Will Renwick assesses Arc’teryx’s lightweight waterproof jacket

This is a lovely jacket, one of the best I’ve come across this year. Most outdoor brands will say that their waterproof jacket is breathable but all too often it’s not really the case. With the Norvan, it really is the case. I’ve worn it on mild September days and it’s still felt wonderfully light and cool.

The high level of breathability is mainly thanks to its clever waterproof membrane. It’s a top-level three-layer Gore-Tex with Gore C-Knit backer technology. What this involves is a system wherein the membrane is bonded to a dense but extremely thin circular knit to form a less bulky, durable laminate. And it feels good against the skin as well.

Extra ventilation comes from the open gussets in the armpits. These gussets aren’t sealable so there might be a degree of vulnerability to a bit of leakage here but having worn this jacket in some pretty wet weather I haven’t experienced any moisture.

The hood is fitted (it won’t fit over a helmet) and it has an elasticated brim, but there isn’t any adjustment and because of this it wont turn with your head. There’s elastic rather than any adjustment straps on the cuffs as well. Presumably the idea by Arc’teryx for these omissions is to keep weight down – which they really have done as the jacket weighs an impressive 215g.

There’s only one pocket, which is a zipped inner chest pocket big enough to keep a phone. Other than that there’s not much else to say about the features of this jacket, but I think that’s perhaps the beauty of it; it’s lightweight and minimalist with excellent weather protection and high performance. Perfect for fast-paced activities.

Norvan refers to North Vancouver, in case you were wondering.

Price: £280
Weight: 215g
Sizes: men’s S-XXL; women’s XS-XL