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Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket - Men's


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    36 Reviews


    Gamma MX Softshell Jacket

    First and foremost, Arc'teryx shaped the Men's Gamma MX Softshell Jacket for mobility and outfitted it with highly breathable shell fabric for comfortable temperature regulation. Alpine climbers and backcountry skiers can wear this midweight jacket alone in mild, mixed weather conditions, or they can wear this jacket as an insulating layer beneath a storm shell.

    • Lightweight shell fabric breathes easily
    • DWR coating causes light precipitation to bead and roll off the surface of the fabric
    • Fleecy interior face of the shell fabric provides a touch of warmth
    • Articulated cut and gusseted underarms allow for full range of motion and freedom of movement
    • Hip-length jacket has slight drop tail for added protection
    • Item #ARC3415

    Tech Specs

    Fortius 2.0 (53% polyester, 27% nylon, 20% polyurethane), DWR coating
    Center Back Length
    27.75 in
    2 hand, 1 chest, 1 sleeve
    Claimed Weight
    [medium] 20 oz
    Recommended Use
    alpine climbing
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Great look and fit.

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: L
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 185lbs

    Right out of the bag, this Jacket is amazing. Great look, and very comfortable. Technical and fashionable!

    Great Piece

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium
    • Height: 0'0"

    Bought this for a friend, this is his take: Really like this softshell - versatile, comfortable, functional on the trail and looks sharp around town. Good water repellency and wind blockage. Sleek fit with a surprising amount of pocket space hiding within. My only beef is the length; wish the cut was just a biiit longer. Unless I'm wearing a baselayer under this, my shirt almost always falls below the hem. Minor gripe, but it keeps me from wearing this in absolutely every situation. But I still wear it in most. Fits true to Arcteryx sizing - snug but true. I'm 5'10", 175 and have the medium.

    Great Softshell

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

    It is comfortable, warm and good looking. Its breathability and soft fleece inside makes it a very comfortable layer for multiple uses. I plan on having this jacket for years to come. I especially love the arm pocket and the waist ties. Plan on using it as a layer for skiing and backcountry play and it is fantastic for tooling around town!

    Bizarre fit

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 215lbs

    I pretty consistently wear a large. Got this jacket after reading reviews and while the waist, shoulders and arm length fit perfectly, the torso was laughably short. Raising my arms above my head pulled it above my belly button. I don’t know who this was designed for? Quality looks fine.

    Pricey but great!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: m
    • Height: 6'
    • Weight: 160lbs

    Love this jacket. Lightweight but reasonably warm. Very comfortable. Fairly dressy but very functional. Almost waterproof and windproof. I had the prior version for years and liked it so well I just bought this new one.

    Hey Michael, thanks for the post! I am so happy to hear that you love the jacket! I do want to let you know that this jacket is not completely waterproof nor is it completely windproof. However, it does have a Durable Water Repellent on it so water should bead off of it if you are not in a torrential downpour. It also does a great job at cutting most of the wind you will get experience at high altitudes. Enjoy the jacket and let me know if you ever need any assistance with anything.

    better than Epsilon LT

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    I'll review both the Gamma MX and the Epsilon LT, which I considered and ordered, and why I kept the Gamma.

    I was looking for basically a more fleece-like jacket, with the added benefit of some wind resistance and a smooth face fabric to resist stains and pilling. Use for bike commuting in dry, cold weather, and as a casual piece during the fall/winter.

    I initially considered the Gamma MX, Epsilon LT, and the Gamma LT, all of which seem somewhat similar. I eliminated the Gamma LT as it seemed closer to a shell from what I could tell, and lacked a nice inner fleece fabric, which is a must, as I plan to wear it over just a t-shirt and want a nice fabric on my skin. Aesthetically, I didn't like the Arc'teryx logo on the back of the Gamma LT neck either.

