User Review: Arc'teryx Men's Theta AR Jacket
Price Paid: $205
I could never afford to drop nearly $500 on a jacket and as perfect as it is, I don't think I could rationalize that. Somehow, I manage to stay dry even in the worst downpours with it.
The best parts about this jacket are the huge pit zips and the great hood. I own a TNF Hyvent shell and I think that's where the Arc' really beats it, awesome brim to keep rain out of your face. Obviously, the AR is much lighter, less bulky and packs much smaller too.
If I am honest, I have not snagged it on anything yet, so I cannot speak on its durability. If I have one concern, I am afraid the tapped zippers will eventually wear down a bit perhaps providing entry for water. As they stand now, they are perfect.
Once while wearing my jacket, I had to run into the ocean (long story) and got pommeled by a wave. I was perfectly dry from my waist up... If only I could afford the AR bib.
Bottom line: Get one for cheap and it is a perfect shell (I got mine new on eBay).
Update: December 3, 2011
UPDATE: I have continued wearing this shell over the last two years. It has been my favorite piece of gear. I wear it all year (mid-Atlantic region). No significant signs of wear, including the sealed zippers I was concerned about, which I believe are of the "self-healing" variety.
The shell is a bit much during the warmer times of year or during strenuous activity. I, surely, haven't reapplied DWR often enough, so that could be the issue there.
Somewhat unrelated: I recently had a zipper-pull on a discontinued Arc'teryx daypack break and customer service was great. It attaches with a rivet, so they offered to attach it for me, but they were more than happy to just send the zipper-pull in the mail to me at no charge.