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Kappa, Gamma, or Venta - trying to decide...

Kappa, Gamma, or Venta - trying to decide on a cold weather jacket for outdoor activities and general cold weather wear here in sunny Michigan. I use the Sidewinder AR as a shell when skiing, but would like something not quite so crinkly, and something that might even double as a layer, but be good in its own right. Really like the looks of the Kappa, but wanted to get comments on warmth compared to some of the softshells.

Venta SV/AR is a geat all around jacket, provides some decent loft/insulation and a nice soft feel- only thing is it is not the best for layering underneath. Kappa AR provides great insulation, is also soft to the touch but is only mediocre as a stand alone shell (the collar is cut quite short). I am not sure which Gamma jacket you are looking at. But I would recommend picking up a Hyllus jacket or Firee jacket. Both will suit your needs better than the choices you have listed

What size should I get?? I am 5'8?, 145lbs....

What size should I get?? I am 5'8“, 145lbs. thank you for any help

Best Answer

I am 5'9 160lbs and I wear a medium....You should be good in a medium,you will have a lttle extra room for layers....

I know they're completely different jackets,...

I know they're completely different jackets, but how would the Kappa AR and the North Face Thunder compare for warmth? Also, I'm 6'1 160lbs, I'm a medium width wise but dont like short jackets. Should I go for a large?

The Arc'terxy Kappa AR would probably be slightly less warm than the thunder if you're not in conditions involving wind or moisture. If you add these elements, particularly in large quantities, the synthetic/windstopper combo will be warmer.
You can go large if you'd like more length, and don't plan on layering this jacket under a shell. It's cut a bit more trim so it won't look floppy in a bigger size.

How small does this jacket pack down? Is...

How small does this jacket pack down? Is it bulkier than the M.H. Compressor?

I haven't seen this jacket specifically, but I own the Arcteryx Fission LT pants which are a very similar construction to this jacket. The pants weigh a little bit less than this jacket, but they are surprisingly bulky - definitely not something that I would throw in my pack and forget about. I would expect that this jacket is much the same way. The MH Compressor on the other hand packs down dramatically smaller. The tradeoff (there is always one...) is that the Kappa AR is going to be more durable and more weatherproof than the Compressor. It really comes down to what your priority is: packabilty or durability.

The compressor is a 15d nylon outer layer. It compresses great, but the trade-off is durability. I don't own this Arc jacket, but have others with wind stopper. They are thin, but don't compress anywhere near as good as the compressor.


Spring in Utah

    Spring here has been jumping between 20 and 65 degrees this year unpredictably. This jacket has been awesome for it. It's warm enough for the coldest days, but breathes and vents nicely so that you aren't wearing a portable sauna as the temperatures rise. I love it!


    Great Jacket

      This is a great all around jacket. Works well in rain, wind and around town. Packs great too.

      Super happy

      Are the underarms gusseted? i.e.: Do the...

      Are the underarms gusseted? i.e.: Do the sleeves pull back when you lift your arm. It's listed as a cragging jacket, but doesn't specify the gussets. Will be used as a cold-weather rock climbing jacket. Any input from climbers is greatly appreciated!

      The arms/body of the jacket are made from several different pieces of material, and for all practical purposes feels like a gusseted jacket (although there isn't an obvious gusset insert sewn under the arms). I am not a climber, and would be interested in any climbers' opinions. However, the range of motion is excellent, and when I raise my arms directly over my head the sleeves don't pull up at all, and the bottom hem barely moves.


      another great jacket from arcteryx

        another great jacket from arcteryx. light weight but warm. great fro the 40 to 50 F range. water resistant. wind proof. athletic to regular fit. definitely not an over sized fit. well constructed. great for weekend sport activity to the casual evening out.


        Perfect fit

          I just got the Kappa AR about a month ago (March)on sale. I am 6'0" and 180. I got a black, large and it fits perfectly. I am very impressed as this is my first Arc'Teryx. It definitely won't be my last.

          The fit is slim. I don't like the bulky coats. I'm looking forward to wearing it skiing next winter and experimenting with how much (read: less) I can get away with wearing underneath.

          I'll report back.


          Warmth without bulk

            This is a really nice jacket. The combination of built-in insulation with a Gore Windstopper shell really keeps you warm. The Windstopper is fairly water-resistant, but not completely waterproof, so it will keep you dry in snow or occasional rainshowers but not it will eventually soak through in a heavy rain. But on the plus side, it is very lightweight and flexible (as compared with a Gore-Tex shell). The fit is fairly true-to-size, so there's not much room for layering underneath it (but OTOH this jacket works great under a hard shell). It also doesn't look as puffy as other puffy jackets.

