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Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's Review

Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's
Top Pick Award
Price:   $625 List | $625.00 at REI
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, weather resistant, stylish, versatile
Cons:  Colors stain easily, expensive, no insulation
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx

Our Verdict

The Arc'Teryx Sentinel jacket looks out for your well being in any kind of conditions and is the most versatile ski specific jacket we have tested. It wins our Top Pick Award because it is our favorite hardshell jacket in this review. This jacket has a simple, flattering design that our testers love. It has very few bells and whistles, but is lightweight and has all the ski features you need to get after it at the resort or in the backcountry.

New Colors
Arc'teryx has rolled out a new selection of colors for the Sentinel jacket this season. Check out the goods below.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ski Jacket for Women Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Sunday
November 20, 2016

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Updated Colors


Arc'teryx is now offering an updated color selection since the time of our review. The new colors for this season include Baja, Dahlia, and Aspen Glow (pictured in order below).
Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's
Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's

Hands-on Review


The lightest weight, most versatile, and softest feeling ski specific hardshell in this review, the Sentinel will guard you against the elements. It has great ski features, high quality materials, and we love the sunny golden poppy color we tested it in!

The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket is the lightest jacket in this review and our choice to take ski touring.
The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket is the lightest jacket in this review and our choice to take ski touring.

Weather Resistance


The Sentinel does a great job protecting you from all kinds of weather. The 3-layer Gore Tex shell material stops wind and moisture in their tracks. We think this is the perfect storm skiing jacket. The Sentinel's cavernous hood was our favorite and you will definitely be able to put it on over any kind of ski helmet. The hood is super easy to adjust with the toggles at the collar bone to cinch it down — unlike the Arc'Teryx Andessa where the cord locks are on the inside of the hood and very difficult to adjust with gloves. We also like the Orage Nina's hood adjustments, which are similar to the Sentinel.


We have been out in very wet warm conditions, extremely windy conditions, and cold, dry, powdery conditions. We feel by our Sentinel and know it is looking out for us in all kinds of conditions.

Ventilation


Along with the Patagonia Untracked - Women's, the Sentinel has the best ventilation of the bunch. It has watertight zippered pit-zips that become gaping openings for venting. The Gore-Tex material seems to breathe relatively well, only producing a little bit of condensation inside when we sweat.


We even took this jacket out for a high output cross-country ski and were able to vent enough that things didn't get wet inside the jacket. This bodes well for anyone who is looking for a good ski touring jacket where they'll be working hard on the up and the down.

We love the Sentinel paired with our Patagonia Untracked pants for ski touring. The Sentinel has huge pit zips for great venting on the uptrack.
We love the Sentinel paired with our Patagonia Untracked pants for ski touring. The Sentinel has huge pit zips for great venting on the uptrack.

Warmth


We scored all the un-insulated shell jackets we reviewed the same in this department. None of them, including the Sentinel and the Flylow Billie Coat, are insulated and they cannot really be evaluated in the warmth department. The Sentinel's shell material has a brushed "Flannel" backing, which some manufacturers (Patagonia) say add warmth but we don't think it significantly increases the warmth of the Sentinel or the Untracked jackets.


Shell jackets are made to be a versatile layer where you can put as much or as little insulation on underneath depending upon the conditions. If you are looking for a quality, insulated jacket with Gore-Tex shell material, check out the Patagonia Primo Down - Women's.

The Sentinel Jacket performs well at top speeds  we did not notice any drafts through the zipper.
The Sentinel Jacket performs well at top speeds, we did not notice any drafts through the zipper.

Ski Features


Since this jacket is meant to be a "Big Mountain Skiing" jacket, Arc'teryx has paid close attention to the Sentinel's ski features. They have kept it simple and included the necessities, but nothing else. We appreciate this in the jacket because it is the lightest weight jacket in this review, and weight matters when you're schlepping yourself around under your own power in the backcountry.


