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Arc'teryx redefined climbing jackets with its Women's Nuclei Hooded Insulated Jacket. Airetica fabric is tightly woven in the Nuclei to give you a super durable jacket that doesn't add much weight to your gear. Arc'teryx added 80g insulation in the body for core warmth that's breathable and thermally efficient, and 60g insulation in the sleeves and side panels for less bulk when you send pitch after pitch.

The Nuclei has a trim fit that keeps your freedom of movement in mind while lowering bulk at the same time. Its hood cinches across your head tightly so you can strap a helmet to your noggin comfortably. The interior stow pocket lets you stuff the jacket in itself and clip it to your harness, and Arc'teryx included a mini stuff sack for your backpacking days. An adjustable drawcord allows you to tighten the jacket down when winds try to get between you and your jacket. You can barely notice the hand pockets because the zippers are tiny and hidden from plain view. 

  • Airetica (nylon) ripstop fabric
  • 80g Coreloft (polyester) insulation in body, 60g in sleeves
  • Trim fit with articulated elbows and gusseted underarms
  • Under-helmet hood
  • Interior stow pocket for stuff sack storage (stuff sack included)
  • Adjustable hem drawcord
  • Two hand pockets with hidden zippers
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Defective insulation separation!!!

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
  • Fit: True to size

Insulation sewing at shoulders is separating. I've returned the jacket hoping it was just a defect with one jacket, but the second medium mango jacket just came in the mail with the exact problem. See picture below, also does the same thing in the upper back (both sides)

Defective insulation separation!!!

right for me

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

After having my Atom SV stolen by my mother I nabbed the Nuclei because it was a little lighter and I liked the thinner insulation in the arms. It packs incredibly small and comes in the most epic of colors - mango tango. Even though it has the Arc'T trim fit - I found the sizing to work well for my body - even with wider hips. I have the large which is form fitting while a Large Beta AR or Alpha SV gives me more than enough room for this jacket underneath. I think if you order a size up the fit is funky (I tried an XL and it looked weird) but if you want a form-fitting smaller layer it works well.

I prefer the arm holes on the Atom series and would love to have Atom LT too because of the differences. However, I'm glad I chose this because it is a little more weather (water and wind) resistant than the Atom SV was that I had - which in the end make it a similar warmth with less weight.

Warm but fits oddly

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs large

I ordered this jacket without trying it on (a medium), and it ended up being boxy and a bit big (I'm 5'5", 125 lbs). The bigness was nice because it allowed for heavy layering underneath, but the boxyness was annoying with lighter layers underneath. It was super warm, windproof, and a nice color, but unlike the men's version it has an under helmet hood, which I didn't see before ordering. For climbing purposes, having to take off your helmet to remove your hood when you get hot and can't hear someone is pretty inconvenient, which was the main reason I returned the jacket. It also didn't fit well, which is something Arc'teryx is known for getting right...I instead ordered the Atom LT and have been very happy with the warmth and fit! the hood fits over a helmet, which is awesome, and is still a great light and warm option, although designed to be not as windproof (more breathable) for athletic use. The Nuclei is great as a suuuuper light and warm layer, but make sure you try it on or know how it fits.

As an intermediate layer to ski during...

As an intermediate layer to ski during cold weather, would it be better if I pick the Atom SV or the new Nuclei? I know they have different level of insulation, but I'm wondering if 80g Coreloft is enough (if I go with the past reviews of the Ceva)

Best Answer

What kind of skiing do you do? If you're pretty active the whole time (backcountry type) I'd go with the nuclei - but if you're on and off lifts all day I'd go with the atom sv. I have the atom because it was cheap but it's definitely too warm for most active pursuits. It breathes well so it makes up for it. On some level, it probably also depends on what you plan to wear underneath. Both are great jackets.