The Arc’teryx Zeta LT jacket is one of many Arc’teryx items we’ve had the pleasure of putting through the wringer over the years. If you’d like to see a sampling of other write-ups on products from this Canadian manufacturer, here’s a sampling: the Arc’teryx Theta SV Pants, the Kamski 48 Pack, the Beta FL jacket, the Atom LT jacket, most recently, the Procline Hoody and Procline FL pants (review coming soon). We have also tested Arc’teryx gloves, including the Cadens.
So where does the Arc’teryx Zeta LT jacket fit in the Arc’ spectrum, you may ask? In very simple terms, it’s a highly functional, lightweight rain jacket, ideal for hiking, biking and being dry in town. I was in Europe for 2 months and needed a jacket I could depend on to keep me dry in downpours, not look “geefy” on city streets and pack down to accommodate my carry-on-only travel style. Enter the Zeta.
The Zeta LT features the signature Arc’teryx less-is-more design philosophy and, because we’ve looked at mostly ski touring specific apparel, there are some features to this jacket that are new to us. The N40p-X 3L GORE-TEX fabric with GORE C-KNIT backer technology also makes the jacket storm proof yet comfy next to skin.
Arc’teryx is a producer of premium apparel, footwear and, this year, they are releasing a new avalanche airbag, the Voltair, and the sexy looking new Procline boot. What next?
For the full review, click the orange bar beneath the photo.
Now to some pics and a look at some of the features of the Zeta LT.
Unlike most all of the ski jackets we review, the Zeta LT’s hood is not helmet compatible. For a three-season jacket, this is actually a welcome fact. The small size fits way better without a helmet. Here’s a shot of the snug StormHood deployed during an early summer ski tour up at Whitewater Ski Resort.
Here’s a side view showing the piping on the side through which the drawcord is fed. I love the hood’s close, no nonsense, fit. The laminated brim, which you can also see, is stiff enough to stand up and protect in a rain storm, but not so stiff as to make packing it up a pain.
One-hand hem drawcord.
Reflective Arc’teryx logo.
Single inside pocket with contrasting colour and laminated zip—great for an iPhone in a downpour or travel documents on the road.
Here we can see some of the crazy seaming detail and body mapping that goes into this and other jackets from Arc’teryx. Seams are taped and there’s a “micro-allowance” for reduced bulk and weight. You can’t really make it out here in this pic, but the Zeta LT is made with a GORE C-KNIT backer, contributing to the smoothness and comfort of the jacket (more on that later).
The Zeta LT went over well on the Promenade Plantée in Paris.
And was right at home in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter.
I’ve used the Arc’teryx Zeta LT across 4 seasons now and have nothing but good things to say. As a rain jacket, it doesn’t wet out after hours of precip. I only mention this because I have experienced many “rain jackets” that don’t really perform well in sustained rain (perhaps the manufacturers should consider another name for them). In bringing the Zeta LT on a recent extended European trip, it passed the “if-you-could-only-have-one-jacket-for-two-months test” with flying colours.
GORE C-KNIT--this stuff deserves special mention. It’s a new kind of “backer” made by GORE that is becoming available in more and more jackets. By “backer” they mean the fabric that faces in, the opposite of the face fabric. Arc’ explains it thusly: “The proven bi-component GORE-TEX® membrane system is bonded to a dense, extremely thin circular knit to form a supple, less bulky, durable laminate that is more breathable and lighter weight than previous constructions.” The benefit of this new approach is that the jacket is lightweight, goes on over mid-layers (or T-shirts easily, isn’t crinkly and it feels comparatively smooth (and somewhat fuzzy) next to your skin. I went on a quick high-paced walk through the woods earlier this week with the Zeta LT on, t-shirt underneath, and about 15°. I was comfortable the whole time. It has done me well on rainy overnight hikes in the Kootenays as well.
A word on fit: I am 6’2” and 175 lbs and I like my jackets on the trim, rather than the baggy, side. Arc’teryx sizing can be a little tricky—pay attention to the type of fit, listed in the description, for various jackets. I take a large in some models but I go with mostly medium. Look at the pics and you can see how the jacket fits someone of my stature. You might want to go for the large.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Weight: 335 g/11.8 oz
Fit: Trim fit, Hip Length, Centre back length: 78 cm/30.75 in
Colours: Adriatric Blue, Nautic Grey and Black—check the site for current colours
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