The Cerium SL is the lightest down jacket in the Arc’teryx range. Designed primarily as a mid-layer, this super packable jacket has some hidden features that get around some of he problems assosciated with traditional down jackets. We’ve been testing the Cerium SL around Chamonix in a variety of activities and conditions to see how it performed.
Comfort & Fit
Featuring an athletic cut, the comfort and fit of the Cerium is excellent – with a soft texture and room for layers above and below, the SL works well as a layering piece. The elastic cuffs and hem keeps the wind out and the two zipper pockets go below the down to create excellent hand warmer pockets. The back of the jacket has a slightly odd boxy cut but this is purely aesthetic and didn’t effect comfort or performance.
Although the outer feels papery and thin, the Arc’teryx new super lightweight Thisela™ face fabric has stood up well to 2 months of abuse. You can’t help noticing though that it’s such thin fabric you can see the down inside it, however, our testing has proved it’s resilience and it’s also worth noting this jacket hasn’t suffered at all from down leaks (all the other down jackets we’ve tested have leaked very slightly).
Along with it’s good fit and surprising durability, the Cerium SL packs a few hidden features. As we know, down suffers from complete failure when wet – and although this jacket is best used with a shell, Arc’teryx have ingeniously places Coreloft™ (synthetic insulation) in areas where moisture builds up (such as the shoulders and cuffs) which retains it’s insulating properties when wet, the jacket also has a DWR treatment to keep a brief shower off. The SL also packs into it’s own tiny stuff suck contained in one of it’s pockets (which we found great when trail running) and at 185 g / 6.5 oz this jacket really is super lightweight!
From several jackets we’ve tested, we found down tends to breath a little better – and this is also the case with the Cerium SL, during active pursuits the jacket allowed moisture to pass through with no evidence of build up on the inside. This does of course vary depending on the activity and outside temperature but we certainly wouldn’t call the SL a ‘sweaty’ jacket.
With 850 grey goose down (combined with areas of Coreloft™) the SL is very warm for it’s size and thickness, baring in mind this packs down smaller then a fleece it certainly out performs one. When used with layers and shell, you can venture into colder temperatures (-8c>), on it’s own over a t-shirt it holds it own down to about -2c (without activity).
A well made and versatile layering piece with a few tricks up it’s sleeve (literally… sorry). If you’re looking for a high quality jacket that packs into a tiny area, the SL certainly won’t disappoint.