The Arrowsmith is a pullover with a hood and a half-length front zipper. It belongs to Macpac’s Alpine Series of technical gear made in consultation with the New Zealand Alpine Team.
I found the Arrowsmith a billowy delight to wear and, I was told, a fashion crime. Constructed with large, retro-look baffles, and available only in black or grey, it looks like it has been modelled off a cumulus cloud crossed with the Michelin Man. With 170g of 700 loft hydrophobic goose down fill, it feels ready for even the most severe winter conditions in New Zealand. 170g is about average for fill weights among the jackets reviewed here, but the larger baffles, shorter back length and stocky design made it feel like one of the warmest.
It’s a no-frills design and as a result weighs a modest 380g (w: 370g). The outer is wind and water resistant, with a DWR coating, making it well and truly weather-resistant.
It has a single reach-through ‘marsupial’ pouch with elasticated closures and an internal mesh pocket. The pouch is roomy enough to stow gloves and hat and it’s effective at warming your hands. The elasticated opening is taut and the pouch deep set to reduce the risk of items falling out; the internal mesh pocket doubles as a stuff sack.
The hood fits snugly with the front zipper done up. An internal baffle and asymmetrical design keep the zip clear of the chin. However, the front zipper design is not the greatest – it has a habit of catching.
The Arrowsmith represents good value for money. It’s not as versatile as the other jackets reviewed here, but it’s a good winter mountaineering jacket.