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Softshell Jackets

Arc’teryx Incendo Hoody | Review

Lightweight trail-running windproof from the Canadian design perfectionists mixes good protection with enough ventilation to keep comfort levels high.

Outdoors Magic

The Incendo Hoody takes the Canadian brand’s brilliant, athletic fit and trims it down for runners, the main windproof fabric is decently breathable but the addition of body-mapped mesh side-panels gives it an extra comfort edge when things get hot and the hood adds a little head protection. It’s light too and packs down into its own pocket for storage and carriage.

Outdoors Tragic

The downside of non-adjustable hoods is that they’re, erm, non adjustable so if your head doesn’t suit, it may flop, flap or even be too tight. Not cheap, but you’re getting a lot of splosh for your dosh.

Outdoors Grabbit? – Mini Verdict

Probably the best trail-running lightweight windproof jacket we’ve used, the Incendo Hoody’s trump card is the combination of sleek fit, windproof fabric and those mesh side-panels which mean it gives decent weather protection without getting as hot as other wind-proof shells. It also copes well with light to medium rain.

The detailing’s super neat too and the build quality’s as good as you’d expect from the Canadian perfectionists. Not the cheapest or the lightest option, but a piece of trail-running kit we’ve found ourselves reaching for over and over again. Brilliant!

Specification: £100 / 125g (medium) hooded, hooded lightweight, windproof running jacket / Lumin Nylon fabric with Polyester mesh panels / body-mapped / full-length zip / adjustable hem / elasticated cuffs / fitted hood / reflective ‘blazes’ / media pocket with ear-phone routing.

Full review below.

The close-fitting hood adds handy additional head protection, but lack of adjustability means fit can vary - Lucasz Warzecha

Incendo Detail

Arc’teryx made its name with some of the best technical mountaineering clothing and equipment out there, but it’s branching out into other areas including trail-running kit.

The Incendo Hoody is a beautifully-fitted lightweight windproof with a difference; the sides of the trunk and the underarm areas are made from a super permeable mesh for added ventilation, but their location means that they’re still well protected from the breeze and rain, so the jacket as whole is still pretty protective.

Under the hood

As a bonus – compared to the standard Incendo – you also get a close-fitting, non-adjustable hood that gives a little extra protection particularly during brief stops. The downside to that is that it can flap disconcertingly behind you on the move and there’s no way to tab it down. Fit varies too according to head size and neck length.

Big mesh side panels improve breathability and comfort over conventional windproofs, but without compromising weather protection too much - Lukasz Warzecha

In Use

We’ve used the jacket for a mix of trail running and occasional biking in conditions ranging from dry and windy through to soaking wet and it’s been all-round brilliant. It properly takes the edge off the wind, but those mesh side-panels and generally breathable fabric also mean it never seems to approach boiling point inside.

It’s not designed for use in really heavy rain, but is fine with light showers and even when you get properly saturated, the windproof fabric means as long as you’re still pumping out the heat, you still stay relatively comfortable in milder conditions at least.

There’s plenty to like in the details too. The small, zipped ‘media pocket’ may be designed to take an MP3 pocket and has an earphone outlet accordingly, but it doubles as a handy stash for keys and other small objects with an elasticated inner pocket helping to hold things securely.

The drop-bum hem is adjustable – a good call we reckon – and the neat, semi-elasticated cuffs are neither too loose or too tight and have just enough give for a little additional, roll-up cooling.

Finally a pair of reflective flashes give a little extra reassurance if you’re caught out running in low light or after dark.

The semi-elasticated cuffs give Golidlocks fit for us and can also be rolled up to expose half your fore-arm for additional cooling - Lukasz Warzecha
Small, zipped 'media pocket' will take an MP3 player, but is equally adept with keys or snacks - Lukasz Warzecha

Full Verdict

If Carlsberg made windproof running jackets, they’d probably be an awful lot like the Arc’teryx Incendo Hoody. And if Arc’teryx made beer, well. let’s just say that it would probably be somewhat tastier than Carlsberg thanks to the Canadian brand’s obsessive attention to detail.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that the Incendo Hoody is probably the best windproof running jacket we’ve used. It’s beautifully cut, nicely detailed with everything you need and nothing you don’t – note: there’s also a version without the hood – and with a brilliant balance between weather protection and comfort thanks to the extra mesh-panel ventilation zones.

Yes, you can buy much cheaper windproofs, but you’ll be hard pushed to find one that works as well as this. Recommended.

More Information

See www.arcteryx.com

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