The Sentinel has all the pockets you'll need: two giant front hand warmer pockets, goggle and pass pockets, as well as an interior zipper pocket that has been laminated to protect your important items like phones and wallets from moisture. The Sentinel also has an integrated powder skirt (that we wish was removable). Many jackets in this review have the capability to attach to ski pants to further fortify yourself from getting snow up your back. The Sentinel has a very specific feature to do this that is only compatible with other Arc'teryx ski pants called the "Slide 'n Loc™ snap closure". This is great if you're only loyal to Arc'teryx — just make sure you're getting the right model of pant! Otherwise those snaps are rendered useless. We like the Untracked's powder skirt connection that just loops around your belt loops, although we think that snow can still find its way in there.

The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket has all the necessary ski features you could ask for  including a goggle pocket and powder skirt. We wish the powder skirt was removable and had universal attachment systems to attach to any pants.
The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket has all the necessary ski features you could ask for, including a goggle pocket and powder skirt. We wish the powder skirt was removable and had universal attachment systems to attach to any pants.

Style


Arc'teryx has a certain simple, sleek appeal. This company's garments always look well tailored and well put-together. We think this stands true with the Sentinel. Although it is Arc'teryx's "relaxed fit" it is still the least baggy of the hardshells we tested. The Arc'teryx Andessa also has that fitted, sleek look, even though it is well insulated with down. The Sentinel has a nice long cut that can cover your behind. We love all the different color selections for the Sentinel, especially the bright and cheerful golden poppy color, but worry that it will start to stain and show dirt after time.


If you are looking for brighter, patterned steely jackets, we think the Orage Nina is the most stylish resort jacket we tested and the Columbia Whirlibird Interchange - Women's is a great value and comes in all kinds of crazy colors and patterns. We think that the Flylow Billie Coat is the most stylish and trendy looking of the three hardshell jackets we tested.

The 3 ski specific shell jackets we tested  the Patagonia Untracked Jacket  Arc'teryx Sentinel and the Flylow Billie Coat.
The 3 ski specific shell jackets we tested, the Patagonia Untracked Jacket, Arc'teryx Sentinel and the Flylow Billie Coat.

Comfort and Fit


The Sentinel is the most comfortable of the hardshells in this review. We love the soft feel of the N70p GORE-TEX® Fabric used — it is definitely much lighter weight, quieter, and more comfortable than the materials used in the Untracked jacket. We also enjoy stretchier shell materials like in the First Tracks Jacket and the Andessa.


A common theme with Arc'teryx is that the fit is small. We think that the Sentinel is on the lower end of the size spectrum. The Sentinel fits relatively true to size, but we would not call it's fit particularly "relaxed" like Arc'teryx does. If you are a lady with a more hour glass shape, you may find your size slightly tight in the hips and should consider sizing up if you want to put a lot of layers on underneath.

The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket is our favorite of the ski specific hard shells we tested and wins our Top Pick Award.
The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket is our favorite of the ski specific hard shells we tested and wins our Top Pick Award.

Best Application


If you are looking for a tough and burly shell layer that is relatively light weight for backcountry forays, the Sentinel jacket is a great choice. We brought the Sentinel backcountry, cross-country, and resort skiing. This is the most versatile jacket in this review and could be a great choice if you want a jacket to take with you skiing in all climates, especially when you anticipate it being wet. For resort, backcountry, and sidecountry adventures the Sentinel has got your back.

Value


The Sentinel is quite pricy, retailing for $625. We think this is a decent value for you buck because it is made from high quality materials and will last you a long time. If you're looking for an inexpensive jacket that is super stylish, check out the Billie Coat, or for a high functioning insulated jacket, the Mountain Hardwear Barnsie.

Conclusion


This high quality ski specific shell will protect you from the elements like a good Sentinel should. It is the most versatile ski jacket we tested and allows you to choose your own layers for up and down, and it is easy to vent. It is lightweight and comes in lots of stylish, enticing color choices. It has all the ski features you will need to keep you high functioning on the ski hill, but no extra bells and whistles. It is a great storm skiing jacket, especially for someone who loves skiing powder!

The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket is a great choice for getting in some backcountry turns.
The Arc'teryx Sentinel Jacket is a great choice for getting in some backcountry turns.

Other Versions


The Men's version of the Sentinel is the Sabre jacket. As we mentioned, you can purchase the matching Sentinel Pant - Women's to connect to your Sentinel Jacket.
Jessica Haist


Where to Buy?

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Most recent review: November 20, 2016
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