When you’re an on-the-go outdoor lover then the last thing you want weighing you down as you press into your adventure is a heavy, bulky down jacket. The Arc’teryx Women’s Cerium SL Hoody is a superlight (SL) at only 205 g / 7.2 oz, highly packable down hoody that gives high performance as a mid layer or standalone piece. If all of the Arc’teryx abbreviations and acronyms confuse you a little then why not read our Arcteryx Lingo blog here.
The Cerium SL performs best when worn as a Mid Layer & Fleece especially when tucked under a waterproof outer shell giving ample insulation and protection against the cold. When walking in the peak district along Stannage Edge I layered up the Cerium with a North Face Shell in order to stay dry and it kept me warm without seeping and absorbing moisture around the collar, cuffs and hem where it was slightly exposed to the elements. So I would say to a degree it is moisture resistent however I would not want to wear it in wet conditions as an outer layer.
When worn as the outer layer it’s an ok shell jacket providing reasonable protection against the wind and extremely light showers or damp air however if it starts to rain cats and dogs or blow a gale you may want to crack out the severe weather gear as it will absorb all of the water and the down will start to clump. As an outer layer insulator you aren’t going to get much protection if it’s the only thing you’re wearing above your technical T and the winds are a howling. So if it’s a crisp cold, dry day with no winds now is the time to crack out your Cerium SL – this is the weather it is designed for!
This Down jacket is also great for warmer, drier days where you need a lightweight, easily packable jacket just to take the edge away when the temperature dips for a while as it will capture all of your core body warmth in the lofting and keep you snug. If you’re planning on walking some hills or a mountain then this is a layer you need to have in your pack to pop on when you’re higher up and need some quick protection against the open elements. I am a woman who ALWAYS feels the cold so having a layer that doesn’t take up endless space in the pack but performs as well as a technical, bulky down jacket has given me the confidence I need to not over-layer when preparing for a hike knowing I have just the job should I need it.
The Arc’teryx Cerium SL feels skimpy and skinny when being worn- it’s feather-light and you can forget you are wearing it but you should not underestimate the power and performance of this technical down jacket. I suppose that is the dream – outdoor clothing that protects and performs without feeling bogged down by it. It has a silky smooth finish which doesn’t rub or chaff the skin even in areas of high movement. It has Trim fit which keeps warmth close to the body and means that the jacket conforms to your body shape to minimise air pockets between your base-layers and this jacket.
I use this jacket as a mid-layer when walking, an outer layer for belaying and a general everyday coat, should I need the extra warmth, that can be easily stowed. With a price tag of £180-£240 it doesn’t come in cheap but you get what you pay for with this technical beauty.