The warmest and heaviest in this comparative test, David Lintern recommends the Arc’teryx Atom Heavyweight hoody.

Arc’teryx have renamed the Atom AR, which has taken on the easier to understand ‘heavyweight’ title, but otherwise remains the same as it was before – the warmest (and heaviest) in the Atom range of synthetic insulated jackets from Arc’teryx. Incidentally, the Arc’teryx Atom Heavyweight hoody is also the warmest and heaviest at the male end of this comparative review.

  • Stars: 4/5
  • Price: £300
  • Weight: 461g
  • Pros: very warm and durable
  • Cons: price

Fill: 60g/m Coreloft (proprietary), zoned underarm Permeair™ panels | Shell: Tyono™ 30 | Hood: 3-way adjuster, small peak | Cuffs: elasticated | Hem: 2-way drawcord | Pockets: 2 handwarmer, 1 chest, all zippered | Sizes: XS-XXL | Women’s version: yes

Insulation comes from a chunky, 60gsm layer of proprietary ‘Coreloft’ insulation, which has proven very durable over the long term and continues to offer plenty of warmth after much abuse on the hill. Given how warm it is, pack size isn’t onerous, and it compresses, and bounces back, well.

They’ve used a thinner layer of material under the arms to improve breathability, but it’s still too warm to walk in for any distance. It does however work brilliantly as part of a static layering system. Sizing is generous in the body and that helps when you want to throw it on over other layers at a rest stop – it will go on over a few layers if needed, although the arms and waist do start to feel a little constricted. The outer shell is the toughest on offer in this test, and very weather resistant. DWR performance is impressive – it’s quite hard to wet out except in driving rain. The shell means it’s less breathable than others here. Again, this points to its utility as a really effective, chuck-on layer for poor conditions.

Pockets are zipped and very generously sized. There’s a huge internal pocket, and two handwarmers, easily accessed with gloved hands and only partly covered by a hip belt. The main zip is only 1 way but has a storm guard, and the hood is helmet compatible and very adjustable. The hem also has adjusters to seal out the cold, while the sleeves are furnished with wide elastic, stretchy enough to allow the wearer to expose the wrist and dump some heat.

I think the Atom range of jackets are well dialled for different uses. I find the lighter weight variants (previously SL and LT) preferable when wearing all day, but the ‘heavyweight’ is a really useful rest stop option in cold weather, as well as being a cosy camp jacket for spring and autumn.

Compare the Arc’teryx Atom Heavyweight hoody with more of the best insulated jackets as reviewed by our expert gear testers.