Arc'teryx Atom LT vs. Atom AR

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Arc'teryx Atom LT vs. Atom AR

Arc'teryx is a brand known for its outerwear, in particular, the Atom line. The Atom LT hoody is lightweight and versatile- making it famous for everyday wear, sportswear, and backcountry wear. The Atom AR Hoody is the ultimate cold weather jacket, providing extra warmth and insulation. At first glance, the Atom AR and the Atom LT look highly similar. Both jackets feature a rear drop hem, two-pocket design, reinforced StormHood™, elastic cuffs, and zipper pulls. However, when we look past just the appearance, there are some significant differences.

Arc'teryx is a brand known for its outerwear, in particular, the Atom line. The Atom LT hoody is lightweight and versatile- making it famous for everyday wear, sportswear, and backcountry wear. The Atom AR Hoody is the ultimate cold weather jacket, providing extra warmth and insulation. At first glance, the Atom AR and the Atom LT look highly similar. Both jackets feature a rear drop hem, two-pocket design, reinforced StormHood™, elastic cuffs, and zipper pulls. However, when we look past just the appearance, there are some significant differences.

Whichever you choose, Arc'teryx's Atom collection is trusted by both athletes and outdoors people alike to ensure warmth, comfort, and high-quality outerwear. After reading this, we hope you know which Arc'teryx jacket is right for you!

 

Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is a versatile piece great for both daily wear and backcountry use. The latest model is extremely lightweight but with improved warmth, making it one of the most versatile jackets on the market! Let's take a look at some of the features.

Weather Resistance and Warmth

The outer layer of the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that holds up nicely in light precipitation. The Tyono™ 20 face fabric has been updated and has enhanced abrasion resistance and elevated protection from moisture and harsh winds. The low-profile StormHood™ on the Atom LT is both adjustable and insulated. The structured mini hood brim helps to minimize cold wind chill and protects against light rain. The coverage from its collar and adjustable hood make it an excellent jacket to have if you are caught in an unexpected storm. It won't completely take the place of your waterproof rain jacket because it will soak up some water in continued rainfall, but with the help of the DWR treatment, it can withstand moderate storms and wind.

The Atom LT is filled with Coreloft Compact insulation (60 gram), which is extremely warm and resists packing out, which helps maintain loft and performance in the long term. It is about half the thickness of the Coreloft found in the AR (which makes it great as a mid-layer piece), but it packs a punch when it comes to insulation. While the synthetic insulation is not quite as warm as down, it comes with other perks. Coreloft insulation is a good alternative to duck or goose down because if water ends up soaking into the insulation, the compact fill will still provide warmth. The liner of the Arc'teryx Atom LT hoody features an ultra-breathable Dope Permeair™ technology, which helps with temperature regulation during high output activities. Additionally, the ultra-breathable liner is dope dyed. The dope dye process uses considerably fewer resources than traditional dye processes.

Fit and Features

The Arc'Teryx Atom LT Hoody was updated in 2020 to showcase a trimmer, longer, and more contemporary fit. The update also improved on performance. Newly improved side panels feature stretchy midweight fleece that offers increased durability and helps to minimize pilling to resist wear. The new stretchy fleece side paneling also helps to provide comfort, performance, and breathability.

The jacket features a No-Slip Zip™ main opening, along with zippered hand pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket with custom thermoplastic polyurethane zipper pulls.

The elastic arm cuffs have been improved to aid in easy layering, removal, and durability. Dual hem adjusters let you get a snug fit to keep cold air out and warm air in.

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is 12.2oz and extremely packable!

Overall

The Atom LT is the thinner option out of the two jackets we are looking at, and therefore we can't expect maximum warmth retention from it. However, the Atom LT is a great outerwear choice for fall, early winter, and spring when temperatures are not below 40 degrees. It's perfect for active use, mild temps, damp days, and it could easily be used as a mid-layer piece for snowsports or in frigid temperatures. There is good reason for its popularity, and at $259, we recommend this jacket for anyone looking to upgrade from something like a Patagonia Nano Puff or a Northface Thermoball.

