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  • Arc'teryx - Beta SL Jacket - Men's - Arcturus
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Arc'teryx Beta SL Jacket - Men's

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    • ArcturusPast season color
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    32 Reviews


    Heayvweight performance, lightweight feel.

    Consider the Arc'teryx Men's Beta SL Jacket the feather-weight champion of weatherproof performance. Touting a highly packable design, the Beta SL features a lightweight construction (think 11.1 ounces) that allows you to stuff it into your pack and forget about it, until the weather takes a turn for the worse.

    The Gore-Tex Paclite fabric provides waterproof protection and breathable performance, so you're never stuck feeling like you have the Florida Everglades building up on the interior of the jacket. The Gore Tape seams and waterproof zippers bolster your defense against errant moisture. Additionally, gusseted underarms and an articulated fit assure freedom of movement, without tacking on excess weight, and the slim fit is designed as such to improve breathability. A helmet-compatible hood is outfitted with a laminated brim for extra protection, and the adjustable hem and cuffs allow you to seal out inclement weather. In turn, this bevy of features makes the Beta SL ideal for travel, hiking, climbing, or trail running in terrain that endures frequent bouts of unpredictable weather.

    • A lightweight emergency jacket for inclement weather
    • Gore-Tex Paclite is waterproof and breathable
    • Fully taped seams and waterproof zippers bolster defense
    • Gusseted underarms and articulated fit assure mobility
    • Helmet-compatible hood doubles down on protection
    • Adjustable hem and cuffs seal out moisture
    • Slim fit improves breathability and comfort
    • Item #ARC1278

    Tech Specs

    [membrane/laminate] N40r Gore-tex PacLite
    2 hand
    Claimed Weight
    Recommended Use
    backpacking, hiking
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Beta SL Jacket

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: large
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 185lbs

    Purchased late in the ski season and only used it once so far. Exceptionally nice light weight shell. I'm 6'2", 185lbs and I would consider that the jacket provided a relaxed fit. If necessary I could wear it over a bulky mid layer. On June 1st at A-Basin I wore it over a mid weight base layer and was comfortable. I pack it for hiking but have not had an opportunity to use it in the rain. I expect it to be excellent in that circumstance.

    Light weight shell

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: XL
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 205lbs

    This is Pac light so it's not super breathable. But it's light and packable. It fits well & allows layering. I can fit an atom ar or a thorium ar under it with no problem. I am 6'1 205 with An athletic build so xl is fine. If your doing heavy arobic activities you'll find condensation inside The shell. It doesn't have pit zips. I use this as a light shell when needed. I don't intend it to serve in torrential downpours. I have 3 layer gortex for that. I must say that my Military Pac light gortex shell has done well in heavy rains & I expect this will also. If you travel light & wanna pack a shell I suggest it. If you aren't concerned about weight & want more breathable shell look at the alpha ar or beta ar.

    So far, so good.

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Small
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    I’ve had the jacket only for a few days. I bought it for daily commuting and casual use, but also intend to take it bike touring, camping, and hiking. This was highly rated on several third party rating websites for overall performance in being a rain shell. During the time I’ve owned it I’ve cycled through rain on a 65 degree day, and walked to work on a windy 32 degree day (Chicago’s temperature dropped 30 degrees in 12 hours).

    On the 65 degree rainy day, this jacket was very effective. My torso stayed dry, and the hood is large enough to fit over my helmet which is a huge plus. The hood overall is very nice and fits better than any other rain jacket / shell I’ve owned. Its three adjustment points let you fint-tune how much it covers your head and face. It was also effective in dumping excess heat while riding and wearing business casual clothes under it.

    On the 32 degree windy morning, the jacket was very effective at blocking wind, and when paired with a sweater underneath I was not cold, though I’ve yet to test it in prolonged cold situations.

    What’s great is that both Arc’Teryx and Gore provide quality guarantees on the product, though I have not had to use them yet. It’s machine washable and dryable, the company recommends doing this regularly. The jacket is very light and packable, and feels very much like a thin shell with no padding. I am 5’6” wearing a small and the fit is good through the waist, though the arms are slightly baggy. The construction feels very solid, every seam is sealed. The range of motion is great through the arms. The only awkward part is the pocket placement, which are to accommodate backpacking waist straps, though in casual wear are a little high to rest your hands in.

    So far so good, looking forward to using this jacket to its potential.

    Surprisingly Disappointed

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: Runs large
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 150lbs

    Bought this jacket about a year ago with high hopes and it hasn't stood up to expectations, even for around town use. Initial impressions were great. The jacket was impressive for a short period of time in the rain.. Unfortunately, the jacket wet out inside and out when standing still in the rain for an hour in the mid 40s. Used this jacket in moderate activity while mountain biking and on a short trail run (mid 40s) and had the same results. Wouldn't take as an emergency shell backpacking,,,could get the same results from a garbage bag. Surprisingly disappointed from an Arcteryx product like this as I have several other jackets by them that I love. Will test out as a lightweight ski shell come snow season.

