First Impressions of the New Arc'teryx Zeta Rain Gear

Well-thought-out rain gear from a proven manufacturer

We've spent the past few weeks testing two awesome new Arc'teryx products. (Courtesy Arc'teryx)

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we earn an affiliate commission that helps pay for our work. Read more about Outside’s affiliate policy.

This fall, Arc’teryx launched two new rainwear products, the Arc’teryx Zeta FL rain jacket ($325) and Zeta SL rain pants ($225).  Designed for fast-and-light hiking and available exclusively at REI, both products round out the Zeta line, which was previously highlighted by the Zeta AR shell, one of our favorite jackets for hiking. I’ve been testing the new products for the past few weeks. Here are my initial thoughts. 

What Are They?

Both the Zeta FL rain jacket and Zeta SL rain pants are made from Gore-tex Paclite Plus, a breathable and waterproof material that also has the benefits of being highly packable. The jacket and pants feature a trim fit and articulated tailoring to increase mobility, water-resistant zippers, and adjustable waists and cuffs, and the jacket has zippered hand pockets and an adjustable hood.

Wearing the Jacket and Pants

I wore the Zeta FL jacket and Zeta SL pants on an overnight trip to Lake Katherine, an alpine lake eight miles above Santa Fe. A few early-season snowstorms made for a chilly yet sweaty hike in. I found the jacket and pants to be comfortable, and I appreciated their slim fit. In general, I avoid rain pants because I tend to overheat and the traditionally baggy fits are noisy while walking. The Zeta SL, on the other hand, was comfortable and had a soft next-to-skin feel. In general, both products felt more like $600 mountaineering and skiing shells than simple rainwear. 

Construction and Fit

The Zeta FL features Gore-Tex Paclite Plus fabric, which is waterproof and fairly breathable. The main body is a light but packable 20-denier material with few seams. When designing both products, packability and comfort were Arc’teryx’s main priorities, and just by looking at them you’ll notice their sleekness. 

At six foot one and 175 pounds, I’m fairly tall and thin. I like Arc’teryx products because of their slimmer fit, and size large fit me well. I would suggest that anyone with a broader build should size up. 

Features

Arc’teryx Zeta FL Jacket:

  • Articulated hood and gusseted underarms for unrestricted mobility
  • Hybrid elastic-straight hem and wrist cuffs for weight savings with a secure fit
  • Hood that rolls and snaps out of the way and a stiffened hood brim
  • Two handwarmer pockets with waterproof zippers
  • A slim fit, which makes it ideal for warmer weather use where you don’t need to layer over insulation
  • Waterproof-breathable fabric with taped seams and water-resistant zippers

Arc’teryx Zeta SL Pants:

  • Zippered fly that snaps
  • Three-quarter-length water-resistant leg zippers
  • Gusseted crotch that won’t hinder mobility
  • Internal adjuster in the waistband
  • Reinforced fabric on the instep for added durability
  • Waterproof-breathable fabric with taped seams and water-resistant zippers

Conclusion

Because I live in the Southwest, I don’t find myself using rain pants very often. But compared with a few others I’ve used from brands like Marmot and Patagonia, the Zeta SL’s are the best. I love the slimmer fit and comfortable feel against the skin. Similarly, the Zeta FL will become my new go-to rain jacket for hiking. It’s proved its ability to withstand the elements and, similar to the pants, it’s just really comfortable to wear. If you’re on a budget, there are other rain sets I would recommend that work well enough and cost a lot less. But if you want rain gear that’s comfortable, will keep you dry, and will last for years, I would recommend both these products. 

Buy Jacket Buy Pants 

More Gear
More Gear
Pinterest Icon