That Viral Arc'teryx Jacket, Reviewed 2024: The Beta LT Makes Bad Weather Look Good

The body and the sleeves were a bit too long, but that’s a me-specific bug I’ve come to expect. If you’re really persnickety about fit, you could have the sleeves hemmed, but that’ll likely involve compromising the fabric and stitchless design, a no-go in my book.

How does it wear?

I wore the Beta LT for several weeks on and off in New York, subjecting it to bitter winds, freezing rain, and the occasional snowfall. It blocks rain and wind like Buffon blocks a fútbol, flicking away wind and water with ease. The adjustable elastic pulls at the waist help keep the wind out and, as many menswear buffs have since discovered, ensures that the waist stays cinched if you fold the jacket for a more cropped length.

Through bouts of rain, my upper half remained dry as a bone, and the stiffened brim by the hood helped keep the precipitation from dripping onto my face. Personal evidence also indicates that the Beta LT can withstand the average snow-packed projectile without incurring statistically significant damage, though if you’re pitted against Randy Johnson in a snowball fight, you’ll still emerge with welts all over.

Tested and Reviewed by Gerald Ortiz

Tested and Reviewed by Gerald Ortiz

Gore-Tex’s second-biggest draw is its breathability. The Beta LT was far from suffocating, but, contrary to the marketing spiel, a waterproof fabric can only be so breathable—which is why I really appreciated the inclusion of pit zips, especially as someone who runs hot. That being said, I could’ve used even more zippers.

The fastenings perform well and the waterproof sealing keeps moisture out, but I wish the main zipper worked both ways, a nifty touch that allows for pocket access in any layers underneath your jacket. And as long as we’re nit-picking, I would’ve appreciated a secondary entry point within the hand pockets, which would’ve spared me the harrowing ordeal of exposing my digits to the elements to reach any layers covered by my jacket.

How does it look?

Like Danner’s Mountain Light boots or Patagonia’s Retro-X fleece jackets, the Beta LT is an outdoorsy classic in the making. Naturally, it looks killer with swishy pants and next-gen stompers. I’m not exactly the gorp-iest of guys, but it still slotted neatly into my wardrobe, playing nice with jeans, corduroys, and a pair of workwear-inspired double-knees. But if you’re all-in on the Y2K revival, cosplaying as a cowboy, or swear by your suits, the Beta LT might look a bit out of place.

Is it worth it?

In a word: Yes—but you probably saw that coming. The Beta LT is a top-of–the-line jacket more than capable of handling whatever the weather throws at it. It performs just as well as a windbreaker as it does a rain slicker, and if you layer it strategically enough, it could plausibly replace your puffer. Sure, if your neck of the woods is prone to torrential downpours, you might want to consider an option that covers your lower half more effectively. But for most folks, the coverage it offers is as good as advertised.

Is it the best Arc’teryx jacket? Well, that really depends on what you’re looking for. Plenty of brands (including Arc’teryx itself) sell more affordable options, but for my money, there are few alternatives that manage to approximate its construction or endurance—or its surprising versatility. I stopped short of testing it in the shower, but I have little doubt it would’ve impressed me there, too.

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