The Arc'teryx Beta SL Women's Jacket and Pants program is another in a long line of reviews we've worked on with the brand over the years. There are two aspects that make these pieces unique from most of the other reviews we've done: they are for women, and, though they might do well in the snowy winter months, they are targeted more for shoulder-season wear.
As with most Arc'teryx kit, the colour selection is amazing, the fabrics and features are high functioning, and the fit is superb. To see more of our reviews, type "Arc'teryx" into the search bar above and to the left. If that's one keystroke too many, check out our review of items as various as the: Arc'teryx Sphene Jacket, or the Procline Carbon AT Boot.
Here's a little video from the Arc'teryx folks showcasing the Beta SL Hybrid Women's Jacket. Take a look then click on the arrow in the orange bar below to see the rest of the review (and info about the matching pants, too!).
Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid Women's Jacket
Here's the jacket, front and back. Note that the jacket and pants are each made of a combo of Gore-tex and Paclite Plus fabrics. The colours are great (as usual). The model here is wearing the Dark Firoza, as in the woman in the video above.
Simple, no-internal-pocket design to keep the weight down. Two, large format external pockets fulfil all your stashing needs.
Pit-zip equipped (say that 10X fast) for when you need to dump heat on the trail or uptrack.
Look here to see the two fabrics in play (hence the "hybrid" moniker). Superlight N40r GORE-TEX fabric with NEW Paclite® Plus in the body for enhanced next-to-skin comfort, and GORE-TEX fabric with GORE C-KNIT™ backer technology for the high wear areas. Win win!
Arc'teryx Beta SL Women's Pant
If you've ever hiked a day in the rain, you know what a different a good pair of pants can make to your experience. Teaming the Beta SL jacket and pants up with a pair of OR Crocodile gaiters and the Scarpa Kailash Plus GTX backpacking boot, was a butt-saver on numerous wet hikes this summer.
Here you can see both the full-length zipper and the easily adjusted belt. I'd get the pants a little big so they'll work with different layers underneath. The belt is very adjustable so you can go for a custom fit. Better too big than too small.
Here is a rear view showing the two different types of Gore-tex. The more durable fabric is on higher wear areas like the bum and knees. Makes good sense. Note also the elasticised waistband to accommodate various waistlines.
Stitched, not-going-anywhere, logo for status points at the trailhead.
Internal cinch cord for a snugger cuff.
Sometimes it's the littlest things that make the biggest difference. See here the little flip down lace hook (at right) that stops the pant from riding up. It's not as good as a gaiter at weather protection—but it's pretty close.
Here we are all zipped up. Note the grommet which allows for an elastic tie under you arch. Everything you need and nothing you don't.
In the Brisco Range, hood deployed.
Having the right gear in your pack for a backpacking trip is essential—unless you hit perfect weather the entire time out. The Arc'teryx Beta SL jacket and pant accompanied me on a number of major walks, May though August, so far. I think it'll really come into play this month when the sky starts to turn and the weather becomes a little less hospitable.
I experienced some rain on a 6-day West Coast Trail hike, and a lot of rain on a number of day hikes in the East Kootenay. The jacket and pant combo performed to my expectations (which are always high for Arc'teryx). The Beta SL jacket and pants pack down super small and didn't take up too much room in my 60 litre pack. Conditions this spring/summer were pretty warm and the jacket and pants breathed very well.
There may be other options which would provide better protection in a day-long sustained rainfall, but during a day-long light rain hike up to Diana Lake, the pants and jacket kept me dry and comfortable. On top of a merino base layer, I felt great, dry and not too hot for 6 hours in the rain. Some of the more waterproof options would keep the moisture from getting in, but not work very well letting the moisture out.
Though I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it out, I think this kit will work well in the winter, as well. The full-length zippers on the pants and the pit zips on the jacket mean you can dump heat if you need to, and zip up and lock it in if the temps plunge.The word "hybrid" could be given to both the jacket and pants; they each feature a combination of fabrics and zonal construction.
I am 5'7", 135 pounds and I went with the medium for both. The pants fit a little big (which I like) and the jacket is nice and flattering. The colour options for the pants may be a limited (black only) for the pants but no worries—the jacket's funky colour options offer a nice contrast.
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.