Arc’teryx Fortrez

8.9 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.9)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Arc’teryx Fortrez Review Facts

The Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody is a technical fleece created with comfort in mind. The hoody is a piece that can be worn by itself or easily used for layering to get your desired performance needed. The Fortrez hoody is designed with Hardface Technology, Polartec Power Stretch technology for warmth and durability and has a scuba hood. The zip front abrasion-resistant fleece gives durability yet is flexible for easy movement. The hoody has a unique added feature of a balaclava to brave the elements without having to pack or carry extra gear. The trim fit paired with the water resistant material keep you dry and warm when out on a mountain climb or using for skiing.

Created by a company that knows and meets the needs of all types of elements you can face, this fleece will not let you down. With careful detail when it was designed that range from the self locking zipper that does not unzip on its own and a scuba hood that can be secured tightly keeping even the strongest wind gusts out. Get optimum protection without the bulk or weight of other materials will give you the edge you need to tackle your next adventure. You will find excuses to use this hoody more than you expected.

Editor's Pros & Cons



Water Resistant

Well designed with functionality


Not as warm as other jackets

Higher price point


Arc’teryx is a company that is built on the principle of precise design and production that is obsessive. Being located in the wilderness of the Canadian Coast Mountains they know a thing or two about designing products that have superior performance at the point of extreme need. Arc’teryx has a design center and in-house manufacturing facility, allowing the company to build the products the right way and evolve as needed. All of these things with the high quality products are why the company has a high return of loyal customers.


Having gear that is breathable helps to regulate your bodies temperature to not build up moisture and not to over heat while performing your activities. The Fortrez Hoody is fairly breathable due to the materials used and the thinness. Many other brands that have a treatment or material to block the rain and wind making theirs less breathable.

The Polyester blend provides a four-way fabric movement for flexibility along with great moisture wicking properties. Polyester is known to have a faster drying time and attract body odor less than other types of fabric. The durability of the materials used keep the protection at a high level while still allowing air flow to regulate body temperatures. The full zip closure allows for the ability to unzip the fleece to adjust airflow as needed.


Made with the Polartech Power Stretch fleece, it has a soft feel against your skin providing warmth with movement. The full zip closure with flat lock seams allows for easy wear and the ability to adjust it to your needed wind or element protection. The scuba hood can be worn under a climbing or ski helmet without any gaping for extra protection. Having a balaclava already attached with easy access to wear around your neck and easily move over your mouth or face, even with gloves on provides protection with added comfort. When you are not wearing the balaclava it sits to the back of the hood so comfortably you do not even know it is there.

Hand-warming pockets with zip closures built into the fleece get high reviews when toughing some of the elements and your hands need a quick break. If using a harness the Fortrez hoody is cut long enough that it will not ride up however some users experienced the hand warmer pockets can get bunched up under the harness. It is recommended to place your hands into the pockets to flatten them out and zip them closed before putting on the harness. This can help alleviate the problem from happening and will be more comfortable even with the harness on.

Comfort is always something to consider when wearing a standalone piece but also when using it with a layering system. The slim and lightweight design are a feature that is important when layering to avoid the bulky and restrictive feeling that layering with other fleeces might be felt. The total weight of the hoody is 13.2 ounces. This can be worn as a standalone piece but paired with a vest for run down a slope or when on an extreme climb where the extra layer is needed. The sleeves have a cuff for a snug fit so when putting on as a layer the arms stay in place. It allows for a full range of motion with the entire body and with gusseted underarms there is no restriction when arm movement can be demanding.


Made with Polartec Power Stretch fleece using a Hardface Technology the Fortrez Hoody is durable to withstand the elements and against wear. Polartec fleece is made from synthetic materials with breathable, warm properties that provide stretch with out gaping. The Hardface Technology is what gives it the extreme durability and water resistance needed for any activity. The material is 88% polyester and 12% elastane giving it the Hardface benefits. Using this technology allows for the finished product to be lightweight, preserve the functionality and keep your investment looking like new even after years of use.


Arc’teryx Fortrez Hoody is available in sizes ranging from S – XL and running true to size. Those with a broader shoulder or chest build recommend ordering a size larger than usual as the fleece has a trim fit that can be snug in the shoulder area. The hip length and trim fitting hem gives even those with a longer midsection full protection without ride up.


Designed for protection and efficient movement in the elements of the Alpines was the basis for the creation of the fleece but not limited to this alone. Whatever activity you do such as rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing or hitting a path up a mountain for an intense aerobic training it will provide you the protection and warmth needed without being bulky. Adventure seeking is not for everyone, you don’t have to be to wear this fleece. It can be worn when you just need a protective layer or for additional warmth.

