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I had the opportunity to test and review the women’s Arc’teryx Sentinel Bib and Sentinel Anorak. So far, I’ve skied it on heavy snow days, deep pow, through some intense wind gusts, and dry cold sunny days. This is an unbiased review, and below are my impressions so far.
- Days in the Women’s Arc’teryx Sentinel Kit: 10
- Size: 6 Pants, Small Anorak
- Height: 5’9”
- Testing Location: Jackson Hole, WY
- Conditions tested: Cold, windy, snowy
Fabric, Composition, Quality
The Sentinel is the freeride line from Arc’teryx made for epic powder days and big lines, both in bounds and the not-too-distant backcountry. Made from N70p 3L GORE-TEX fabric, this kit is the perfect balance of lightweight and durable, threading the needle between lightweight uphill performance, protection from the elements, and durability.
Some standout features I’ve noticed
- Tight seams without the topstitch. I counted between 18 and 20 stitches per inch, ensuring quality, durability, longevity, and protection from the elements.
- Carefully taped seams on the inside.
- The inside of the fabric is brushed for added softness and warmth.
- Thigh pockets with subtle depth. You can fit a phone or some snacks in them, but they aren’t crazy big, which is excellent. The right pocket has a phone sleeve, the left has a key loop.
- Welded chest pouch, perfectly sized for a beacon, with a large webbing loop for easy clip attachment.
- Zip down entrance on the right side with three zippers for better ventilation control.
- Hip to knee vent on the left side with two zippers.
- No back pocket, which I don’t mind.
- Ultra-durable inner cuff.
- Hook-in shoulder straps for easy exit/entry.
- Buttons to snap to the Jacket’s powder skirt.
- The TouringCuff™ keeps out snow without blocking access to boot buckles.
- WaterTight™ thigh vent zippers with zipper garage keep the elements out.
- WaterTight™ Hip to elbow zipper on the left with three zipper heads for easy entry and pit vent adjustment.
- Long front zipper for ventilation and easy to put on/take off with a helmet on.
- Large hoodie-like Kangaroo pocket in the center with phone sleeve.
- Zippered Inner chest pocket.
- Pass pocket on left arm, equipped with Recco reflector.
- Chinch-able, helmet-compatible StormHood™ for complete coverage and maximum visibility. The hood stays out of the way well.
- Cobra buttons to securely connect powder skirt to pants.
- The powder skirt is not removable, which I also don’t mind.
- 575 grams (size Small).
The Sentinel kit is designed to have a regular fit. It’s neither tight nor baggy. Where it stands out is how it’s pattered for mobility. On the pants, the knees have darts for easy bending, there is a crotch gusset, and the vertical seam on the back accommodates bending over. The anorak has four panels around the shoulder and two around the elbow for maximum mobility. This intelligent design makes the kit feel comfortable to move around in. I’m 5’9” with a long torso, and the bib shoulder straps are maxed out in length. That being said, I’m 96th percentile for height and probably more for torso length, so not a common issue, but something to watch out for if you’re taller than me.
This kit isn’t designed for long hikes and uphill performance but has some redeeming features. First, the pros: mobility is top-notch, easy to lunge, bend over, and put a foot high. Great pit and thigh ventilation to dump heat. The anorak zipper is long enough to dump a lot of heat, but I typically take the shell off anyways during uphill efforts. The cons: the high chest bib, although it breathes as much as it can, by design, traps heat, creating a sweaty belly. The bibs also don’t have an inner thigh zipper that allows air to flow through the leg.
Protection from the Elements
This is where this kit shines. It is windproof, rainproof, snowproof, and all-weatherproof. Between the WaterTight™ zippers, zipper garages, high stitch count, quality fabric, and anorak construction, this kit stands up to the elements. When racing down the mountain in sub-zero temps, I feel the wind chill through the kit a lot less than other shells I’ve tried. The bibs and powder skirt with cobra buttons do a great job of staying put and keeping snow out on a deep day. I have yet to be cold in this kit and cannot say enough good things regarding protection from the elements.
The anorak takes some getting used to if you’re coming from a full-zip jacket. It is easy to pull over and zip up even with a helmet, but the process differs from what I was used to. It took me a few tries to put on an extra layer quickly, but it is well worth it for the extra windproof capability.
The Bottom Line
The Sentinel Kit from Arc’teryx is great. Every detail has been meticulously thought through: from the fit to the mobility to pockets, zippers, and much more. It’s not the cheapest kit on the market, but it is exceptionally high quality and a good investment if you’re someone who skis a lot or wants to invest in a warm and highly functional outerwear set.