It’s getting colder outside, so it is obvious that youl need an insulated jacket. There are tons and tons of “puffy” jackets on the market. But if you are focused on quality and durability the field gets smaller. The Arc‘teryx Atom LT Hoodie is one of those jackets you are going fall in love with from the first time you put it on.

Arc´teryx Atom LT complete view
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Full view of the Arc´teryx Atom LT Hoodie


I’m using my Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie for over 2 years in many different kinds of situations and weather conditions now. The first impression of the Arc’teryx Atom LT is like: „it feels so soft and comfortable on your Skin, I won’t take it off“. The inner fabric of the Atom LT is very smooth and comfortable, even if you just wear a T-shirt or shirt under it. Arc’teryx uses three different kind of materials on the inside. Two of them are very light rip-stop fabrics with a silk-like feel, the other one is a light fleece-stretch material which is located on the left and right side of the Arc’teryx Atom LT.

Arc´teryx Atom LT - Arcteryx Logo ripstop outer shell
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The Atom LT features a DWR treated, windproof outer fabric.

On the left inner side youll find an inner pocket, which will easily carry your smartphone or anything else in this size. The Atom LT also has two small pass throughs on the inside for your headphones or comms which are leading to your outer stash pockets. So there is no need to worry for your cables management.

The hood of the Atom LT Hoodie is its namegiving difference from the Atom LT Jacket and it is fixed to the jackets body. You can adjust the hood on its backside of the hood, it is also possible to wear a cap or even a helmet under the hood. The hood can also be adjusted to your needs by an elastic draw-cord system.

Arc´teryx Atom LT - Hood close up adjustment
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An adjustable hood allows for on the fly adjustment.


A big issue on many jackets are the zippers. But on the Arc’teryx Atom LT, they work as they are supposed to do, even after over 2 years of use and abuse. The jackets outer fabric is water repellent due to a DWR treatment, not waterproof, but it will take some serious showers, just be sure to refresh the DWR after some serious usage.

Arc´teryx Atom LT - Front view
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Any mobile activity during the colder months isnt a problem with the Arc´teryx Atom LT

The Arc’teryx Atom LT keeps you warm in the morning and the evening while it is colder outside. But the Atom LT will still keep you comfortable during the daytime. Its just the right amount of insulation during physical activity in the winter or longer breaks in the autumn. The insulation is made out of a synthetic Fibre which is proprietary to Arc’teryx but behaves very similar to primaloft.

The Atom LT dries quick and the packsize is not bigger than two nalgene bottles. The ripstop weave on the outer fabric is visible and you can even feel it slightly, same like the inner ones. It is thin, but sturdy. During the over 2 years of using the Atom LT on duty and even during extensive field use, I just have observed minor damages which are almost invisible.

Arc´teryx Atom LT pack size compression
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The packsize of the Atom LT is not bigger than two nalgene bottles.

As usual with jackets in this categrory you will find two lined, zippered pockets on the front belly area in this design. They will allow you to stow small items or simply to keep your hands warm and comfy. The zippers are covered, but this is executed in a way that the zippers wont stuck in any kind of way.

Arc´teryx Atom LT pocket layout
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The lined stash pockets are pretty spacious.

On the inside of the jacket you will find a fourth, zippered pocket which will hold a cell phone and/ or a hand warmer. It lends itself to protect contents that are easily affected by low temperatures such as any electronics or liquids.

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View of the inner document pocket.

Design and fitting

If you need an size L, choose a L the fitting is very close to a normal jacket. Even smaller women won’t have any issue to find a XS and it will fit.
From the womens perspective it is almost the perfect transition jacket. Depending on you are preffering a more loose fit or depending on extra layers, plan to buy one size bigger. Another big pro on this jacket is the adjustability which us achieved by using a draw string in the hem area as well as the elasticized cuffs which will fit most wrists and hands while eliminating the need for the less elegant velcro adjustment systems you will find on the cuffs of most other jackets.

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View of the elasticized cuffs

Due to the inner material the Atom LT feels almost like silk, there is no big deal to wear it directly over or under your uniform. The stretchy fleece fabric under the armpit area allows you to move your arms freely while also adding some some wicking and breathing capabilities. It also adds to the athletic fit of the jacket.

Arc´teryx Atom LT arm pit area
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View of the stretchy fleece material used in the armpit area.


There are two different versions of the Atom LT, on the one site the civilian model and on the other site the LEAF what means Law enforcement and armed forces. They are using slightly different materials and of course, different colors. I’m using the Arc’teryx LEAF version of the Atom LT. The civilian counterpart is just slightly different, as you may see on our female model, it doesn’t have openings for your earphone and the colors differs but everything else remains the same.

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Arc´teryx LEAFs “Crocodile” colorway appears more green when combined with green camo patterns.

Colorwise the LEAF version of the Atom LT pictured in this post is made in Arc´teryx “Crocodile” colorway, which is some kind of color-lab space magic as you may see in the various shades it appears in given the light conditions and surroundings. It is designed in such a way that it will appear more tanish when mixed with sand coloured clothing or more on the greenish side of things when you combine it with olive items. This allows it to be used in combinations with various uniforms.

Arc´teryx Atom LT comparision civilian and leaf
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Arc´teryx Atom LT civilian version female fit
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Conclusion

The arc’teryx Atom LT is a sturdy, well designed and absolutely comfortable jacket during the transition and wintertime till minus five degrees Celsius. I also like the water repellent properties of it which give you the advantages of a good softshell jacket.

Everyone who is looking for a great puffy jacket shouldn’t look any further. For those who are looking for an alternative with the same cut -but more readily available in Multicam, a good option is the licensed version made by VertX, called the Recon Base jacket. Sadly its only available in a non hooded version.

You can get the Atom LT jacket directly from Arc´teryx LEAF. The Gen 1 Atom LT Hoodie has been replaced by the Gen 2 version which additionally features a zippered outer chest pocket besides some small changes.

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