One jacket for all of your active winter pursuits.
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Share your thoughts
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
When my old North Face soft shell (size S) died after 7 years of use, I was in the market to replace it. Of course I checked out the current offering from TNF but noticed they've made it a lot bigger. The arms were too long, the chest was baggy, and the entire body was stretched out. I checked out all of the other soft shells out there from different brands and the S size of this one was the best fit for me. I had to order it online and cross my fingers, but I was very happy with it. I would say the only one smaller than this out there is the Patagonia Men's XS Adze (the only soft shell with XS as of this writing I'll note) but that was a bit too small and wouldn't fit another layer like a sweater under it. Note that I'm not tiny, but I usually wear small or extra small shirts from most name brands. So, this one was the winner when it came to fit.
As for quality, it's an Arc'teryx so you're going to be paying quite a bit. However, it really does amazing things in blocking even strong winds, and I haven't needed to put a sweater on under it for weather above 40F yet. I couldn't be happier with it.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I owned an Arcteryx Venta AR Jacket for over a year and in many ways it was a great windproof jacket -- it was light, nicely cut, had a burly outer fabric, and its fleece backing added warmth so I could wear it on its own with a tshirt to the high 40s. However, it also had a lot of issues with it -- 1) the face fabric does not stretch so it's hard to layer more than one long sleeve top underneath 2) the arms taper to the handcuffs which make it even harder to layer 3) it's a very short jacket -- sure it's windproof, but it barely covers my hips which leaves my crotch a bit too cold. These issues together made me consider how well my money was spent on a jacket this expensive!
I finally sold this jacket one day after I tried on the Patagonia Adze in stores, as I found it better than the Venta in most aspects. It's similar in that they're both windproof jackets with no hood and a light fleece backing. However, the Adze has a super stretchy face fabric which makes it MUCH more comfortable, it has hand cuffs = easier layering, and it is slightly longer -- about 1 inch -- which helps cover my sensitive areas while still maintaining an athletic fit for backpack wearing. The only downside of the Adze is that its fabric is softer and likely less abrasion resistant than the Adze. But, the Adze costs less than half of the Venta retail!
The Arcteryx Venta is a very hard sell considering how awesome the Patagonia Adze is; while the Venta is a good jacket, there are certainly better out there at better prices.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This jacket is a real gem, its likely the most versatile piece in my closet. In temps of 40 to 50 I can wear it on it's own, anything warmer and this might be too warm. If it gets colder, I can still live with it, but a layer would be necessary. Where I think this jacket really shines is in the windstopper element, its much warmer for its weight than it appears, despite a lack of real insulation as it blocks the wind 100%. This windstopper also creates an insulative property when active, as it will not breathe like the Gamma MX, if extremely active it can be worn in cold temps. The only thing I miss would be a chest pocket, but realize that is an alpine minimalist piece so there arent even adjustable cuffs. Sleeve length is generous, and the fit of the jacket overall is close. I've worn this for any time I am going to be out in the cold temps with wind, and possible light rain.... the DWR and nylon outer fabric work great. The windstopper itself is actually quote waterproof, but the seams are only finished with finishing tape, so its not seam sealed for water. Compared to the Venta SV this is much trimmer jacket fit wise.
Hey guys, sizing question.
I'm looking forward to by this jacket, and wear it with fleece or sweater under it. I'm 6.1 , 190 pounds, athletic build - should I go for large or xlarge? Thanks
A large will be perfect for you. I am 5'11 and 165 and wear a medium with a fleece under it and it's perfect.
I would say large as well, I am 6'3" and 185 lbs, but opted for the XL as I am long in the torso. This jacket in large would fit me almost perfectly, but it was difficult to slip on and off for casual use.
I would go with xl if you planing on putting some layer under it.
6.0 150 size L
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I am 6 foot 2 190 pounds, and I got a large. I have super long arms so I appreciate the length of this jacket's arms. It does have a slim fit and is very short (most non-technical fleeces hang out the bottom). I have used this jacket so far skiing, walking in a rainstorm, and out about in the city. Windproof is excellent, water repellant is excellent, high collar is the perfect height to be able to snuggle into on the chair lift or in the rain.
Note that the pockets are set higher than you would expect, which is designed so you can carry a pack with a waist strap and still access the pockets. Awesome for hiking, a little awkward trying to walk around the city with your hands in your pockets.
