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Gear Review

3 5

Good but there are better

  • 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.