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Insulated mid layer question - Atom LT/Access LT/Xenon X

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, got a little question about some midlayers I'm considering.  Tried on the Arc' Atom LT in REI the other day and really liked the fit and it seemed pretty warm, especially under a shell (in my case, Arc' Theta AR).  But it's pricy, and I've found some deals and good reviews on the Black Diamond Access LT and the Rab Xenon X as possible alternatives.  What I've gathered is that the Access is a little less warm than the Atom, and the Xenon is a little warmer than the Atom, but that as far as fit and function they are very similar pieces.

 

So, basically looking for feedback from folks who have skied with any of these as a layer, and whether it was warm enough or too warm.  The primary use for me will be lift served skiing with some inbounds hiking, as well as day hiking (non ski related).  Thanks for any feedback you can provide!

post #2 of 14
Any 200wt fleece will be fine. You don't need to spend big bucks for a big name. Any 200wt fleece will work.

Any 100 wt will be fine for spring skiing.

www.campmor.com
www,sierriatradingpost.com

I have a couple TNF fleeces, a Marmot that I wear under my every day TNF shell, SPend money on the outer layer as you have, the inners save your money for other things.

200wt fleece should run around $40-70 or less.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Fair point.  I'll admit to a little SSS (shiny stuff syndrome) in considering what I am considering - I am a total Arc'teryx fanboy, and even outside of them I have a thing for jackets.

 

That being said, is there good value in pieces like this if you can get for a solid discount?  I can get the Access LT for example for around $110, which is about half retail.  The others are $180+.  For the difference in price there, I could probably get one or two nice fleeces.  Obviously there are some style points to be had with jackets like these, but I also hear they are highly compressible, which is real nice for a hiking trip or if I get overheated skiing (it can just get stuffed in the pack).

post #4 of 14
I switched to an Arc Atom LT this season after a few in a Patagonia Nano. I much prefer the Atom. Plenty warm, but not too warm to cause excess sweating. I credit the breathable fleece under arms and sides in the Atom. The tapered sleeves are a bonus.
Edited by Drahtguy - 12/17/14 at 4:09pm
post #5 of 14

If you already have a Theta and are an Arcteryx fanboy, then get the Atom LT.  No offense, but it won't break the bank if you can already afford a Theta.  Other way to look at it: an Atom LT will last a LONG time, so the cost difference between the superior Atom LT and the Access will run you the cost of, what, a slice of pizza per year from the day lodge?  I call that a smart investment.

 

The Atom LT is outstanding.  Buy it.  If you're looking for a deal, check www.geartrade.com for gently used ones.  You will find a good deal, they come up fairly regularly.  Otherwise look for clearance sales, they are the EXACT SAME as previous years except new colour.  Also check eBay, good chance you'll find a deal as well, even lightly used.

 

Yes, you can get a cheap fleece.  But you also sometimes get what you pay for.  The Atom LT won't pill, it'll breathe, can be used as an outer for less cold days, slips wonderfully beneath a hard shell like your Theta because all Arc stuff works with one another (and the Atom LT has a smooth exterior), and it'll just feel great.

 

Some may scoff, but there's value in being happy with your purchase, even if it's expensive. Arcteryx stuff is top notch and it'll last forever, plus they come with a lifetime warranty, so how much is the peace of mind worth too?

 

Besides, there's an old saying: Look good, feel good, ski good. Thumbs Up

post #6 of 14

For mid-cold days skiing here in NM (highs in the teens or 20s and sunny), I wear a synthetic base layer, an Atom LT, and a Arc' Beta shell and am perfect most of the day.  The Atom is a very well made piece: breathable side panels, comfortable elastic cuffs (never thought I'd like 'em, but Arc' did 'em right), and very good range of motion.  I wear mine to work in the winter and hiking in the fall.  It's my go-to piece, for sure.  You'll be quite pleased with the Atom, so go and buy it already... :D

post #7 of 14

I will not spend a cent on any Arc' gear.  They would not stand behind their lifetime warranty when my jacket started to de-laminate.

 

Can you believe they told me, and I quote, "The warranty is for the garments lifetime, not yours".  

