“You have to get a Squamish” I had been told by several members of my family. Finally, one afternoon a package arrived. It was an Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody. My sister called me later that day, and told me “I bought you a Squamish Hoody. I knew you weren’t going to buy one, and they are just so good!”. She was right, the Squamish Hoody has rarely left my pack since I received it.
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Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody – The Verdict
Lightweight, comfortable, packable and versatile, the Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody is the best ultralight wind/rain shells on the market – and one of our absolute favorite pieces of gear. It has a home in our pack all summer long and we use it almost every trip.
Overview of the Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody
The Squamish Hoody is a superlight, super-compressible windshell cut in Arc’teryx’s characteristic athletic style. Think of it as a simpler, lighter and significantly cheaper rendition of the Alpha FL designed for every 3-season wear, from hiking to climbing.
When to use the Squamish Hoody
Anytime you need light layer separating from wind or light rain – but still need to move fast and stay cool. Throw it on when summiting a blustery peak in summer or to keep the breeze at bay cliffside on your next climb.
Pros of Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody
- Ultra-Light + Super Compressible. Roughly 5 ounces a piece and compressible into its own chest pocket, the Squamish is a lightweight and functional jacket that won’t weigh you down.
- Ample Wind + Water Protection. This jacket is designed mainly as a wind shell, so that’s where it shines – but it holds up decently in light rain, too.
- Fit, Form and Function. The perfect combo of trim-and-athletic and roomy-enough-for-layering, this jacket stays close but doesn’t restrict movement. It’s also got all the thoughtful design touches an intentional piece of gear needs, like a great hood and Velcro straps at the wrists to keep the elements out!
Squamish Hoody Cons
- No hand pockets. Not a deal breaker in summer, but those are nice to have.
- Not Good for Heavy Rain. While it holds up to light mists and sprinkles no problem, a better DWR coating wouldn’t hurt, either.
Wind-Resistant Shell + Light Rain Protection
Our main motivation for carrying the Squamish Hoody in our pack is as a lightweight wind shell for warmer weather – late spring, summer, early autumn. It doesn’t disappoint.
Made from a thin 30D nylon, the Squamish provides the perfect balance of wind resistance and breathability. Those two qualities always necessitate a tradeoff to at least some extent; the more breathable the fabric is, the less effective it is at breaking the breeze, and vice versa. But done right, they can coexist- and Arc’teryx demonstrates that here.
Sure, this is the hardly the most wind resistant jacket we’ve worn. But it’s not supposed to be a thick wall so much as an extra defense for added comfort. Instead, it finds that balance and allows us to rock it comfortably in all kinds of weather without feeling exposed or overheating.
And it doesn’t even have any vents – not even pit zips. That hasn’t been a problem for most of the summer hikes we do, but we could see it getting hot on very humid days.
If it’s a chilly or windy day, the Squamish Hoody is the perfect jacket to keep us warm and protect us from the elements.
Athletic Fit, Versatile Function
The fit is classic Arc’teryx: athletic and cut for activity. But as its their regular fit, it’s still spacious enough to wear an insulating layer or two underneath if the temperature drops. Gusseted underarms and articulated elbows add to the range-of-motion and durability that the stretch fabric offers.
In terms of features and trimmings, the Squamish is more streamlined than many similar shells. The hood isn’t stowable, for example, and there are no hand pockets. It also lacks pit vents for dumping heat. We don’t particularly miss these things on 90% of our summer hikes, but we can see where they would come in handy on colder/hotter days and why some people (climbers) might want them.
Just remember what this jacket really is – an ultralight, minimalist shell for lightweight protection from wind and the occasional rain shower or mist during warmer months. It’s not meant for prolonged rain exposure or harsher season of the year.
This is a piece of gear that everybody should have. If you’re looking for a light summer shell – get the Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody. It’s one of the most comfortable and versatile pieces of gear we’ve used, and we never leave home without it during the summer months. It’ll keep you comfortable when winds start blowing and even shed a bit of water, too.