Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody
A perfect wind jacket. Not sure why it took me so long to get one!
- Very breathable
- Excellent fit
- Good DWR finish
- Adjustable hood
- A little pricey, but may be worth it
Those who have read my reviews before know that I seem to have an obsession with finding the "perfect" jacket. In fact, I have probably reviewed more jackets here, than any other type of clothing. I've been wanting to try this jacket out for some time, and when my REI dividend showed up, and this jacket appeared on the REI outlet page, I took the bait.
With wind shells, there tends to be a tradeoff between wind-resistance and breathability. The more wind resistant a jacket is, the more likely you are to heat up on the inside. I hike pretty warm, so am willing to trade some wind resistance for better ventilation. This jacket strikes a nice balance, but leans a little more towards breathability. I found that I could wear it much longer on a hike or bike ride, than other wind-shells I have tried. Cranking up the steep Lake Vernon Trail in Yosemite, it was quite a while before I felt the need to take it off.
I read a few older reviews of this jacket, complaining about the DWR. I found the water repellency to be what I would expect for this type of shell. Light rain beads up nicely, though it wets out quickly in the heavy stuff. The fabric dries out quickly when it does get wet.
The fit is roomy, with plenty of space for layering. I found I could wear it over a base layer and light puffy, and not feel like it was tight. The sleeve cuffs are adjustable via die-cut velcro tabs, and there is a single adjustable shock cord waist-gasket, for when you need to batten down the hatches. The cut is long enough that scrambling over boulders or blowdown trees you are still getting good coverage.
Previous reviews I saw complained about a lack of adjustability of the hood. This has been changed with a toggled drawcord on the back of the hood. I found it easy to get it where I wanted it, and it stayed there. Nice touch... there is a super soft micro-suede patch on the inside front of the hood, so you don't have nylon brushing against your forehead.
The jacket packs down nicely into the single roomy chest pocket, and at 5.5 ounces, won't take up much room in your pack.
The 30d Tyono nylon fabric is wispy light, but never feels insignificant. The construction is Arc'teryx typical first rate, and I expect that this jacket will last for several years.
I have used this jacket on windy road-bike rides, on early season Sierra hikes, and just around town, and find myself reaching for this shell first.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $126
I now have two of these, the older and less waterproof version circa 2011 and the 2015 one. It's something I use daily.
- Lightweight—5 oz. on my scale
- New version is more water resistant
- Breathable as heck
- Stretch lends to feedback and this prevents me from ripping it.
- Not deluge waterproof, but what is?
- I'd prefer a mini bungee adjustable cuff for heat regulation
- Wish it was a pullover with a deep zipper (below sternum)
This compact and light piece of reassurance is something that travels with me daily to work, the beach (sun-shirt), and the mountains.
The hoody acts like my temperature regulation unit. Wearing this (old version) on winter 4K summits in the East has surprised me since I've expected to be much colder in my layering system. In fact there have been at least two times that I've worn a merino base, an REI Airflyte Hoody, and the Squamish in subfreezing temps with wind above treeline and I was feeling warm, but could tell that moisture was dissipating from me in the process (warm breezy). In fact that's why I didn't pull the trigger on the Atom LT (same material).
So far little to no signs of wear, and very happy with the single zip stow pocket. The only change I'd like to see is a micro bungee and cord-lock on the cuff so that I could expose/cover my wrists on the fly better instead of fussing with the Velcro tabs.
I have placed my first Squamish (Cardinal Red-2011 wind shirt) into consignment after suffering at least five minor tears due to table edges, door pulls, and a German Short-haired Pointer pup claws. Overall it's held up to several non-successful attempts at tears and all abrasions. Damages have been remedied with Mcnett Aqua Seal with great results. My biggest gripe about the 2010 was that it didn't originally come with a hood cinch. Therefore in high winds (w/o helmet) it did not do its job properly w/o an external headband.
I still give the Squamish high praise and I am now using my back-up (Orange 2015 version w/hood cinch) for EVERYTHING (often w/o a base layer and possibly with insulation over top). Future possibilities may have me looking at the Enlightened Equipment Copperfield 7D wind shirt (40 CFM) (not currently available) as the next replacement if they ever choose to tailor it, or perhaps a Rab Phantom (3oz) rain pullover (in order to perform double duty w/breathability).
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $104
The single best all round piece I have ever purchased. It comes with me everywhere I go.
- Super compact
- Water resistant
I have had this piece for a year now and it comes with me on nearly every trip I do.
I run it and appreciate its weather resistance in cooler rainy conditions. The water beads off so well. And yet running I have no problems with it as it breathes so well you hardly notice it.
I climb with it and love that it's so packable it sits right on my harness with no bother, folds out when I need to cut the bite of a windy day up high.
I hike with it, and when it starts to rain I throw this on to avoid the oppressive heat and clamminess of a hard shell. It keeps the moisture and breathes like a dream. I'm normally a bit wet by the time I make camp, but within 4 hours in the most damp of conditions it's dried off, and ready to go again.
I even use this on hot mountaineering days when the sun is beating down and I need something water resistant.
This jacket is so lightweight that I always bring it even if I'm bringing a shell. It's durable, it cuts the wind, but breathes well. It just does it all. A true jack-of-all-trades.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $80
I'd been looking for a decent hooded windshirt for a while, and this seemed to be just the thing I was after. I have a number of softshells, but I wanted something lighter for days when I wouldn't be doing too much technical climbing but wanted something to keep the weather out.
The fabric is lightweight but windproof and showerproof. It also seems fairly tough, although it's not indestructible. I've used it for cycling, running, mountaineering and a bit of climbing. The hood, although simple, is just big enough to fit over a climbing helmet. It has a single pocket on the chest which can hold keys, topo or a small headtorch - the jacket also stuffs into the pocket and has a loop so it can be clipped to a harness.
The only reason I haven't given it top marks is that at 6'1", I find the back a little short - I feel it would be better with a drop tail design.
Otherwise I'm very happy with it - an excellent alternative to heavy softshells!
Price Paid: £60
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Current Retail: $159.00
Historic Range: $6.95-$159.00
Reviewers Paid: $80.00-$126.00
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