Features: Most notably, this well-designed jacket is made from the Pertex Revolve collection of recycled polyester fabrics. These fabrics are less harmful to the environment and more easily recycled at the end of their life. Water-resistant zips throughout, pit zips, generous chest pockets and a well-fitting hood round out this jacket’s strong qualities.
Fit: At the midpoint of technical and regular fit, this jacket is relatively form-fitting and will suit athletic builds best. The arm length is average, the jacket hem length more on the technical side and the hood cinches up snugly, with no wasted fabric.
Comfort: It’s a shell garment that you don’t rush to take off, whatever the conditions. It’s comfortable, moves with you and fits well where it needs to. The face fabric is heavy enough to be durable, but soft enough that it’s pleasant to wear.
In use: The Pertex Shield Revolve fabric seems to breathe as well as most of the other modern waterproof-breathable fabrics, and better so than 2 or 2.5-layer fabrics due to its wicking face material. When wearing a pack in the rain, I found the face fabric wetted out under the straps a little quicker than expected. This might be a jacket that benefits from a regular wash and reapplication of DWR. I didn’t miss that there was no inside pocket (which saves weight), but I would have liked a two-way zip for the main zipper. The pockets are generous and easily big enough for a map or insulated gloves.
Value: For its fabric, features and quality design and construction, this jacket is very good value.
Verdict: Three-layer waterproof breathables have a quality of strength that’s reassuring and the Arc Eco is no exception. It’s good to go with a heavy multi-day pack, but also smart and comfortable enough to wear on a more casual local walk or long day tramp, and it’s light enough that you won’t hesitate to throw it in, just in case.
Plusses: Durable, excellent features, very good value.
Minuses: A two-way zip would be a basic improvement.