Down ‘N Dirty: Arc’teryx Cerium SV Hoody

When it’s -8 degrees F outside, and you’re waded out, knee deep, in icy river water—you had better be wearing at least one killer piece of winter gear. When I first acquired Arc’teryx’s Cerium SV Hoody, my intention was not to use it to stay warm while fly fishing in Colorado in the middle of January. But when the opportunity came up to spend the day on the water with the fun guides at Breckenridge Outfitters, there’s no way I was saying no. So I broke out the long underwear; and all of the baselayers, and a couple of pairs of wool socks, and even my thickest pair of snowpants. I finished off the super fashionable outfit with the Cerium SV Hoody and the biggest pair of waders I’ve even worn. For hours, I stood in the icy water, the cold doing its best to break through my marshmallow-like fortress of apparel. But not once did I feel cold. Utterly crushed when my line snapped and I lost the biggest fish I’ve ever hooked? Yes. Cold? No.

The Cerium SV Hoody boasts an 850 grey goose down fill, making it the warmest jacket in the Cerium line. The SV stand for Severe Weather, and this jacket is the one you want to be wearing when you’re battling wind and extreme cold—which is what I came across last week while camping in Canyonlands National Park. The temperature never rose above 30 degrees F, but the Cerium SV Hoody kept me warm and my body temperature regulated both during the day while exploring the park, and a night while sitting around the campfire. The jacket’s tight-fitting hood and “athletic” fit proved extremely successful at keeping heat trapped on the inside.

Pros: This insulated down jacket is incredibly warm, there’s no doubt about that. But although the thick puffy jacket looks heavy and large, it easily compresses down to fit into a small carrying bag that comes with the jacket, making the warmth-to-weight ratio one of it’s best features. The jacket is also wind-resistant and the Cerium technology is designed to strategically place synthetic insulation in places where moisture tends to build up. The front zipper of the jacket also zips up far enough to add full coverage for your neck and partial coverage for your face, which is helpful when dealing with those severe weather situations. The Cerium SV Hoody is also available in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Cons: This jacket provides incredible warmth, but even in the coolest of temps, if you’re out burning some calories, the jacket’s insulation can be a little much—forcing the body to trap a little too much heat. Unfortunately, the jacket isn’t designed with any pit zippers for ventilation.

Where We Took It: Nighttime snowshoeing in Crested Butte, Colo., winter fly fishing in Breckenridge, Colo., and winter camping in Canyonlands National Park.

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