The Arc’teryx Rush is a ski and snowboard jacket that’s not for the uncommitted (check out that price tag!) but it is superbly put together, well featured and has a flattering athletic cut.
Fantastic build quality
Hefty price tag
Noisy, crinkly fabric
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Arc’teryx Rush Jacket: first impressions
Vancouver-based Arc’teryx has carved out a reputation for producing class-leading gear with eye watering price tags. The Arc’teryx Rush Jacket is one of the company’s most lightweight yet durable ski shells, and is right up there with the best ski jackets on the market.
• List price: $749 (US) / £600 (UK)
• Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Pro Most Rugged
• Insulation: None
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Colors: Relic & Bitters / Oracle & Daze / Orca / Lucent & Multiverse / Phenom & Habitat
• Compatibility: Freeride and backcountry touring
Where the Arc’teryx Rush Jacket outperforms the opposition is in weather protection. Built from Gore-Tex Pro Most Rugged, it’s designed to keep the elements firmly on the outside, no matter how wild conditions may get. The burly fabric has a mix of 80- and 100-denier thicknesses, making it extremely abrasion resistant. Lash through thick forest or scuff along a rock face and it shrugs off the impact.
It does make that telltale crinkling sound you get with most hardcore shell jackets, though. Also, the Rush is a shell jacket and doesn’t have any insulation so if it’s cold you need to layer up underneath.
The Rush is cut for athletic bodies and is closer fitting than many of the jackets I’ve tested, yet somehow there’s still plenty of room for layering underneath and it doesn’t restrict your movements.
Inside you get two deep dump pockets, a zippered valuables pocket and a snow skirt. On the outside two hand pockets sit high enough to cinch a ski backpack’s waistband underneath and a lift pass pocket sits high on the shoulder. Pit zips allow you to quickly dump excess heat.
Arc’teryx Rush Jacket: on the slopes
I’ve been a fan of Arc’teryx for more than a decade. I’m 6ft 5in and find their gear is designed for people with tall and slim builds. The Rush is a case in point. In size Large it was long enough to come down to my mid-thigh, providing extra protection. The drop hem covered my backside and gave extra cover when sitting on wet chairlifts. The sleeves had plenty of length and could easily be cinched down against my ski gloves using the chunky Velcro cuffs.
On a gray day in Val Thorens when snow was forecast, the Rush was the jacket I reached for. By late morning the white stuff was falling thick and fast. The wind picked up too, whipping snow all around me. With the jacket fully zipped up and the hood pulled over my helmet I felt completely shielded from the elements. An occasional wipe of my ski goggles with a glove was all I needed to ski the rest of the day away.
The Rush is made from Gore-Tex Pro Most Rugged Technology. As the name suggests, it’s the toughest fabric Gore-Tex makes. It’s a little bit crinkly but it’ll shed snow and rain all day long and will resist abrasion should you blast through some trees or scuff against a rock face.
Back in my home country of Scotland I took the Arc’teryx Rush for an excursion to Glenshee Ski Centre. On a bluebird day I was able to open the pit zips to avoid overheating. By mid-afternoon the sun had gone away and I slipped a Berghaus Carnot hooded jacket on top of the Rab Ascendor Summit I was already wearing.
While it looks trim next to most other brands the Rush is actually one of the more relaxed-fitting Arc’teryx jackets and there’s plenty of room for warm layers.
It might be pricey but the Arc’teryx Rush is a jacket I expect to still be skiing in a decade from now.
Jack McKeown is a Scottish journalist, hiker, skier, runner and beach volleyball player. Having walked many of Scotland’s long distance trails, last year saw him tackle his first ultramarathon. He lives in Dundee and in his spare time Jack and his golden retriever Bracken are often to be found exploring the mountains, forests, lochs and rivers of Highland Perthshire.