Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket
The Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket is an excellent all-around, waterproof, reasonably lightweight jacket for the majority of one's outdoor activities. I've owned mine for five years and have hiked, skied, and traveled with it, and it's still in great shape with minimal wear. The Gore-tex Pro has kept me dry and comfortable even in heavy rain and snow. The jacket is pricey at $549 retail (2020 MSRP), but there are sales and close-out colors. It's a versatile jacket and even after years of use mine remains well constructed and durable, despite being lighter weight. If I lost mine I would start my new rain jacket search with another Beta LT.
- Lightweight, without being fragile (311 g, women's medium)
- Durable and robust
- Slimmer fit, won't allow for lots of winter layers underneath
I've had my Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket for five years and have used it extensively year-round, primarily for hiking, travel, and everyday use, and occasionally while skiing.
Like all companies, Arc'teryx has its own product naming methods. In this case "Beta" products are "all round mountain apparel" and "LT" means lightweight.
Sometimes all-around or all-purpose means a product doesn't do anything all that well. Not true for the Beta LT! It's an excellent all-around, lightweight rain jacket and accommodates most of my outdoor rain and wind protection needs.
Fit & Comfort
The Beta LT Jacket is available in men's and women's sizes and has a Trim fit. Arc'teryx says its Trim fit is designed so the jacket fits close to the body, maximizing breathability, which is true in my experience. The fit is comfortable without any restrictions while moving. However, if you anticipate regularly needing larger insulated layers underneath, consider sizing up.
The half-star I removed was because the slim fit across the bust doesn't allow for much extra layering, such as when I've used my jacket for skiing and needed to add a larger down jacket underneath. However, I don't expect one jacket to work perfectly for every possible scenario. This one comes fairly close.
Side Note: If you want a Regular Fit hard shell, Arc'terxy offers numerous other options, such as the Beta AR, Alpha AR, and Alpha SV ("AR" meaning "all around," "SV" meaning "Severe," and "Alpha" products being for alpine climbing). If you want a ski-specific jacket it has those with Regular Fits as well, such as the Shaska, Sentinel AR, and Sentinel LT ("Sentinel" products being for skiing/snowboarding)—Crack Arc'teryx's naming code to find apparel for your use and preference and then select a jacket with the fit you want.
Overall, the Beta LT Jacket stands out as being a comfortable, versatile, lightweight, all-around option that allows for layering for most three- and some four-season use, depending on your build and preferences.
The Beta LT Jacket's design is deceptively minimal, but refined.
- It is hip length with the back slightly longer for extended coverage.
- The full-coverage hood is compatible with climbing or skiing helmets and doesn't impede my vision; It can be adjusted with Cohaesive cordlocks (my old version has standard locks) and tightened down when not wearing a helmet, which is most of the time in this case (I have ski shells I wear for that activity).
- The articulated cut/pattern is designed for a full range of movement; Arc'teryx calls this e3D patterning as of 2020. It also has articulated elbows and gusseted underarms.
- There are two larger outer zipped hand pockets and one inner zipped chest pocket, which can hold a phone or other valuables.
- Each cuff can be tightened with a simple hook-and-loop strap.
- It's reasonably lightweight for its durability. Arc'teryx lists weights of 345 g for men's and 315 g for women's; My women's medium weighs 311 g. [Note: Oddly the Beta SL/Superlight Hybrid weighs slightly more for men (360 g) and slightly less for women (300 g)...go figure.]
Waterproof and Breathability
The Beta LT Jacket is waterproof and windproof, thanks to Gore-tex Pro. I've worn mine all day hiking and skiing in rain and in snow with no issues. There are no pit zips (if you're looking for those), but the jacket stays reasonably breathable while active in a wide range of temps. I use mine year-round from below freezing in winter to summer hikes and find it performs well in a diverse range of conditions.
About once a year I wash and treat my jacket with Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct Wash-In to maintain its waterproofness.
In the California winter rain with my brother
Summit of Mount Elbert, Colorado, with my son
Construction and Durability
I've had my Beta LT Jacket for five years and see no signs of wear other than a few minor stains and the plastic "wire" in the rim of the hood sliding out, but I only noticed that when I went to take a picture of the jacket today; I pushed it back in, no problem. There are no signs of wear from pack straps or other friction or abrasion.
When I started this review I looked to see how long I'd had this jacket (five years) and how much I paid—$439.95. I know how much Arc'teryx jackets cost, but I was still surprised that I paid that much, which was probably full or close-to-full retail at the time.
However, five years later I've forgotten the price of the Beta LT and just keep wearing this jacket. It still performs as well as it did new. If I lost mine I'd go and buy another. When I needed waterproof pants I bought the Beta LT version, based on my experience with the jacket.
Iceland with Dave
The Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket is a great, all-around waterproof shell. If you want a versatile, high performance, reasonably lightweight shell that you can use year-round for lots of activities, this is a solid choice. You can find ultralight jackets and less expensive jackets, but the Beta LT hits the sweet spot for me for light weight, durability, and a wide range of usability over the years. I've worn mine hiking and skiing in and out of the rain and wind. I take it along whenever I travel, knowing it should cover most of my shell needs. I've also loaned it to my children and relatives when someone else needed a jacket in the rain.
In addition to spending most of its time in New England, it has been to Iceland, France, Colorado, Utah, California, and possibly other places I've forgotten. I don't often think about my Beta LT Jacket, I just use it.