Also, I know this jacket says it has one interior pocket, but I have not been able to find it. A little weird that there is no wallet / chest interior pocket, but it means the jacket lies flat and looks great.
I bought this jacket to replace a beloved 10 year old Marmot softshell, so far it has worked great. Wind resistance is definitely better than my old softshell, and the only (tiny) complaint I have is the lack of an interior pocket. The only other complaint is that it doesn't come in bright red, but the grey isn't bad at all.
I am 5'11, 165 lbs, and wear 34 shirt sleeve length
I need to be able to wear a light/mid weight fleece underneath
Can anyone give me some sizing guidence
If you would like to wear a fleece under it, I would go with a Large
I am the same height and weight and the medium is a great fit. The large is very baggy on me.
Go with a Large, I am 5'10, 160 lbs (big shoulders) and the Medium was just too tight and the sleeves too short. The Large is perfect with a fleece under it.
If you want a very good looking softshell that protects you from the wind and rain, look no further than this jacket.
Not only is it technologically perfect, it is one of the best looking jackets to wear around town. But like all soft shells, it can only keep you so warm.
If the outdoor temperature range is 32+-50 degrees then this jacket by itself and a knit long sleeve cotton shirt does the trick. Anything colder then a light mid layer fleece is necessary.
So this jacket plus a mid layer fleece is all you need to cope with freezing cold winter to mild spring weather. If you have to sit in the football stands freezing with light drizzle then this jacket + mid layer + hat will keep you as warm as any combination.
In colder weather, a down jacket works equally well, but only if there is no rain. I recommend this jacket for anyone who appreciates quality, functionality, and great looks.
Finally with sizing... I am between a medium and a large (42" chest, 32" waist) Mediums fit my lower torso but they are always a bit tight under the armpits. So the way for me to go with 99% of the jackets is large. No way you want your jacket pinching in the back.
The ONLY exception is Patagonia Brand. Patagonia sizing is slightly larger for all sizes and they are generally cut generously through the mid section. Therefore, a large size in Patagonia makes me look like Santa Claus. It is huge in the mid section. To avoid this, I am forced to buy medium for better fit and so that the jacket captures heat.
Not an ideal solution, because all Patagonia medium jackets are tight in the back and in the armpits. Anyone who is in between sizes will have to choose between ballooning fit, or slightly tighter better insultated fits with Patagonia. Arc'teryx does not have this problem.
I just got this jacket. I noticed that "Arcteryx" is not embroidered on the back of the collar. Is it suppose to be? Thanks
Hope this was helpful.
I bought this to replace my 6 year old Gamma AR that has been to hell and back. I was hesitant to buy this because I really like the stretchiness of my Gamma (made of the old polartec material) and this jacket has almost no stretch to it. But I found it on sale in black for under $200 locally and it fit me pretty well so I bought it anyway.
I'm 5'7" and float between 174-182 (muscular/athletic) with broad shoulders and this jacket in a medium fits me very closely with a T-shirt, polo, or other thin layer under it, which is what I was going for. I used to layer my Gamma (size L) over a hoody for cold days, but this jacket is to trim for that. The fit and style is clean and sharp, which is great for wearing around town.
It's thin and light, but deceptively warm but breathable. I've used it for running hills in 28-30degree weather, warming up for tennis in 50degree weather, and I even wore it watching a baseball game in sunny, 70 degree weather last weekend. I could probably use it for drier days on the ski slopes, but I have other jackets for that so I probably won't.
This is my 5th Arcteryx jacket (and my 2nd China-made one), and the construction is second to none, as always. Just like everyone else, I was disappointed when they moved their manufacturing to China, but I have seen no evidence that quality has suffered as a result and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another China-made Arcteryx jacket.
Hi, I'm looking at the Venta AR and the Gamma MX jackets. Wanted to know which would be warmer between the two?
Having owned both a Gamma MX and another Arc'teryx jacket made from the same material as the Venta AR, the Venta will be warmer. Gore Windstopper softshell has a thicker layer of inner pile than the Fortius used on the Gamma. It's also designed to be 100% windproof, where the Gamma is supposed to let in about 2% of the air for breathability.
