Arc'teryx Rush Ski Jacket
Undoubtedly the best ski shell I’ve ever owned… and you’d hope so for the price!
Comfort & Wearability
Superior waterproofing and windproofing
Breathes exceptionally well when ski touring and spinning hot laps in the resort
Strong attention to detail with features, fit and design
Super lightweight and packable
Great colour range
Fewer pockets than found in a resort jacket
Very expensive


Arc’teryx don’t do anything by halves and their newest top-of-the-range lightweight snow shell Rush Jacket is perfection. But, only if you can afford it.


This season I was due for a new jacket. I was due the season before, and the season before that as well though. The reason being, I’d had the same Dakine jacket for over 6 years, and in that time it went from bright yellow to mustard brown and spent over 300 days on the snow, and therefore had over 300 lunches spilled all over it. 

Since that jacket now has more in common with an absorbent yellow sponge, I was pretty excited to get my grubby mitts on the new Arc’teryx Rush Jacket. 


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


It’s counterintuitive but I reckon the most important feature of a snow jacket is its waterproof rating. 

While we cross our fingers and our ski poles that we’ll only encounter water in its solid state during any snow trip, admittedly, that’s far from a sure bet when skiing and snowboarding in Australia.

This season, the sky has thrown everything at this jacket — water, sleet and snow in all its forms. The most consistent trait has been how it’s repelled everything. 

When my family asked in the evening if my jacket had dried already following a day skiing in drizzle, I smugly replied, ‘Well, it never got wet!’


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


Obviously, it can thank GORE-TEX for its water repellency, which almost feels like a given these days, and you’d be unwise to invest in a jacket that doesn’t use the tech — or an equivalent.

However, did you know there are different tiers of GORE-TEX? 

The Rush Jacket utilizes the 3-layer GORE-TEX PRO technology which is the most advanced protection from the GORE-TEX brand. Not only is it more waterproof and breathable than standard GORE-TEX, it also features linear breathability (so you don’t have to build up a sweat before it starts working).


In addition, the shell material is coated with a DWR finish and all the traditionally weak points when it comes to waterproofing are given extra reinforcement. On the flip side, the seam tape (which prevents water coming in through the stitching) is 7mm wide. It’s the narrowest seam tape on the market – which helps keep the weight down – but it’s harder to apply. 

There’s a WaterTight™ Vislon front zip, and pit zips, as well as a Micro-seam allowance (1.6 mm) which reduces bulk and weight and they too are all taped shut. Arc’teryx make the zips themselves so they could get them just right.


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


Since the jacket is so good at stopping water and wind from getting in, surely it doesn’t let either of those things out, right?

Well, aside from the odd fart wafting upwards, the Rush Jacket does boast superior breathability. 

Designed with freeride touring and big ascents (and descents) in mind, it’s able to shed heat surprisingly well for such an impenetrable shell.


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


I was comfortably ski touring with the shell on in positive temps, where I usually would have been in just a base layer. 

One of the biggest factors is the large pit vents under the arms. These open super wide and with two zips, they’re able to open and close both ways which is incredibly useful when you’re fumbling around with mittens.


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


The shell construction also means you have much more control over how you layer — something Arc’teryx is really serious about. 


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


While only into its first season, it’s easy to see that this jacket will stand the test of time.

The outer textiles are made with GORE-TEX PRO  N80d with ‘Most Rugged Technology’, in the body and N100d face fabric elsewhere. Apparently Arc’teryx specifically developed this fabric with the Gore company for use in their alpine shells – it doesn’t delaminate as easily (the first durability issue to normally affect jackets like this).

The d stands for ‘denier’ and refers to the thickness of the individual fibres within the fabric.

Arc’teryx contends that this level of denier makes it highly abrasion and snag-resistant.


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


So what’s the catch? Why shouldn’t you rush out to buy the rush jacket? 

Well, the sticking point is undoubtedly going to be the price. This jacket has a four-digit price tag — $1,100. 

I know, it’s a lot.

However, I like to break it down like this…

My aforementioned jacket-turned-sponge cost around $500, over six years ago. This means it costs me less than $2 per day on the hill — not including the off-snow wear.


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


It follows, that a jacket, no matter how pricey, can become economical once you get enough wears out of it — this is a core pillar of Arc’s sustainability strategy as well — and the price tag begins to make sense when you consider the level of design and quality that goes into their products.  

Now, I’d expect this jacket to last me at least this amount of time and presumably much longer. So it can pay to drop the dollars up front and not need another jacket for a decade. Whether that’s 4-figures is up to you, and it certainly won’t be for everyone.

Features — Oversized Hood, Laminated Brim and Interior Pockets

For this price, you’d expect some bells and whistles right? Well, the Rush Jacket is intelligently designed to the point where it gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Features like a Helmet compatible StormHood™, adjustable hood drawcords and a stiffer laminated brim make it super storm and sun-proof. 


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


There are Laminated die-cut Velcro® cuff adjusters that reduce bulk and are super solid and easy to grip. 

There are interior mesh zip pockets large enough to stow your goggles or snacks as well as an upper arm pocket that’s well placed to house your ski pass if skiing the resort. 

I personally wouldn’t be opposed to another exterior chest zip pocket as that’s something I’ve been used to with previous jackets and perfect for storing sunglasses and snickers bars, but the minimal pockets contribute to the ultra-light and packable jacket so it’s a trade I’m willing to make. 

Final Laps

This is definitely the best ski outerwear I’ve owned and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

If you’re putting plenty of days up on the hill and want a jacket that you can rely on no matter the weather, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than the Rush Jacket.

That said, you’ve got to be as comfortable with the price as you are in the jacket.

If it lasts ten years, as I hope it will. Then being comfortable becomes a lot easier. If it’s a choice between a $700 or $800 jacket and the Rush Jacket, I’m taking the Rush.

Women’s Version: So where’s the women’s version? Well, it has a different name, but the equivalent women’s shell jacket is the Sentinel AR Jacket. A similarly extremely well-made shell worth checking out. Next year there’ll be a Women’s Rush range too, so keep an eye out!


Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket - Review


Matt was sent the Rush Jacket and was allowed to keep it afterwards. He was allowed to say whatever the heck he wanted about them in this review.