Review: Arc'teryx Zeta FL Rain Jacket

© Arc’teryx

© Arc’teryx

The Arc’teryx Zeta FL is a minimalist, light weight, packable and waterproof GORE-TEX emergency shell for hiking. This makes it, in my opinion a great jacket for an urban commuter. I have been carrying one on my backpack for a couple of months, and I love it!

The Zeta FL is a two-layer GORE-TEX that uses their PACKLITE technology, making it a feather light jacket that delivers bomber waterproofness and relatively good breathability. It was designed originally by Arc’teryc as an emergency shell for fast and light hiking, where you can stash the jacket in its own hood, fold it next to nothing, and carry it with you. The has a trim fit, suitable for the city, and doe to the design pattern, it has complete freedom of movement, something I truly seek on any clothing I wear. I can’t stand clothes that make me feel constricted, or uncomfortable, and rain jackets can be that. Not this one.
It features watertight front zipper and two hand pockets that are easy to operate, even with one hand. The hood can be secured with a halo adjuster, and proved really good protection against rain and wind. And, here’s the feature I love the most, the elasticized hem helps seal out the weather.

I roll the jacket into its hood, and it just disappears on the backpack. I always carry it with me, especially this summer, as storms seem to come our of nowhere in NYC.

One of the things I truly love from this jacket is its weight and breathability. As I mentioned before, the PACLITE technology makes is very light weight piece, and the way Arc'teryx built the two layers, allows for good venting, and for heat to escape, especially on hot rainy days here in NYC. Of course, not hard shell is truly breathable, so, it does get hot and dump after a while. However, I found it to be less frequent than with my other shells (all of the, 3 layer, full on alpine weight jackets).

Available both for men and women, I think this might be the best jacket for an urban commuter that is obsessed with going lighter and lighter.

© Arc’teryx