Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody Review 2014/06/10

Out on the hills, in the forests and by the coast, we all need waterproofs. The layer that keeps the elements out. On the other hand the more time we spend outdoors we begin to appreciate that the weather is never normally bad enough to warrant wearing a full on hard shell (waterproof). Moreover seldom perfect enough to be in baselayers and shorts! This review is on the Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody.


There is space for a layer that keeps some of the elements at bay but preserves breathability as much as possible. A softshell comes in handy in virtually all circumstances.


The Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody is a highly versatile piece to have in your layered system. It acts as a lightweight hard fleece / softshell when used as the outermost layer and then as a mid-weight fleece when you stick a layer above it. This could be your hard shell when the weather gets bad. As it lacks a membrane the Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody is super breathable so its suited for mid to high energy level activities. In my experience the Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody works so well on the hill just to keep that light rain and wind off. All the while you can be stood waxing lyrical about bushcraft in some damp woodland somewhere and feel comfy. The Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody feels comfy like a jacket and not like a hardshell. Many years ago I hardly understood the point of purchasing a softshell but now they are always in my layering system! Instead of offering complete protection from the elements they keep the annoyance of the weather at bay so things like light rain, wind and snow don’t affect you.


They are super breathable as they are not normally a full on proof layer. Softshells come in many styles from thick winter options to thin super breathable hard fleeces. You can find certain softshells that offer complete wind protection and indeed some of them are pretty close to being waterproof, however these garments have to rely on a membrane (similar to the one in your waterproof) and as a result are not as breathable. The Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody worked so well out on the hill I started wearing it around town and on the commute to work it really shines. Going from a high energy walk to work being faced with cold rain and wind to a sudden warm static environment on a train are two extremes of environment. The Epsilon LT Hoody works so well at keeping the elements at bay but then being breathable enough to keep it on once you find yourself in a warm carriage.


Structural attention to detail is an Arc'teryx hallmark. A few stand out features for me on the Epsilon LT Hoody are the hood, face fabric and cut. The Epsilon’s Hood is a technical helmet compatible design with two main adjustments on the front, a really good strong peak and a volume adjuster on the back. The hood really grips to your head when you are wearing a helmet or not. Most of the time I was wearing the Epsilon LT without a helmet, even though you may need one on those hectic commutes! The hood did its job just fine with a good technical feel to it, something that you will appreciate on the hill or the forest. Couple of really interesting fabrics used on the Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody, first the outer face fabric. This is a nylon with a very tight weave to help protect from wind and rain. The face fabric is also treated with a DWR (a hydrophobic chemical) which helps repel water. On the inside there is a grid pattern of fleece, this speeds up drying time, moisture transport and as a result increases the liveability of the hoody in different settings. The grid pattern helps to trap air which keeps you warm.


The Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody has a great cut. It’s slightly longer, hip length, but this allows great protection when reaching or clambering over rocks, or, when picking up your dropped travel pass! So easy to layer above it too, as it’s super breathable a hard shell works to its best when put on top of it. The cuffs also stay in place so there’s no lost sleeves to deal with. There is no excess bulk or flappy material and it makes for a sleek professional look too.


Looking for an around town piece but with technical features that means it can easily double up as a go to layer on the hill too. The Arc'teryx Epsilon LT Hoody is one worth serious consideration. Great fit, hardworking fabrics and an excellent hood make this hard fleece super versatile and breathable enough to be worn in varying conditions, so great on the train or bus or mountain!


Back to Top

(C) Copyright Ember Survival