Amazingly light and packable, this mid-layer jacket also works well as a standalone jacket. Considering it’s not a wind or rain shell, I found it to be surprisingly resistant against moderate wind and light rain.
Upon first inspection, the jacket is quite thin and you may not expect it to provide much warmth… However, the Coreloft insulation by Arc’teryx is quite effective. The Atom is well fitted, very comfortable and makes a great mid-layer.
The quality of this product is quite evident once you begin inspecting the garment up close. The cuffs are notably superb.
Paired with a proper wind/rain shell, the packability, warmth, and weight, make this jacket extremely versatile and worth every penny.
Cost: Around CDN $200
Bought the Patagonia Better Sweater™ last November and I’ve been wearing it pretty much every day since – I absolutely love it. Very cozy, simple and functional. No unnecessary pockets or accessories. Well made and works great as a mid-layer.
In a survival situation, shelter and protection from the elements is critical. Don’t forget that your clothing is your primary shelter and clothing should therefore be well thought out.
Shelters are effectively micro-climates which allow us not only to survive, but to live and settle in environments that would otherwise be quite inhospitable. Proper clothing is what allows us to leave our shelters (homes, buildings, vehicles etc.) and move around. Therefore it is essential to think of our clothing as a shelter… After all, our clothing does in fact protect us from the sun, wind, rain, snow etc…
From Patagonia’s website:
Central California’s dedicated surf community is very rarely afforded the luxury of conducting dawn-patrol surf checks in shorts and a T-shirt. We created the Better Sweater™ Jacket for just those mornings. It’s made of polyester fleece that has a sweater-knit face and a fleece interior for warmth, cozy zippered pockets to keep your fingers toasty, a stand-up collar with a zipper garage so your neck stays comfortable and soft microfleece trim at the collar, cuffs and hem.
- Fabric has a sweater-knit face, fleece interior and heathered yarns
- Full-zip jacket with zip-through, stand-up collar and zipper garage
- Raglan sleeves for pack-wearing comfort
- Two zippered handwarmer pockets
- Micropolyester jersey trim on cuffs, hem and back of neck
- Can be worn with layers as outerwear or as a midlayer under a shell
- Hip length
- 9.5-oz 100% polyester with a sweater-knit exterior and fleece interior
- 464 g (16.4 oz)
- Made in Thailand.
Cost: Around CDN $130