'Cold camping, snow country and stylin’ in the city. The Arc’teryx Agrium excels in a range of environments, and environmentally, too.
Warmth & Comfort
Fit & Features
Hard not to look stylish in this lush artefact
Arc are putting in the work to elevate sustainability standards
Feels fabulous on – snug, warm and light
Subtle features included that allow for amping up the warmth factor or moderating it to suit the conditions
Price is high (but value is good)
Arms could be longer
Can Arc tech evolve the in-built stuff sack to a compression version?

Craig gets down with the latest Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody down jacket, one of the most eco-friendly layers in the Arc’teryx range.


Us rugged outdoor types, as it is widely known, care not a fig for aesthetics. We laugh – ha! – in its face.

It is with a deep sense of shame, then, that I plead guilty to gear envy when I see backwoods adventurers coolly cruising through bush tumult in their sassy Arc’teryx apparel. We gear enviers call this the Arc Aesthetic Footprint (AAF). This footprint does not damage the environment, but it does leave a lasting impression.


Floating On Feathers

The brand’s new Agrium Hoody is a good example of the AAF, but not AAF sans substance. That’s if you can call a goose down-stuffed 365-gram jacket ‘substance’. The piece fairly levitates on your body, like some super warm nimbus.

You could possibly waft it in the puffer jacket category but, while you wouldn’t call it inconspicuous exactly, in no way is it of the Michelin man ilk, either.

The three cruxes of the matter, though, are not aesthetics (unless you want the jacket for city-bound purposes only, or you are a sad sycophant of the AAF… you know, like me), but effectiveness, value for money (VFM) and sustainability. VFM factors into every aspect, of course and, ideally, sustainability considerations are also now a crucial part of our purchase decision making process (explain to me again why buy bananas get wrapped in plastic?).

Getting Snug In The Agrium

The source of all the snugness is the fill’s 90% goose down. And despite (or because of?) its lightness, it warms you up real quick.

It gets points from me for practicality too, because I found it fitted well under my rain shell, including the hood, which allowed for extra waterproofing. It’s definitely a strength of Arc’s to make layers that work in synchronicity with other layers, something the WAE Gear Editor discovered recently with their Beta LT Jacket and Atom LT Hoody.

On the move, it would have to be cantankerously cold to wear both the Agrium and a shell, especially if lugging a multi-day trip backpack, but still good to know it can be done.



Waterproofing and Breathability?

How waterproof is it? Well, this is not a shell with Gore-Tex-like capabilities, but it is DWR (durable water resistance) coated, so has a high degree of water repellency.

More realistically, from a bushwalking perspective, the Agrium would be pulled out during breaks in between walking, and most usefully, at night time.

In fact, it has such a lush feel to it, that if needed, you could very comfortably sleep in it.


Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody Jacket – Review


Length & Hood

The Agrium’s just-about-bum-shielding length (for me, anyway), when stationary, works well, keeping the important bits warm but not constricting movement. You can tighten the fit around the jacket’s ‘skirt’ to help retain heat as well in that upper body oven.

The arm length (their ends elasticised to help keep the warmth in) stops just at the wrists, although, I would have preferred the arms to go a tad longer. If it’s really that cold, the length works well with gloves and when all else fails, there are pockets.

As the Agrium has ‘hoody’ in its name, clearly this is a signature feature. Although there is a black, non-hooded Agrium Jacket as well.

We know extremities are where the most amount of heat is lost, so having a hoody on this beauty clearly makes sense. The hood provides good coverage to the whole head and has a wraparound feel to it. When you pull the zip up to the neck that luscious cosy feeling is amped up even more. The oven!


The Agrium keeps things streamlined from a features perspective. It has two standard external pockets, roomy and zipped, and one internal pocket (also zipped) at a practical chest height.

The latter pocket contains a stuff sack, which helps squeeze the jacket down to a volume of about one litre. I reckon a small compression sack would reduce that size even further too.


Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody Jacket – Review


While I can’t say how durable the piece is over the longer-term (come back to you on that in a few years), the external material appears stronger than plenty of its competitors. I still wouldn’t smash my way through scrub wearing one, but the same goes for any jacket of this ilk.


There’s a lot going on from a sustainability and socially conscious perspective with the Agrium Jacket specifically, and Arc’teryx more broadly.

There’s a dizzying amount of jargon associated with this for the Agrium, like ‘bluesign® approved’ (re synthetic insulation), RDS-certified (re 850 fill European white goose down) and fluorine and hydrocarbon-free water repellency (re outer materials) as well as a plant-based liner that is engineered from 60% castor bean oil.

It’s hard to know, to be honest, how much is science, how much is spin and, further, how does it compare to other products? There would need to be a very detailed analysis to determine this which we don’t have space for here.

But when you consider the Agrium-specific sustainability factors in the context of Arc’s various corporate commitments to being ‘good ancestors’ (I’ll pay that line BTW), then it gives me some comfort this company is doing the right thing.

There are other social commitments (e.g. worker well-being) the company has made as well, and they were an early signatory to the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. They have cred in this space.

It’ll be some time before I can make the call on the product being built to last, which has surely got to be the guts of any claim to sustainability. But, I have an outdoors buddy who is a long-time user and swears by the brand. There’s also the Arc-provided option to have the gear repaired, rather than throw it out and buy a replacement (a behaviour we all need to get better at, me included).


Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody Jacket – Review

A ‘Bottom’ Line?

Products generally seek to have a unique selling proposition – difficult to achieve. For the Agrium, retailing at $650, it’s not going to be price, but it has a good argument on value for money.


Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody Jacket – Review


Sustainability sticks up its hand as well, both for the Agrium itself and the part it’s playing in Arc’teryx’s journey to leave an increasingly smaller ecological footprint.

While it’s not a single factor, the points I made early on about the melding of style and substance (i.e. even under severe conditions the piece keeps you warm!) are where the Agrium really makes a case for itself.

This is particularly so when your adventure is on the edge in the frostiness factor. Its hoody and bum-guarding length features provide a level of body warmth security many of its competitors simply don’t deliver.

So, ‘unique’ selling proposition? I failed in nailing it, but Arc’teryx didn’t fail in nailing this jacket.