    Look elsewhere.

    Surprisingly Disappointed

    This was a review form a while ago, but have you washed it at all and restored the waterproof coating? You need to use a waterproofing product to restore the proofing. I usually do mine very 7 or so months. This might breath life back into your jacket.

    I had the same problem with mine and have sent it back to Arc'teryx. The rep said that GoreTex shouldn't wet through.
    As for Drew's comment, washing with a technical wash[AND drying in a dryer] can help refresh the DWR outer coating. It can also help keep the pores of the GoreTex clean so that water vapor passes away from your body. DWR can also be periodically renewed with products like Nikwax. Arc'teryx offers its own DWR spray on. The important thing to understand is that GoreTex provides the waterproofing, not the DWR. That outer coating just helps the fabric repel water so that the Goretex can breathe. That can reduce condensation inside the jacket, but does NOT affect the waterproofing provided by the GoreTex. Adam and I got wet thru without the condensation factor. The GoreTex did not perform as it should.

    Madras Color

    Arcteryx's website does not reflect the actual color of the Madras jackets. Our photo is much closer to the true shade and does make sense, when you consider the color is named after the Madras spice.

    Madras Color

    Rain & Wind Guard

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

    I bought this jacket for my brother and he is obsessed. This is a technical rain jacket that is also very versatile. It's great for those mid-west summer rain storms but can also be used as a Spring skiing shell! Fully taped seams to defend any wind/rain and the jacket itself is highly packable, very lightweight. My brother is a skinny dude so the slim fit is perfect for his body type. If you're on the thicker/muscular side, I'd recommend ordering up one size.

    Highly Recommended

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

    This jacket embodies the ultimate wind/snow/rain barrier you could as for without sacrificing comfort or style. Great goat for all your adventure needs.

    Two years and going strong

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Small
    • Height: 5'6"
    • Weight: 145lbs

    I love this jacket. I use it as a four season shell. I really wanted to upgrade to a Beta AR for durability reasons, and even purchased the Beta AR to use for backpacking and the SL for around town use. The truth is I just couldn't get attached to the AR. It was too bulky and heavy compared to the SL. I much prefer the hood on the SL even though the adjustments are more simplistic. The truth is I can't even tell when I have the SL on. It just feels like an extension of me. Love love love this jacket and it has held up well in all types of weather. The SL seems a. It more trimmer than the AR and I much prefer this. I can still layer fine yet this just fits me better. I am 5'6 around 145. I don't have long arms and the size short isn't overwhelming in the arms like the AR or the Zeta versions. The sleeves still go over my hands and are long but because it's lighter it doesn't irritate my hands like the heavier ones do. I have not had any issues with breathability even with out the pit zips. The only complaint I have about the jacket is the hood adjustments are on the inside of the hood and the pulls stick out and poke you. Oh's a small complaint but kind of annoying. Lastly, the outer shell isn't as strong as the AR or SV, but it has held up well. I guess I will have to wear it 4 seasons until I tear it up but I have had no issues so far.

    The Best

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 195lbs

    If you're looking for the best in rain/wind protection and the highest level of technical material available, look no further. This jacket is amazing, and highly recommended.

    Solid But Not So Breathable

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: Medium
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 135lbs

    Everything about the style and fit of the Beta SL is perfect. No complaints there whatsoever. The DWR works super well and I have used it under heavy rain at least a dozen times with no problems. However, the Beta SL is hardly breathable at all. I usually layer it with the Atom LT during outings and when I'm working hard on an uphill section or jogging you almost feel that you have a garbage bag over your head instead of a performance jacket. When I stop there is literally steam coming out from under my hood. That being said, this jacket is made almost exclusively for emergency weather protection, not sustained active use. But beware, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative to some of Arc'teryx's spendier shells breathability should not be at the top of your list.

    Great for ski mountaineering

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: L
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 182lbs

    I used this jacket as my shell for ski mountaineering last season. I love having an extremely light weight and very packable shell. My previous shell had arm pit zips, but I found that I didn't make much use of jacket was either zipped up or off. Thus, I really don't mind that this jacket doesn't have the pit zips.

    I haven't used it enough to be able to comment on its durability (something I wonder about), but I did get a great season out of it without any problems. I expect and hope it will hold up for a few more seasons, but even if it doesn't, I would still be happy with it due to the light weight, packability, and performance. I say this because a failed mission could potentially cost me more money in travel expenses than what I paid for the jacket, and light weight, high performing gear, can significantly increase the chances of success in mountaineering.