Skiing in Maine
I wear a range of waterproof and windproof shell jackets year-round for hiking, running, and skiing, especially when I go into the mountains and above treeline. The Arc'teryx Beta LT covers the widest range of uses, year-round, and is my go-to waterproof shell.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $493.95
Durable, super water resistant, looks great.
- Super water resistant
- Looks amazing
- Fully taped seams
- Water tight zippers
- Packs into pocket
- Roomy and adjustable hood
- Runs small
This is my favourite jacket.
It looks great; the design is sleek and stylish. I purchase this about two years ago in grey, and it looks so cool over formal clothes and when adventuring. Also the back of the jacket is longer and covers my butt when riding my bike, which has also been nice when I've gone skiing in it.
Super durable, all the seams and zippers have held up well.
Great wind blocker, but doesn't get swampy.
The hood fits over most helmets, but is easily adjustable for a snug fit.
Layers over sweater well, I like to layer it over my puffy
Pockets are roomy, but not bulky.
The cut of the jacket fits me great, but it is very snug on my friends with broader shoulders. I would recommend trying it on before purchasing.
Arc'teryx has a great warranty!
I've worn this in all kinds of rainy conditions, out sailing, on the slopes, backpacking, and on windy days.
Below is a pic of me twinning at a clinic with a guy from another team.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $499
- Outstanding for repelling the rain
- Very striking look!
- Very durable
- Excellent customer service!
- A little heavy for packing
- The drawstrings catch on door handles and railings etc.
Worth the money! I wouldn't carry it on an ultralight.
Source: bought it new
Ultra light, fairly tough, full coverage.
- High neck
- 3/4 length
- Abrasion resistant
- Bright colours hard to wash
- No pit zip
I always snubbed my nose at new trends. So when Arc'teryx arrived on the scene I was floored by the price. When my OR shell gave out prematurely I wanted something with Gortex Pro and came across this shell at a price I could live with.
After wearing it for a year as a summer rain coat and a winter protective shell it has held up very well. When you're doing everything from boony crashing to sliding down avalanche slopes, it's done everything that was expected.
The only gripe I have is if your jacket is a bright colour getting the grime out from around the cuffs and neck is almost impossible. Gortex Pro does not breathe very well so it should have come with some type of venting .
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
There is a lot to like about Arc'Teryx jackets. For the drooling reviews, read elsewhere. My problem with this jacket is that the ripstop is too lightweight to be abrasion resistant. I punctured one sleeve the first time I wore it backpacking. There is another review in this section that makes the same complaint about another Arc'Teryx model. Be forewarned.
I also have a Theta LT that at least has some abrasion resistant panels along the shoulder and sleeves. The rest of it is the same paper-thin ripstop.
BTW, when I had my Beta repaired, it went to Rainy Pass in Seattle, not to Arc'Teryx. No complaints about the patch job, but it made me wonder why this vaunted company did not perform their own repairs.
Fabric: 3 ply Gore-Tex (non-XCR)
Price Paid: $250
This is a short (3/4 cut) 3-ply Gore-Tex jacket. Weight is exactly as listed: 495 g. It is intended for 3-season use but I use it with semi-bibs in winter conditions. It's quite simple (i.e. functionable) without a bunch of unecessary and annoying bells and whistles.
The DWR of the outer fabric is excellent. The silicon coated zippers are fully waterproof as advertised. Breathability is mediocre but far better than the two-ply Gore-tex jackets I've owned in the past. The lack of flaps on the under-arm zips makes them easy to use. I get only 'slightly moist' from perspiration when wearing it on the B.C. coast.
The workmanship in the jacket is superb -- the best I've ever seen. Stitching and seam-taping are of absolutely unparalled quality. There are a number of die-cut pieces in the jacket which meld seamlessly into the cut. This is especially evident on the wrist cuffs, which are curved rather than the standard rectangular cut and hence do not catch on shell gloves.
The hood is non-detachable, but large enough to accomdate a helmet easily and it adjusts to fit a large variety of headware. The brim on the front of the hood is molded and quite stiff so it does a good job of not dripping on your face. The collar is high and has a die-cut patch of 'fuzz' to prevent chin rash, but it still catches on my beard.
Fabric: 420 NL ripstop nylon with Gore-tex laminate
Price Paid: $500 Cdn.
After reading several glowing reviews from magazines I decided to invest my hard-earned money on a jacket that would last me a lifetime (check the price again!).
I'm happy to announce that I seem to have made a wise investment in purchasing the Beta jacket by Arc'teryx.
Having a three quarter cut jacket already I chose the Beta for its shorter cut and 3-layer Gore-Tex laminate. Standing just over 5'8" and weighing 180 the jacket fit just enough when worn with a thin vest or fleece.
The attention to detail is incredible! I loved the exposed pocket zips with watertight zippers that are easily accessed with one hand and the pit zips are also exposed and are easily accessed, even with gloves on. The structured hood is lamenated and is large enough to accomodate a cap or any other head gear and has pull cords located on the collars and behind to adjust for viewing.
I also appreciated the laminated chin guard with the soft fleece imbedded in the fabric.
As for the feel of the jacket when worn, being a 3 ply gore-tex it does feel a bit stiff at first but after a while you get used to it. Last but not least, it surpasssed all my expectations when submitted to the elements from pouring rain, to a torrential downpour in the B.C. coastal mountains. Not only did it leave me bone dry but well ventilated thanks to the pit zips!
If you are looking to purchase a jacket that will keep you dry in the wettest circumstances take a good look at the Beta jacket from Arc'teryx, for the amount you pay--it's worth every penny!
Fabric: 390NR lightweight, high tenacity ripstop nylon fabric
Price Paid: $450 (CDN)
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