            The stretch cuffs (as compared with Velcro closures) work well, and actually do a good job of keeping the heat in. I believe that the description is incorrect, because my jacket has just 2 hand pockets and one internal mesh pocket (and not a chest pocket and two mesh pockets) but this is adequate for my needs. Personally, I'm comfortable with this over a shortsleeve baselayer in 20-40 degree weather, or under a hard shell when it is bitterly cold.

            Is this jacket similar to the old ArcTeryx...

            Is this jacket similar to the old ArcTeryx Fission LT jacket? How does is differ?

            The Arc'teryx Kappa AR and Fission LT are basically the same jacket just a different (more durable) face fabric on the Kappa.


            Still my favorite jacket

              Here's the list of gear I have experience with for those who like to relate:
              Arcteryx Hercules, Arcteryx Easyrider, Arcteryx Kappa SV (love this one), Venta AR and of course the Kappa AR, which remains to be my favorite. I love fleece, but the Kappa AR is more comfortable and lighter than my fleeces: Patty R4 and Denali Wind pro, Windwall2.

              I don't go ice climbing, so I haven't ventured into the glory of Arcteryx technical shells (alpha/beta etc.) so I can't comment on combined function with those, but the Kappa AR zips right into my TNF Mountain Light Gortex shell for really cold days. The mountain light has a lot of zippers making it pretty heavy, so the light weight Kappa AR is a welcome combo.

              Compared to the Kappa SV, the only difference is Primaloft weight and hood. The gore windstopper shells on both the SV and AR are wonderfully soft, comfortable and weather resistant. Men's get shoulder reinforcements with thicker nylon.

              What size should I get?? I am 6', 180. I...

              What size should I get?? I am 6', 180. I have a longer than normal torso. Thanks for any help.

              What size should I get?? I am 6', 180. I...

              What size should I get?? I am 6', 180. I have a longer than normal torso. Thanks for any help.

              Best Answer

              Brad, get the Arc'teryx Kappa AR in a large, it'll work just right for you. I'm a bit smaller and the medium is my size.


              Smoking warm

                This jacket rocks. I can easily wear it in temps to 20 degrees or lower and not be chilled. I forgot my Arc'teryx Sidewinder hard shell on a recent ski outing and only had the Kappa. Thought I might be cold but was toasty warm all day even when the wind blew.

                Does the neck come up high enough to cover...

                Does the neck come up high enough to cover neck / chin? It looks like it's a pretty low profile.

                That is definitely a low profile collar. It would cover the bottom part of the neck, but the chin is unlikely.


                Review Title

                  I am very impressed with this jacket. I live in Kentucky, so I am not exactly dealing with subzero weather every day. This week has been in the mid-20s and I have been very comfortable. At least I have not had to break out my huge North Face coat - very cool!

                  How will this work for skiing under a Theta...

                  How will this work for skiing under a Theta AR shell?

                  Bomber! The Kappa will be super warm under a Theta AR- hope it's cold where you ski, because it would be too warm for some days in Utah, under a shell. I like to ski with this as a stand alone jacket. The cut of the Theta AR will accommodate the Kappa AR well.

                  I have an Arcteryx Beta AR. Will this fit...

                  I have an Arcteryx Beta AR. Will this fit under it? I don't plan to use that way often but just curious.

                  Thanks Brandon, its Minus 2 right now without windchill so I might need the combo.

                  Best Answer

                  The Arc'teryx Kappa AR will fit under the Beta AR, but you wouldn't be able to (or need to) wear much more. That's a great combo for bitter weather!


                  Top of the line

                    This is one of the best jackets I own, one of my favorite pieces... And I've tried them ALL. This thing weighs nothing, packs down to the size of a rain shell, totally windproof, water resistant, and extremely warm once the primaloft has expanded to full capacity. When it gets really cold, I layer my Arcteryx Hercules jacket under the Kappa Ar and it shields me down to the negatives. It has Gore windstopper shell, fits/looks like a regular soft shell jacket (quite slim), and dosn't swish and swoosh like down jackets with nylon shells. The fact that the insulation is bonded directly onto the shell means this is not quilted, so you don't have to look like the Micheline marsh mellow man. I can't say much more, this has retired many other shell/fleece combo jackets i have... What more can you ask for... an insulated gore windstopper shell that fits like a fleece jacket and weighs a little more than air. My very next jacket is going to be the Kappa SV from arcteryx.