Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL (Men)
Weight: 315 g / 11.1 oz
Fit: Trim fit, Hip Length
Activity: Backcountry hiking, climbing, kayaking, summer, desert excursions
The Beta SL (Super Light) Jacket by Arc’teryx is an extremely lightweight, Gore-Tex waterproof rain shell that is super compressible and breathable. It has a three-way adjustable, helmet compatible hood with a stiff brim for water roll off. The main zipper, as well as the pocket zippers, are extremely water resistant and easy to open and close.
After wearing this shell in flash rainstorms in the Red River Gorge, choppy and wet kayaking expeditions on the Great Lakes of Michigan, and to my local bar on a rainy day, I can personally vouch for how versatile and effective this shell is. The jacket is incredibly easy to store. The PacLite Gore-Tex allows it to be compressed to the size of a grapefruit, making it convenient to stuff into a day pack, backcountry pack, purse, briefcase, etcetera. In addition to its pack-ability is the true lightweight nature of the garment. When it’s on your body, you can barely even notice it there, giving you one less factor to worry about when you’re 10 feet above your last clip and starting to feel your fingertips slip off the tiny crimp you’re holding onto for dear life.
For all of you Gore-Tex haters out there, the N40r fabric on the shell makes it one of the most breathable Gore-Tex pieces I have ever experienced. Mind you, I still wouldn’t go for a run or a bike with it on, but in 90 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity, this shell is still wearable in order to keep dry from the black clouds headed your way.
In regards of durability, the good souls at Outdoor Gear Lab tested the 40 denier fabric of the Beta SL and found that it was one of the most durable shells they tested, surpassing even the heavier Marmot PreCip and North Face Venture jackets. The Marmot Minimalist, one of the least breathable Gore-Tex rain shells I have worn, barely stood up to the Beta SL even though it’s a much heavier jacket. Check out the Outdoor Gear Lab test results here.
Overall, with aretail price at $299, the Beta SL Jacket is an amazing rain shell, that will keep you dry, cool, and unhindered by weight, compared to heavier and equally durable rain shells such as the Marmot Minimalist that retails at $199. If anyone is on the search for a super lightweight, compact-able, breathable, and functional Gore-Tex rain shell, I will recommend the Beta SL without hesitation. Go to your local outdoor retailer and try it on, or click here (Men's/Women's) to check out the amazon listings for color options and more customer reviews.