Gear Review: Arc’teryx Venta SV Softshell Jacket

For the Snowshoemag crew, Arc’teryx has become the holy grail of outdoor gear brands.  Our requests to even touch a garment with an Arc’teryx logo were ignored for the past few years.  Was it some it something we said?  Evidently not, because the pigs have now taken flight and it’s getting chilly in hell; we were able to test the Arc’teryx Venta SV Softshell jacket.  Nonetheless, we love supporting Arc’teryx because they make great gear…and they’re Canadian.  And nowadays, Canada is all the rage.  

The Venta SV is a softshell jacket that performs well in cold weather conditions.  For snowshoeing, it’s a reliable choice for the bitter cold trails and the harshest of alpine environments.  The jacket’s three different Windstopper softshell materials offer breathability, water resistance and performance.  The Venta’s microfleece lining provides comfort and enhanced performance.

Coupling the Venta SV with a reliable baselayer is the perfect way to prepare for a good snowshoe outing.  In fact, Arx’teryx provides a solid lineup of baselayers that work well in extreme cold weather (click here).  Although the Venta SV is a softshell, it works well with a hardshell jacket – especially when the snow starts to kick up and a powder skirt is needed.  

Something to note as well…

The Windstopper membrane on the Venta SV makes it less breathable than some softshell jackets.  But to help compensate, the Venta has long pit zips to aid in exhausting some heat that will inevitably build up when snowshoeing.  The Windstopper membrane is a must-have for this jacket; it’s the jacket’s top feature.

Arc’teryx is a great brand to have for snowshoeing.  In contrast to other popular brands, it’s a bit pricey.  The Venta SV is a  hardy $375 (as a suggested retail price).  With all the features and the reliability of the Arc’teryx brand, it’s well worth the extra cash.  If it means anything, I would suggest this softshell for most snowshoe racers.  This kind of jacket is perfect for a racer competing in a  cold-weather 5K or 10K.  

The details:

Technical Features

  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Lightly insulated


  • DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent) helps bead water from fabric surface
  • Composite materials

Hood Configuration

  • Helmet compatible Drop Hood

Collar Configuration

  • Soft brushed-lined collar

Pocket Configuration

  • Two hand pockets with laminated zippers
  • Internal chest pocket with laminated zip

Zippers & Fly Configuration

  • Molded zipper garages
  • Pit zippers for easy venting
  • Full front zip with wind flap

Cuff & Sleeves Configuration

  • Laminated die-cut Velcro cuffs reduce bulk, and won’t catch or tear off
  • Stretch-woven cuffs

Hem Configuration

  • Drop back hem
  • Laminated hem
  • Full seat coverage
  • Adjustable hem drawcord

For more information about Arc’teryx, visit  To purchase the Venta SV, click here.

Additionally, don’t forget to add a Arc’teryx Bird Head Toque to your grocery cart (click here).  The Bird Head is a wool/acrylic mix beanie and has a massive Arc’teryx logo plastered across it – providing some ideal brand recognition and jealousy among snowshoeing friends.  Aside from that, it’s also a great snowshoeing hat to have on hand and definitely provides the right warmth for the right conditions.

About the author


Ryan Alford