Arc’teryx Beta SL (2014)

The Arc’teryx Beta SL weighs in at 349g (men’s size large) and is made from Gore-Tex Paclite, which is designed to be the lightweight and durable option from the house of Gore. The jacket, which was a comfortable fit on me, has a short body with a water-resistant zip up the front. There is a small baffle on the inside of the zip to keep draughts and leaks at bay. The two chest pockets are well-placed to maintain access above a rucksack hipbelt and they’re also large enough for maps and guidebooks. Most importantly the pockets are not mesh-lined, so they won’t leak through the jacket if water enters the pocket. The cuffs get Velcro adjustment and the sleeves have good movement, allowing this jacket to perform well when scrambling. The hood has face and volume drawcords, and these provided a close fit that allowed the hood to move really well with the head to maintain vision. The hook peak isn’t wired and isn’t as large as some, but it does have some light stiffening that works quite well. The main drawback with the Arc’teryx Beta SL is that Gore-Tex Paclite doesn’t control condensation as well as a 3-layer fabric such as Gore-Tex Active, but Paclite is durable and light and so for long-term performance it’s a good option.


Fabric Gore-Tex Paclite

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes XS-XL

External pockets 2

Stowable hood? no

Side/pit zips? no

Weight 349g (men’s size L)



The Arc’teryx Beta SL offers good features and weight for hillwalking, although slightly better hoods are available and some jackets manage condensation better.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2014