Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody
Below average product with above average price + exceptionally arrogant customer service!
- Well fitting hood
- No drawstrings at the hem
- Cuffs not snug fitting
- Not-so-smooth zipper
- Arrogant customer (dis)service
This is a review of the older version which lacked drawstrings at the hem, still being sold by various e-tailers.
- No drawstrings at hem—cold air gets sucked in
- Cuffs not snug fitting—cold air gets sucked in
- Well fitting hood and lightweight—comfortable!
- Adjustments for hood—good!
- No adjustment at hem—Why??
- Not-so-smooth zippers—Pain!
- Comfortable + Cold air ingress + Difficult zipper + 400 euros = NOT worth it!
Full length review:
I had recently purchased the older version (2016?) of the Cerium LT Hoody, which lacks a drawstring at the hem, because I got a good discount. I got it in the color Hylidae, a nice shade of green.
My initial impressions were that it was an aesthetically pleasing garment, which felt soft and light in the hand.
Upon putting it on a few things were immediately obvious. The most obvious was the fact that the cuffs on the sleeves were not fitting snugly. Curiously, even with two layers on, there was a yawning gap at the cuffs, likely due to the fact that the cut of the sleeves was not tapering down enough to follow the contours of the wrist.
The next feature conspicuous for its absence was the drawstring at the hem. Even though the cut of the jacket ensured that the hem fits close to the hips, it is by no means a tight seal. As a result, when walking outdoors in the winter, the lack of a tight seal at the hip enabled cold air to be sucked in—the movement of the body effectively worked like a bellow due to the lack of a seal at the hip.
In essence, the free movement of cold air annuls the warmth generated by the insulation—defeats the purpose of wearing it!
Another feature I disliked was the fact that the main zipper was not the molded plastic kind. While the lighter zip used in the Cerium LT may save weight (few grams?), it is not nearly as smooth and easy to use as the molded zippers like YKK.
Having said that, there were a few features worthy of appreciation. The jacket is incredibly light and comfortable to wear, with a well fitting hood. The hood has a drawstring at the back, which ensures that it can be cinched tight to form a snug fit.
Overall, the two big design flaws (I see that the newer version has addressed the absence of a drawstring at the hem) makes the asking price of the jacket unjustifiable. I ended up returning the jacket after a month of use.
I own several other pieces of Arc'teyx gear (Alpha SV Jacket, Gamma AR Pants, Epsilon LT Hoody, Palisade Shorts, Elaho SS Shirt, Phase Crew, Carrier duffle) and have generally been greatly satisfied with their design, functionality, and durability.
However, the Cerium LT Hoody was the first piece of imperfectly designed Arc'teryx gear that I have ever used, LACKING the usual Arc'teryx edge in terms of innovative materials and superior construction. It was simply NOT a cut above its competitors, especially at its asking price!
Finally, I would like to elaborate a little about the moderation of reviews by Arc'teryx:
I had initially submitted an honest 3-star review of the product (99% identical to the above review) only to hear nothing about it for a couple of weeks.
By the way, my 5-star review for the Gamma AR pants was accepted within days of its submission (it is entitled "Tough as nails pants!" and submitted under my nickname "Sampy" from Czech Republic).
Notwithstanding, I resubmitted the review just to be sure. Every time I submitted the review, I got an email confirmation of the same and a request to verify my email address via the sent link. I verified it every time.
After 10 days, I still heard nothing from them.
Consequently, I wrote to the customer service regarding it, only to to hear that "You have to take it up with the Canadian counterparts, as they handle the reviews."
Henceforth, I wrote to the Canadian branch—no response whatsoever!
Just to be sure, I reread the guidelines to check for any possible violations of it. None were obvious. Still, I decided to remove the reference to YKK zippers and the other Arc'teryx products I had mentioned, and resubmitted it using a different email ID.
Finally, I did get a response—resubmit the review!
By now, I was both confused and annoyed.
Hence, I removed the last few lines of the review (where I state that it is not a cut above the rest and that it is the first imperfectly designed Arc'teryx product I have used) and resubmitted it—yet again!
The response—resubmit the review!
The worst part was, in each "resubmit" reply, they never mention the exact sentence or phrase that is in violation of the guidelines.
Finally, after a few more attempts and edits, my review was finally accepted, several weeks after the initial submission!
I did reduce the number of stars from three to one for the final submission which was accepted to factor in the horrendous customer service, which should be part of the total cost of their products. (FYI, I did receive a full refund for the jacket from the e-tailer I had purchased it from.)
I checked up on the review to see the kind of response it garnered. After about four days, my review on Arc'teryx's product webpage had suddenly vanished! Arc'teryx deleted it and never gave an explanation for the same.
In essence, Arc'teryx seems to be a) oversensitive when it comes to its interpretation of "Discriminatory language" and b) extremely arrogant when it comes to dealing with reviews they don't like (my five-star review for the Gamma AR Pants is still up there in their webpage).
In conclusion, my trust in Arc'teryx customer service has been severely eroded and has left me with anger and distrust. How can the overall ratings of Arc'teryx's products be trusted if they selectively delete lower ratings without giving any explanations?!
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 400 Euros
Meh. Not so much.
- Warmth-to-weight ratio
Very nice quality and fit, but, no. For a week I did my morning sunrise walk in temps ranging from 22°f to 32°f. I put the jackets outside and wore one then the other on a 1/4 mile walk up the road and 1/4 mile back. I wore a Patagonia lightweight baselayer long sleeve under them one morning, then 200wt Icebreaker another day, and 200 wt plus R1 Hoody anther day. One day I carried a Helium2 shell and put it on at the turnaround spot for the walk back.
Fit and quality are top notch. Color choices are good. Quality zips, two hem adjusters, one hood adjuster that works very well.
The Cerium was not wind resistant. When held up to a light I could see lots of gaps, especially at the baffles. The only area that was not cooled by slight wind was the hood. Most wind encountered was <10 Mph and breezy with temp at 30°f. Compared to both the other jackets it was least wind resistant. Xenon won that test. I think because it has no baffles.
The Xenon was warmer than the Cerium in all tests. The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody (has the longest name) and was the warmest.
Water test was done in bathroom. Cerium beaded the most. Patagonia was not so great, but functional. And the Xenon, which has been through it all for the last two years, still had good DWR, even though it has been washed 10’s of times. But when I first got the Xenon it shed light rain and snow to perfection. Pertex is great fabric, and durable.
For the money I would get the Xenon again and the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody, but not the Cerium. I paid $284 for the Cerium and still would not do it again.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $284
This is a pretty warm and comfortable jacket, but overall I'm not totally happy with it.
- Warm enough
- Fits very well
- Easy to clean
- Fabric snags easily
- The down shifts and clumps in the cell
- The seams really let the wind through
I bought this jacket new, from Arc'teryx in smoke grey.
I suppose in a darker colour it would be better as I can easily see the different feathers through the fabric.
The overall fit and comfort is really nice, the sleeves seem to be longer than on most jackets, which was really helps keep the wrists covered and keep the cold out.
I've only had the jacket for two months and haven't used it for much, but the fabric already shows some snags, and the down has shifted and clumped at the elbows and the back.
I've been caught in the rain and it's done a nice job of repelling the water for a few minutes, but I obviously wouldn't use it as a rain layer.
I don't get too hot in it, which is nice, but sometimes it doesn't keep me as warm as I'd expect. I can really feel the wind and cold come through the seams between the cells.
It's rather bulky and fits poorly under things, but that's expected. It does layer over things well, I often wear my Re-tool Sweater under it on really cold days.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $379
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