Why We Chose The Arc’teryx Beta Waterproof Jacket: Versatile, lightweight, comfortable.
The Beta Jacket from Arc’teryx is an extremely lightweight, yet versatile, waterproof jacket for three-season hiking adventures. If you’re usually looking for a jacket packed with all the bells and whistles then this might not be the one for you. But, if you’re after a three-season jacket that’s got a clean cut and just the right amount of features, then it’s definitely worth reading on to check out this versatile shell.
Materials and Construction
The Beta Jacket is cut from the regular Gore-tex waterproof fabric that provides a three layer system for full rain protection. The seams have been taped and the jacket has been washed with a DWR treatment to further boost its waterproof protection.
Sitting below the Gore-tex membrane is Gore-Tex’s C-Knit backer technology. C-Knit is essentially a smooth, lightweight and highly breathable backer material that boosts the comfort levels of the inside of the jacket. It also protects the membrane, preventing dirt and oils from blocking up its pores. The smoother texture of the backer material means the jacket is easy to slip on over a midlayer, while not feeling too ‘plasticy’ (as many other waterproof fabrics feel) when worn next to skin.
Gore claims that this backer tech is able to boost breathability by up to fifteen percent while weight is also reduced by up to ten percent. Arc’teryx have long been users of Gore-tex materials, and it’s great to see this continue with this 2022 edition of the Beta Jacket. Although the breathability sees a boost thanks to the C-Knit backing, be aware that the Beta doesn’t feature any pit zips if you’re looking to dump any extra heat.
As is the way with much of Arc’teryx’s products, the Beta comes sporting that classic minimalist Arc’teryx design, although it’s got just enough features to live up to the versatile use the jacket has been designed for. You’ve got a low profile hood (that’s not helmet compatible) with a single pull adjuster, while further fabric adjustment can be made thanks to hem adjusters and simple velcro cuff tabs.
Then, looking at the pockets, you’ve got two raised hip pockets that are kept well out of the way of a backpack hip belt or climbing harness. These pockets also feature Arc’teryx’s WaterTight zippers that, as the name suggests, have been built to keep water out. These zippers aren’t actually rated to be fully waterproof, but Arc’teryx claims that they are highly water resistant.
The fit of the Beta Jacket is pretty trim, so don’t expect to be able to fit too many layers beneath if you’ve sized true to size. We found a t-shirt and a lightweight midlayer were the optimal amount of layers to go beneath. The jacket also features articulation to give unhindered mobility.