Leaning on the window frame, I had been looking at the rain outside for what felt like days. We had arrived at the cabin in the afternoon and barely made it in before the storm broke. Norway’s weather is one of the most unpredictable I have ever seen. One variable seemed consistent though. The cold.
The Arc’teryx Cerium LT review was conducted after I bought it last winter and had the chance to use it in various conditions throughout winter and up to this June when the team went to Norway. I hate feeling cold, it makes me irritable. So in the shop I looked at the warmest down jackets they had.
There is a lot to like about the Cerium LT’s specs. 850 fill power European white goose down. Carefully placed Coreloft synthetic insulation panels. Trim fit. Two hand pockets and insulated hood. Lightweight. Check check check. This Arc’teryx jacket has all I am looking for in a good insulated layer. It was also more expensive than any other model in the shop. But when I put it next to a cheaper, 650 fill power jacket, the later looked like a flimsy and flat plastic bag.
The Cerium LT is no expedition jacket and is more an ultralight down jacket than anything else. But for the weight it certainly packs a lot of warmth. The hood is particularly well designed. Fitting snugly and coming low on the forehead, it provides great protection. The elastic around the edge ensures it stays well in place, even in strong winds. The collar zips up high and protects completely the neck and chin. It also stays up without the hood on. The zipper is protected by a soft chin-guard and never bothered me.
I was toasty around camp in my Arc’teryx Cerium LT by 5°C (41°F) and even at -5°C (23°F) while walking. This was with a long sleeve merino baselayer but without a shell. Of course comfort in low temperatures is a very personal metric and you should trust your own judgments and don’t put yourself at risk.
Now, some people will be put off by the Cerium LT not having hydrophobic down. Sure, it would have been nice, but it would probably have made the already expensive jacket even more expensive. With Coreloft synthetic insulation used for the lower arms, the collar and the armpits I don’t think there is much need for hydrophobic down. Make sure you air the jacket inside out when possible during a long trip, wear a shell on top if it rains and it should keep its loft for many days.
I like Arc’teryx’s technical fit. The jacket is snug but not tight and it lets me move fairly well. It is also quite flattering and while not being my first concern, it is always nice. It will not look strange around town which helps a bit digest its price. The elasticized hem goes low on the hips and does not tend ride up much, even while moving. Hand cuffs are ok but I would have loved to see the same construction as on the Atom LT. The Cerium LT is so light you barely feel you have it on which is a plus for me in terms of comfort.
There is nothing better than down for warmth to compressibility ratio. So it is not very surprising to see the Arc’teryx Cerium LT pack into the very small stuff sack provided. Just remember to not store it packed as it could greatly damage the down if left too long in such a compact shape. Having a jacket this warm pack so small is great not just for backpackers but also if you are travelling and it served me well on many occasions.
Wrap up of the Arc’teryx Cerium LT review
Nab one of those on sale and you will get yourself one of the best technical lightweight down jacket right now. I fact, I can´t seem to find anything wrong with it apart from the price. The cuffs could be improved but I am only saying this because I know Arc’teryx can do a better. I practically lived in my Cerium LT for 6 months and I am confident it will serve me equally well this coming winter.