Arc'teryx is known for making some of the most weather-resistant, high-end gear on the market, and the Sentinel AR is no different. "AR" stands for "all-around," and this bomb-proof shell feels like it can do it all. The hefty Gore-Tex 70 denier shell construction feels impervious to wind and moisture, and the fully taped seams and watertight zippers leave very little room for error. It was hard to deny how well protected from the elements we felt when wearing the Sentinel AR. All of this sleek and high-tech construction comes with a noticeable price tag, however, which may or may not be worth it, depending on your frequency of use and budget. If you're looking for the best resort shell, this should be at the top of your list.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Arc'teryx Sentinel on March 23, 2022, with an unbiased assessment of value and additional suggestions for similar products.
Arc'teryx Sentinel AR - Women's Review
Cons: Expensive, powder skirt non-removable
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Arc'teryx Sentinel AR - Women's
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|$450 List||$799 List|
$799.00 at Backcountry
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|Pros||Durable, weather resistant, stylish, breathable, refined||Warm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fit||Durable, weather resistant, thoughtful design, excellent for ski touring||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile|
|Cons||Expensive, powder skirt non-removable||Lackluster ventilation||Expensive, less ideal for regular resort use||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn|
|Bottom Line||A high-tech, durable, and weather-resistant resort shell that stands out above the competition||A super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who runs a little colder||This high end shell is a striking and thoughtfully designed piece for the avid backcountry skier||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Sentinel AR||Helly Hansen Powder...||Norrona Lofoten Gor...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Sentinel AR||Helly Hansen Powder...||Norrona Lofoten Gor...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...|
|Main Fabric||70D nylon||70% nylon, 30% polyester||70Dx70D recycled Gore-Tex Pro||100% Nylon||100% Nylon|
|Insulation||Flannel backer||Body: 60g PrimaLoft Sleeves: 40g PrimaLoft||None||None||100% Postconsumer recycled polyester|
|Waterproofing||Gore-Tex||PFC free DWR||Gore-Tex Pro||3-layer Pertex Shield||2-layer DryVent|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered pass, one internal mesh, 1 zippered internal||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 2 internal drop-in||2 zippered chest, 1 zippered arm, 1 zippered internal, 1 internal mesh||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand|
|Weight||1.3 lbs||2.2 lbs||1.3 lbs (with powderskirt)||1.2 lbs||2.0 lbs|
|Cuff construction||Velcro||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro||Velcro|
|Powder skirt?||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable||Yes||Yes, behind insulating layer|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Arc'teryx is known for consistently producing some of the best weather-resistant gear on the market, and the Sentinel AR truly fits this mold. In other areas, this jacket was in a league of its own here against jackets that performed similarly. We also found the features of this jacket to be a perfect mix between resort features and the vetted simplicity of many backcountry-specific products. For us, the slightly stiff feel of the 3L construction of this shell was quickly forgotten when putting it to the test. This jacket seals out wind and moisture in a streamlined and functional style. We also received many compliments on the color and slightly tapered cut of the Sentinel AR.
The Sentinel AR, like many Arc'teryx products, is second to none in weather resistance. The heavier DWR treated 3L Gore-Tex shell cut out wind and kept us dry for hours on end with its 28,000mm waterproof rated ability. This material feels burly and consistently beaded moisture all day long. The fully taped seams and zippers taped in instead of sewed eliminate leaks. Additionally, the Arc'teryx specific water-resistant "Watertight" zippers on all closures and pockets help keep you and your belongings drier longer.
The oversized helmet-compatible hood feels bombproof when quickly cinched down with exterior drawcords on the collar and back of the hood. The location of these adjustments means you do not have to remove your gloves to adjust them quickly. We find that the high collar comfortably zips up and protects our face well even if we aren't wearing a buff. Additionally, this function allows us to adjust the hood to an appropriate tightness even without a helmet underneath. At the base of the jacket, an adjustable hem and snug-fitting powder skirt keeps snow and wind out.
Comfort and Fit
We find that this jacket is true to size and fits well as a shell, leaving just enough room for one or two insulating layers to fit comfortably. The size of the hood is also comfortable, fitting well over helmets with the two drawcords allowing for a custom fit. The slight taper is flattering but does not restrict movement and leaves plenty of room around the hips. The cut also leaves room in the shoulders, which can often be tight in women's specific cuts. The flannel backer on the Gore-Tex Sentinel AR shell sits softly against the skin and prevents any stickiness or clamminess.
We did find the Gore-Tex to feel initially stiff, but then found it did not restrict our movement unless we stuffed the jacket full of layers. Part of this is due to the jacket's articulated elbow sewing and gusseted armpits, a smart adjustment for the rigid, durable fabric from the Arc'teryx folks.
There isn't too much to say about the warmth of this jacket, as its shell design also means the Sentinel AR does not have any additional insulation. However, the flannel backer provides a minimal extra layer compared to some other shells, and we found the excellent windproof qualities of this material greatly improved our warmth when paired with an insulating layer.
The Sentinel AR does not have any insulation in the way to prevent heat and moisture from reaching the breathable Gore-Tex membrane. We found that we could begin working hard and that the jacket allowed us to do so and let our heat escape as we began to exert more energy while bootpacking.
While the powder skirt is not removable, it connects to the shell's body with mesh, which provides minimal increased airflow. We reached for the gaping, open pit zips to increase airflow and keep the sweat at bay, which provides great relief. The large pit zips don't have a mesh lining, maximizing airflow. This feature is crucial for shell ski jackets, and the Sentinel doesn't disappoint.
The Sentinel AR nails it in its slightly tapered cut and longer hemline. It looks and feels refined in a sea of boxy, less flattering ski jackets. It feels like the perfect balance between a feminine freeride look and a functional ski shell. Combined with taped, matching zippers and a wide range of muted to bright color options, you'll stand out ripping around the hill and town. We received many compliments on this shell.
The most stand-out features on this jacket are the strategically located pockets. A tall and narrower interior drop pocket kept goggles, skins, or snacks smoothly against our frame, and a small, stretchy, thin interior zip pocket kept valuables tight. Additionally, the hand pockets are located slightly higher on the torso, allowing easy access even if you are wearing a pack. This design was great for deep days when we wanted to carry avalanche rescue equipment or extra layers and lunch.
The powder skirt with mesh functions adequately, but we wish it could snap away or, even better, be removable. There is also the interesting "Slide'n'Loc" feature, which connects pants to the inside of the powder skirt. However, we could not evaluate its function as it is only compatible with matching Arc'teryx pants.
Should You Buy the Sentinel AR?
If you are looking for a high-end, top-of-the-line hardshell jacket and are ready to invest like it, the Arc'teryx Sentinel AR might just be for you. Its materials and construction give it a bombproof feel, helping you seize on free powder refills on storm days. Its sleek construction stands out on and off the ski hill, too, in a good way. If the price tag is not for you, there are many other comparable options in this review. However, if skiing is your life and you are ready to make an outerwear investment, the Sentinel AR is worth it.
What Other Women's Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
If you are in the market to spend big, you will certainly not be disappointed with the quality of the Arc'teryx Sentinel AR, but other options perform almost as well at a fraction of the price. If you want an all-in-one, insulated jacket that offers a bit more warmth, the award-winning Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 is our choice. For those backcountry skiers who seek comparable performance at an approachable price point, the Outdoor Research Carbide is an outstanding value.
— Jacqueline Kearney
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