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Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody soft shell jacket

Very lackluster performance for the price. It's a good light jacket that is being overhyped.


  • Fit
  • Light weight
  • Hood


  • Price
  • Performance

Seriously the glowing reviews for this have to be confirmation bias due to spending so much. It's OK, but doesn't do what a jacket needs to do hardly any better than a decent fleece.

Your shoulders will start to get wet after 20 minutes of light rain, the wind will be slowed but even a moderate breeze can be felt, and temperatures below 45 Fahrenheit will leave you shivering if you're not exerting yourself pretty well. These are exactly the conditions I have experienced first-hand and I'm not exaggerating in any way. It was also with all of the pockets closed and the hem drawstring pulled snug.

I've had it for 6 months now and worn it daily, and I like it but wish I could return it for the money I spent. I let the reviews sounding so magical sway me, but I have to be honest with myself. I hope I prevent someone else from making a mistake.

If you're looking for slightly better than fleece performance and have money to spare, go for it. Otherwise, take the magical sounding reviews with a big grain of salt.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $320

As the equipment coordinator for a Search and Rescue team I was faced with buying up to 50 "fleece" jackets for my team members. Based on my experiences with Arc'Teryx (see my review of the Alpha SV Jacket), I decided on the Gamma MX. I chose the hooded version for added warmth when a toque just won't do.

I have not regretted this purchase, and I continually get feedback from the team members on how much they like this article of clothing. Believe me, when I buy something they don't like they are the first to complain. We've had the jackets for about a year and a half (since winter '03) and we have not had a single warranty or wear issue.

The Gamma MX and the Alpha SV shell compliment each other well. The hoods on each can be worn at the same time and a helmet will fit over the Gamma MX hood, and under the Alpha SV. When it rains, snows or blows hard, you just need the shell to keep the weather out.

There was one memorable weekend last winter when the temperature dropped to -20 Celsius, with a corresponding wind chill. I was skiing, wearing only Schoeller pants and the Gamma MX jacket. It was completely confortable as long as we kept moving.

This has very quickly become my favourite piece of clothing. I wear it more often than the gore-tex shell because it will often do the job when it's not blowing or raining.

Fabric: Powershield
Fill: fleece laminated

This jacket is not just my favorite piece of gear, it's my favorite thing I've ever owned. WORTH EVERY PENNY- BUY IT AND WEAR IT EVERYWHERE.


  • perfect fit
  • quiet hood unlike a crackling hard shell
  • every detail that you only get with Arc'teryx
  • soft inside like a sweatshirt and just a comfortable


  • you'll need an extra layer for the really cold days
  • if you loan it to someone you'll never get it back

I bought my gamma mx hoodie in '04 for backpacking and started wearing it everywhere. It soon replaced my ski jacket, my favorite hoodie sweatshirt, and even my nice jacket to wear out for dinner and drink s(I got the all black one) and it doesn't smell like smoke the next day.  

Water resistant and breathable? I put the sleeve under the faucet for 5 minutes and no moisture got through, yet I can blow air through it. I can't do that with my Goretex stuff.  

I wore this jacket for 6 years as my only jacket in Colorado and it looked basically the same as when I bought it. It was stolen last year and I can't replace it fast enough.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $350

I've had my MX Hoody for a few months and I have to admit that it's quickly becoming my favorite piece of outerwear.

It's just that the MX Hoody is so versatile. It's very light and supple and yet its fleece lining keeps you very warm. It's highly water resistant and practically wind proof so it can be used in all conditions - from a hike in the fall to cross country skiing in the winter.

The fit is very close which gives you great mobility but keep in mind that it may be difficult to layer underneath this jacket.

The only minor complaint I have is with the hood. It's so huge! Of course it was designed to fit over a helmet but it's just too big for regular use. The hood will flap around in the wind with its huge volume.

I have this jacket for almost a year and loved every bit of it. I use it mostly for ice climbing and alpine backpacking/climbing, it is light weight and easy to roll up.

The chest pocket is quite unique and a little bit awkward but it's roomy and really versatile especially if you use harness and backpack. The lower pocket also high enough so don't bother to tighten off your harness when you need to take something from it.

The only thing is I found the hoody is not really flexible when you need to do shoulder check or see around, but yeah it's mainly when I use it for biking, overall I would recommend this jacket for alpine climbing, ski mountaineering or just roll around your fave jogging track in winter.

Price Paid: $125

Hands down the best piece of gear I have ever bought. Even though I only paid nearly half-price for this piece, I would not feel bad paying full price.

The design and construction of this jacket is so perfect it is almost unreal. This windproof, but unbelievably breathable fabric is versatile enough to be worn during evenings in the summer, and on the slopes during the winter. A massive temperature range is testament to how ingenious this jacket is.

