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Arc’Teryx Zeta AR women’s waterproof jacket review: a worthwhile (if hefty) investment

A high-performing all-rounder, the Arc’Teryx Zeta AR is a waterproof jacket for all kinds of hikes in wind, rain and snow

Arc’Teryx Zeta AR waterproof jacket
(Image: © Arc’Teryx)

Our Verdict

We’re giving the Zeta a solid ‘A’ for its waterproofing and great fit – and at this price point, we’d expect nothing less. Reliable performance you can trust in any weather and great long-lasting quality make this an investment piece.

For

  • Excellent protection
  • Good breathability
  • Great all-day comfort

Against

  • Expensive
  • Not lightweight

Arc’Teryx Zeta AR: first impressions

Like all Arc’Teryx kit we’ve tested, the Arc’Teryx Zeta AR is top-quality and reliably high-performing women’s waterproof jacket – and it comes with a price tag to match. So what do you get for your money?

The Zeta is fully waterproof and windproof, and looks set to stay that way for years of use thanks to a Gore-Tex membrane. 

A longer length offers good protection and sits nicely under a hiking backpack even when you’re hiking all day, and the well-placed pockets are also rucksack-compatible. 

The hood and collar are well designed too, and easily adjustable to protect your face and neck. 

Specifications

• RRP: $583 (US) / £440 (UK)
• Sizes: XS / S / M / L / XL / XXL
• Weight: 425g / 15 oz
• Waterproofing Technology: N70p 3L Gore-Tex fabric with Gore C-Knit backer technology
• Colors: Kingfisher / Muse / Wander
• Compatibility: All-conditions hiking

Arc’Teryx Zeta AR: on the trails

This jacket stood for its versatility when we tested it out on windy and extremely wet coastal path hikes. It’s fully breathable when you’re moving fast (the pit zips help) but traps in warmth when you stop, and there’s plenty of room (without being too boxy or letting warmth escape) for multiple layers underneath on the coldest days (see also: Hiking layers: everything you need to know to keep yourself warm in all conditions). 

It’s basically everything we look for in your average decent waterproof – just better. If you want to treat yourself to a reliable jacket for unreliable weather, this is worth the splurge. Casual walkers intending to nip out on country strolls could, of course, pick something far cheaper.

An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.