Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of Arc'teryx Venta MX Hooded Softshell Jacket - Men's on February 20, 2014
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
This is my favorite of many shells. It's not a hardshell, and in a downpour, you would need to use a hard shell over it, but it's never required that even in some rain. I use it mostly for climbing and xc/at skiing in heavier weather (cold or snowy). It generally goes over a old arc'teryx set of softshell polartech bibs. I wish they made a bib version in a lighter Windstopper configuration - mine are old and they do not make them anymore. NW Alpine makes a nice looking version I've not yet tried.
I'm 6'2", 185, fit their large in almost everything, and this too. The fit is very good, and I can layer base, mid and even insulated under it. Because the Windstopper is very 'catchy' it's better not to wear an equally 'catchy' item under it. I like the Atom LT under it, or the Atom SV over it. I usually have long underwear and/or something like a R1 or Piton hoody. The Piton slides better, and the nylon shells of the Atoms are best, but you can use anything. I just find when my layers move better I do too.
The tail on this is nice and long, fits very well under a harness. The zips are stiff but workable . The hood is great with any helmet, but as a result large. The pockets are climbing pockets - fine if you like Napoleon, not if you don't. The cuffs are good, but that seems a design area where even Arc'teryx could improve. The velcro is starting to go on mine. I love the Atom cuffs, but they too start to stretch over time and lose shape and seal.
I really like this for XC skiing in poor weather. For AT skiing I often go for one of the Gammas, since they breath better. Probably just means I'm lazy when I XC ski, but I'm generally out with a 6 year old so it helps to stay warm and wind free.
All in all one of the best of a lot of Arc'teryx pieces I've owned, especially for ice climbing. Four stars because there is always something better coming, right?