 

Arc'teryx Atom AR Hoody

The Arc'teryx Atom AR Hoody is a great jacket to go for if you are looking for more substantial warmth. It's perfect for those who don't want to wear a parka or bulky coat for everyday use but want to be as warm as possible. Let's look at some of the stand-out features of the Atom AR.

Weather Resistance and Warmth

The Atom AR is the thickest, heaviest, and warmest of Arc'Teryx's Atom Collection. At $299 full price, it is also the most expensive. While the Atom LT is relatively lightweight and suitable for mild weather, the Atom AR has an entirely different purpose.

The Atom AR contains the thickest 120g/m2 Coreloft insulation, which helps keep in as much heat as possible. This thick layer of Coreloft insulation makes it a viable down alternative. It performs and rates very highly with consumers regarding warmth, comfort, and wind resistance. This all-around versatile jacket may be the warmest edition in the Atom series, but you still get optimal ventilation along with comfort and mobility. On the Atom AR, the Coreloft synthetic insulation is body-mapped for optimal thermal performance, ideal for cold-weather activities. The thicker fill is used in critical areas like the shoulders, outer sleeves, and sides to ensure insulation. Lighter insulation is used in places like the underarms to assist in venting and minimizing bulkiness and weight.

The 30 denier Atom AR nylon shell is treated with the same durable and wind-resistant Tyono™ dura coating that we see on the LT. The Tyono™ dura coating ensures that the jacket is not air permeable, while the durable water repellent (DWR) finish helps moisture bead up on the surface instead of soaking through. This is the same DWR coating that we see on the Atom LT, so it won't take the place of a hardshell rain jacket, but Coreloft ensures warmth even if it gets wet. We also see the same StormHood™ with a structured mini hood brim for warmth and protection, but this time it is helmet-compatible!

The Arc'Teryx Atom AR jacket is excellent on its own in temperatures as low as 20 degrees. Still, you could easily take it into much lower temperatures if you followed the Arc'Teryx layering system and paired it with a hard shell outer layer.

Fit and Features

While the Arc'teryx Atom LT has a more trim fit, the Arc'teryx Atom AR has a more regular fit. The Atom AR is ideal for layering, as it is roomier in fit. You could easily fit a mid to heavyweight fleece under it for added warmth. You could even fit the Atom LT under the Atom AR if you wanted to!

Both jackets showcase a drop hem. On the AR, articulated elbows and gusseted underarms help to provide mobility and comfort. The stretch-woven cuff construction increases durability and makes it an easy top layer to take on and off. Unlike the Atom LT, the side panels of the AR are made of nylon instead of fleece, which allows less air to come through. The Permeair™ underarm panels improve ventilation for higher output activities, making them suitable for winter sports like cross country skiing or general winter living.

We see the same No-Slip Zip™ front zipper, and the thermoplastic polyurethane zipper pulls that we saw on the Atom LT. Inside, we see an internal chest pocket with a zipper and two hand pockets with hidden zippers. It is also equipped with an adjustable-hem drawcord.

The Arc'teryx Atom AR is 15.2 oz and is still easily packable, even with the thicker insulation.

Overall

For cold temps and everyday winter living, the Arc'Teryx Atom AR is ideal. It works perfectly as an extra warm mid or top layer for winter sports and cold climates. We love the AR for those wanting substantial warmth and insulation but who still want to maintain comfort, mobility, and have the option of versatility.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, we love both jackets for their superior technology. Both the Arc'Teryx Atom LT and AR are top-notch outerwear choices. Which one you choose may depend on the climate you live in, the time of year, or the activity you perform.

For high output activities like cold weather hiking or temperatures 40 degrees and over, we recommend the Atom LT for its ultra-light warmth to weight ratio and its top-of-the-line ventilation system. For cold winter sports like downhill skiing or temperatures under 20 degrees, we recommend the Atom AR for its superior body-mapped insulation and optimal thermal performance. No matter what cold-weather activity you are doing, one of these two jackets should have you covered!

 

(P.s- If you want to add a hard shell top layer, we recommend the Arc'Teryx GoreTex Windshell!)

 

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