The Arc’teryx Atom Lt Hoody is our go-to jacket for stylish warmth, and has been for years not. Whether you enjoy hiking in the winter or just need something to keep you warm on a city bus commute to work, a good lightweight insulated jacket is a go-to for most people.
Arc’teryx is one outdoor brand you should have on your radar, thanks to the numerous options they offer for winter activities, from ice-climbing to light walking and also great gear options for spring, summer, and fall. Arc’teryx is known for producing high-quality cold-weather gear, and their Atom LT Hoody is their answer to a lightweight, hooded jacket designed for all-around use.
With great versatility (not to mention style), this jacket will work well on the ski trails or just out for a light walk on the weekend. We particularly love pairing it with the Arc’teryx Beta, on ski tours.
Our detailed review of the Arc’teryx Atom LT hoody for both men and women will go over all features of the jacket, as well as how to best put it to use so you can determine whether or not it matches your needs and lifestyle.
Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody Quick Specs
- Price: $259 ($320 CAD)
- 375 g / 13.2 oz (Mens)
- 320 g / 11.3 oz (Women’s)
- Materials: Synthetic insulation and stretch fleece
- Pros: Breathable, packable, stylish, well fitted, and great insulation
- Cons: Expensive, not waterproof
Performance of the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody
Let’s dive right into what makes the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody stand out among other lightweight insulation hoodies. We’ll go through all components of the jacket, as well as how it holds up to actual use, so you can decide whether it’s the right addition to your set of cold-weather gear.
Materials of the Arc’teryx Atom LT
The Arc’teryx Atom LT is made from a combination of synthetic insulation layers and stretch fleece.
There are three total layers of insulation on the jacket. The Coreloft Compact 60 insulation is what gives the jacket more loft and is a compressible material that won’t “deflate” so much over time like other fabric choices.
The layer of super lightweight and soft Tyono20 gives the Atom LT a great degree of breathability while remaining insulated.
Along the sides, there are also stretch fleece panels which add more mobility and help with the ventilation of the jacket. Altogether, the three components create the flexible, breathable, and lightweight hoodie which is the Arc’teryx Atom LT.
Another great thing to note about the Arc’teryx brand is its commitment to sustainability, as well as quality. The Atom LT, like a lot of other products from Arc’teryx, is made from materials that follow bluesign criteria, which is a definite bonus if you like to support environmentally friendly businesses.
Weight and Packability of the Arc’teryx Atom LT
The Women’s Arc’teryx Atom LT is 11.3 ounces (or 320 grams),and is still light enough to be considered a “lightweight” jacket. Although it is a tad heavier than some of Arc’teryx’s other lightweight jacket varieties.
When it comes to durability and how effective a jacket is overall in doing the job of keeping you warm, you don’t want to sacrifice too much when it comes to weight.
Overall, the Atom LT retains the sturdiness an adventure jacket should have while also not being ridiculously heavy and weighing down your pack when not in use.
And speaking of packability, Arc’teryx has done an excellent job with the Atom LT Hoody by keeping it packable and easy to transport. The materials are highly compressible and will also “bounce back” even after being stuffed in the bottom of your backpack for a while. We wear these on hikes frequently, and when we get hot often stuff them into our pack. I feel great knowing that my stuffing is not going to affect the quality or look of the jacket.
Instead of the “deflating” effect some compressible jackets have after being packed a few times, the Atom LT stays looking fresh throughout years of packing and unpacking.
Fit of the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody
Arc’teryx describes the Atom LT as having a “trim fit,” which is an accurate statement in real life. This jacket was meant to fit more snuggly against your body and was made for people with a slim and athletic frame.
Some reviews have mentioned the fact that it can be a bit difficult to find the right fit if you are between sizes. For those with a taller, leaner body frame, the size guide is usually accurate, but for people with other body types, the Atom LT can be either too long or too tight. I personally am 5’1″ with an athletic build and wear a size small in almost all my clothing items. The Atom LT Hoody size small fits me very well, and overall looks flattering. I find it even has a better fit than the Arc’teryx Cerium. I know that I can wear this anywhere around town and it looks well fitted and neat.
Be sure to double check the measurements before ordering the jacket and size up when in doubt. Arc’teryx has a great exchange policy should you have to exchange the jacket for another size.
To help with fit, there are lower hem adjusters on the jacket, as well as stretch cuffs to keep the sleeves in place while wearing it.
How Comfortable is the Arc’teryx Atom LT?
A jacket does you little good if it’s not comfortable to wear, but thankfully there aren’t any complaints when it comes to the Atom LT.
The super soft and flexible material and excellent breathability make the Atom LT comfortable to wear as an insulating or standalone jacket, depending on your activities and the weather.
The fully-insulated hood is also helmet compatible, which is a great bonus for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. We wear urs with a scrambling helmet, but rock climbers and ice climbers would love it too! To accommodate for the wind, there’s a single pull adjuster on the hood to provide additional protection.
Arc’teryx receives another star for comfort thanks to the stretch-knit cuffs. Not only does this keep the sleeves in place while wearing the jacket, but it also makes it easier to layer up either with further insulating layers underneath or a heavier outer shell jacket over the top.
To help with mobility, the Arc’teryx Atom LT also has articulated elbows on the sleeves and stretch side panels on the underarms which allow for increased range of motion.
What Features Does the Arc’teryx Atom LT Have?
Already you should have an idea about the quality of the Atom LT but we also want to go into a bit more detail on some of the cool features this jacket has.
The two hand pockets on the sides of the jacket have what Arc’teryx describes as “hidden zippers.” Basically, it’s an aesthetics feature, giving the jacket a sleek and smooth completed look.
