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Arc'teryx Firebee AR Parka

rated 3.50 of 5 stars
photo: Arc'teryx Firebee AR Parka down insulated jacket

Specs

Men's
Price Current Retail: $759.20-$854.10
Historic Range: $569.40-$949.00
Weight 680 g / 1 lb 8 oz
Materials GORE-TEX INFINIUM
Insulation 850 fill European grey goose down (225 g-M)
Fit Regular Fit
Centre back length 79.4 cm / 31.25 in
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Activity All Round
Women's
Price Current Retail: $759.20-$854.10
Historic Range: $473.83-$949.00
Weight 615 g / 1 lb 5.7 oz
Materials GORE-TEX INFINIUM
Insulation 850 fill European grey goose down (225 g-M)
Fit Regular Fit
Centre back length 70 cm / 27.5 in
Sizes XS, S, M, L
Activity All Round

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Top of the line Arc'teryx Cold Response.

Pros

  • Loft
  • Packability
  • Fit
  • Simplicity
  • Weight
  • Sizing
  • Construction
  • Down
  • Durability

Cons

  • Price
  • Warmth
  • Design
IMG_1469.jpg
Firebee AR
IMG_1470.jpg
Inside baffle construction

 

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Glove Warmer, one side

 

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Internal zipped pocket 

There's always a cost approach to a review. If pricing wasn't an issue, this jacket would be rated as excellent. However, one must compare to other similar products in the market such as Patagonia, RAB, Mammut, and Black Diamond. 

Arc'teryx has never been known to offer the best all around down jacket. They certainly have tried to include Coreloft with Gore Tex protection, down with reduced weight or other complex combinations. However, a technical down jacket is meant to be warm, light, and durable. In the core of winter, rain isn't going to happen. When the expected temperatures aren't above the zero Fahrenheit mark (-18°C), one isn't worried about rain. Hence, it is the down filling that comes to be the paramount decision.

Also, hiking, belaying, mountaineering, climbing or the likes do not require such a lofty warmth as the activity is being performed. An outdoors down jacket is thus the piece of equipment that will save you from freezing once the activity has concluded. The moment you settle down is what counts the most or, under duress, the moment a storm hits and you need your jacket to become a nuclear shelter.

All outdoor companies have a response to these events: Prepare for the worst, protect, warm, and endure the elements.

Arc'teryx, being the niche company so many consider the purest for outdoor's equipment, designed the Firebee AR. 

As per their website "Insulated with 850-fill goose down, the 3D Down Contour Construction's bi-directional internal volume pleats conform to the body to maintain maximum loft as you move." The jacket doesn't disappoint. The fit is well thought, the Arc'teryx sizing chart is respected and the construction looks solid and detailed. 

I appreciate the minimalist cut, with almost no fabric panels nor stitching. I would call this construction "monocoque" as it seems a warm cocoon. 

Infinium Gore Tex is used to protect from the elements, specially humidity. The baffles are well design in squares that are only noticeable from the inside. This construction prevents the down to move around. 

The hood is very generous and accommodates a helmet. It may also be tightened to the head's size. 

The jacket is beautiful. It is also packable. The fabric seems resistant. But not all is good in paradise... 

As of today, the Firebee isn't within Arc'teryx web site products. Might a revised version come soon? 

Until then, the cost for this jacket is way exaggerated compared to the competition. Yes, the product is almost flawless but you will be paying over 300$ compared to  other reputable brands. Feels like you're paying for the Vancouver brand who, to be honest, since it is no longer a Canadian company and is also manufactured in China is on pair with others brands as well. 

Missing is a second glove warmer internal pocket. Also, the exterior pockets  have no liner. One wants a liner in the pocket to warm hands.  

The cuffs are fine but do not allow a large glove to fit under them. I find it quite tedious to have a tight cuff when the reason for the jacket is extreme cold... One thus expects room to have large gloves. 

Per the same advantage of having a one panel construction overall, if you rip any part of the jacket, repairs will prove difficult. 

The zipper is fine, but far from excellent. It is the core tension of the jacket at the center and the zipper, well, feels finicky.

Finally if price meant warmth, this jacket would fail miserably. It is warm but far from the top down warm jackets out there. 

If the price isn't a consideration, yes, it is a beautiful jacket. May you be more savvy money wise...Other jackets such as the RAB Neutrino or Patagonia's Fitz Roy accomplish as well, if not better, for a lesser price. 

 

Experience

Mountaineering Guide & Landscape Photographer

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 900

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review of this (very expensive) jacket, Luis. You're right that for some reason Arc'teryx took it off its website in the past few days. It may simply be because they are out of stock, but it's hard to say...


1 month ago

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