The windproofness of the Venta will be warmer than the Gamma hands down. That being said, for high output activities, the Gamma is better. An example would be skiing... I feel the Venta would be too much for the swear, as windstopper is not truly that breathable. The gamma would be colder on the lift, but would regulate the sweat more on the downhill. Proper layering is key, but the Venta can stand up to more on it's own in my opinion.
i own both of them , 32F no wind i wear both of them and feel warm. on the move gamma mx prob would be better choice but if you hit the wind i deffinately would go with venta
Sometimes the colors are hard to tell online. Is the "nightshade" color like a gray or dark gray?
Nightshade is a dark grey with a faint blue hue to it
I returned it promptly so I can't tell you how warm, windproof, or water resistant it is but I can help with sizing. I originally got a large and it was quite baggy on me (6'0" 170lb) in the chest and arms. It was also quite long in the sleeves. I swapped it for a medium and the sleeve length is perfect and the fit is much more 'athletic'. However, it is abnormally short in the torso. My T-shirts stick out of the bottom. It's longer in the back but I wish it was that length all the way around. Makes me look pretty goofy.
This jacket is my bread and butter. It has so many uses in different climates and is truly all around.
I am 5'8" 125lbs. and wear a Mens small.
For low exertion hikes, I wear a thin crew base underneath. This works great for long hours in the city too especially when the coffee shop blasts the ac nonstop over my head.
With a midweight base underneath the Venta keeps my temps stable down to -5C, provided I'm on the move and have the drawstring pulled. The tight wrist is great for keeping the wind out provided you are of average build; for my thin wrists I get about an inch of opening so this doesn't work out very well but I'm sure for most of you it's snug, if not constricting.
The jacket doesn't pack down much and I can't tell where it actually stretches enough to notice while worn.
I do appreciate the different material thicknesses at various spots but the effect seems more for thermal effect rather than stretch. The whole jacket does stretch, ranging from 1-2cm of expansion. The stretch ends abruptly so the impression on use is that the jacket is static and the stretch only manifests with tight fit and wide motions.
Overall cut is smart. The jacket has surprising room underneath for both a base and insulating layer but is still fashionably acceptable on my rather skinny frame.
Either the Atom LT or the First Ascent Microtherm down shirt fits under this without much change in shape. I personally can't stand so much insulation so I usually wear the Venta AR with just a baselayer and adjust the weight and material of that instead.
For me, any temperature or activity level that the Venta + heavy base cannot handle, I replace the Venta with a First Ascent Downlight sweater or Atom SV instead of layering due to breathability issues.
An Alpha SL pullover goes over this for those rare times when I don't want my hat totally saturated from heavy snowfall or rain. I personally wouldn't recommend having both on at once for very long unless idle.
The DWR is ok, though not as durable as a hardshell for reasons I cannot deduce. The area where I put my watch over the sleeve as well as underneath both sleeves seem to have areas where water will not bead well, areas where I guess the rubber watch strap and other things rub against.
I have washed once and treated with Grangers XT but the sleeves remain a trouble spot, even more so than the shoulder where the pack straps rub. This is just nitpicking because the total area of soaking is probably less than one square inch, and I do wear this very often and rub against tables (probably oils and other contaminants on the table)
On the whole, this jacket in my opinion provides good value for the amount of use it gets and the deceptively high protection it provides in situations I couldn't have imagined possible upon casual inspection of the garment.
i had to send my arcteryx katabatic in for repair, unfortunately it cannot be repaired so they want to send me the Solano, which i'm not entirely enthused about.
What i liked about the katabatic was the wind stopping ability, since i biked to work in cooler conditions in it, and the soft fleecy inner lining which kept me warm. I could wear this and a t shirt down to -15C or so and be warm. The jacket just bottled in the heat somehow.
I'm thinking the Venta AR might be a better replacement. i'd like an inner lining and would prefer the die cut velcro sleeves, also it's got to block the wind (and light rain to a lesser extent). I don't need a hood either.
Would this be a suitable replacement or is there something better roughly in this price range?
Thanks for the help.
Hey Graison, I think you are on the right track... I have the Venta SV, basically same jacket just with a hood, and think it will be right up your satisfaction alley as a replacement... it has taped seams (help block wind and makes seams lay flat), has a little bit of inside insulation built in due to the material used on the inside, and uses 3 different windstopper textiles (for mobility, abrasion, etc)... this is the Venta line so it runs a little larger then the other Arc'teryx models by design, for layering... might want to experiment with the sizing if you want it to fit snug...
