Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody — Review

Post by blogger | November 17, 2016      
One ingredient to a fun day is wearing the proper clothing.  Krystin and Julia happy in Arcteryx Atom SL.

One ingredient for a fun day is wearing the proper clothing. Krystin and Julia happy in Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody.

Winter is arriving. I’m beginning to remember my layering problem. What should I bring on my next adventure? What’s the weather like? Will it be cold? Warm? Wet? If you are as indecisive as me, with the attitude of “better safe than sorry (cold),” you probably over-pack a bit as well. However, I am happy to say that I have found a layer helps me with my bulky baggage issues.

Let me introduce you to the Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody — hands down the best layer I’ve ever owned. Since I have gotten my hands on the Atom SL, I have barely taken it off. It’s gone touring, skiing, climbing, hiking, you name it. I’ve also worn this jacket to work, to the bar and I even brought it on my tourist trip to London.

A lot of you might be more familiar with the Arc’teryx Atom LT, which is a warmer variation of the SL. The Atom SL has less insulation, and a lighter face fabric than the LT. The Atom SL is advertised as a late spring, summer or early fall piece that can help you manage temps and comfort. It is a good layer to wear all year around; there are quite a few reasons why.

Womens size medium weighs in at 232 grams.

Women’s size medium weighs in at 232 grams.

The jacket is light, thin and packs small (think grapefruit). However, it still offers excellent protection from cold air, chilly winds or shade later in the day. The vest area is padded with puffy material, which helps keep your core warm. This uses Arc’teryx’s Coreloft synthetic insulation, specifically created to be super lightweight and highly compressible — retaining its warmth in humid and moist conditions, but also drying quickly when wet.

Lightweight padding to keep core warm.

Lightweight padding to keep core warm.

The Atom sleeves don’t have puffy insulation, which cuts down on weight and bulk. The underside of the sleeves is made with a fleece-like material that provides breathability.

The fabric on the underside of the sleeves wicks sweat away.

The fabric on the underside of the sleeves wicks sweat away.

The jacket is water resistant enough to be protective in light rain, and even with heavier rain the synthetic composition still does a pretty good job at keeping you comfortable. This is achieved using the Tyono 20 shell material with DWR.

It doesn’t stop here. Another feature I appreciate is the slightly longer sleeve on the top of the hand that keeps the wrist area covered. My hands tend to quickly get cold, and with a longer sleeve it is nice to be able to tuck them away whether I’m ski touring or walking in the chilly rain of London. The sleeves help keep my hands comfortable, which helps me feel warmer.

The high side pockets design is a sweet touch as well. They make it possible to actually use the pockets while wearing a pack or harness.

I found that the men’s small size fits me best, as I have a longer torso and wider shoulders than the average female. I love the colors for both men and women, so I don’t feel upset about not fitting into the female sizing.

Atom SL

I am no sales person, neither do I have a good sales pitch up my sleeve and I am usually not a big fan of catchy phrases like “functional minimalism” and “focused versatility”…but this jacket is all that, and more! You will not be disappointed with the purchase and it will be your best friend during your adventures.

Arc’teryx, I just have one request — can we, pretty please, get a chest pocket? With that my “jacket” life would be complete.

Shop for Arc’teryx jackets here.


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4 Responses to “Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody — Review”

  1. Max November 17th, 2016 12:26 pm

    Fully agree with all you said. And yes, chest pocket please. I don’t know what it is with Arcteryx, their entire ski line is really short on chest pockets. Most shell jackets for example don’t have an outer chest pocket and soem don’t have a chest pocket at all! I can’t add that much weight , it’s just a tiny zipper.

  2. Krystin November 17th, 2016 2:52 pm

    Great review, and agreed! This piece is perfect…well, almost. It needs a chest pocket (outer would be nice) and they could definitely do without the hem drawcord adjustment at the hips to counter the weight addition of a chest pocket. I find that the hem drawcord is annoying when I am wearing a harness all day and it gets caught on things sometimes. I am considering cutting mine out!

  3. Lisa Dawson November 18th, 2016 12:06 pm

    Good review of a superior piece. Thanks, Julia! The Atom SL is one of my favorite layers too. The fit is flattering, the longer sleeves fit me perfectly, and I like the hood.

  4. Amy November 18th, 2016 1:01 pm

    Love Arc’teryx products. I have the Atom AR and love it for a warmer layer and wear year around. I just got the procline hybrid hoody and hoping I love it this winter for ski touring too and little lighter than atom sl. I wanted something lighter and more breathable.

    The psiphon pullover has been amazing lightweight softshell. It breathers amazingly well and my go to for trail running right now.

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