When Arc’teryx announced in 2013 that they would be moving into the down filled insulation market there was some rumblings of  “Why?” and “What will Arc’teryx do to their down insulation to differ from the rest?”

In true Arc’teryx fashion, they resisted entering the down market until they felt they could provide truly exceptional garments that differed to what was available in the market already. Their designers which include a few who originally learned their craft in Australia and New Zealand decided to focus on areas where down garments have traditionally been handicapped. That being durability and diminished insulating capacity when exposed to moisture.

Their solution was using more durable face fabrics and strategic application of synthetic insulation in areas of “high moisture risk” called Down Composite Mapping.

Down Composite Mapping places synthetic insulation in high moisture areas such as the shoulders, underarms and cuffs. the synthetic fill is not prone to compacting and remains warm when wet.

jointThe core of the garment and the sleeves, where warmth is most needed, are still filled with 850+ goose down.

Tech Specs

The Cerium LT  is filled with a high-lofting 850+ European white goose down. In areas where moisture can have a detrimental affect on downs loft & warmth the Cerium LT uses a synthetic 80g/m2 Coreloft fill for the cuffs, shoulders and underarms. Coreloft is made using a highly crimped multi-denier siliconised polyester yarn, this lightweight, breathable, and thermally efficient, 100% polyester staple fibre is very compressible and has excellent loft retention.

Cerium LT face fabric is an ultra-light Aeretic Nylon 2x10D fabric which has been treated with a DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent) which helps repel water from fabric surface and keep the down dry.

Other features include twin hand-warmer pockets, elasticated cuffs, elasticised hem and collar, front zip and chin-guard.

size compareWithout the usual Nalgene 1lt bottle to compare to here is the Cerium LT next to a 500ml Austrian Weisse Bier

What I wanted

When looking for a new Down Jacket I had a couple of needs that I was trying to tick off. Firstly I was after a lighter weight jacket that would complement my heavy alpine base camp style down jacket and my mid weight synthetic filled jacket. Second was the need for a jacket that would be able to fit my long lanky arms but not be to big in the body so I could still layer it under a shell. Third was some light weather resistance in case I got caught out in light shower of rain or snow. Finally purely aesthetics meant I didn’t want a shiny face fabric.

After weighing up what was available in the market I went for the Arc’teryx Cerium LT. The jacket ticked all the boxes and after owning some Arc’teryx clothing for years I already knew the Arc’teryx fit, design and construction was second to none. I was also intrigued to see how their mix of a down & Coreloft fill would fair as it sounded like it would be the best of both worlds in one jacket.

jacket

On the trail & around town

I have been using the Cerium LT over the last couple of months. During this time its been used as a belay jacket when climbing in the Blue Mountains, around the camp while hiking in Kanangra Boyd National Park, trekking & climbing in the European Alps and simply around town in chilly evenings.

While the jacket isn’t an ultra light down jacket it still packs away into a tiny stuff sack and weighs in at very reasonable 245 grams. Warmth wise I’ve found its more than enough for Australian winter adventures that don’t include camping in the snow and have happily kept warm it temperatures pushing zero degrees with only a long sleeve Icebreaker Oasis LS Crew thermal and a tee shirt.

The cut and workmanship of the jacket is second to none. The gusted armpits kept the jacket from riding up when moving my arms, the elasticated cuffs and hem kept the cold out. I did find a couple of down plums working their way out of the fabric, I pulled these back into the baffle and after the first few days of use I haven’t seen anymore.  The jackets fit was spot on, at times you could almost forget that you are even wearing the jacket.

random mountain in Alps

The DWR of the fabric did a great job keeping light moisture from affecting the down’s loft added to this there was no stress about being caught out in heavier showers due to the synthetic fill being in the critical areas such as the shoulders which would generally would be affected by the moisture.

Final Word

The Cerium LT is an amazing piece of kit that has quickly relegated my other insulation to the back of the cupboard and if I didn’t already have a thicker warm synthetic filled jacket for colder conditions I would not hesitate in getting the Arc’teryx Thorium which utilises the same Down Composite Mapping.

To summarise the Cerium LT is smart enough to wear to dinner on a cold, miserable night but were it truly shines is out in the great outdoors with its great fit, instant warmth and less need to worry about trying to keep the down dry. It is simply the best of both the down and synthetic filled worlds in one amazing jacket.

Review: Arc'teryx Cerium Down Jacket
Another typically amazing Arc'teryx peice. Thoughtful design, great fit & brilliant light all-round insulation jacket.
WARMTH75%
FIT90%
COMPRESSIBILITY85%
WEIGHT85%
FEATURES90%
VALUE85%
Pro's
  • Strategic mix of Synthetic & Down insulation
  • Low weight and packability
  • Great fit
Con's
  • Tad expensive, however easily justified through the quality & all-round use
85%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (35 Votes)
53%

About The Author

Dave Casey

Dave has worked as an International Expedition Leader and in Outdoor Education for over 15 years. He has extensive travel and guiding experience in Australia, NZ, Asia, South/North America and Europe. In his spare time Dave is a keen bushwalker, mountain biker and climber while also dabbling in some mountaineering and sea kayaking.

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