Arcteryx Psiphon SL Pullover Review
Price: $200 CAD
Pros: Lightweight, breathable, durable, and surprisingly weatherproof for such a thin shell.
Cons: Cost, no full zip
- Nylaz™ – 85% Nylon, 15% elastane
- Gossamera™—100% Nylon ripstop fabric with water repellant coating
- Weight: 285g
A shockingly weather resistant softshell pullover.
First off this softshell is thin, very thin. This is by no means a con for the jacket, but just beware when buying and go to a retailer to check it out first to make sure it is the type of jacket you need. However, for how flimsy it feels, it is a super bomber softshell. I have worn this pullover climbing in hail, touring and ski mountaineering in full on white outs, and climbing a short multipitch when a rainstorm surprised us. Wind simply never penetrates, and light to moderate precipitation is repelled fairly easily thanks to the DWR coating (be sure to frequently re apply). Obviously the Psiphon SL is no 3 layer Goretex Pro jacket, but it does an excellent job at regulating heat while also protecting you from 90% of the weather you will face, because let’s be real no one is going out climbing when there is a forecast of 15mm of rain coming in. Even if you do encounter a storm, this jacket is so light that it dries out within the hour, and has even dried out while I am wearing it.
Fit and Features
Similar to the Arcteryx Alpha line, the Psiphon SL has long sleeves, an athletic cut, and foam inserts at the bottom to keep it tucked into your harness (a very useful addition). One chest pocket is large enough to hold my phone and a snack, while the half length zip doesn’t interfere with a harness. I find myself sometimes wishing there was a full zip on this softshell, but that’s just preference. The hood is made of a slightly lighter material and fits well over a helmet. I found the hood to be a bit more restricting than my hardshell’s, but this is probably because the Psiphon’s hood is tighter yet more flexible. Speaking of flexible, the Psiphon SL is incredibly stretchy, and even without the foam inserts I don’t think I would ever pull the jacket out from my harness. When reaching to awkward placements or stretching tools way above my head I hardly even notice it, as my sleeves stay in place and everything stays under my harness.
I have probably put around 30+ days of climbing into this piece, and it has yet to show any signs of wear. Really nothing more I can say here, props to Arcteryx.
$200 CAD is fairly expensive for a softshell especially considering the OR Ferrosi Hoody, another fantastic softshell, is only $130. This is a very similar shell, but if you’re looking for more climbing specific features, it may be worth spending the extra cash.
The Psiphon SL has great climbing specific features, that potentially justify the price. Quick drying and stretchy fabric make the jacket comfortable and easy to wear all day, especially since it’s so light and breathable. There are a ton of great softshells out there, the OR Ferrosi being the closest in design and feel, so if the climbing specific features of the Psiphon SL aren’t something you’re terribly interested in I would look elsewhere.
Gallery of the Arcteryx Psiphon SL