    So I ordered the Epsilon LT and the Gamma MX. My impressions:

    Fit: Fit is about the same, the Epsilon seems just a tad longer and slimmer, while the Gamma MX is a bit boxier it feels. Perhaps this is because the fabric on the Epsilon is quite a bit stiffer. Overall, size M for me, 5' 10, 160lbs, was just about perfect, and consistent with Arcteryx sizing.

    Fabric: Both are so good, but different. The Epsilon is classified in some places as a "hard-fleece" which I figured would be more fleece-like than a softshell, assuming the continuum from fleece to shell goes from soft to hard, comfortable to stiff. Not so. The Epsilon is quite a bit more rigid, and doesn't fold and flex like the Gamma MX. It's not bad, it's just not what I wanted. If you're looking for a more handsome jacket to maybe wear business casual, the Epsilon definitely looks better because of that rigidity, and it feels tough as nails, it's really a cool fabric. On the other hand, the Gamma MX is very soft, supple, and lightweight, and I like the way it moves with me much more. It's a lot more comfortable, but feels a little less robust.

    Features: Both are great. I'm not a fan of the contrasting color of the bicep pocket on either jacket. Zippers are nice, pockets are large on both. The chest pockets on the Gamma look nice and are roomy, but I don't plan on using them for much. There's a really nice storm-flap on the Gamma, coated in some sort of rubberized plastic, and it's nice. The zipper is nicer on the Gamma. And the SLEEVE CUFFS. This, in the end, was the make or break feature for me. The Epsilon LT cuffs are really annoying. They're too big, so you get the sleeves coming down over your hands all the time. Maybe that's nice if you're wearing a base layer or a shirt with cuffs on it, but the Gamma MX cuffs are perfect size, and keep the sleeves from coming too far down. While wearing the Epsilon, I found myself constantly annoyed with the cuffs in my way. The Gamma cuffs are perfect, I never think about them at all.

    I can't comment too much on performance comparisons, because I didn't test the Epsilon before returning. However, the Gamma is great as far as breathability and windproofness. It feels lighter than you'd expect, but in 45 degrees, riding 30mph on a bike, it blocked 90+ % of the wind coming through, and didn't get all clammy. That's much better than any other softshell I've ever used, including Polartec PowerShield and a Marmot ROM. It's expensive, but it works well.

    In the end, both jackets are fantastic, and I would expect the Epsilon to perform similarly to the Gamma MX as far as breathability and windproofness. But the cuffs on the Gamma MX are what sealed the deal for me, as petty as that sounds. Maybe that should give some insight as to how similar these jackets feel in form and function.

    Arcterex phoned this jacket in...

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size

    I recently traveled to the Canadian Rockies and forgot my technical shell. I didn't want to buy another; the forecast for the Columbia Icefields called for steady rain. So, I bought this jacket because my softshell was old. My only experience with soft shells was with Mountain Hardwear, with fully taped seams, windproof and almost fully waterproof. I expected this jacket to be a true technical softshell based on brand and price. Boy! Was I stupid! This is an overpriced fleece jacket at best. Perfect for early fall walking down the suburban streets of some ultra rich town to show off. I have had warmer, windproof and more water resistant jackets for half the price. Learn from my mistake. Do your research and compare features. Arcterex should be ashamed of the engineering and construction of this jacket at a $300 price tag.

    This is mjm signing back in to clarify. I was not looking for a hardshell. I wanted a TECHNICAL SOFTSHELL which I think should have the following characteristics: windproof, water resistant (with taped seams in critical areas), and fleece warmth for a windy, 40 degree day. Please tell me if my definition is incorrect. As for the Gamma MX, it does not meet the above criteria.

    A hardshell is meant to be wind and waterproof. I have never expected a hardshell to be warm by itself. You always must layer properly under a hardshell.

    Please give prospective buyers the data they need to make an informed decision about a purchase. $300 is a lot of money. I welcome additions to this discussion.

