Hiking and exploring in the versatile, weather-ready Arc’teryx Proton Lt hoody, £210. Read my Arc’teryx Proton Lt Hoody review for more on how it performs on test in the outdoors.
Arc’teryx Proton Lt Hoody Review
Product description: “Extremely durable and breathable, synthetically insulated lightweight hoody for high output activities. The Proton LT Hoody is equipped with a breathable insulation package to manage the dynamic needs of mountain pursuits and perform as a self-regulating mid layer for a variety of high output activities.”
Whatever the weather: The Proton looks rather simple and lightweight at first glance, but it definitely packs a punch in the great outdoors. Despite that slim, flattering fit, the hoody offers great warmth as soon as you pull it on, and the synthetic insulation Arc’teryx have packed in is as breathable as it is cosy, doing a great job of keeping you warm at standstill but wicking away moisture when you’re hiking hard. That light weight of 320g (the Lt in its name stands for lightweight) belies how tough and warming this hoody really is.
As with all Arc’teryx gear, there’s good attention to detail here – I love the large chest pocket, which holds a phone or a map, and the adjustable and helmet-compatible hood. The slim cut of the Proton means it fits well under a rucksack and works well when worn with other layers as part of a layering system. The hoody is very comfortable, too, with an articulated cut that moves as you do, even when you’re climbing or scrambling.
I was also impressed with the Proton’s waterproofness. Arc’teryx only describe the hoody as ‘weather resistant’, but I found it could put up with a fair amount of rain when worn as an outer jacket, which is really useful when you want to keep going on a trail or a climb without stopping to pull a waterproof shell off and on all the time. In heavy rain, of course, I stick on my waterproof jacket (my usual is Haglof’s Grym Evo), but having a midlayer that can deal with most weather conditions is a big help, especially when I’m travelling abroad and can only pack a few hard-working bits of kit. I’ve worn the Proton Lt pretty constantly – when hiking, camping and climbing, and as an outer jacket for travelling and more casual walks. It’ll definitely be coming with me to the Alps as a ski midlayer, too.
Good looks might not be the first thing you consider in a great midlayer, but they do help – especially when you’re shelling out over £200. All that high-performing tech definitely comes in an attractive package in the Proton. The hoody is very flattering to wear, and I really like the non-girly colours the women’s version comes in, which including this bright blue and a rust red – no lazy pinks and purples here.
Verdict: The Proton LT has instantly become my go-to midlayer for hiking and outdoor adventures, and is also a brilliantly versatile piece of clothing for travelling. It’s definitely pricey at £210, but I reckon it’s worth the spend if you plan to get outdoors regularly in variable conditions and need a consistently reliable midlayer.