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Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody softshell jacket first look review

17:15 11th April 2013 by Andrew Cremin @OutsideTimes
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Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody front view

A recent delivery by the postie has brought some high-end Canadian softshell into our lives. And a bit of jealousy into the office.

Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody Inner pocket

A simple inside pocket is the only disruption of the clean lines inside.

The softshell can be a curious beast, with many outdoor traditionalists dismissing their suitability for all-round use. Although it may look like a jacket it’s not a full-on waterproof number. Instead the softshell is built to provide weather-proofing coupled with great comfort levels.

Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody cuffs

Stretch panels do away with the need for Velcro cuff adjustment

Recently the amongst of softshell in the world seems to have ballooned with more and more jackets moving away from the original softshell concept of a supremely comfortable jacket, that offers comfort and weather-proofing rather than promising out-and-out master of everything qualities.

Thanks then to the Gamma LT Hoody with its relatively straight-forward ‘Burly Double Weave’ fabric and bombproof feel. There’s no membrane to get in the way of things. Over a bit of used fast hiking and even cycling, we’ve not experienced any moisture build-up on the inside.

Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody pocket

Zips keep things in the pockets. The can also double as vents if needed.

On the baltic spring days we’ve been experience, the Gamma has also been a hit when moving fast. The polyester inside with its almost micro-fibre like finish does help to trap a bit of warmth and feels good against the skin. The windproofing is also there in spades and helps keep the heat in.

A testament to the quality of the design and construction, for all the gear heads out there is the fact that the Gamma has no Lycra in its make-up. The great stretch levels come purely from the way the Polyester/Nylon fabric has been woven.

There are no Velcro adjustments on the cuffs to batten down the hatches on a blustery day, instead they’ve been replaced by stretchy panels that do a good job of keep the wind out without adding fuss or bulk to the top.

Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody side view

A massive hood, big enough for most heads, although not all noses.

The hood is also decent, with plenty of room to stretch over a helmet, or giant head if need be and adjustment to cinch it down if not.

In terms of actual waterproofing a straightforward DWR coating has been added to the jacket that has performed well enough with light drizzle an some sleet and snow. Over time we expect it to wear off in high use areas through abrasion, although that’s the case with any jacket and so far, so good- it still maintains that smug water beading.

And, let’s face facts, it’s not too shabby looking either, and can blend in well enough in the pub as on the hills. So far so good then. The Gamma has a tidy, bombproof feel with a reassuring understated, clean look that we hope means it should last a while. It wants to at that price too.



Gamma LT Hoody



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