As most of you already know, I've been sharing helpful guides to all kinds of Arc'teryx jackets for the last couple of years now (find full post list at the bottom). Recently I keep getting asked to make an Arc’teryx Beta FL Review, so here you go.
After taking it down 8 years ago, Arc'teryx finally decided to bring the once-loved Beta FL back to life in Jul 2020. As a big fan of Beta AR and SV (read my review), and a big "hater" on Beta SL-Hybrid (read my review), I was excited to review this new member of the line-up.
Arc'teryx's Beta line corresponds to general purpose shell jackets (source at arcteryx.com).
Among 4 Beta jackets (SL-Hybrid, FL, AR and SV), think of Beta AR as the most well-balanced, central pick; and the Beta FL as the packable version of it (with some sacrifices in weather resistance and durability).
I've been gathering data on Arc'teryx shells for the last few years. Find my entire list here.
Discontinued products are also there (because most of the time, they're re-introduced).
Table is updated for Fall 2021.
|Alpha SL Anorak (Men's - Women's)||Climbing||6/10||5/10||5/10||9/10||No||M W||No|
|Alpha AR (Men's - Women's)||Climbing||9/10||8/10||8/10||5/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Alpha SV (Men's - Women's)||Climbing||8/10||10/10||10/10||3/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Alpha IS (Men's)||Climbing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Yes||M||Yes (Synthetic)|
|Beta LT (Men's - Women's)||All Round||7/10||5/10||4/10||7/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Beta Long (Men's)||All Round||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||M||No||Review|
|Beta AR (Men's - Women's)||All Round||8/10||8/10||9/10||5/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Beta SV (Men's - Women's)||All Round||8/10||10/10||10/10||3/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Gamma SL (Men's - Women's)||All Round||10/10||2/10||3/10||8/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Gamma LT (Men's - Women's)||All Round||10/10||3/10||7/10||5/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Gamma MX (Men's - Women's)||All Round||8/10||4/10||8/10||4/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Zeta SL (Men's - Women's)||Hiking||3/10||5/10||3/10||8/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Zeta AR (Women's)||Hiking||7/10||8/10||7/10||4/10||No||W||No|
|Macai (Men's - Women's Andessa)||Skiing||8/10||8/10||9/10||5/10||No||M W||Yes (Down)||Review|
|Macai LT (Men's)||Skiing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||M||Yes (Down)|
|Micon Heather (Men's)||Skiing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||M||No|
|Cassiar LT (Men's)||Skiing||6/10||6/10||6/10||5/10||Yes||M||No||Review|
|Ravenna LT (Women's)||Skiing||6/10||6/10||6/10||5/10||No||W||No||Review|
|Shashka Stretch (Women's)||Skiing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||W||No|
|Sabre AR (Men's)||Skiing||7/10||8/10||7/10||7/10||No||M||No||Review|
|Sentinel AR (Women's)||Skiing||7/10||8/10||7/10||7/10||No||W||No||Review|
|Sabre LT (Men's)||Skiing||7/10||8/10||7/10||8/10||Yes||M||No||Review|
|Sentinel LT (Women's)||Skiing||7/10||8/10||7/10||8/10||No||W||No||Review|
|Sentinel IS (Women's)||Skiing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||W||Yes (Synthetic)|
|Incendia (Women's - OP Women's)||Skiing||8/10||9/10||9/10||3/10||No||W||No||Review|
|Incendia IS (Women's)||Skiing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||W||Yes (Synthetic)|
|Norvan SL Ins. (Men's - Women's)||Running||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||Yes||M W||Yes (Synthetic)|
|Cita SL (Women's)||Running||7/10||4/10||4/10||10/10||No||W||No||Review|
|Incendo SL (Men's)||Running||7/10||4/10||4/10||10/10||No||M||No||Review|
|Norvan SL (Men's - Women's)||Running||7/10||6/10||8/10||8/10||Yes||M||No||Review|
|Trino SL (Men's)||Running||8/10||5/10||7/10||6/10||No||M||No||Review|
|Trino SL Anorak (Women's)||Running||8/10||7/10||8/10||7/10||No||W||No||Review|
|Nodin (Men's - Women's)||Running||8/10||5/10||5/10||10/10||No||M W||No|
|Squamish (Men's - Women's)||Running||5/10||5/10||7/10||9/10||No||M W||No||Review|
|Solano (Men's - Women's)||Around Town||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||M W||No||Review|
|Solano Coat (Women's)||Around Town||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||W||No|
|Venda (Women's)||Around Town||Testing||Testing||Testing||Testing||No||W||No|
If you liked this table, you might also like other Arc'teryx tables I shared here in my Best Arc'teryx Jackets post.
- 09 September 2022: Reviewing Arc'teryx Fall Winter 22/23 Gear
- 09 August 2022: 5 things all Arc'teryx newbies should know
- 03 August 2022: Ultimate size guide to Arc'teryx
- 05 July 2022: Explained, compared & plotted: CLO values of insulated jackets
- #A sidenote here: Arcteryx.com's PDF guide to their jackets is GOOOLLDDD. Highly recommend you to check it out before you buy.
If, however, this is not what you're looking for, then stop reading any further and see my Best Arc'teryx Jackets post instead.
You might also want to check out my Arc'teryx Beta vs Zeta post to see my performance ratings for all Beta and Zeta jackets.
Beta FL Review: Packability 6/10
I gave the packability of Beta FL a 6 out of 10.
It's true that the Beta SL-Hybrid packs a bit smaller than the Beta FL. But it's inferior to Beta FL big time in other departments such as breathability, weather resistance and durability.
Not to even mention that the Beta SL Hybrid leaks like a busted roof. So, until a future revision arrives to address this deal breaker problem, I wouldn't even consider it as a viable option.
Beta FL Review: Breathability 8/10
In my rating scale, 8/10 is a quite high score.
The reason for Arc'teryx to replace the Beta LT with Beta FL in the first place was because they aimed to upgrade the face fabric of Beta LT to the most rugged and breathable Gore-Tex.
Beta FL is equipped with N40d Most Rugged 3L GORE-TEX PRO in hood, yoke, sleeves and with N40d Most Breathable 3L GORE-TEX PRO in other areas.
This makes it highly breathable AND weather resistant at the same time.
This is actually why I love everything about Beta FL, AR and SV. They offer decent breathability AND weather protection at the same time.
This is something many (all?) other jackets struggle to do. It's a huge advantage if you'll be performing a variety of high output activities.
Speaking of which...
Beta FL Review: Weather Protection 7/10
Beta FL is also pretty weather resistant, although not as much as Beta AR, as I mentioned earlier. And definitely not nearly as much as the monster Beta SV.
Unless you'll be doing anything extreme, I'd doubt it'll fail meeting your expectations, though.
Beta FL is also DWR coated.
DWR is a coating.
It's basically sprayed on to the surface of these jackets as a finish. It stands for Durable Water Repellent - which means that water will be repelled under wet conditions instead of soaking into the fabric.
DWR also decreases dry time.
It's a good thing these jackets are coated in DWR, but pay attention to the fact that DWR is a coating - meaning that it will wear off over time.
Which is why you might want to invest in a DWR spray such as this one for after treatment.
As you see, there's a strong correlation between FP x FW and temperature ratings, but not more than, say, 80%. I explained why this happens here in this post of mine.
Comes with a trim fit.
But, attention female readers; Beta FL might fit a little bit larger than typical trim fit Arc'teryx jackets. So you might want to get one size larger than your usual size.
It packs super tiny, though lacks breathability and durability big time.
Here's the Beta FL product video: