Until this winter I did all my ski touring and any skiing that wasn’t solely lift accessed, in a climbing shell – namely the Alpha FL. I just couldn’t find a jacket for skiers that was fully featured (for skiing) but also light and compact enough to take on hut to hut tours. But this season, that changed…
Rated for overall performance, fit and quality.
In their words the Rush LT is: “Designed to meet the demands of the backcountry, the Rush LT Jacket is light, durable, and featured for long uptracks and aggressive descents.” It weighs 445grams, not light by the standards of the most minimal mountain shells, but for me the key here is balancing a full feature set for backcountry skiing with the durability to handle a full season of extended use both guiding and skiing for pleasure (they’re the same thing actually!). I’ve easily used this jacket for 100 days of skiing this season – lift accessed off piste, day tours and hut to hut, all in a variety of weather (wind, rain, snow, cold and clear – everything you’d expect of winter and spring). It’s been used in the European Alps and the Morocco’s High Atlas.
The weather protection comes from Gore Tex, N40p-x GORE-TEX Pro is used in the body providing an excellent compromise between protection from the elements and durability, it is also supple and doesn’t rustle too much. High wear areas such as the shoulders and hem/ seat area opt for a burlier N80p-x GORE-TEX Pro and I feel the combination works perfectly. No signs of wear and tear other than perhaps needing a wash! The hood and collar configure perfectly to seal out the elements regardless of whether I’m wearing a hat, climbing helmet or full alpine ski helmet. As is the norm with many shells these days, there is no extra storm flap on the main zip, Arc’teryx use their WaterTight™ Vislon front zip and I have had nothing but positive experience re this. The jacket breathes as well as any other Gore Tex jacket I’ve used (usually I find this best in cold dry climates – oh the irony!) but if extra ventilation is needed on those tough ascents, then zippered pit ventilation (WaterTight™ pit zippers), easily accessible when wearing a pack, can also be employed.
The cut of the jacket is described by Arc’teryx as Regular and Hip Length. I’d say it is somewhere between “Freeride” and “Alpinism” – basically, the best of both worlds. The length covers your bum without interfering with a harness. plenty of room for layers underneath and great articulation in the arms for actual climbing. It’s important that when my arms are above my head, the sleeves don’t ride up or cause the entire jacket to lift. The cut of Arc’teryx garments is generally brilliant (almost tailored) when it comes to this criteria.
Looking at the finer details, the cuffs adjust via laminated die-cut Velcro® cuff adjusters. They don’t catch or tear off, they work well over glove cuffs or under gauntlets. Two deep chest pockets take essentials such as snacks, map, gps and sunscreen. A pocket on the left shoulder is perfect for a lift pass and the internal zippered pocket stores cash and credit cards safely. An inner mesh dump pocket is great for stuffing spare gloves, a hat or even a soft flask to stop it freezing. All external pockets close using WaterTight™ zippers however Arc’teryx do say that: “the zips are highly water resistant, but not waterproof. We do not recommend keeping items in your pockets that may be damaged by moisture.”All major zips are equipped with strong glove friendly tabs and are smooth to operate.
The Cohaesive™ adjustments on the hem and hood are easy to operate in big gloves and are proving to be durable (I had these units rip out after limited use on a jacket from another brand). There is no powder snow skirt (this would add weight) but Slide ‘n Loc™ snap closures enable the jacket to be fastened to many of the Arc’teryx ski pants range to prevent snow entry. I’ve used this in conjunction with the Rush FL pants and Sabre Pants and it works a treat.
Hopefully from what you’ve been reading – you’ve got a positive impression of this jacket as I’m certainly singing its praises! Light, durable, a great cut, perfect feature set for up and down adventures. It’s my one jacket for all skiing whether it be off the lifts or a full on ski mountaineering mission. I don’t think I can suggest any improvements, it’s really that good!5 stars for the Arc’teryx Rush LT!
- Find out more and buy at the Arc’teryx website
- Price €650/£550
Kevin Avery is an Aspirant IFMGA Mountain Guide. He is available for guiding in the Alps, UK and further afield. Contact him via the website: http://www.truenorthalpine.com
Disclaimer – CGR reviewers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!