The best way to find the greatest insulation piece for you and your outdoor activities is by figuring out all the other pieces you don’t like. But that can be expensive and time consuming so I’m just going to tell you. Here are 8 reasons the Arc’teryx Proton LT is my favourite insulation year round.
Extremely versatile in almost all settings
From day hikes to overnighters, I’m packing my proton LT for literally everything I do. It skis, it climbs, packs, bikes, hikes, you name it. Even those hot summer days in the mountains can cool down really quick. Higher elevations and colder temps also mean I go reaching for this piece on most summits in the summer. Yet in the winter, it’s the only piece I need under a Gore-tex shell like the Sidewinder or Beta AR to keep me warm while moving.
Tougher than anything else out there
The Fortius™ Air 20 face fabric claims its 60x stronger than the competition. It’s also nearly impossible to rip unlike lighter fabrics used on down jackets for example. The rocks out here in the Rockies are unforgiving – the Proton LT stands up just great though! The face fabric doesn’t pill or show wear and tear like other comparable jackets in its league.
Warmer when wet
We all know wool is king when it comes to insulating when wet. However wool is almost like cotton when it comes to soaking up all that moisture. Synthetic insulation is the obvious choice for thicker insulation (I still love my wool base layers). However, the Proton LT takes synthetic insulation to another level with its incredibly air permeable and fast drying Coreloft Compact 80 synthetic insulation.
The Proton LT is made to layer
I know what you’re thinking, aren’t all insulation pieces out there made to layer? Well yeah, kind of. But the Proton LT is made to layer from its core. Literally, the Coreloft Compact 80 fabric is extremely air permeable. This means the jacket will let your sweat vapours right through without soaking you. This also means the jacket lets in a bit of a draft. That might be unwelcome on colder days, so layer up. A shell thrown over top this layering piece will lose its “air permeability” and retain all of its warming properties.
The shape is more athletic
It’s kind of like an upside down long triangle. The shoulders are made more broad but the trim cut comes in at the waist and actually gives your physic a little bit of a muscular silhouette. I find most other insulation jackets are kind of baggy or just box-like. The Proton LT is the fist jacket that just nails it as far as fit and shape!
Fitted and stretchy cuffs
The elastic cuffs are really comfortable and fit well. They also take watches or bracelets really well without irritating overtime – which is really important for trekking or ski-touring.
The single chest pocket
The chest pocket is in the perfect place for some many different things. It’s big enough to fit a large phone which is where I keep mine while backpacking. It’s also perfect for keeping my camera batteries warm in the winter while it’s freezing cold outside. You can also use it to carry a map or just some protein bars if you like.
Let’s talk about the hood
Everyone knows Arc’terx puts loads of effort into their hoods on all of their jackets. The hood on the proton light is just perfect though. There’s a noticeable amount of insulation that it can really save you in extreme cold. However, it’s not so much insulation you won’t still use it in the summer too. It’s also just really cozy and that’s why I often sleep in my Proton LT while i’m doing overnighters too!