Soft shell jackets come in various materials, and to optimise performance Arc’teryx uses a combination of two materials in the Gamma SL Hybrid Hoody. So you get a durable, weather-resistant fabric in the high-wear areas (light grey panels) and a lightweight, quick-drying, more breathable fabric in the main body (dark grey panels) to encourage better condensation control. The result is a very lightweight jacket that is also very abrasion-resistant and very stretchy. The fabrics are not as water-resistant as others, but they are more breathable so this is a very comfortable jacket to wear if it is not bucketing down. The sleeves are well-cut to allow great freedom of movement, and the hem is longer at the back. The chest pocket accommodates a guidebook, compass or GPS receiver while the lower pockets are fine for the hands or an OS map. The hood cannot be rolled away so this is not great for biking or running, but it provides good protection when used for other activities. This combination of features makes the Arc’teryx Gamma SL Hybrid Hoody just the job for use away from heavy rain, such as when scrambling and climbing as well as for use in more general mountaineering and hillwalking in windy, warm weather.
Material Fortius 1 stretch nylon and TerraTex nylon
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 384g (size men’s L)
The Arc’teryx Gamma SL Hybrid Hoody is the best choice for scrambling among the soft shells jackets we looked at.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2012