Arcteryx Stingray Jacket Review
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Over the past few months, I’ve been testing out the Arcteryx Stingray jacket in activities such as backcountry skiing, resort skiing, snowshoeing, and cold weather hiking. As most of us know by now, Arcteryx has a history producing products of great quality and innovation, and the Stingray jacket is no exception. And while I have great respect for Arcteryx, it was important for me to not get caught up in the brand image hype when I first tested the jacket as I didn’t want to think too highly of the jacket because of it’s brand history.
The Stingray jacket by Arcteryx is made with a Gore-Tex 3 layer membrane that allows the jacket to keep out water and moisture and also allows for a small amount of breathability. To ensure waterproofness, the Stingray comes with Gore-Tex micro taped seams which helps reduce a little bit of weight and bulk. This jacket also comes with a DWR that helps repel water off the jacket.
I personally prefer a 3-layer jacket in almost any situation as they are more durable than the standard 2-layer jacket while only adding a few extra ounces. They also prevent the inside of the jacket from sticking to your skin. On the inside of the Stingray jacket, there is a light felt material that adds a little bit of warmth to the jacket. While skiing in-bounds at Vail and other resorts, I found I would stay warm in temperatures down to about 10F with just a tee shirt and fleece mid layer. When temperatures got colder, I wore a light down hoodie and it was the perfect combination. The inside of the jacket has plenty of room to accommodate additional layers. If you are in the backcountry doing some touring or skinning uphill, a lighter baselayer is typically all you need in moderate winter temps. If you do end up overheating, there are water resistant pit zips. The cuffs of the Stingray are big enough to accommodate pretty much any size glove or mitt. I wear a size XL in my gloves and mittens and I had no problem pushing the cuffs over my gloves. The hood on the Stingray is helmet compatible and worked well with my Smith Varient helmet. Sometimes when you use your hood with a helmet, the neck section of the jacket gets too tight and you can’t zip up your jacket all the way. I was happy to see this was not the case in the Stingray. One thing that I did find with the zipper when I had the jacket fully zipped was that the zipper would sometimes stick to my lips or tongue in cold temperatures. It would never stick for an extended period, but it was noticeable. The length of the jacket was just perfect for me. The Stingray fit about 2-3 inches below my waist allowing for movement, but not riding up too much where you would get a gap between your jacket and pants. If you like pushing the limits and find yourself biting it a few times a day, there is a powderskirt that helps snow from getting into your jacket. As for the pockets, they are set a little higher up so you can wear a pack. By setting up a little higher, your hip straps won’t cover the pockets. As with the rest of the zippers on the outside of this jacket, the zippers on the pockets are water resistant. For valuables, there is a small mesh zippered pocket on the inside of the jacket. Overall, I found the Arteryx Stingray to be a little light on the feature side, but if you are looking for a fairly simple yet durable jacket that will last you 10 years plus, the Stingray is a perfect option. For more information on the Stingray Jacket and other Arcteryx products, please visit www.arcteryx.com.