The fit is also amazing. 6'2" and 170lbs, and a medium fits more perfectly than a tailored suit. Definitely my first recommendation for somebody looking to buy a new jacket, any kind of jacket.

Price Paid: 200

I own this jacket for 2 years now. It's very light and easy to roll and put away in a bag. The pockets are well placed and can fit a lot of stuff. I never tried it by itself as I always have a hardshell over it whenever it rains, or just looks like it could. It keeps you warm when it's not too cold but is not a good jacket to stay around without moving in the cold. I put many layers so I can survive my snowshoeing trips.

My jacket is blue and wherever my Gore-Tex coat rubs against, the color went to almost white, which is a bummer because this jacket is very classy and now I can't really use it for anything else than outdoor stuff. It's a really reliable jacket but not warm enough for me, my other jackets are way warmer for a lot cheaper.

Bottom line is, this jacket is very versatile, well made, slick, light and perfect for the layer before the hard shell. I would recommend it for 3 and a half seasons.

Price Paid: $250

I was looking around for a while for a hooded soft-shell to use for winter mountaineering. I tend to run warm, particularly going uphill, so all I need is something to get me started when it's really cold and to slip back on to cut the wind at the summit (instead of a hard shell). This has turned out to be a great choice. I used it last winter in the Adirondacks: on a day with low single digits F, and 15-20 mph winds at the summit, I was perfectly comfortable (not that I was dawdling up top, mind you).

Nits: I prefer a looser cut (so I could get, say, a thin down or primaloft vest underneath more easily), and it is more fitted; I also found the hood too voluminous; and I would have really liked pit zips so I didn't necessarily have to stop, shed the coat, and put it in my pack.

But, the construction quality is superb, it has made me a total believer in PowerShield, and it's worked great. Highly recommended.

Fabric: Polartec Powershield

I have owned and used the Gamma MX Hoody for three ice climbing seasons and can't say enough about its utility. The standard DWR on the jacket has proven quite durable and the face fabric has resisted piling despite constant abuse when I rock climb, ice climb, mix climb, hip belay, etc.

The best feature of the jacket is the design of the wrist sleeves. It's stretchy enough to tuck your liner gloves under but resists water really well too. I find the Polartec Powershield Light fabric perfect for high exertion activity but probably a little to impermeable if you are sweaty but NOT moving. The thing is, if you are ice climbing and the belayer it works because you are stationary and the extra windproofness of the fabric is welcome. Windstopper is more windproof but like wearing Gore-Tex in terms of condensation. The location of the pockets is perfect for climbers (harness doesn't get in the way). There is no softshell jacket out there STILL that matches the quality and utility of this one.

Fabric: Polartec Powershield Lightweight
Price Paid: $450 CDN

I was a little skeptical of how good Arc'teryx stuff was until I tried this one on. I had been very happy with my Mountain Hardwear and Marmot, so thought the extra I would have to fork out for a similar Arc'teryx was really a waste of $$. But I was so wrong.

The difference is in the cut, the fit, and the overall fabric. Added plus is that it's all made in Canada. I bought size XS and it hugs me really well. I am looking to get the Fission AR jkt at this rate, probably size s, for more space with layers. But this Gamma MX Hoody is an all round great buy. You're getting every penny's worth!

Price Paid: $260

I live in the Pacific Northwest and I put this jacket through pouring rain, hail, and sleet all in the first day that I got it! This is the best jacket for my climate that I have found can be used in conditions from light rain to snow. I have used on many hikes in rain and snow and on some alpine climbing, super wind proof and warm. Arcteryx is the best of the best and I have found their stuff to be very well made and if you have the money go for, it you will not regret the high price.

Fabric: polartec power shield with schollers dry skin over pockets
Price Paid: $215

This is a great, breathable and warm soft shell for days with wind and/or very light rain. I am particularly impressed with its ability to stop the wind. I now use this in alpine conditions as my standard outerwear (when it's not raining) from temps of -16C to 5C (0 to 40 Fahrenheit). Sizing is roomy enough for layering. Hoody fits over helmet well.

Price Paid: 379 NZD

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Price MSRP: $349.00
Current Retail: $320.93
Historic Range: $94.42-$400.00
Reviewers Paid: $125.00-$350.00
Weight 565 g / 1 lb 3.9 oz
Material Fortius 2.0 textile
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Fit Regular Fit, Hip Length
Centre back length 74.5 cm / 29.3 in
Activity Backcountry Skiing / Ice Climbing / Alpine Climbing / Hiking / Trekking
Price MSRP: $349.00
Historic Range: $107.15-$379.00
Reviewers Paid: $260.00
Weight 495 g / 1 lb 1.5 oz
Material Fortius 2.0 textile
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Fit Regular Fit, Hip Length
Centre back length 66.5 cm / 26.2 in
Activity Backcountry Skiing / Ice Climbing / Alpine Climbing / Hiking / Trekking
Product Details from Arc'teryx »

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