Arc'teryx Beta AR Gore Pro Waterproof Jacket Review 2013/12/03
Really interesting to see how this latest Arc'teryx Beta
AR would turn out. It’s a great all round waterproof jacket that
uses the new Gore Pro Shell. It certainly attaches a premium price to
this premium jacket. Read our review.
Introduction to the Arc'teryx Beta AR
When you are in the great outdoors enjoying your mountain sport of
choice, you need equipment you can rely on. At Ember Survival we always
say when it comes to gear or clothing you should be unaware using it and
that it seamlessly works with you.
New Gore Pro Shell
The new Gore Pro which is used in the Arc'teryx Beta AR , features
increased breathability by up to 28% compared to the previous version of
Pro, but it still keeps the same high level of waterproof protection.
They have managed to achieve this jump in breathability by
re-engineering the membrane to be as efficient as possible. Gone is the
old PU (polyurethane) backer that lined the inside of the jacket, which
even though it protected the membrane it did limit breathability
somewhat. This is now replaced by a multi-layer ePTFE membrane with a
rip stop backer. Think of GoreTex’s membrane like a mesh with tiny holes
acting as pores which are small enough to stop liquid water coming
through but big enough to let water vapour escape, this is how your
sweat vapour escapes through the jacket and allows for maximum levels of
comfort, especially high intensity conditions. As the new Gore Pro has
removed the PU backer there is now a continuous path of tiny pores from
the inside to the outside of the jacket which results in the increased
levels of breathability.
The Arc'teryx Beta AR is an all-round mountain jacket, a garment that
does a bit of everything by utilising some subtle features that in true
Arc'teryx style, aim to go unnoticed!
The finishing on the Arc'teryx Beta AR is absolutely spot-on;
stitching is all neat and tidy, high wear seams are laminated to
prevent fall apart and the taping is all super narrow to maximise
breathability. Attention to detail on the Beta AR sets it apart from
the competition, if you want to concentrate on performing tasks in the
outdoors undistracted from the weather then Arc'teryx goes a long way
to make sure the Beta AR does its job well. Couple of my favourite
details, the micro suede lined chin guard which protects the wearer
from the zip, especially important for those with stubble, and unlike
most jackets the Beta AR has a separate collar which offers draft
protection as well as increased levels of comfort with the hood on or
The fit of the Arc'teryx Beta AR is athletic with articulated arms that
are pre bent facing forwards, which make it easier to use your arms to
complete tasks as the jacket is not resisting your movement. The
underarms are gusseted to prevent the jacket riding up when waving your
arms in the air. This is not the most common task, but for a jacket only
hip length it’s very important and allows the Arc'teryx Beta AR to be
used for light mountaineering where your arms can frequently be above
your head. The hood on the jacket is fully helmet compatible with
three ways of adjusting the fit of it to suit your needs.
High wear areas are laminated with a
tougher fabric, here around the hem is this dark grey fabric which helps
protect the jacket. Also notice the neat stitches and watertight main
zip. There is an internal storm drain too.
Performance out in gnarly weather is pure excellence. The face fabric
continues to repel water throughout multiple day trips. With the hood
working perfectly well at keeping the water out, even when you are not
wearing a helmet. My most recent trip to North Wales saw the Arc'teryx
Beta AR take a battering. On the other hand on some days it was not
needed at all and spent the day in the pack. Its this versatility and
low weight that makes the Beta AR a true mountain all rounder. When the
weather is not against you then the Beta AR can be stored in your
rucksack where it can be called upon if needed. Its small pack size
makes this a good jacket for long distance walking as it’s nice and
small when packed away. Unlike thigh length jackets which are great for
coverage but not so good for mobility, the Arcteryx Beta AR sits about
hip height. Offering enough protection for your mid layers, provides
excellent freedom of movement and still allows a harness to be worn.
Just make sure you have waterproof trousers too!
The Arc'teryx Beta AR has reinforcements on the shoulders and arms to
help survive tougher environments and use. This is essential for when
you are using a heavy rucksack, scrambling or simply walking through
forests. I have been using the Beta AR with a Sabre 45, fully loaded,
with no issues at all. This rucksack in particular has a very tough face
fabric. Consequently is not the friendliest for waterproof shells but
the Arc'teryx Beta AR performed perfectly. Every layering system needs a
waterproof shell. To block out the elements and continue on into the
outdoors without having to turn back in the face of rain, wind or snow.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast who does a bit of everything. From hill
walking to climbing to bushcraft. Above all the all-round versatility of
the Arc'teryx Beta AR will make it the only waterproof you need to buy.