The Arc’teryx Sphene jacket is one of many Arc’teryx items we’ve checked out over the last half decade. We have tested packs, gloves, jackets and everything in between for this Canadian gear powerhouse. Here's just a sampling: the Arc’teryx Theta SV Pants, the Kamski 48 Pack, the Beta FL jacket, the Atom LT jacket, the Lithic Comp pant and jacket and the Zeta LT jacket (most recently). We have also tested Arc’teryx gloves, including the Cadens.
You get the idea. We know Arc'teryx like an old friend. That's part of the reason why we were happy to hear a couple years back that Arc'teryx was starting to make some ski-touring specific items. This new Sphene is positioned for backcountry touring and, being both lightweight and bomber, it seems up to the task.
The hood seems a little voluminous to me--especially when compared to the Zeta LT, which features a non-helmet compatible hood. I never tour with a helmet and, as a result, hoods in general seem to be bigger than I would like. Maybe it's a sign I should start touring with a helmet??!! Note the simple, one-handed draw cords on the back and neckline. These allow you to custom fit the hood so it'll work for people like me who tour sans helmet.
e3D Ergonomic 3-Dimensional patterning for enhanced comfort and mobility
No-lift gusseted underarms
WaterTight™ Vislon front zip
Angled pit zippers for easy venting and ease acess while wearing a pack
Micro webbing zipper pulls
RS™ (Rain Shield) pocket zipper sliders
Hidden Recco® reflector
Cohaesive™ hem adjustments for ease of use with mittens or gloves
The Arc'teryx Sphene jacket is excellent for ski touring (and it'll work out well for those occasional lift service days as well). I really liked the Beta FL jacket Arc'teryx put out a few years ago (since discontinued) and it seems like the Sphene may be the next iteration. Lightweigtht, highly breathable, highly packable and slick looking, the Sphene does the trick in all but the harshest conditions.
The downsides, in my humble opinion, are minor and likely not felt by all. The mesh pocket could be bigger for skins and the hood may be a little bigger than necessary. These are more pet-peeves of mine than an overall criticism--so don't let it stop you from buying one. I do recommend trying the jacket on before purchase, though. Arc'teryx does a good job of grouping their various fits (e3D patterning, athletic, etc) but I have found that different models fit me differently and I'm always happiest with the fit if I have a chance to try it on before acquisition. Do it if you can.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Fit: e3D Ergonomic
Colour: Macaw (blue-ish) and Rohdei (green)
Weight: 435 g / 15.3 oz
Material: Gore-Tex Pro
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.