seems to repel water well enough. (I rolled into a pond of water during a missed decent of cross country skiing and the jacket didn't wet.) The hood is easily adjustable to keep your vision clear and your head protected. This saves you much suffering when you brave a stormy -30 degrees C you weren't prepared for.
The only problem I see, is that this jacket is very light and fluffy and so looses some of it's magic when you layer it under a Hardshell. You can feel the cold in the shoulder region where the shell crushes the insulation.
So all in all, it is a piece of magic. It keeps the wind out and the heat in without ever feeling sweaty. But the real hooker are the inside materials that just make you feel incredibly cozy when wearing it. It's very probably the best mid layer jacket out there... if you're not layering.