    I have read countless reviews (here on BC, Arc's site & other online retailers) on the Gamma MX, as I've been looking at buying one myself for awhile. The vast majority of them comment on the breathability of the Gamma MX and it's versatility through a wide range of temperatures. Its ability to shed outside precip comes primarily via the DWR treatment, but as most all other stretch-woven softshells it will wet out sooner than not. Arc'Teryx doesn't market it saying anything different and countless online reviews of the jacket back this up. I own the Gamma LT and while it features slightly different Fortius fabric its properties are similar. I do also own the Arc'Teryx Venta AR softshell, which sounds like it would have fit your needs far better: it's a three-layer Windstopper (which does exactly what the name suggests), and having a membrane it has never gotten me wet in the snow. I've never subjected it to prolonged rain so I cannot comment on that, as Windstopper membranes aren't typically billed as being completely waterproof. The jacket has light insulation, and this combined with the jacket being windproof allows retention of quite a bit of warmth. I will wear this jacket in Wisconsin a bit below 30F just walking around town, and have taken it in to the teens when being more active. The differences between the Gamma MX and the Venta AR I describe here are readily available through the Arc'Teryx website and just about any other online retailer which sells & reviews their products. I would agree that $300 is quite a lot of ca$h to spend on a jacket that clearly doesn't do what you were counting on it to do. If someone "sold you" on the Gamma performing more like the Venta AR I describe then I wouldn't blame you for being upset. I post this simply to point out that Arc'Teryx offers a variety of different softshells offering a variety of performance features, including varying degrees of wind/water resistance & temperature tolerance.

    Seam taping is very unusual for softshells available on the market. Not sure why one would want this feature on an otherwise waterpermiable jacket.

    And as far as steady rain on the Columbia Icefields goes, I must tell you from experience, only a serious hardshell is a reasonable choice in the situation.

    I wish to be buried in this garment.

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

    That is all. My legal counsel has already been informed.

    Handsome Blackbird

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

    Fell in love with the unique design of the jacket. The two chest pockets and logo really set it apart from the crowd. I got the Blackbird in a large. Its sporty and handsome. I'm 5/10 160 athletic build and the fit for me is near perfect. I use it for hiking , walking and for going around town. These things aren't cheap, but hey Arc'teryx is Arc'teryx.

    very good jacket

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Fit: Runs small

    Very good quality and well made. Only problem is it's a very slim fit. I am usually medium size in all other brand ( TNF, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia ... ) but Arcteryx is so tight that can't wear anything under it. And sleeves are little too long so I can't wear large. If you are slim and long type than go for it.

    My Favorite Jacket

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

    This jacket is incredibly comfortable and holds up well against the wind and rain. This is my 'go-to' jacket in my closet. I'm 6"5 220lbs and went with a Large. Great fit. Plenty of sleeve length and fits well through the body.

    Jim, Just saw your comment!... No, I typically don't layer much with this jacket; if I did, I would have adequate room for a base layer and a sweater. The jacket has what I would say an "athletic" fit, but the material and overall fit allow for excellent range of motion. Hope this helps!

    One of the best jackets I've worn.

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

    This jacket is phenomenal. I bought it little over a year ago when on sale. Since then I've used it for just about any activity from skiing to climbing. One thing I love is how durable it is. I was in a cave a little over a foot white and was sliding through it wearing this jacket. I thought it would surely show signs of the scraping in the cave but nope, it withstood all the abrasion with no problem. Another thing I love is just how versatile it is, it can be worn as a stand alone piece in moderately cool weather, it can be a layering piece, and it also has enough room for more layers underneath. When spring skiing i wear this and another layer underneath and am completely warm. It is advertised as water resistant which it is, but it really takes alot for it to give, and it is also fully windproof.

    Pros: Versatile, Comfortable, Great weatherproofing, light/packable, stylish, decently warm.

    Cons: Requires more layering for colder weather, price

    Overall this jacket is great, it is a great piece for just about anyone wanting a daily use jacket that can still hand up to just about anything thrown at it. Must buy!