The use of a fleece is not only based on what activity you are doing but also how it can used. The Fortrez is lightweight, with a smooth feel and flat lock zippers make this a great layering tool. Conditions can change quickly and being prepared is a priority when packing for an adventure. With this fleece being used as a protective layer and the ability to slip an outer shell on top of it quickly helps to preserve body temperature that you already have generated.


The Polartec Power Stretch which is made of both polyester and elastane provide the fleece with the protection needed yet allows for flexibility and movement. The soft material allows for full range of motion that is needed when tackling the mountain climb or when using for an aerobic trek where arm extension and movement are important. The cut and design that can be layered for additional warmth yet not restricting movement or being bunched up under the outer layer.

As with climbing or skiing the body is moving in multiple directions at the same time so having a covering that is designed to be flexible and move with the body part is its covering is important in the elements. The Fortrez Hoody does it job well but giving you the coverage needed while remaining flexible with your bodies natural movements during activities.


The fleece hoody is easy to clean being machine washable in lukewarm water. Do not bleach, use fabric softeners and iron/ dry clean. You can use your regular detergents however there are specialty fabric cleaners that can be used that are designed to remove all of the dirt, leaves no residue and prevents odor building up in the fabric. The material used is designed to be durable so you do not have to worry about fading and is also anti-pill. This helps to give longevity of your fleece without the pilling that can happen with many other brands.


Having a fleece that is both versatile and stylish is a something the Fortrez Hoody can offer. The trim cut style with full zip front closure and flat lock seams give the hoody a clean, classic look that can be worn for your weekend climbing trip or daily without looking to sporty. The hood has a balaclava built in for easy access when needed provides extra protection. The fleece is available in five (5) colors to offer a variety to match your preference and style. It has two hand warmer pockets with zip closures keeping with the slim fit. The trim sealed bottom hems and the cuffed sleeves allow for a more secure fit keeping the elements and wind out.

Most owners stated using this for more than what the originally intended it for. Most users purchased it with the intention of wearing during as protective layer for active outdoor use. Once they used it became the go to for daily casual wear for anything throwing on to run errands to a casual night out that required a little more warmth than just a button up shirt or long sleeves. The classic clean fit does not make it look like you can only wear this while scaling a mountain side.

Water Resistance

When put to the test, the category of water protection of the Fortrez Hoody was rated extremely high. Rain and water bead up and literally roll off this hoody keeping you dry and warm, allowing you to continue with your activity. It does not have the same protection of a rain jacket, if you do have a heavy rain you will still want an additional rain jacket layer. Over an extended period of time, heavy rain will start to penetrate the protective layer of the fleece. Put up the scuba style hood and secure tightly to keep your head dry and it can be worn under a helmet for continued protection.

As with any water resistant material if after extended use and care of your fleece is no longer shedding the moisture like it used to you can apply a water repellent spray to extend the life and protection provided of your fleece. There are several suggested brands of sprays to use which is the suggested method of spraying on the fleece after washing. Then hang the wet fleece and close all the zippers, spray evenly with the repellent and put in the dryer on medium heat.

Wind Protection

Hardface technology is what allows this hoody to provide wind protection without being heavy. The lightweight material fused with polymer does a remarkable job blocking the wind. The Fortrez can replace the need for owning both a fleece and a windbreaker. The technology used to design it keeps the warmth property of a fleece with the additional protection like a windbreaker. This multi-function feature saves an additional item needing to be purchased and carried with you. Rating high in wind protection, in most situations it did provide an ample barrier to wind however is recommended when there is excessive winds ripping through the cold air, an additional layer like a vest or top layer was needed.

Key Features

Polartec Power Stretch
Hardcore Technology
Wind and Water Resistant
Trim fit for layering
Built in Balaclava

Bottom Line

It is easy to see why the Arc’teryz Fortrez Hooody is a top choice among users of this active wear. Topping the ratings in the area of wind and water resistance all while remaining comfortable to wear with versatility, this fleece is a wise investment. The price point may be higher than some other fleeces but the quality product and tested design sets it apart.

Providing protection with comfort and movement in mind the Arc’teryx Company got it right with the Fortrez Hoody. The durability of material and ease of care will keep this fleece looking great without pilling like other styles can. The investment in a quality fleece that can be used by itself or as a layering system while remaining smooth and slim cut make it a valuable piece of your outdoor equipment.