CB in Mainewrote a review of Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket - Women's on June 27, 2013
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This jacket is amazing. It is incredibly versatile- lots of room for layers but doesn't look baggy without them.
The performance is obviously amazing. In conjunction with the right layering systems this jacket could work anywhere from -25 to 75 degrees. You really can't beat versatility like that, which is what makes this a product worth spending extra for. I could tell you how wonderfully waterproof, windproof, and breathable this jacket is, but I'm assuming you already know that.
Originally I purchased it as an upgrade to my nylon Patagonia rain jacket for cold winter skiing (3L is, apparently, pretty much a necessity below freezing), but was pleased to learn that it is great for literally everything.
While I seriously love Patagonia, including the rain jacket mentioned above, I find that the cut of this jacket is just so much more flattering. To me, this aspect of the jacket is what justifies the price tag. In truth, I hadn't realized how ill-fitting my other jackets actually are until I had this. It just hangs right and feels comfortable no matter what, without any awkward bunching. To me, it's the perfect balance between boxy (read: room for layers) and fitted (read: flattering). It is so perfect, in fact, that it feels like the natural solution to the question of fit, as opposed to a compromise between two options. And, while vanity isn't a concern when buying gear, looking good is definitely a great bonus! And, truthfully, well-fitting gear makes all the difference in terms of performance and utility as well. More importantly to me, the fit of the jacket signifies the thought and care put into the design, which is evident in all aspects of the jacket.
This may be one of the more expensive articles of clothing I ever own, but I will want to wear it forever, so the math actually works out. (HINT: Watch for sales on this jacket. I got mine half off. People flexible about color should have no trouble getting a good deal if they are patient.)