Arc’teryx Zeta LT Rain Jacket Review

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[Editors rating (9.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (9.0)/10


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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Arc’teryx Zeta LT Rain Jacket Review Review Facts

When looking for a good raincoat there are a lot of things to consider before you decide on one. How much can it truly handle when it comes to a full-on downpour? Can it keep you warm enough to be worth it to have? Is it too warm for the area you will most likely be wearing it in, or not warm enough?

By answering these questions, you are on the right track for deciding if a coat is a correct fit for what you need. Of course, size, style, and durability are all massive points to consider as well, because you don’t want something that will tear or won’t cover you when it comes time to wear it. That is what we are here for, and we found this particular coat to be one worth looking over.

So, what does the Arc Teryx Zeta LT have to offer that others did, and what does it lack? Read on to find out if this is the perfect fit, or if this is something that might be better on a different set of shoulders.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Lightweight

3 layers

Breathable material

Adjustable storm hood

Soft exterior

Highly durable

Extremely waterproof

Cons

Expensive

Zipper isn’t pitted

Higher pocket openings

Pockets too deep

Brand

Brand

This brand came into existence in 1991, so it is no surprise that just the name alone evokes a sense of loyalty and confidence from their customers. There have been a lot of other brands that have come and gone who have all attempted to compete, but in the end, the attention to quality, durability, and detail has left Arc Teryx on the top of the mountain and rarely contested. They simply have put in the time and testing to make products that we can rely on to not let us down, especially if you’re an outdoors enthusiast who wants to know your dollar is well-spent.

The fact that they have partnered up with Gore-Tex only lends credence to their knowledgeability and brand name. When it comes to outerwear you can trust to get you through any weather without fail, this is a brand you can go with time and again. Where most companies seem to rely on making you a repeat customer by creating gear that starts out great but wears out rapidly, Arc Teryx wants you to come back because you know their gear will last and work until you simply have a taste for something new.
Breathability

Breathability

For a soft-shelled coat, especially one with three layers, this particular model was actually surprisingly good at keeping the wearers from becoming overheated- at least on mild to cooler days. The tighter fit and the materials used in the liner actually kept sweat and heat from creating a sauna effect on the skin, instead of allowing heat to be wicked off and cooler air to get between the fabrics and cool off the wearer.

It was on warmer days while working extra hard on a hike or climbing that the wearers felt it could have used just a little more ventilation. Even then they did not get overheated to the point of being excessively uncomfortable. The closest description was ‘mild’ discomfort for these more strenuous outings, but definitely still well within manageable ranges.
Comfort

Comfort

This is easily one of the most comfortable coats, according to owners, that money can buy. The materials used with this one leave you feeling comfortable and protected from the elements all around which isn’t what you get with most raincoats. The material is flexible, breathable and allows you to move without being hit by the usual loud and obnoxious crinkling sound that many just can’t stand.

Most of the time a coat like this is not designed with how it feels to the wearer when using it, often feeling sticky or rubbing at the skin in a very uncomfortable fashion. The skin close feel of the liner for this coat, however, is soft and doesn’t leave the same ‘raw’ feeling in its wake. The comfortable material is not only softer, but it wicks the sweat and heat from your skin without suddenly becoming glued to you with a sticky residue which is a definite plus comparatively.
Durability

Durability

Due to its 3-layer design and the heavy-duty fabric, as well as the way it is stitched together, this coat has been proving time and again that it is up to the elevated standards that it's brand name implies. There are very few coats out there with quite as much quality put into its build, and it shows when you are paying attention to the details.

This coat utilizes a brand-specific fabric from Gore-Tec called “C-knit” which is so well designed that even some companies looking to create filters and other heavy-duty industrialized fabrics and materials have been in competition to create something as good if not better.

So, what is C-Knit and why is this something to think about when judging durability? Well, initially you will find that what gives it the waterproofing is a very easily torn or damaged ‘skin’ that creates the need for the three-layered fabric. It requires a more durable top and bottom layer to prevent it from becoming ruined. The harsh fact is that other than the fact we know nylon and Teflon are involved as part of the materials- the rest they have kept to themselves quite well.

This created material, however, is something that has other manufacturers in a frenzy though, because it allows air to pass through, but completely blocks moisture, like rain, from escaping and yet allows sweat to be drawn away from the body. In completing all tasks it still is one of the best rated for durability against tears and stains which make this jacket an awesome buy.
Size

Size

This design comes in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large. This isn’t immediately knowledgeable on exactly what size fits which person, though it is called a ‘trim fit’ by the charts, meaning it is supposed to be a little closer to the body in it’s sizing. The good news is that the company provides a chart that can help you to decide which of these four is best for you.

