Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review: weatherproof wonder

Weather any storm with Arc’teryx’s mountain-ready Beta Lightweight waterproof shell

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

The Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket is a highly functional and innovative waterproof shell boasting a lightweight Gore-Tex ePE construction and innovative features. It's ideal for various outdoor pursuits, offering excellent flexibility and heat management. While its waterproofing holds up well in light rain, it may not be as durable in heavy downpours. Despite this, its soft fabric and superb hood construction make it a top choice for everyday use and light outdoor activities.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight construction

  • +

    Soft, pliable fabric

  • +

    Super packable

  • +

    Superb hood construction

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Waterproofing might not hold up in downpours

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Despite its success as a fashion brand, premium outdoor apparel brand Arc’teryx never moved away from crafting highly functional gear for people who enjoy outdoor pursuits like hiking, climbing and more.

The brand’s waterproof shells are particularly popular. The predecessor of the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket, which I’m reviewing here, the original Arc’teryx Beta LT, sat at the top of T3’s best waterproof jacket guide for quite a while.

However, as great as that jacket is, it’s made using PFAs, the ’forever chemicals’, which is a big no-no these days – the new Beta LT jacket uses the Gore-Tex ePE membrane made without these.

As well as that, Arc’teryx’s new shell has a ton of new and innovative features, which make this mountain-ready jacket an ideal option for off-slope adventures. Ready to get rained on? Let’s go!

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

Price and availability

The Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket was announced in January 2024 and is available to buy now at Arc’teryx US and Arc’teryx UK for a recommended retail price of $500/ £450 (approx AU$ 770.99).

It’s available in both women’s and men’s versions in a variety of colours, including Black Sapphire, Black and Iola (men’s) and Velocity/Light Velocity, Black Sapphire, black and Amaranthus/Edziza (women’s).

A quick note on the name. If you search ‘Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket’ online, search engines like Google might serve you results for Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket, which is the previous version. I’m sure this will be resolved once the Beta LT goes out of stock, but it’s worth keeping in mind before you accidentally buy the forever chemical-ridden predecessor.


Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
  • Primary use: mountain
  • Weight: 373g (men’s medium) / 330g (women’s)
  • Material: 40D 3L GORE-TEX ePE membrane
  • Hydrostatic head rating: no information available
  • Breathability: no information available

Design and build quality

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The heart and soul of the new Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket is the GORE-TEX ePE membrane, which is said to provide the same benefits – breathability, wind and water resistance – as the OG Gore-Tex membrane without nasty chemicals involved.

This is the same membrane used in other top-of-the-line shells, such as the Mountain Equipment Makalu Jacket and other premium waterproof jackets from Patagonia, adidas, Salomon and more.

Arc’teryx’s Beta Lightweight Jacket features 40D 3L GORE-TEX protection with an FC0 DWR (durable water-repellent) treatment to repel external moisture (i.e. rain) and allow internal moisture (i.e. condensation on the inner surface of the shell due to body heat) to leave.

Now, if you know anything about fabric technology, you know there is no such thing as a 100% waterproof and 100% breathable material. Most fabrics used, including Gore-Tex’s ePE and Columbia’s OutDry, will compromise on either breathability or long-term waterproofing.

As well as the Gore-Tex ePE membrane, the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket also uses another Gore-Tex innovation called Gore C-Knit. This technology is quiet, soft next-to-skin, highly breathable, and made with recycled content.

Gore’s C-Knit technology fuses the three layers – backer, membrane and finish – together to create a lighter, more flexible jacket: the latest Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket!

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Weighing only 380 grams (men’s medium), the Beta Lightweight Jacket also has a helmet-compatible StormHood, which is probably my favourite feature of the jacket. Easily adjustable with just one hand, StormHood allows almost perfect peripheral vision when tightened.

Not only that, but the front of the hood keeps rain away from your face, so you get to see everything and stay protected. It really is magical.

Thankfully, Arc’teryx didn’t sacrifice the pit zips to make the jacket even lighter, which is what happened with the Montane Phase Lite Jacket. That shell is super-packable but can get a bit toasty under the armpits, as pointed out by my colleague Pat.

Pocket-wise, you get two zippered hand pockets positioned slightly higher to accommodate waist belts found on hiking backpacks. There is also a zippered internal pocket, big enough to sink your iPhone. As always, stuff in pockets should be kept in waterproof containers if you’re planning on staying out in the rain for longer. Water can seep in eventually.

Finally, the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket also has glove-friendly Velcro cuff adjusters on the cuffs and an embedded RECCO reflector that can aid search and rescue in emergency situations. Not the most essential feature for dog walking, but do bear in mind that the shell was designed for trekking in the mountains.

Performance and comfort

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

I’ve been wearing the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket for a few weeks now, and I must say, it’s quickly becoming my go-to waterproof shell. I’m not using it in the mountains (boo!), but there has been plenty of rain in the UK in the last few months – I had plenty of opportunities to test the jacket.

I love the flexibility and lightweight design of the jacket. Compared to Makalu mentioned above, and The North Face Stolemberg 3L DryVent Jacket, the Beta LT is less rigid and definitely lighter. As a result, it’s also more packable than those two (however, it hasn’t got a stuff pocket).

I mentioned the StromHood above, and it has to be experienced to be believed. It’s one of the best hood constructions on a waterproof jacket I’ve tried; it works like a charm. Better still, it’s helmet-compatible, which I guess makes sense, as the Beta LT was designed for mountainous conditions, where a helmet isn’t optional.

I’m yet to go on a long hiking trip wearing the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket, but I’ve been using it for everything else, and it performed pretty well in all conditions. Heat management is excellent, and there are also the pit zips to manage it if things get a bit heated.

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Waterproofing is okay, although it feels less durable than the original Gore-Tex technology. I found it okay for shorter walks in the drizzle and rain, but I’ll need to take the Beta Lightweight on a few more trips to see how it performs when it’s absolutely emptying down.

You can always apply an additional waterproofing finish to the jacket to make it more water-repellent, but it might compromise breathability.

If you need something that’ll 100% keep you dry, you’ll need something like Arc’teryx’s top-of-the-range Alpha Jacket or one of the stiffer waterproof shells from Mountain Equipment and The North Face mentioned above.

The fit is generous enough to accommodate base layers and fleece jackets. I hate to repeat myself, but the Beta LT is a mountain shell, so it would be strange if you wouldn’t be able to layer properly. That said, it’s not too baggy, so it would be too windy underneath. You can also use the waist pull cord to adjust the hem should it be needed.


Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

One might say that good waterproofing performance is essential for waterproof jackets, and I tend to agree with this statement. As I’m yet to see how well the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket performs under abysmal conditions – not looking forward to it, but hey – it’s hard to say definitively if this is the ultimate waterproof jacket.

Would I take it to the mountains? Probably not; I’d much prefer a thicker, more robust shell to ensure I stay dry and protected from the wind at all times when at altitude.

That said, thanks to the soft, lightweight fabric and excellent features, the Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket is perfect for daily tasks, such as dog walking, drizzly hiking trips, and other similar excursions.

The price might be a bit steep for some, but it’s not an unusual high privce for an Arc’teryx jacket. After all, it’s a premium brand, and the price communicates that. If you can afford it and like Arc’teryx, I would be surprised if you didn’t like the Beta Lightweight Jacket.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.