    Not as good as previous incarnations

      I bought this to replace my 2nd Gamma MX since I got a screaming deal. I am sold on the concept of this jacket and use it as a light shoulder season jacket on it's own and a layering or high exertion piece in the winter. I rarely use sweaters, fleeces anymore since buying the MX. Between a short sleeve or long sleeve base layer, the MX, and a shell in various combinations I'm set for 85%+ of the conditions in CO. I swap out the MX for an insulating layer only when it really gets really cold.

      That said - I don't like the new Fortius material nearly as much as the old. The face isn't as slippery (read harder to use for layering) and it feels warmer, but not in a good way. Where it used to be a perfect for 35-60F depending on level of activity, it now feels too warm at the higher half even as a casual piece.

      I also don't like that they relaxed the fit of the XL. Now too roomy in the arms and gut even for a big guy. It is much less athletic. I'm a big fan of Arc for not assuming that all XL guys are fat arses like NF does, but they headed in that direction in this version of the Gamma MX.

      Long and short is that I sent this back and will ride out my current MX until it is really threadbare.

      great review from a perspective of an older model owner. i was planning on upgrading from my 3 year old Gamma MX, and per your review, I've decided to wait to see if they'll revert their design and fabric back to those of the older models. Chances are they won't which is sad. What I love about my older model is that it's trim fitting, but has plenty of length in the arms, and as you said, it's very versatile in a wide range of temperatures. Sad to hear indeed.

      Based on your great review I want to buy one!

      Speaking as a fat arse XL, just the jacket I need. It will accomidate my man-sized proportions, instead of catering to the stick figure set. ;)

      Gamma makes me even handsomer.

      There are a few layers under here. SO comfortable, flexible, warm and breathable.

      Gamma makes me even handsomer.

      say, what color is that? I mean, i know it's blue, but i'm trying to figure out what the color Poseidon looks like. Sounds easy enough, if there was some consistency among cameras, camera settings, display type and settings, lighting type and color rendering indices, etc., etc...

      The color looks to be Poseidon. The Poseidon has the contrasting color accents on the left chest pocket and the sleeve whereas the Kyanos only had the accent on the sleeve. Poseidon is a deep sea blue

      Pocket linings

      All four pockets are lined with mesh. What that means is that they serve as ridiculously effective vents if you open them. (It also means they aren't really "cozy" as hand warmers, and that if you want your pocket open for some reason you need to suffer a breeze.

      Pocket linings

      Among my very favorites

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

      This jacket is one of my favorite things. Functions well in the wild, looks sharp around town.

      It has a huge temperature tolerance and I wear it from the low sixties into the mid-thirties.

      All four pockets also serve as vents for the jacket and are lined with mesh. Wind resistance is pretty good, but the jacket breathes so incredibly well it's amazing.

      Has been holding up well to near constant use in the three colder seasons.

      Great Jacket for what its Designed for

        Okay, I've got to be honest, I wasn't crazy at first about this jacket because I bought it during the winter looking for a casual jacket that could be used hiking/backpacking. It has a light fleece backing and let's in some wind so as a casual winter jacket you still need to layer with other stuff. This all changed once I started exercising in it. I started running and then did a number of day hikes and have to say I was very impressed. The jacket really shines when you are doing heavy physical exersion. Before I'd have to constantly take off and put on layers to regulate body temperature, however the Gamma MX practically eliminates this need in colder weather. If you stop moving for awhile you'll eventually need to put on a puffy. Other things worth mentioning is that it has great storage. Pockets are very smooth and will hold keys, lip balm, phone, etc very well. There's no interior pocket but that's a minor detail. As a casual jacket it's much better suited for temps above 50 degrees, but looks great no matter what the temps. Great product!

        amazing breathability

          Used couple times for hiking with phase base layer in low 30s no wind no rain conditions breathability is amazing sucks the moisture out of base layer and throws it out. Careful with chest pocket i had a phone there and it literally had drops of moisture on it coming from inside.

          work amazing in no wind no rain condition but doesnt stop wind so its perfect for low 30s maybe even 20s when you on the move

          Is it possible to get the sleeves tailored shorter? The XL fits perfect on my larger arms but the sleeves need to be about 1.5 inches shorter. Not sure if my local tailor would be able to get the job done.