The way the chart works is by taking into account your height, weight, age, the best fitting shirt brand you wear, the size of that brand and its country. With this information, it gives you the recommended ‘true to you fit bars so that you can slide it from snug to loose in chest and sleeve length to find out what you prefer in your sizing. This allows for a quicker way, and a better way, for picking something based on comfort over measurements.

According to those who have purchased one of these coats and used the charts, they have found the ‘true to you’ fit at its initial decision to be perfect. It gives just enough room to allow easy movement without being too baggy to keep you warm and dry. A definite improvement in comparison to most other sizing charts in our opinion.
Use

Use

While this is technically a raincoat, the price and the extreme build on it call it out for being something more, and it is. This is called a ‘hikers shell’ and is built not just to keep the rain off of you, but to endure the more wild and adventurous hiking trails as well as to be packed down small for easy transport. This isn’t the kind of coat you go out to buy for your everyday use, instead, it is intended for those who plan to be out where a normal coat simply can’t cut it.

If you are a hiker or climber who needs something durable enough to handle rough terrain and move with you easily so you don’t end up falling or ripping your weather protection, this coat or hikers shell will provide you with all that you need for a long time to come.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Most hiker’s shells are either stiff and hard to maneuver in so that they are more durable, or they crinkle and make a lot of noise when you move. This version is soft and flexible, allowing you to move easily, and doesn’t make that same crinkling plastic noise that makes many hikers annoyed and not wanting to use them. Despite being a ‘trim’ fit and close to the skin, those who have worn it claim to still have plenty of room and maneuverability.

The coat stays close to the body without causing that stiff-armed feeling that others cause, especially across the shoulders. The good news is despite this quiet flexibility, it is just as durable as your hard-shell coats and less annoying than that plastic bag noisemaker you have for most competitions.
Cleaning

Cleaning

Cleaning this is a breeze compared to other products built for similar use. A lot of uniquely designed coats and jackets require dry cleaning and or hand-washing, especially with the kind of price tag you see attached to this coat. Fortunately, it doesn’t come with a continuous price tag that follows it beyond the purchase.

You simply make sure all the zippers are closed and assure the tension is released on all the cords, add your regular cleaner to the load, and wash it on a medium heat setting. Shake your coat out, since it is a raincoat, and apply product specialty DWR spray and dry as normal. With only the protective spray to be added into your laundry routine, it really is easy to use.
Style

Style

This coat is one that, though designed to be worn out in nature for your hiking needs, is just as good to wear out on your everyday treks as well. It’s tight-fitting, not bulky like other coats that you could wear out, and honestly, it looks good. It comes in a few different colors which means you can pick the one you like most and feel suits you as well, and its hood won’t have you fighting for your life once you slide it off.

Most coats leave you feeling like an abominable snowman when you wear them into social settings, your arms are two to three times bigger, you look like you weight twice as much as you do, and the hood refuses to lay flat even when you slide it off. This coat hugs to your frame and the hood flattens down easily, so even hanging out, there isn’t a need to take your coat off only to worry you might forget to grab it again. A definite touch of style both in appearance and in how it looks when worn.
Water Resistance

Water Resistance

Water-resistance is putting it mildly with this coat, after all, it is supposed to keep you dry on the trail and it does that with flying colors. The cloth itself is designed to be waterproof and yet remains breathable, and according to those who have had the opportunity to enjoy this coat, it works perfectly. The rain not only stays out, but it wicks off any sweat without getting sticky and clingy to the skin which is a major plus.
Wind Protection

Wind Protection

So, you know this coat has you covered in rain, but what about high winds and colder altitudes? Well, unlike most competitors, the company chose not to trim out in order to make it that slight bit less in packing size. Instead, they chose to give their coat everything you needed to not just keep you safe in against water, but wind and snow as well.

The choice to keep three layers rather than thin out one of the layers has made this coat the one to go for if you intend to travel more rugged terrains. It’ll keep you nice, dry and safe for all-weather patterns and it still packs up nicely for carrying in your pack.
Key Features

Key Features

All-weather terrain
Doesn’t stick to skin
Light-weight
Stylish
Durable
Easy packing

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a coat that will hold up to its cost in every way shape and form, this one is definitely it. Of course, at $425 that means it has to hold up to a lot! If you want something affordable you won’t get it in this brand- but that is because they put quality and durability first so you don’t have to hunt again unless you want to.