Make & Model - Arc'teryx LEAF Cold WX Jacket LT
MSRP - $329
Colors - Black, Crocodile, Ranger Green, Wolf
Insulation - Coreloft
Fit - Relaxed athletic
Pockets - 2 hand, 2 bicep, 1 internal
Intended Use - High-speed, low-drag operations
URL - http://www.leaf.arcteryx.com
This is a jacket with a mission. Despite its list of features, there's nothing extraneous when it comes to keeping you warm, organized, and mobile. It's stuffed with Arc'teryx's proprietary Coreloft Insulation, a synthetic, polyester staple fiber that's among the most efficient garment insulators on the market. The outer Windstopper fabric sheds precipitation and blocks wind. Thoughtful design touches include the generous bicep Pockets with inner gear loops, internal cable routing, hand Pockets large enough to stow a map (or a tallboy), hem adjustments, and elastic cuffs. And since it was designed for the military market, there are Velcro fields on the shoulders, and all logos are subdued and nonreflective.
We found the Cold WX Jacket LT blended warmth, durability, utility, and comfort in just about equal parts. Unlike others in this group, it doesn't exhibit a performance compromise trying to fill a niche, such as being the lightest or the warmest. We worked on the mountain, wearing it for several months in northern Vermont's winter, often along with load-bearing gear. It excelled in all areas. The bicep Pockets were a boon, holding a notebook, snacks, and other admin items on one side, and emergency gear such as a tourniquet, folding knife, and hand warmers in the other. It shed snow and light rain without wetting out, and the athletic cut never held us back — whether climbing, hiking, or running a rope rescue rig. It's ideal for medium- to low-output endeavors in 25- to 50-degree temperatures; if things get vigorous, it's tough to dump heat.
– Durable, warm, comfortable
– Bicep Pockets
– No hood to interfere with other layers or equipment.
– Tough to access timepiece under the elastic cuffs
– Limited breathability and venting