After 15 years, I finally retired my old worn out North Face jacket. I own an Arc'teryx windbreaker that I use for work trips, and I love the fit and functionality of it. I finally pulled the trigger this last weekend at the Backcountry warehouse and bought the Sabre LT in firecracker color in a size large. I got to test it out these last two days during our April snowstorm. These were perfect conditions to try out a shell like this, because it was a mix of very high winds, rain, ice pellets, and snow.
First of all, the fit of this jacket is similar to my other Arc'teryx. I am 6ft 1in, 195lbs, and cursed with orangutan arms. In most manufacturers sizes, I wear a size large, but often times the sleeve length is not long enough. The thing I like about Arc'teryx is they make their jacket arm sleeves plenty long so I do not have to size up to an XL and end up with a baggy jacket. The size large in this shell fits me perfectly. You will read some reviews that talk about the bottom of this jacket fitting tight around the hips. I did not find that to be an issue, and even though I like to think I am an athletic build, my mid 40s dad bod is probably average to slightly above average in hip with. This jacket fit me with no problems
The jacket performed perfectly in the spring storm that I skied in over the last two days. As expected, with Gore-Tex, it had no problems with rain, ice pellets, or snow in keeping me dry. What surprised me, however, is how well this shell blocks the wind. Even skiing downhill directly into a 20+ knot wind, this shell blocks the wind like a wall.
As for functionality and fit while using the jacket, I found no restriction of movement skiing the spring powder in the trees or hauling ass on the groomers. I am also happy that this thing does not sound like a truck tarp in the wind when you are going fast.
Overall, I am very happy with the shell after using it for two days. I was a little wary of the firecracker color, and the orange portion is bright as hell, but my wife says she really likes the color and the way it looks. Maybe she is just saying that to be nice, but at this point I like it too.