The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

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Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Review: Best Rain Jacket of 2021

Best Rain Jacket of 2021

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 90% 90%

Price: $425

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus & 3-layer Gore-Tex with C-Knit

Weight: 12.7oz/360g

What We Like: Great Features, Lightweight

What We Don’t: Price

Arc’teryx has used its extensive knowledge in waterproofing technology to create a lightweight and feature-packed rain jacket. Using two types of Gore-Tex—a 2L for the body and a 3L for high wear areas, the Beta SL Hybrid is a shell to be reckoned with. Complete with a helmet-compatible hood, hip-belt-compatible handwarmer pockets, and large pit zips, this jacket has it all. The price tag is a bit steep for most recreationalists, but if you are looking for something that will perform like the Energizer Bunny, look no further. The Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid was an easy selection as our Best Rain Jacket of 2021.
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  • Breathability 80% 80%
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Great Features, Lightweight

Cons

Price

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Whenever I see Arc’teryx, I feel like Scrooge McDuck and see golden dollar signs pop up over my eyes. The brand is well known for its high-performance and highly technical equipment. The trade-off is the price tag that this normally involves. Arc’teryx has not skimped on the performance features with the Beta SL Hybrid. Using two types of Gore-Tex in particular locations throughout the jacket has helped to not only reduce weight but also increase performance—words you don’t often see in the same sentence. The design and performance made the Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid an easy choice as our Best Rain Jacket of 2021.
The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

Weather-Proofing

The Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid makes use of two styles of Gore-Tex material. 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus is the main fabric, and it is reinforced with 3L Gore-Tex in high-wear areas to add improved waterproofing to the overall jacket. The front zipper is WaterTight Vislon with RS (rain shield) pocket zipper sliders. If water gets through this jacket’s defenses, you can’t even be mad. The jacket has also received a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) finish to add the beading water effect we all love to see on our waterproof gear.
The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

Weight and Durability

Arc’teryx has developed its own code for letting consumers better understand the purpose-built design of each piece of gear. The “Beta” stands for a product that has been built to be versatile and is made for high performance in diverse conditions and activities. The “SL” means Superlight, and according to the Arc’teryx website means that the product emphasizes lightweight packability over durability. So with that name game over, what does it all equal?
The Arc’teryx Beta (versatile) SL (superlight) Hybrid is a coat that, though lightweight and packable, has been made with a multitude of conditions and activities in mind. Weighing in at only 360g or 12.7oz (less than a pound), the technology really is impressive. In terms of packability, officially it isn’t. What we mean is that Arc’teryx did not make a double-sided zipper in a hand pocket that the jacket can pack into—i.e. even though it can be stuffed into a pocket, there won’t be a zipper closure. When compressed down, it is about the size of a grapefruit, so it’s really perfect for a backcountry mission where you’ll be counting ounces.
The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

Features

Not to be outdone by the high-performing material, Arc’teryx designed this jacket extremely well. The hood is helmet-compatible with a laminated brim to keep the rain away from your face. The hood also comes with drawcords to perfect the fit when needed.

Any high-performance-oriented jacket worth its salt has pit zips, and the Beta SL Hybrid has a pair that runs to about the middle of your bicep and down to the mid-ribcage for lots of venting. The hand pocket zippers can also double as additional venting if needed, which can help compensate when the pit zips are too much.

The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker
The hand pockets are high enough on the jacket for a backpack hip belt or climbing harness to fit underneath without interfering with pocket access. The zippers are also excellent and, though not officially waterproof, can hold their own in a moderate downpour.
The fabric itself is soft against the skin and breathes well enough so you can avoid the clamminess that often comes with rain jackets when you’re exerting yourself.
The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

The Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid checks all of the boxes you would be looking for in a high-performance rain jacket. The 2L and 3L Gore-Tex build is great for increased durability of the jacket, and the fabric inside of the jacket is comfortable against the skin. The features are perfect for the style of the jacket. Although there isn’t a chest pocket, this was an intentional decision to save weight. The price tag ($425) is a bit steep, but it comes down to the performance that you demand from your rain jacket. The styling is excellent for backcountry missions, yet you wouldn’t look too out of place walking through city streets. All of these elements combine to create an unmatched rain jacket, and it’s why we chose the Beta SL Hybrid as our Best Rain Jacket of 2021.

The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!