The Venta AR would be a good replacement. It doesn't have velcro cuffs, however, and, if I recall, the fleece is quite a bit thicker in the Venta. Another jacket to take a look at would be the Visio Comp. It is also a taped seam Windstopper, and while it doesn't have the fleece liner, it uses a knit backer that adds just a touch of softness and warmth. It might not be as warm in bitter conditions, but I bet it will have a broader range than the Venta. Good luck on the hunt!
I love this jacket with a passion, I really have used it for almost anything that i can think of: ice climbing, rock climbing, mixed climbing, hiking, walking around, being bored, cooking and what i mostly use it for is being happy. See i like being happy and this jacket allows for that very thing. Once you get to know this jacket(its limits, when it over heats, its dwr repellentcy etc...) it is like a leather hiking boot in how it just gets better and better. The pockets are out of the way, so i can always use it, harness or backpack. On the out sides of the jacket(neck, shoulders, arms) the fabric has some spandex in it compared to the insider fabric, but has the same amount of fleece. This allows for more durability, and in my opinion, comfort. The fabric on the torso sides is very thin and has almost no fleece whatsoever. There is one problem that i have had with it, and that is that the cuffs very quickly pilled, I was a little disappointed in it ,but it is only the cuffs, no big deal. I gave it 4 stars because it was not extremely great just really great. I didn't have the extra cash to by dwr wash ,but i have only washed it once in the time i owned it, it made the jacket more soft and it just worked better, my ignorance for not accomplishing this early. Overall great jacket , just don't forget to wash it after every, say,30 good , not crazy, days of use. Hope this helped someone.
Hi - have worn the Areteryx Venta AR in somewhat mild conditions (5 C - 20 C) during a weekend of holidaying and a week of work in South Africa (winter) - I found that while the Venta is not as warm as an insulated jacket, it worked well on early morning safaris in Kruger, but also worked as a functional evening jacket when going out casually in J'oberg for dinner with colleagues. Highly recommended. Fantastic material, well constructed. An inner pocket would have been an excellent addition, but hey, you cant have it all - right?
Sorry! I know that isn't the intended use for this guy, but I just picked it up on spring clearance. The best I could do was playing miniature golf with my son in 50-degree weather with 20+ mph winds. My hands were cold, but my body didn't feel a thing. Worked perfectly to block the wind. Also, the gusseted arm design really let me crank up my putt-putt backswing. It moves easily, drapes well, the fleece interior feels great. Looks classic. This is really a fine jacket.
The only thing I don't like about it is that it's oversized for a scrawny (5-10, 140 lbs., wearing a Small) guy like me. Both this and the Gamma MX say "Athletic fit" but this is much roomier. It's not so bad through the body, even for me, but I found the upper arms to be huge and the sleeves to be too long. This jacket is light enough to be worn even in mild temperatures, but I can't pull it off without at least two layers on to fill it out and take up some of the slack in the sleeves, so it will be strictly a cold-weather coat for me. I've seen complaints about the narrow wrists. A stick-wrist like I am doesn't have much trouble with them, but there is a severe taper in the forearm. What you gain from that is no velcro wrist closure, just a snug-fitting elastic.
If they made an XS I'd buy it and wear it twice as much. Really a first-rate product.
This thing rocks the house. I give it a 5 out of 5 for functionability. I use it mainly for running and wearing around town, but it actually makes a fantastic golf jacket, as it's so lightweight, windproof, and breathable. And because it breathes so well, I can wear it on a run with a light layer in below freezing weather (New England winters), and with just a tee shirt when I hit the trails in the fall and spring. I give it a 5 out of 5 for comfort. It's clearly built for an athlete, which is obvious from the minute this bad boy is put on. The arms rotate around better than any jacket I've ever owned. Coolness? Come on, 5 out of 5 again. If you can swallow the price on this puppy, you won't regret it as you'll be the envy of people who really know outdoor clothing. One small but important note, the zippers on this are awesome, they are as smooth as butter. Truly a pleasure.
The coat has a strict "V" taper, eliminating needless bagginess around the waist. The shoulders provide enough room to reach forward with both arms without experiencing any pull on the fabric. I have a muscular frame so I usually get a coat to fit my shoulders then deal with excess bagginess around the waist or by a small coat with tightness around the shoulders. This coat stops all wind and with a fleece underneath I stay extremely warm in harshly cold lake effect wind while maintaining all of my upper body flexibility.