What are we looking for in a lightweight jacket for snowshoeing? Probably three things: Little bulk, for maximum body motion. Insulation, for weather protection. And breathability, for moisture management.
Arc’teryx’s Argus jacket meets all these criteria. It is a good outer layer when we’re very active or when it’s a bit warmer. It is a good middle layer when we’re less active or when temperatures plummet.
The hip-length 13-ounce Argus jacket is made of nylon, polyester, and spandex. It has a smooth inner lining, an insulation layer which quickly recovers its loft, and an outer layer that acts as a strong wind resister as well as a strong water repellant. It is filled with Polartec’s Alpha’s insulation.
As I moved around for hours in the Argus, I found that I stayed warm even when the jacket collected a layer of snow. The jacket wicks moisture away from our body and after getting wet it dries quickly.
I like to add layers without restricting my body’s movement, and the Argus jacket is almost perfect for this. The Argus is so trim it feels like it is even enhancing our mobility.
There are a few other features I like. I can stash a snack or even my gloves or hat in the jacket’s back pockets. The front pockets are zippered, the internal cuff has thumbholes, and I can seal out cold from the bottom of the jacket by tightening the drawcord.
With plenty of good winter jackets on the market, Arc’tyrex’s Argus jacket especially stands out when we are snowshoeing vigorously in colder temps. And rather than costing hundreds of dollars, it’s priced at $189: