Regular readers have seen and read about the Arcteryx Theta AR Jacket here many times. If you remember correctly, I often refer to it as the gold standard of outer shell layer jackets and that is because it is. This jacket with two relatively minor exceptions is perfect.
Not the best picture of a wonderful and important piece of gear but it does show the color well.
Shell layers are a big deal for people that do the kinds of things we do way out there and the Theta AR is the best of them in my not so humble opinion. The “Expedition” fit is full to allow for full thickness base and insulation layers. The three layer Gore-Tex Proshell (the new models use the more breathable Pro fabric) is light, effective and very durable. The pocket set is very efficient but highly functional. The velcro slash elastic sleeve cuff combo is perfect as is the length of the sleeves which allows for proper active ventilation techniques. The stand alone zip up collar with attached drop hood is absolutely best in class. The pitzips are long and easy to use.
The whole jacket really is as it should be for real outdoorsman so what are the two issues I would like to see changed? A full length jacket should have a double main zipper to make sitting or riding easier (also helps when wearing a harness) and it is louder than I would like for sneek & peek snoop & poop hop& pop purposes but in all fairness that is more of a technological issue than a ding against Arcteryx.
One more thing, as long as I am making suggestions. I think that the Theta AR should either be added to the LEAF line or always kept in stealthy earth tone colors like Crocodile or the excellent Wolf colors on the civilian consumer side. The one pictured above is a two tone green called Oregano and it is freaking awesome. It does the job I need it to do in the boonies but doesn’t scream gun and scare the horses when I am in town if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I should have done this sooner, I don’t know why I hadn’t, this jacket certainly deserves the credit. It is the kind of piece that you should buy two of, as soon as possible, just in case somebody at Arcteryx gets the crazy idea to change it (like getting rid of the separate stand up collar) or god forbid discontinue it completely.
Thanks for visiting.
Sorting through the fads and fashion of the outdoor equipment industry to identify and promote the very best wilderness gear for high end recreational users, backcountry professionals and government agencies.
We can be educated and persuaded but not bought, bullied or bs’d.
Hardcore Outdoor is dedicated to those who can’t or won’t turn back.