Arcteryx Cerium LT Hoody Review

The Cerium LT Hoody is a warm-but-lightweight piece of winter clothing with ample features. That makes it good for both new and more experienced skiers who value versatility.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: REI, Amazon, EVO
  • Best for: Skiers who want a well-rounded jacket they can bring with them into most weather conditions.
  • Pros: This jacket manages to provide a lot of insulation without adding a ton of extra weight. That lightweight design also means there’s a lot of flexibility, and the fit is great. It packs small too.
  • Cons: The Cerium could have better weather protection. The exterior coating is not made for particularly rough conditions. The draw cord is uncomfortable and the jacket has a high price tag as well.
  • Alternatives: Ghost Whisperer, RAB Microlight, Orolay Fleece

Why Trust Me

I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I spent a lot of time researching this jacket and seeing how its many traits held up under different conditions.

Detailed Review

The Cerium LT Hoody is an extremely well-rounded jacket. The fit is one of the best on the market, the warmth does a good job of keeping you comfortable, and the material is so light you’ll barely notice it. It’s on the more expensive side and has a few features that don’t quite live up to the rest of the design, but it’s hard to beat the mix of flexibility, function, and warmth.

Comfortable All the Way Through

To kick things off, I wanted to talk about the Cerium’s incredible fit. This is one of the jacket’s best aspects, and it’s something you’ll notice right away. It’s a bit loose, but in a way that’s comfortable rather than too baggy. The long sleeves also never ride up. You don’t get any constriction around key points at your chest, shoulders, and upper back either. There’s always one size area where jackets fall short, but that’s not the case here.

A big reason the Cerium’s fit works so well is that it’s backed up by a good amount of warmth. This jacket is comfortable through and through. For insulation, Arc’teryx put high-loft down in the hood and the neck area. There’s also Coreloft synthetic insulation in key areas where moisture tends to build up. That care ensures the jacket does exactly what it sets out to do.

I found many lightweight jackets to be good on calmer rides, but didn’t have what it took to keep you toasty when things got rough. You’ll have no such issues here. The Cerium manages to be comfortable without sacrificing insulation.

Tough and Light

Something else I find impressive is that the Cerium manages to stay quite durable. The 12-ounce jacket may seem like it wouldn’t be able to take a beating on the slopes, but, as with the warmth, it succeeds admirably.

If there’s one hiccup here, it’s the DWR treatment. I have never been a fan of this attribute. Though it does help when things aren’t too bad, you’re going to see seepage in harsh storms or tough rain. This is especially noticeable in the shoulders and front zipper. Even so, this jacket is able to last quite a while no matter how often you throw it on. At its weight, that’s more than impressive.

Plenty of Features

I always love extra features. While the Cerium doesn’t have a ton, I found the ones that are present to be quite useful. The biggest are the pockets. There’s nothing wrong with extra space. Here, you get two zippered hand warmer pockets and a single interior chest pocket.That combination means you’ll easily be able to store any small items as you ride.

Beyond that, the Cerium features a single drawcord at the back of the head to secure the hood. This is perhaps the one misstep here. While it definitely works, the tight feel causes a bit of discomfort and pressure on your ears. Luckily, the dual hem drawcords do their job. They are easy to operate, even if they can be tricky when you’re wearing bulky gloves.

The jacket stuffs down into a thin, lightweight sack that comes complete with a clip-in loop. This handy feature enables the entire jacket to pack down to the size of a water bottle. Not only does that create better storage, but it’s one of the best space-saving designs I’ve seen in a modern ski jacket.

Price and Value

When comparing the Cerium to similar down jackets, it’s a bit on the expensive side. That makes the value differ from person to person. Serious skiers with higher budgets will absolutely love the item. It has premium features, good weight, and reliable insulation. For those that are more casual or who want to save money on their clothing, it’s probably not the best choice. This just depends on what you need and what you’re willing to spend.

What I Like

There’s a lot to like about the Cerium LT, but my favorite feature is the hybrid design. It’s rare that a ski jacket gives you durability in a lightweight package. This model does it with flying colors. There are a few weak points in the construction, but the ventilation and flexible fit each more than make up for it.

I also greatly appreciate the Cerium’s style. Many jacket brands in today’s market tend to value extra features. While those are important, appearance also matters. This jacket has an interesting cut and look to it. It also comes in a wide range of colors, which allows you to tailor it to match your own preferences.

What I Dislike

The Cerium’s one weak point for me is its water resistance. The model does a good job against the wind, but it leaks in certain areas when the moisture builds up. That means it isn’t the best outer layer choice for harsh environments.

Though it’s largely a minor quibble, I’m also not a fan of the drawstring. The Cerium is a comfortable piece of clothing, and having one aspect of it that causes a bit of discomfort is a bit of a let down. This isn’t something you’re going to notice all of the time, but it will be annoying when it comes up.

The Alternatives

The Cerium LT is certainly a feature forward jacket. However, not everyone is going to love the features it has. If you fall into that category, check out these alternative options:

  • Ghost Whisperer – If a lightweight jacket is what you want, the Ghost Whisperer delivers. This is one of the lightest options out there, but it’s still warm for what you get. It packs down well and can be stored/thrown on easily. You won’t get certain features, such as a hood cinch or a chest pocket, but there’s a lot to like.
  • RAB Microlight – This jacket has a similar feel and look to the Cerium, but has much more of a focus on water resistance. The hydrophobic down design and DWR coating ensure moisture never gets to your body. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but that’s a small price to pay for premium water protection and extra durability.
  • Orolay Fleece – The Fleece is another hooded jacket that gives you good results without a high price point. Its material is waterproof, and the hood is detachable. It’s also lightweight but, like the Cerium LT, doesn’t skimp on wind protection. This also comes with two zippered hand pockets, a zippered chest pocket, and an internal pocket. That gives you plenty of extra storage.

FAQs

How much does this jacket weigh?

It’s lightweight, coming in at 10.8 ounces.

Does this jacket have any hydrophobic coating?

No. The Cerium LT has no hydrophobic treatment. Rather, it repels water through the DWR coating.

Is this jacket warm?

The Cerium LT has good insulation and can be used in colder weather thanks to the 850-fill-power goose down.

Can this be used with backpacks?

This jacket is made with tough abrasion-resistant material. However, it’s thin and can wear down if you use it with a backpack for a long time.

Final Words

The Cerium LT is a well-rounded ski jacket with a little bit of everything. It’s lightweight in a way that makes it comfortable to wear, but also tough enough to ensure the wind and snow stay out, and the warmth stays in. Even with the flexible material, you get 850-fill power down to ensure you don’t feel the elements at any time of the year.

There’s something to be said about the Cerium’s high price point. However, skiers looking for quality won’t mind paying a bit extra for what it offers. It may not have the strength for some true backcountry skiers, but everyone else will like it. It’s hard to come by premium jackets that hit on all marks. That’s what you’re getting here.

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