Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 84 (out of 100) 
User Rating: 4.2 stars
Expert Rating: 4.1 stars
Number of Ratings Reviewed: 68


Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Minimalist design is lightweight and easy to pack.
  • Water and wind proof.
  • Extremely durable for how thin and lightweight it is.
  • Hood is very well built and designed.
  • Excellent mobility.
  • Gore-Tex Paclite membrane is especially packable which is great for backpacking or spring ski touring.
  • Jacket packs into its own hood.
  • No problems with breathability even though there are no pit zips.
  • Hook and loop cuffs seal out rain and are easy to use.

Expert Reviews

  • One of the best rain jackets on the market.
  • If we could only choose one jacket for all activities from around town to the backcountry, this would be it.
  • Some jackets may excel more in specific features, but none provide such a high level of performance across the board.
  • The thinner Gore-Tex membrane allows for greater breathability and greater packability.
  • Very effective DWR treatment.
  • One of the best designed hoods on any jacket and provides great peripheral vision.
  • Great mobility and range of motion.
  • Great fit and style.
  • Lighter weight than most hard shells.


Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • It needs, but doesn’t have, pit zippers.
  • Only has two pockets.
  • If this jacket came with pit zips, it would be perfect.
  • The Gore-Tex membrane can leak after extended exposure to heavy precipitation.
  • Runs a little small/tight so size up if you have a bigger upper body.
  • Arc’teryx markets the jacket as for “emergencies” which is a little confusing. What is it actually best for?
  • Jacket doesn’t breathe super well in high intensity activities.
  • The Beta SL hybrid actually has pit zips so consider that version if this feature is important to you.

Expert Reviews

  • Even though the membrane is extremely breathable, having pit zips is something a lot of people would appreciate.
  • A little on the heavier side if you are using it only as a “just in case” jacket.
  • Pockets are watertight, not necessarily waterproof.


The Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket is clean and simple, yet highly functional. It is wind and waterproof, has a well designed hood, and is easily packable and breathable. For high intensity activities, the lack of pit zips could be an issue for some users.


Note: User rankings were reviewed across the web and expert rankings were reviewed on packhacker, outdoorgearlab.