          I would say that it's possible, but the tailor would probably ask that you exonerate them regarding any situation that might result in an undesirable outcome for the jacket, and consequently, you. If I had to guess, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a tailor that would take on that project; I would think that there is a relatively high likelihood that the tailor would have a difficult time restitching the necessary pieces into place, on top of the fact that it would very likely reduce the performance capability of this jacket. I would assume Arc'teryx would use some specialty thread and/or glue to secure their fabrics together, so I personally wouldn't risk taking it to a tailor, but like I said, I'd say anything is possible.

          Thank you for the reply. I've seen a few people in forums talk about people who specialize in tailoring gore tex stuff and was hoping maybe even a regular tailor could handle it. Seems like it would be a big hassle though and probably not worth the trouble.

          What is the difference between this jacket and the Epsilon LT in terms of fit and function? (Other than the chest pockets)

          Best Answer

          The Gamma is not as breathable as the Epsilon. Its going to be a warmer jacket but, the Epsilon will breathe better. I would use the Epsilon jacket for more aerobic adventures or if you just run really hot. They both will fit the same.

          How cold can this jacket tolerate? Can I...

          How cold can this jacket tolerate? Can I trust this jacket with temps that dip into the 5 to 10 degree range (assuming I stay somewhat active)? I know I would have to wear some sort of baselayer, but, is this jacket capable of keeping someone warm in colder temperatures?

          Hey Steve,

          There's no accounting for personal comfort levels, but without a pretty heavy baselayer, I'd be nervous about this piece in 5-10 degree weather (assuming we're talking Farenheit, anyway.) This jacket is only very lightly insulated-- the new Fortius 2.0 fabric is laminated to a 160 gm weight fleece, but it's definitely still a softshell, so you'd likely need additional warmth from other layers for serious below-freezing temps.

          Please give me a shout if you have any other questions! 800.409.4502. ext 4456.

          Steve, Ive had this for a winter and its not bad for 40's or higher, but it is defiantly not that warm. I have a Lorum jacket now with Polartec and for the same thickness, they Lorum is much much warmer. However, if you are looking for a late summer-early fall jacket, its not bad.

          Kyle, thanks for your perspective. I appreciate it. I eventually decided against this jacket, mainly because of the reviews here in response to my question. I'm certainly not doubting this is an amazing jacket, but it isn't the right one for the purpose I need. I was really looking for something warmer that can tolerate really cold temperatures.

          I wear my Venta AR in the 20s & 30s just running errands with only one layer underneath. I can take it colder if doing something active or if I get "creative" with layering. I've found it a great colder-temp alternative to the Gamma.

          whats the difference between this yrs model...

          whats the difference between this yrs model and last years?

          There is no difference between this current years model and last (except some colour changes). If I recall the last time they changed the jacket was in the Fall 12 version when the revised the cut/style of jacket and changed from polartec powersheild to the current fortius 2.0 fabric.

          Fortius is a bit more breathable and is slightly warmer than the old Polartec PS. This is not based on any scientific testing but just regular usage of both versions of the jacket. I did find powersheild to cut the wind a bit better. lastly I find the fortius fabric seems to resist fading and the discolouration at he cuffs and hems.

          Do these run slimmer than Epsilon series?...

          Do these run slimmer than Epsilon series? I normally wear a small but I found a clearanced small in nightshade and it was tight. Thanks

          I'm 5' 9" and 185 lbs. Do you think a...

          I'm 5' 9" and 185 lbs. Do you think a medium or large would fit better? Thanks!

          6'1" 175lbs., 42 shoulders, 32 waist.......

          6'1" 175lbs., 42 shoulders, 32 waist.... thinking large, any insight?


