Let’s start with the elephant in the room. There are a lot of ways to spend $800. Two hundred Starbucks cappuccinos. Dozens of houseplants. Six midweek lift tickets at your local resort. A lifetime supply of toilet paper. A really, really nice new desk. Enough beer for a very fun and very big party. The list goes on.
Or, you could drop it all on the new Arc’teryx Rush Insulated Jacket. Sound crazy?
After 2 months of testing, I’m here to tell you it’s worth it, even if similar jackets cost half as much.
Even with the luxury of testing dozens of new jackets each year, I rarely leave home without my new Rush Insulated jacket. I take it to the resort, in the backcountry, while snowmobiling, and recently, on a week-long dogsled trip in snowy Minnesota.
After hundreds of hours of use — including alpine missions with crampons, handling high-energy huskies, and wrenching on the truck and trailer — it shows no wear and tear. My testing methods would have shredded most puffies, but the Rush looks brand new.
In short: The Rush Insulated Jacket from Arc’teryx is a versatile puffy with a burly face fabric that’ll keep you warm and dry in wind, light rain, and snow. While it may not be the warmest insulated jacket out there, it is one of the most durable we’ve ever tested, and it works beautifully through all three seasons (fall, winter, spring), making it worth the high cost.
What Makes It Great: Hybrid Jacket, Lots of Versatility
The Rush Insulated Jacket is, perhaps, the first true puffy/shell hybrid. It has a burly outer layer that is water-resistant, windproof, ripstop, and breathable. Its synthetic insulation fill stays warm while wet and is light and less bulky. Essentially it’s two jackets in one — two really good jackets, in fact.
My first day testing the Rush was on Early Morning Couloir, an iconic line on North Sister. We bootpacked straight up 2,300 feet, clinging to the 50-degree slope with crampons and axes. Both of my partners came home with small holes in their bibs and coats, but not me.
Since then, I’ve skied steep lines on a handful of volcanoes around Oregon with the same result — no damage or even marks. In the world of lightweight puffies, this is an outlier. Thanks to a woven-in gridded nylon ripstop, this jacket can take a beating.
Construction & Fabric
The Hadron face fabric also has kept me dry in a variety of weather — light rain, mist, sleet, and snow, to name a few. This water-resistant layer is a huge bonus in terms of layering, often allowing me to leave my shell in my pack, saving time and energy at each stop or transition.
Most recently, I took the Rush on a dog sledding and winter camping trip, relying on the insulation to keep me warm in temps floating around zero. And, even while moving 90-pound huskies on and off the line, it never showed wear or tear.
Over two months I’ve used the Rush on ski mountaineering objectives, to crawl under the trailer to work on it, ripping around on snowmobiles, and wrestling sled dogs, and have been notably impressed.
On the inside, the Rush is filled with 100 g of Coreloft, a proprietary polyester insulation from Arc’teryx. This places it solidly in the midweight category, somewhere between belay parkas and summer puffies.
Coreloft is light and extremely packable, allowing you to pack the Rush down to the size of a small loaf of bread and keeping it at just 559 g, which is the very light end of midweight synthetic jackets. Coreloft has been used in past Arc’teryx jackets and definitely helps the Rush to contribute to a great weight-to-warmth ratio.
Arc’teryx Rush Insulated Jacket
- Shell 2L GORE-TEX INFINIUM, abrasion-resistant Hadron Liquid Crystal Polymer grid face fabric, PFC-free DWR
- Insulation Coreloft 100 (100 g/m²)
- Lining 20D 100% nylon, Bluesign-approved
- Pockets 4 (two zippered hand pockets, two interior)
- Weight 559 g / 1 lb., 3.7 oz.
- Insulated, helmet-compatible hood
- Water- and weather-resistant
- Durable face fabric
- Sustainably made
- Not the warmest insulation
Conclusion & Cost Benefit
Still, you say, it’s 800 freaking dollars! I hear you, I do. I grew up with frugal parents, went to business school, and run my own business. I know it’s hard to justify $800 just for one jacket. Most of the time I’d be there right with you, laughing at the price tag — but the Rush Insulated is a true outlier.
A full cost-benefit analysis requires us to think big picture and long-term. Sure, the price is sky high, but we also need to look at the other half, the benefits of the jacket. Sure, $800 might not be palatable for a box store puffy, but if you consider what it replaces and how long it lasts, the ledger levels out.
The Rush has become my go-to three-season (fall, winter, spring) jacket, replacing a few others in my quiver. Combined, these puffies put me back north of $800, which shows the versatility of the Rush Insulated Jacket.
I’m also a big believer in amortization. I’ll pay for something really expensive if it’s going to last. In the long run, buying the Rush is better for your wallet, because you won’t need to replace it biennially. Combining these factors, I’m here to litigate that the Arc’teryx Rush Insulated Jacket is worth every penny.
It’s incredibly warm for its weight, easily packable, water resistant and dry in adverse weather, and the most durable puffy jacket I’ve ever tested, even after being put through the wringer.