Another great addition is the internal zipped pocket, which is the perfect place to store your wallet, phone, or other small valuable items when you’re out and about.
The only possible complaint about the internal pocket is that if you’re warm and toasty, you might not want to unzip it while outside in the cold.
The zippers, both on the pockets and the main front zip are of excellent quality, so you don’t have to worry about them slipping or catching on the fabric. They also have custom TPU zipper pulls, which is nice both in terms of ease of use and the aesthetics of the jacket.
It’s worth emphasizing just how comfy the hood of the Atom LT is, especially if you’re the type of person who’s head or ears tend to get cold. The hood offers great coverage, and the front zipper comes up to your chin to keep the wind out.
How Durable is the Arc’teryx Atom LT?
So, now that you have an idea of what to expect in terms of fit and features, just how well does the Arc’teryx Atom LT hold up to being on the trail? Overall, the answer is very well, although there are a few catches.
There’s no doubt that the Atom LT is high quality and meant to last for years when given proper care. That being said, there are certain weather conditions that the Atom LT just isn’t made to withstand.
Although the material itself is quite strong, the Atom LT only has a “moisture-resistant” rating thanks to the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating on the outside. This is plenty strong enough to deal with light snow or rain, but anything heavier will start to soak through the material. However, at least it’s not made out of goose down which could get ruined if caught in torrential rain.
However, so long as you plan properly, this shouldn’t be a problem since the Atom LT works well as an insulation layer underneath another winter jacket.
Chances are, if you think you’ll be coming across heavy snow or icy rains, you’ll probably want another outer layer for warmth, in which case the Atom LT will provide a perfect inner layer of breathable insulation. We wear ours with our Arc’teryx Beta or Arc’teryx Zeta. We never go out hiking without a midlayer and a shell jacket. Because you never know what mother nature and the mountains will bring.
We go hiking 3-4 times a week in the summertime and have never had a problem with out clothing since we bring layers. Having a base layer, mid layer, and outer layer is important when enjoying hikes and camping.
Overall, for a lightweight jacket, the Atom LT provides excellent wind protection and warmth. It’s a great balance between durability and flexibility that’s easy to pack and carry along on your adventures.
Putting the Arc’teryx Atom LT to Use
Arc’teryx describes the Atom LT as being an “all around” activity jacket, which is certainly true in terms of practical use. Thanks to the combination of highly breathable material and insulation, it’s a jacket that’s designed to keep you warm and comfortable at a variety of output levels.
This means that whether you’re doing a high-energy activity like skiing, or something easier like just running errands around the city in winter or spring, the Atom LT Hoody will keep you warm without trapping sweat next to your body.
Although the Atom LT Hoody can work as fine as a standalone jacket, it’s thin enough to also work as an insulating layer beneath a heavier shell jacket. Since the exterior fabric of the Atom LT Hoody is only moisture-resistant, it’s better to put on another layer if you’ll be encountering heavy snow or cold rain.
In addition to fulfilling the requirements for being out on the trail, it’s also worth pointing out that the Atom LT has undeniable style. If you’re the sort of person who pays attention to clothing aesthetics, the sleek appearance and multiple colors the Atom LT is available in will probably more than satisfy your needs. Arc’teryx has a bit of a name to it in the outdoor world. If backpacking and hiking had a fashion runway show, Arc’teryx would surely win.
Considerations for the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody
As you can see, there are a lot of positive qualities to highlight with the Arc’teryx Atom LT. However, despite being such an amazing jacket, it might not be the best fit for certain people. Here are a few of the potential cons to the jacket you’ll want to keep in mind.
- First off, the Atom LT is not exactly cheap. Of course, if you’re shopping for Arc’teryx products in general, you’ll probably already be well-aware of the fact that their gear is not a “budget” option. However, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. For the outdoor enthusiast or for someone who lives in a colder climate, buying an exceptionally well-made jacket like the Atom LT can be a smart investment in the long run. We live in the Canadian Rockies, and although this jacket is expensive it stands the test of time and elements here. We know we can bring the jacket on any outdoor adventure and it will hold up.If you live in a warmer area and are looking for a jacket for a single trip, there are other much cheaper options that will probably fit your needs better.
- Secondly, it’s also good to keep in mind that in comparison with some of Arc’teryx’s other products, the Atom LT is a bit less weather-resistant. Yes, it still has decent protection thanks to the water repellant coating, but you’ll need another outer layer if you’re caught in an icy rainstorm. This is the case with any mid layer though, and a lightweight windbreaker rain jacket is always handy.
- And finally, like other Arc’teryx products, the Atom LT was designed for people with a more athletic frame. Although this works perfectly for some people, it can make it a bit difficult for some people to find a size of the Atom LT which fits them well.
Pro/Con Comparison for the Arc’teryx Atom LT
Now that we’ve gone through the details of the Arc’teryx Atom LT hoody in our review, here’s a round-up of the pros and cons of the jacket.
- Lightweight and highly breathable material
- Works well as an insulation layer or standalone jacket
- Protective adjustable hood and stretch cuff sleeves
- Versatile uses include skiing, hiking, urban wear, camping, or ice climbing
- A more expensive jacket
- Moisture-repellent, not completely waterproof
- Slim fit may be too tight for some people
Takeaway for the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody for Women and men
We’ve come to the end of our Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody review, and hopefully, you have a better idea about what makes this jacket such a great addition to your gear for year round adventures.
When matched with the right lifestyle, the Atom LT is a worthwhile investment that will pay off in the long run. Thanks to the comfort and versatility, it performs equally well whether you’re waiting outside for the bus in winter or hiking in the mountains.
Given proper care, it’s a great packable jacket that can accompany you on your adventures for years to come.
Buy the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody