- Buyer's Guide
First Look | Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody ReBird
Arc’teryx are known for their innovative and exhaustive production practices. They are exacting about their manufacturing, their materials, and the functionality of their products. They are trusted the world over by professionals and enthusiasts alike and with good reason too; their jackets, bags, and pants are often seen adorning the highest peaks, the steepest inclines, and the gnarliest plains.
However, outdoor companies have been looking in the mirror – hard. While the products made are designed to give us access to the most amazing places on the planet, the production of these items has often come at a high environmental cost. There is a certain irony to that – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed at Arc’teryx. Not only do their products push the boundaries of performance, but they are now pushing the limit of circularity with their ReBird program. We had the pleasure of visiting their New York ReBird Facility in November – and we came out of their Broadway store speechless; something of a rarity for us three! Naturally, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of their ReBird products to see where the rubber meets the road! For the past month, I’ve been running around in their newest member of the ReBird line – the Gamma MX Hoody.
What is ReBird?
Before we get into the jacket itself, let’s explore ReBird in a little more detail. Simply put, ReBird is Arc’teryx’s focus on circularity. From upcycling to resale and repair, the ReBird program is focused on rethinking how waste is managed. And specifically in this case, how excess raw material can be used in the manufacturing process. Not only does this approach avoid materials going to landfill, but it also reduces carbon footprint with the elimination of extra production and transport.
The best hybrid performance jacket?
The Gamma MX is one of the most popular Arc’teryx pieces in their range. After using one for a month, I can see why. Its biggest strength? Versatility. That word gets thrown around a lot, and I think that’s because as consumers, we often want a product that can perform well in multiple tasks. That sentiment is particularly true of outdoor gear – the less you have to take with you, the better!
The Gamma is a true Swiss Army knife, for both outdoor pursuits and daily life. In my time with the jacket, I’ve used it for errands about town, hiking, and even as a snowboarding mid-layer. There are myriad ways to use this jacket – one of the many reasons I keep picking it up and putting it on. A garment is only truly versatile if it performs well though; so what does the Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody ReBird offer from that standpoint?
It’s made from their softshell Fortius™ 2.0 fabric (for this ReBird run, more than 3,000 yards of extra raw materials were diverted from landfill), which is exceptionally wind and water-resistant. The Gamma provides a safe cocoon against inclement weather. When combined with a brushed lining you have a high-performance product that is also comfortable to wear. The Gamma even has a helmet-compatible StormHood™, which only reinforces the weather protection while keeping your periphery clear; I find this very useful on the slopes. When zipped, the hood also covers your mouth and with the soft liner the extra protection is very welcome on the colder days!
This isn’t a jacket that I would wear in a torrential downpour. But it has battled brief snow squalls and rainy hikes with great resolve. The “MX” part of the name speaks to its intended use for mixed weather situations, and I’ve found that to be entirely apt. The stretch of the Fortius™ 2.0 softshell fabric is noticeable, and useful, while still providing a durable and robust barrier to the elements.
Breathability is key for high output situations, and the Gamma performs admirably here. I haven’t had to de-layer while wearing this yet. While admittedly it is cold here on the east coast, I’ve been working up a sweat while testing! I’ve found that the Gamma MX keeps me comfortable from 10ºF (active) to 50ºF (static). That is quite the range of mercury readings, but once again this speaks to the versatility of the piece. While the Gamma doesn’t come with pit-zips that you’d find on a shell jacket, the two chest pockets do a pretty excellent job of venting if you really are overheating. The same two chest pockets do a great job of housing your EDC – phone, wallet, and knife. Or hiking essentials – energy bar, compass, headlamp.
As with most Arc’teryx products, the construction here is exceptional. And the small details are what I often appreciate most about their gear. Taped seams, articulated patterning (for free movement), and laminated hems are a few key construction features that make the Gamma MX feel indestructible. Once you include the full-length contrasting Vislon zipper (with wind flap) and elasticated cuffs, you have a jacket that is quick and easy to get on and off.
Arc’teryx takes great pride in their patterning and design – it shows here with the Gamma MX. While this is undoubtedly a performance piece, thanks to its effortless style it is one of the few outdoor items that I own that I will wear to dinner without worrying about looking like I just came from the mountain. On my Dracaena/Distortion colorway, the contrasting zippers are elegant and subtle; the same can be said for all four color choices. One of the most unique features of the ReBird program is that it is incredibly unlikely that any two production runs will be the same. So the next Gamma MX (or whichever jacket Arc’teryx ReBird next!) could be an entirely different set of colors. Personally, I love that. It’s almost like a bespoke piece!
Ultimately, the Gamma MX is an Arc’teryx fan favorite for a reason; a versatile jacket that performs exceptionally in multiple situations. On this beautiful ReBird edition, you have the added bonus of lower environmental impact. What’s not to love about that!? You can wear this jacket comfortably – in both mind and body!
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