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Gear Diary: Arc’teryx, Tenba, and Upcoming Reviews

Spring is here and every year at this time I look for opportunities to upgrade my layering system.  As many of you know, I’m a huge Triple Aught Design fan and the Stealth LT continues to be my go to Softshell outer layer.  Especially in wet weather.  However, Paul Scheffler and the folks over at the Deadbird Society, have educated me on the virtues of Arc’teryx and I’m a little pissed that I haven’t given any of their stuff a run before now.  In short order, I’ve invested in an Atom LT Hoody in Carbon Copy…

 

Arc teryx Atom LT Hoody Men s Carbon Copy

 

And a Squamish Hoody in Thalo Blue.

 

 

arc-teryx-squamish-hoodie-thalo-blue

 

The Atom LT has instantly become one of the most versatile jackets I own.  It can be worn under the Stealth as a three season mid-layer or as a standalone outer layer.  It’s feather light and compresses down to nothing, which is great since it doesn’t add any weight or take up a lot of space in my pack when I’m not wearing it. 

The Squamish is a summer weight wind shell.  It’s DWR will also shed light rain for a time before wetting out.  I will be wearing both jackets extensively through the end of the year and sharing more thoughts on them along the way.

For you photography enthusiasts, check out gear from Tenba.  I’ll be doing a review on their BYOB 7 Camera Insert, which is one of the most versatile bag inserts I’ve tried to-date.  They also make packs and I plan to reach out to them to see if they are interested in a review.

In addition to the Tenba insert, look for reviews on the Direction Action Small Messenger Bag and Dragon Egg Backpack.  I’ve enjoyed both and they’re affordable for EDC’ers on a budget, which is always a plus.

Stay tuned. 

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5 Responses so far.

  1. Alan says:

    The Arc Atom is probably the most versatile layer I have ever owned. You’ve nailed its utility and ‘packability’ perfectly. I’ve taken it to Europe and Alaska as well as out in Ontario and Quebec in all seasons. The hoodie version works well unless it’s layered under other hoods then the plain version keeps the bulk down.

    I also highly recommend the Atom vest as a lighter layer; it packs in a tiny space and really comes in handy in changeable weather.

    Don’t get started on their Gore-Tex or you’ll be remortgaging your house but at least you’ll be warm and dry. I currently own 9 assorted Arc jackets and if you add in the hoodies and sweaters they account for one whole closet.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Alan, I debated on whether to get the hooded or non-hooded version since I knew I’d use it as a mid-layer also. What I’ve found is that the hood of the Atom can be “stuffed” into the hood of my Stealth LT when not in use. When I need the coverage, then I can leverage just the Atom hood or both. Still, to your point, if I didn’t want to use the Atom as a standalone jacket then the non-hooded version would have been a no-brainer. The vest is an interesting option also.

      Given your Arc’teryx experience, what would you recommend for Winter? I’m so impressed with these jackets, I’m thinking of getting a winter coat from them also. 😉

  2. Alan says:

    For winter I use their Gore-tex Fission SV on really cold days with or without an additional layer but I also have a couple of Windstopper jackets (Kappa Hoodies I think) which are perfect for car or transit hopping. The Fission is the best all-around jacket I’ve ever had after 61 winters! Okay, slight exaggeration I shouldn’t count snow suit days since they are not clear memories anymore.

    I also use the atom layered with their Alpha parka sometimes if it’s more moist than it is cold because it really repels the snow, as does the Fission.

    I switched from Canada Goose because I couldn’t wear their jackets in a car without roasting.

    There’s an Atom SV too but I sold mine because it was too similar to the Kappa in warmth, I found.

    You will end up with a regular Atom and the best at some point I’ll bet, theyre just too handy and weigh nothing in a pack

    With the exception of the inside pocket of some of the Gore-Tex jackets (and original tags of course) Arc does not label all their jackets with a name and the production numbers repeat so the older the jacket the more confusing it is.

  3. Mark Christenson says:

    I was interested in a Stealth LT, but unless I understood them, they’re not making that anymore, and they don’t have any in my size in stock. It sounds like your wore the Atom under the Stealth, so it’s not a replacement for that. Any other suggestions for a jacket similar to the Stealth LT?

    • Blaine B. says:

      Mark, I doubt TAD will do away with the LT. They’ll probably just release a new version.

      If you can’t wait and you’re on Facebook, I’d suggest you join the TADJunkies Facebook Group. A ton of TAD stuff gets sold and traded in that group on a weekly basis and I think you’d be able to acquire an LT in your size eventually. There’s also eBay.

      Outside of that, Arc’teryx makes the Alpha Jacket Gen 2. It’s more expensive than the Stealth but someone is always having a sale on it (e.g. U.S. Elite, Tactical Distributors, etc.). Vertx also makes their Integrity Shell Jacket. I own it and its a good one but I’m probably going sell mine since it serves the same role as the Stealth.

      Hope that helps.

Comments and Questions are Welcome!

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