Layers are the instruments of keeping you dry, warm and using your energy efficiently. Put into the right systems, a good sequence of layers moves moisture away from your skin, conserves or dissipates heat and provides you with weather protection.
Proper layering also permits textiles to move freely over each other, so you don’t experience restriction or chafing. Having an efficient system means more time outdoors, staying warm and dry while safely and comfortably pursuing your activities of choice.
Your first layer, worn next-to-skin to provide warmth and quickly move moisture away from your skin.
Lighter weights are best for warm conditions and/or high output levels. Heavier weights for cool conditions or lower output.
Wool retains its warmth when wet and has natural anti-odor properties.
Synthetics are lightweight, dry quickly and can be more abrasion resistant.
Insulation & Fleece
Insulation & fleece provide warmth while also dissipating heat during periods of high output. When selecting insulation type, consider weight and weather conditions.
Down provides the highest warmth-to-weight value and packs small, but it is best suited to cool and dry conditions.
Synthetic materials remain warm when damp, are more abrasion resistant but less compact and heavier than down.
Fleece is a thermal garment with high air permeability. Fleece offers high comfort, but less weather resistance when worn as a standalone layer.
Shells are the most weather protective layer, most often worn on the outside of all other layers. Evaluate your environment, expected output level and typical conditions when making your selection.
GORE-TEX shells are fully waterproof, windproof and breathable.
Windshells are lighter weight, wind and weather resistant. Best suited to dry conditions, or minimal precipitation.
Softshell refers to a four-way stretch textile with a durable weather resistant outer surface.
Waterproof Insulated Jackets combine insulation and a weather protecting outer layer into a single layer.
We assign a number to our products to help you find the right combination of products that layer well over one another. This number can be found on the product page in the Arc’teryx Layering System section.
Do: Layer an item with a larger number over an item with a smaller number.
A #4 or #5 shell jacket will layer perfectly over a #3 insulated or fleece jacket.
Don’t: Try to layer two items with the same number over one another.
Why? Because layering a #3 shell jacket over a #3 insulated jacket will crush the insulation, eliminating its ability to efficiently keep you warm.