 

Buyer beware!

post #8 of 14

Weird Arcteryx replaced with new, A Hercules jacket with a tear in the chest, and a Atom light with a torn cuff. Was pain free experience for me.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sounds like some pretty glowing praise for the Atom LT.  I agree that it's worth spending the extra cash for a superior product - I guess my question was whether the Atom really is superior.  The opinions here would seem to indicate that it is.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colorado View Post
 

I will not spend a cent on any Arc' gear.  They would not stand behind their lifetime warranty when my jacket started to de-laminate.

 

Can you believe they told me, and I quote, "The warranty is for the garments lifetime, not yours".  

 

Buyer beware!

 

How long have you had that jacket?  They do state pretty plainly on their site that the warranty is for the "practical lifetime of the product."  Everything wears out eventually.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado View Post
 

I will not spend a cent on any Arc' gear.  They would not stand behind their lifetime warranty when my jacket started to de-laminate.

 

Can you believe they told me, and I quote, "The warranty is for the garments lifetime, not yours".  

 

Buyer beware!

 

I'm up in the air about Arc's warranty service.  I have a 15-yr.-old softshell jacket (no idea the model) whose zipper crapped out.  They said "no problem, it's under warranty and we'll either repair or replace."  That's the good news. The bad news is that I sent it in in late October and haven't heard anything since.  This thread actually reminded me of the delay, so I just sent an email for an update. We'll see how things go...

 

As for the Atom LT being a "superior" product, I can't comment on other similar pieces because I haven't owned any.  I can say that the Atom works well for what it is -- a light-weight, functional, mid or outer-layer.  It's an item you won't regret buying, but I can't say it's "the best" choice... 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbuquerqueDan View Post
 

 

I'm up in the air about Arc's warranty service.  I have a 15-yr.-old softshell jacket (no idea the model) whose zipper crapped out.  They said "no problem, it's under warranty and we'll either repair or replace."  That's the good news. The bad news is that I sent it in in late October and haven't heard anything since.  This thread actually reminded me of the delay, so I just sent an email for an update. We'll see how things go...

 

As for the Atom LT being a "superior" product, I can't comment on other similar pieces because I haven't owned any.  I can say that the Atom works well for what it is -- a light-weight, functional, mid or outer-layer.  It's an item you won't regret buying, but I can't say it's "the best" choice...

 

I'd say that's pretty awesome that they'd accept warranty on a 15 year old jacket.

 

Fair enough, I know it's a tough question.  For a few reasons I'm leaning towards going with the Atom, not the least of which being that I can't physically try on the Access or the Xenon since nobody carries them around here.  Not to mention the excellent testimonials y'all are providing :D

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 

 

How long have you had that jacket?  They do state pretty plainly on their site that the warranty is for the "practical lifetime of the product."  Everything wears out eventually.

 

I bought it back in 1998 for $400.  They were made in Canada then!

 

This Gore-Tex jacket, although old, was far from worn out, as I only used it hard for one ski season.  The glued seams (inside the hood) were falling apart due to age, not over use.  I also had two Arc' fleeces of the same vintage that fell apart, that they did fix. 

 

The problem with the gore tex jacket?... well they couldn't repair it, so they didn't want to replace it. 

 

Funny how they had no problem with the age of the fleece, but the Jacket was "past it's lifetime"...  total BS.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well guys, I managed to find an Atom LT hoody for about $155+tax so I went for it - easily the best deal I could find.  Hooray for holiday sales!  Thanks for all the advice, I will definitely report back with how I like it :D

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colorado View Post
 

 

I bought it back in 1998 for $400.  They were made in Canada then!

 

This Gore-Tex jacket, although old, was far from worn out, as I only used it hard for one ski season.  The glued seams (inside the hood) were falling apart due to age, not over use.  I also had two Arc' fleeces of the same vintage that fell apart, that they did fix.

 

The problem with the gore tex jacket?... well they couldn't repair it, so they didn't want to replace it.

 

Funny how they had no problem with the age of the fleece, but the Jacket was "past it's lifetime"...  total BS.

 

That sound indeed sound a little sketchy, but I know nothing about seam gluing so I don't know what the practical lifetime is on something like that.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Realized I never reported back on my Atom LT. REALLY loving it. It's my go to midlayer on a colder day skiing now, and I wear it frequently as an outer layer on cold, dry days with a baselayer and fleece under it. It's fairly water resistant in light rain, and super warm for its weight (especially when layered up). And it fits perfect!

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