The Arc'teryx Nuclei AR is a highly water-resistant synthetic insulated belay jacket for alpine climbing. Its low weight, highly water-resistant shell, and highly compressible insulation make it perform very well for use on multi-day technical climbs.
Our overall highest rated windproof synthetic insulated jacket is the Nunatak Skaha Apex, which offers a higher warmth to weight ratio, customizable fit, customizable pockets, and costs $150 to $200 less than the Nuclei AR.
Features & Specifications
- Seam-taped 20-denier Gore Thermium fabric is windproof and highly water resistant;
- Three-way adjustable hood, parka-length cut, and interior stash pocket;
- 3.5 oz (100 g) Coreloft insulation with 1.4 oz (40 g) insulation in the hood;
- Packs into a narrow stuff sack for clipping to a harness.
We tested this jacket as part of our Synthetic Insulated Jacket State of the Market Report (to be published on March 25, 2018), which compared fifteen of the best jackets over two years of hiking, climbing, mountaineering, packrafting, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering.
Description of Field Testing
We tested this jacket for six months of hiking, climbing, ski mountaineering, nordic skating, and ultralight ski touring. This jacket was put through the wringer. Here are two trips we used it for:
- A climbing, skiing, and packrafting expedition in the Alaska Range
- Alaska Winter Wilderness Ski Classic race
Member's Only Content
- Performance Assessment
- Hood Insulation
- Weather Resistance
- Strengths & Limitations
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The Nunatak Skaha Apex has the highest warmth to weight ratio of all jackets we tested. Its insulation, length, sleeve length, and pockets are all customizable, and it costs roughly the same amount as the Xenon X.
For high exertion pursuits, our two highest rated active insulation jackets are the Patagonia Nano Air Light (for when every ounce counts) and the Arcteryx Proton LT Hoody (more versatile and more durable).
A comprehensive Synthetic Insulated Jacket State of the Market Report will be released on March 25, 2018. When that report is published, we’ll update this review with a comparison summary of this product with other notable products in the review.
Though very specialized, this is a stunning jacket. We hope Arcteryx uses a continuous filament insulation when they release the next version of the Nuclei AR.
Where to Buy
The Arc'teryx Nuclei AR is available from Backcountry.
This review is part of a comprehensive State of the Market survey of synthetic insulated jackets that has been ongoing for the past two years. Included in this survey:
- Arc'teryx Kappa Hoody Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Hoody Review
- Outdoor Research Uberlayer Review
- Rab Xenon X Review
- Montbell Thermawrap Guide Review
- Rab Nimbus Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Light Review
- LLBean Primaloft Packaway Review
- Arc'teryx Proton LT Review
- Black Diamond Heat Treat Hoody Review
- Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review
- Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Jacket Review
- Nunatak Skaha Apex Review
- Montane Spitfire Parka Review
- Arc'teryx Nuclei AR Parka Review
- Patagonia DAS Parka Review (TBA March 25)
- Synthetic Insulated Jackets State of the Market Report (TBA March 25)
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