Arc’teryx Zeta FL Jacket Review & Zeta SL Pant Review
Nov 26, 2018 at 1:20 am #3565809Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Companion forum thread to: Arc’teryx Zeta FL Jacket Review & Zeta SL Pant Review
The Arc’teryx Zeta FL Jacket is a Gore-tex Paclite Plus rain jacket that features a trim fit and hip length. It has articulated tailoring in the hood and arms, a full-length water-resistant zipper, two handwarmer pockets with water-resistant zippers, elastic hem and wrist cuffs, and an adjustable hood aperture.Nov 26, 2018 at 3:52 am #3565838Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I’ve had the Zeta SL (not the FL in the preliminary review) jacket and Zeta SL pants for a little while now. I got the SL jacket for the adjustable cuffs and hem. The lack of pit zips (boo!) meant I wanted control over the other air ingress/egress points.
I have a lot of Arc’x Stuff. It fits me well and I’m willing to spend some cheddar on it. I will just warn folks that the pants, while nicely articulated as Arc’x stuff always is, run pretty small. I ALWAYS wear medium Arc’x pants, and the medium Zetas fit like freaking skinny jeans. I could wear them, but moving to a large was necessary if I was going to put them on over anything other than silk weight long underwear and just stand around. I wish they had boot stirrup grommets. I’m also a little concerned about the internal ladder-lock waist band adjustment. It sits close to the iliac crest and may prove very uncomfortable under a pack waist belt. We’ll see.
I ALWAYS wear size large in Arc’x tops, and the SL jacket fits me fine. It layers well over a Nano Air hoody. I wish it had pit zips. Zippers weigh nothing and so leaving pit zips off of a shell meant for high aerobic output activities like backpacking is moronic. I would also prefer a second, traditional hood adjustment around the face opening. This is not the end of the world as the single, rear adjustment works okay. Not great, but well enough.
Overall classic, beautifully-made Arc’x stuff. And less expensive than a lot of their more burly or expedition-oriented hard shells.Nov 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm #3565860Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
Calling out the guys who do fair weather reviews of rain shells is pretty funny.
But I’m not sure going out on a cold, blizzard day is all that much better. I’m interested to see how a rain shell performs in prolonged wet, rainy conditions. How long does the DWR take to wet out? How does the jacket feel once the DWR is wetted out? And so-on.
I would welcome more reviews like this but under tough wet conditions. Please review one of the Marmot EvoDry jackets and the Columbia Featherweight shell.
I find adding the video component to the review very enjoyable. I think it’s a great format to have both a written part and a video component.Nov 26, 2018 at 4:45 pm #3565880Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
“I wish it had pit zips.”
Fwiw, I got a Zeta LT Hybrid a few years back in 2014 thru a warranty exchange. It has both a stowable hood and pit zips. Albeit slightly heavier other models, it’s pretty versatile.
Not sure if the model continued into 2015.Nov 26, 2018 at 5:28 pm #3565894Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Jeff – agreed – rain performance is critical.
I just used mine in the shower and it worked great.
Sustained rain – that certainly needs to be the focus of our long-term review, or it’s all sort of pointless.
That said, here in the Rockies, hard shells for winter wind protection is pretty critical. There’s so much wind out here, and wind shirts just don’t cut it unless you’re wearing a fleece underneath. A hardshell-wool hoody combo is my favorite for trekking in blizzards out here during the winter. And today’s hardshell fabrics are so good (breathable) that they are entirely suitable as wind protection for low-aerobic activities like trekking in cold temperatures.Nov 26, 2018 at 7:46 pm #3565920Ben PerryBPL Member
Thanks for the heads up and review of this new product, Ryan. I actually just bought a Beta SL Hybrid at REI’s big fall sale, but I am really tempted by the weight reduction and simplicity (yes to hand warmer pockets, no to pit zips) of the Zeta FL.Nov 27, 2018 at 3:52 am #3566013Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
“I’m interested to see how a rain shell performs in prolonged wet, rainy conditions.”
It’s a goretex jacket. There is nothing revolutionary here that I can discern. Yes, it has pretty decent DWR, but the material whetted out under my pack straps on the first use. No surprise there. A lot of goretex performance comes from keeping it clean, lots of venting, wearing the proper layers underneath, reducing your aerobic output under difficult conditions, ambient air temp and humidity, and factors other than the fabric itself. This jacket doesn’t fix or obviate any of those concerns. It’s still just a goretex jacket. I’ve tried every waterproof/breathable on the market and they all have trade offs. Gore seems to offer the best balance between features and downsides for my uses so that’s why I keep buying them. But none seem like any real leap forward in performance that I can make out. This jacket won’t be any different. It’s light and fits well. You will stay comfy in mild to moderate conditions and survive the inevitable wetness of hard work in prolonged rain. If you don’t expect more then you won’t be disappointed.Nov 30, 2018 at 5:18 am #3566531Ben PerryBPL Member
Update: so I went to REI today to try on the new Zeta FL and SL jackets. Ryan’s review clearly says that the FL is trim fitting, but I was surprised at exactly how trim cut it is. I’m a broad-shouldered guy that usually straddles the line between L and XL, and generally an Arc’teryx trim XL fits great. The Zeta FL was the first time that an XL was too small. The SL, on the other hand, fit perfectly (as other Arc garments have in the past). So I ended up coming home with a Zeta SL, which will probably replace the Beta SL Hybrid I bought (but haven’t worn) several weeks back.Apr 15, 2019 at 3:45 am #3588829rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
I was in REI today and took a look at the Zeta FL jacket. Nice piece. But I was quite surprised to see that it was on the clearance rack and marked down to less than $250. Strangely, this concerns me. Why would a new jacket, just released, already be on the clearance rack?Apr 15, 2019 at 5:11 am #3588836Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
“Why would a new jacket, just released, already be on the clearance rack?”
Maybe Arcteryx decided to bring out a revision with pit zips. :-))
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