          Depends on what you want it for. I'm 6'1" 175 lbs, 40 shoulders and a 32 in waist. I fit in most all Arc'teryk gear in a medium with a good athletic fit that doesn't look stupid by its self, but has enough room underneath for some layering if need be (base layer and thick fleece). You would fit in the Large fine, but it will probably have a bit more room and not be as much of an athletic fit. Comes down to how many layers you want to throw on under it basically.

          Arc' Jackets are a bit tough to fit for guys in the 6ft/170 lbs/40-41 inch chest/32-33 inch waist size unless you have really long arms. I wear a 16/33 inch sleeve length in a dress shirt. The large fit great everywhere except the sleeves. They simply swallowed me. So opted for the medium. A little tighter fit in the chest but not unreasonable. The plain fact when you're sized like we are, you're going to have to compromise in almost any article of clothing you buy. This size sits squarely in the middle of M and L!

          For those of you who have this and an Atom...

          For those of you who have this and an Atom Lt or have at least tried on an Atom lt, is the fit about the same? I can wear a small in the Atom and it's snug, so I'm trying to figure out size on this one. thanks.

          I'm 5"11 and 175lbs - what size would you...

          I'm 5"11 and 175lbs - what size would you recommend? I'm looking at a medium.

          What is the difference in length with the...

          What is the difference in length with the Large and Medium? I wear a medium in the Hyllus and its pretty snug, but fits in length. Any suggestions on what size to go with for the Gamma MX. Im 5'8" with broad shoulders.

          How is fit? I'm 220, 6'4", looking for...

          How is fit? I'm 220, 6'4", looking for something to layer under a shell for skiing

          XL would probably fit you well. But this wouldn't be the best choice for a piece to layer under a shell. It is only lightly insulated and has a soft shell to it, which adds no value as a mid layer, yet a lot of money. It probably is similar to a Delta LT as far as insulative properties , maybe a bit more, but less than a Delta AR, but much more expensive because of its shell properties. I do recommend either of those as a mid-layer, and maybe both to have flexible options.

          This can be used as a mid layer, but the purpose is more to use this as the outer layer most of the time, while putting a hard shell over it when you need more protection from precipitation and/or wind.

          Can anyone comment on the wind resistance?...

          Can anyone comment on the wind resistance? I'm not familiar with Fortius 2.0.

          Best Answer

          The wind resistance is pretty good. It's not 100% like windstopper, but it breaths SO much better. It's about on par with polartech powershield, or 96-98 % roughly. I haven't been in super windy conditions, but at 20-30 mph I don't feel any wind. Fortius is Arc'teryx own proprietary material, with the number - 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 - referring to how thick the fleece lining is. 1.0 is pretty much none or just a shell, 2.0 is a light fleece lining and 3.0 is a thermal layer.

          Wind Resistance is ok. If the winds are howling, enough will get through to make you want to reach for your hardshell. The jacket is designed to be used during high excertion activities, being such its breathability is second to none. Like Benjamin stated, the Fortius material given different numbers depending on how much insulation you're looking for. The Fortius 2.0 is best for cold weather high excertion activities, however if the temps have to be considerably higher if you plan on usuing this casually.

          Does the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell...

          Does the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket - Men's have side pockets for the hands, and how highs the collar?

          It has two hand pockets and a chest and (small) arm pocket and the collar zips up to well below the chin, say about half turtle neck length on most people. I have a freind that is a real pencil neck and it looks like a regular collar, but then again , he's built like a giraffe.

          There are 2 hand pockets, 2 chest pockets (just look at the picture of any color but black, there are zipper pulls visible on both sides of the chest) and a sleeve pocket on the left arm. There are no interior pockets. The collar is of medium height.

          Does the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell...

          Does the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket - Men's have side pockets for the hands, and how highs the collar?

          Does the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell...

          Does the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket - Men's have side pockets for the hands, and how highs the collar?