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Review – Arc’teryx Women’s Gamma MX Hoody

The Arc‘teryx Women’s Gamma MX Hoody is without doubt, my favourite go to jacket
It’s comfortable, keeps the worst of the elements out and looks good.

Despite it’s name (to me a hoody is a big jumper with a hood!),  it’s a softshell jacket.
The Gamma is very versatile,  suitable for Spring and Autumn and warmer winter days.

Arc'teryx GAMMA MX HOODY Blue

I admit, it is pricey, but,  if you’re lucky you can pick it up for around £200.
I was very lucky and not only was it available at a good price but I won £100 in the office lottery.

Needless to say, before spending that amount of money I did a lot of research.
The Arx’teryx was consistently getting good reviews.  A number of magazines and websites awarded it ‘best in test’.
I was also drawn to the look of it, it was a lot brighter than the usual outdoors stuff. In fact, I had a surprising number of people commenting on how nice the blue colour was.

I’d had good experience with Arx’teryx products in the past, particularly with the sizing. Being around 1.8m (5 ft 11)  I needed something that was a good fit, especially on the arms.
The Gamma is perfect.
Arcteryx gamma mx
The Gamma is breathable. It’s easy to regulate your temperature and it’s nice and stretchy allowing for ease of movement.
The fleece lining kept me warm.
I remained dry in most conditions, it only struggled in torrential downpours.
The peaked hood offers protection from the wind and rain  and  fits perfectly. There’s several drawcords for getting the fit just right.

I had this jacket for years. We travelled many miles. It was just as good on the streets of San Francisco as it was up a German mountain but sadly,  it had reached its end of life.
Years of heavy usage had taken its toll. The bottom had ripped, there were a few bobbles and  a tear appeared on the sleeve….just before I was due to go o holiday.

Once again, I read the reviews to find a replacement.
Some  jackets appeared good on paper but ‘in the flesh’ just didn’t work for me.
There were a few contenders but one jacket constantly getting good reviews….
…..the Arc’teryx Women’s Gamma MX Hoody.

The colours available had changed, but the design remained the same. I decided on the nickel colour.
I found  it for a good price online paid extra for next day delivery….the delivery van never arrived.  An alternative drop off was scheduled for when I was back in the country and my postage refunded but it meant I would have to patch the coat as best I could for my trip to Slovenia.
Out came the needle and thread. I don’t think I did a bad job!
It should last me the week.

One thing I love about the coat is the pockets.
So many manufactures seem to think women don’t need pockets or we get pointless minuscule things.
The Gamma has two pockets on the sides, perfect for warming your hands, and another pocket at the top which is useful for storing various bits and pieces such as a wallet.
Heading off on my holidays, my pockets contained my passport, boarding pass, English money, Euros and mobile phone.
The jacket got stuffed in my sack on board the aircraft but at the other end it came out looking perfectly un crumbled.

It was pouring down in Slovenia. I’d reproofed the jacket  before I left and I remained dry on the walk to the bus.
The next three days were wet, very wet.
In the past I’d been told not to wear a hardshell/waterproof jacket over a softshell but it caused me no problems. I stuck my Arc’teryx beta waterproof over the softshell.  and remained dry all day with my temperature just right.
Even in it’s last week of life, the jacket performed brilliantly in all conditions.  Even when I surprisingly hit deep snow, I was still nice and snug.

arc'teryx gamma mx hoody Nickel

By the time I got home, my basic stitching had come away and it was looking a little the worst for wear.
I was sad to see the coat go but least the replacement had arrived and it soon became my  ‘go to’ jacket.
It gets worn on my hikes in the hills and on my daily commute to work.
Hopefully it’ll have a life as long as my previous one!

 

Arc’teryx Beta LT Waterproof

Rainy walk Moel FamauI admit, Arc’teryx isn’t the cheapest brand you can buy, in fact I was mocked for the amount I paid for my waterproof. They do, however, make some very good stuff!

I have been very glad of their Beta LT  waterproof hardshell on a number of occasions. It did an amazing job of keeping me dry during the deluge on the Moel Famau to Moel Arthur walk

The Beta series refers to all-round mountain wear and, rather unsurprisingly,  LT refers to lightweight.

This is a very breathable jacket,  made from Gore-tex Pro 3 layer and N40p-X (which is a new one for me!)   e3D Ergonomic patterning is used   to give enhanced comfort and mobility.

Arcteryx waterproof jacketI’m a rather freakish build, quite tall with ape like arms, however it fits perfectly just as well over just a t-shirt as it does over the Arc’teryx Cerium down jacket during colder months.
Although big enough to wear over layers, it’s still small enough to be fitted, perhaps a little too fitted for, shall we say, some larger sized people.

Jacket inside pocketThere are a lot of adjustable bits on the peaked hood, cuffs and collar, two good sized , zipped pockets at the front, positioned so you can still access them wearing a rucksack, and there is a smaller, zipped inside pocket.

The zips on the pockets and the main zip use ‘WaterTight zippers’. Arc’teryx say they are ‘highly water resistant, but not waterproof and do not recommend keeping items in your pockets that may be damaged by moisture‘, however even in extreme downpours I’ve not had any problems.

Another bonus is it’s machine washable at 30 deg C, just make sure the washing machine is clear of any nasty fabric conditioner!

In conclusion, it’s true what they say, you do get what you pair for. This is a fantastically waterproof and very light shell. Perhaps not the best option for anyone just beginning walking/hiking for the first time, but experienced outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves making this a firm favourite!

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