    I've got a bunch of pics on Instagram @the_real_moneymike

    Great for exploring waterfalls

    Love this jacket. Stayed perfectly dry going behind waterfalls in Iceland. Also worked well on a day hike while it was pouring down rain. It's light and durable. Held up great on a month long backpacking trip through Europe, being packed in and out and thrown around. Definitely worth the money

    Great for exploring waterfalls

    Simple Form + High Function = Beta SL

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

    My Specs: 165lbs, 6'-0", 32w, 32l, long arms, broad shoulders/chest

    Applications: "Emergency" rain shell for trail running, biking, paddling, and casual use between late fall to early spring in a temperate mountain environment. Layer-ability ranges from a base layer, R1, and Nano Puff.


    +Fits my frame and long arms very well. Went with a Medium.

    +Packability and weight are competitive with others in its class. I can easily roll this into the hood, and it fits well in my running vest or pack

    +No pit zips. For me this is a plus. I prefer a parred down jacket. If you want/need pit zips, get a jacket with pit zips.

    + Waterproof zipper is super easy and glides effortlessly with one hand.

    + Hook-and-loop cuffs and hem drawcord work great and are much appreciated when the weather calls for them.

    +Good color options. I went with the Masago for visibility while on the bike or walking/running in the woods during hunting season in the mountains. Humored that the color is named after fish eggs, too.

    - Hood is a bit oversized. This is described as a streamlined hiker/backpacker jacket. Is a helmet compatible hood really necessary?

    - Price is steep, but I plan on having this for a very long time.

    Summary: A very lightweight, functional, streamlined and attractive jacket. For its intended "emergency" use, its fantastic. If you can get over the price, its very worth it.

    ya get what ya pay for

    I've taken this jacket to hell and times and it begs for more! To say I've taken this thing through the wringer is an understatement. With that being said I've washed it with Nikwax a couple times and that is a small price to pay for an amazingly warm simple jacket. Wouldn't trade this bad boy for the world! I highly recommend it and any other Arc'teryx gear..if you can afford it!

    ya get what ya pay for

    Love this jacket

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I've had this jacket for several months now, and feel like I can finally offer a review of it. I own this and the Alpha SL Hybrid, which I believe has been discontinued, but I'll compare it anyways.

    First, I have both jackets in size medium. I'm about 5'10" 165, they fit me with a little bit of room to layer, but still fit well and look good just over a t shirt. The fit is almost identical, the Alpha SL might be just a tad roomier, but not enough to notice.

    Both are incredibly waterproof and windproof, no problems there, and the feel of the fabric is great. For some reason I feel like the Alpha fabric is a bit tougher and the Beta a bit softer, but it could be just the color, in my head, or who knows. Both feel bombproof.

    There are a few things I really love about the Beta over the Alpha:

    --The hood--it's not massive for a helmet, which I rarely use with this jacket, and fits SO much better on my dome.

    --Pockets--on the Alpha, the pockets are a bit too high, they make walking with your hands in them crappy. Beta placement is good, out of the way of a hip belt or harness, and still good for hands in pockets.

    What I like about the Alpha over the Beta:

    --PIT ZIPS! why are they not on the Beta?

    --Vislon zipper rules. Doesn't snag, feels so much nicer.

    Overall, if I had to choose one, I'd probably go with the Alpha hybrid, because of the zipper and pit zips. But it's nice to have both for different reasons. I'm sure during summer Atlanta rainstorms, the Alpha SL will win (pit zips!), or if I wear one climbing or anything with a helmet. The Beta is more of a throw-it-on-over-a-hoodie-for-wind-and-rain-protection piece for me, and it excels.

    The soapstone color is amazing. It's a great dark great, goes with everything.

    what is the difference between alpha SL and Beta SL? Thank you!!

    Best Answer

    The Beta SL is designed for hiking and trekking while the Alpha SL is designed as a compact, lightweight emergency storm shell.

    Main differences will be the fit and the pocket configuration. The Beta SL features an Athletic fit while the Alpha SL features a Trim fit. The Alpha SL is trimmer in fit and lighter in weight. The Alpha SL has one chest pocket while the Beta SL has two hand pockets.

    I hope this helps!

    Hi currently i use the Gamma LT Jacket in size M, however i would like to use the Beta SL as the final piece in layering with a base layer as well as a fleece, would it be better to purchase the Beta SL in size L to accommodate the extra layers?

    What is the center back length of a medium?

    I'm just curious how this would fit with...

    I'm just curious how this would fit with the Atom LT Hoody. I'm trying to save some money, so I was looking at the Beta SL. I know the Alpha LT would be the best shell to combine it with, but its a little too pricey. Considering how the Beta SL is part of the Beta line, is the drop hem going to be long enough to fully cover the hem of the Atom? If not, I might just wait to save up for the Fall '12 Black Alpha LT.