As a true born child of England’s wet and wild north, I was pretty much born wearing a rain jacket (or a kagool as we call them). Seriously now, I have probably worn a rain jacket for at least a full half of my life.
As such I take great delight each time I get the chance to test a new one out and see how it fares in the rainy hills of the Yorkshire pennies. This time, it was my utter privilege to try the Arc’teryx Veilance Demlo jacket.
In this Arc’teryx Demlo hoody review, we’ll take a close and detailed look and see what it’s made of (both literally and figuratively), how it performs and whether it’s worth the (not inconsiderable) price tag.
In a Rush? The Arc’teryx Demlo Jacket At a Glance
- Price – $450
- Weight – 150g / 5.3 oz
- Material – 100% Nylon, Super Lightweight Double Weave Ripstop: 15d nylon double weave with mechanical stretch, 30-50 CFM high air permeability, DWR finish.
You may know that Veilance is the military grade division of the brilliant Canadian outdoor brand Arc’teryx. Initially these products were only available for army/police wholesale but now they are also available by retail to plebs like us (or at least us plebs who can spare the cash).
The Demlo is a water-resistant, lightweight windcheater. It’s wrought from a highly breathable stretch nylon that offers comfort while providing a decent level of weather proofing.
It’s suitable to use a layer in alpine/winter conditions or a stand alone jacket in spring/summer/autumn. Because it’s packable, we found this jacket to be excellent for travel and backpacking use and because it’s stylish and cool, it’s also great for urban use.
- Waterproof but breathable
- Cool and stylish
- Feels like it could tear
Arc’teryx Demlo Hooded Jacket Specs and Performance
To test the Demlo out, I wore it for a few days around my home town in the North of England during some pretty tempestuous October weather.
Arc’teryx Demlo Hooded Jacket – Weight and Packability
First up, this jacket weighs around 150g / 5.3 oz (depending on which size you weigh) and let me tell you now it feels as light as air. This makes it perfect for throwing into a backpack or even packing up and carrying in your pocket.
In fact, it feels so light that I get the impression it could blow away in a particularly strong gust of wind if you left it unattended.
In terms of how it compares to its peers, the Patagonia Houdini is even lighter coming in at 3.7 oz. – however, when we are dealing with such lightweight products this really is splitting hairs.
Arc’teryx Demlo Hooded Jacket – Weatherproof & Warmth
The jacket is primarily designed for urban environments which means it is not built for long term exposure to harsh elements. Essentially the jacket offers a good level of water-resistance (but not water-proofing), very effective wind proofing and enough insulation to help you stay warm on an autumnal day.
Basically this jacket performs best in spring and summer and on dry autumn days. It is not made for really cold temperatures although you could of course use it as a layer to toss over a warm hoody and the extra layer of insulation will keep you nice and toasty.
If you want a proper weather-proof jacket then you are reading the wrong review and should check out the Arc’teryx Beta instead.
If you’re wanting something warmer and a bit more relaxed for throwing on whilst camping, check out the Thermarest Honcho Poncho instead.
Arc’teryx Veilance Demlo Hooded Jacket – Breathability, Ventilation & Comfort
Lightweight, packable windcheater style jackets can sometimes get a bit clammy during use. In fact, jackets in this class can get positively sweaty if the sun comes out or during a particular prolonged period of hiking.
However, the brilliance of the Veilance is that it provides insulation when it’s needed but allows breathability too. Whether this is achieved via the engineering of the fabrics or by magic is anybody’s guess but the bottom line is that this jacket allows you to stay on the right side of cool.
This is not the case with all jackets – for example, the Patagonia Houdini starts to feel very hot and sticky when hiking up hills or if the temperature rises above 20 degrees (celsius).
In terms of the wider comfort of the jacket, the fabric feels nice when pressed against skin and I already said its very light to wear.
Remember, the Veilance sub-brand was originally created for tactical wear so the Demlo really excels here.
Arc’teryx Veilance Demlo Hooded Jacket – Durability
Hmmm. So, I can’t really comment on this as I have only been testing the jacket for a few days. However, the fabric is very light and thin and I can imagine it could tear if it got caught on a particularly vengeful branch.
Other than that though, all of the Arc’teryx products I, and my friends, have owned are all still going strong after years of use.
Arc’teryx Demlo Hooded Jacket – Price and Value
Price – $450
Coming in at $450 this is a very expensive piece of gear. I mean, Arc’teryx don’t make cheap products and are amongst the most expensive outdoor brands I have come across. Their backpacks tend to cost more than Osprey and their jackets are more expensive than Patagonia. Usually, Arc’teryx gear is well worth its price tag though and I personally bought an Atom Lt Hoody twice over after I lost it the first time.
However even with that caveat, $450 is beyond my personal budget for a light jacket or windcheater.
The demlo is a high quality piece of gear and it does perform better than the comparable jackets that I have tried. If you can spare the bucks, then it may well be a justifiable purchase.
On the other hand, if $450 is too much for you to drop, then perhaps check out some other Arc’teryx, non-Veilance products or maybe look at our Patagonia rain jacket review and round up post.
Final Thoughts on the Demo Hooded Jacket
What we have here is a very top end, high performing piece of outdoor gear. Its stylish enough to wear around town, to festivals (I even wore it to a rave) while also being weather-proof enough to take hiking or traveling.
It’s a great jacket and the only real sticking point is the price that will deter a number of prospective buyers.
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