The North Face Redpoint Optimus vs. Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody


To help you out here are the links to the 2012 models:

Men’s Redpoint Optimus

Women’s Atom LT Hoody or Jacket

Men’s Atom LT Hoody or Jacket



This week I decided to treat myself and talk to you about two of our favourite jackets here at Altitude Sports. All the employees have at least one or the other, if not both. I have both. Made for men and women, these two coats are lightweight, synthetically insulated, and great for fall, spring or even winter if you’re often moving from inside to outside during the day.

The Women’s North Face Redpoint Optimus Jacket
The North Face Men's Redpoint Optimus Jacket

The North Face Men’s Redpoint Optimus Jacket

Arc'teryx Women's Atom LT Hoody

Arc’teryx Women’s Atom LT Hoody

Arc'teryx Men's Atom LT Hoody

Arc’teryx Men’s Atom LT Hoody

Synthetic Insulation

The North Face Redpoint Optimus Jacket became an employee favourite a couple years ago, when we first discovered Primaloft, the best synthetic insulation on the market and the closest imitation of down available. Click here for more information on the company, which also makes insulation for your home! Well-loved because it is very breathable, very light, dries quickly, and efficiently stores your body’s generated heat, this insulation regulates body temperature during drastic temperature changes, such as going from inside to outside. What’s more, a thinner layer of Primaloft is required to obtain the same warmth as down and it keeps you warmer even when wet or damp.

This year, Arc’teryx came out with the Atom LT Hoody: direct competition for the North Face Redpoint Optimus. The company uses their in-house insulation called Coreloft, similar to Primaloft in composition. However, even though Arc’teryx has a reputation for making very high quality products, Coreloft has not proven to be more efficient or durable than Primaloft.

The Redpoint Optimus is slightly more insulated with 100 gm/ m² of Primaloft than the Atom LT Hoody’s 60 gm/m² of Coreloft. Arc’teryx did, however, have the great idea to increase breathability and mobility by using a Softshell fabric (Polartec Power Stretch) on the sides and under the arms. This also allows for a more fitted style than the Redpoint Optimus.

Other points of comparison

Here are some other important points:

– Both jackets are wind and water-resistant. However, the Redpoint Optimus is in part more resistant and will withstand bad weather better than its counterpart, due to its polyurethane lining at the seamless hood and shoulders.

– They are both adjustable at the waist and the wrist-bands are very similar: tight around the wrist to block the wind.

– The Redpoint Optimus folds into its internal chest pocket and also has a napoleon pocket.

– The Atom LT has hand-warmer pockets.

– Both insulated hoods are the same size, but you can adjust the Redpoint Optimus’ with an elastic cord found behind the head.

– Both collars are the same height, but you can adjust the Redpoint’s with the same elastic cord you use to adjust the hood. This is an important detail, especially on the coldest days because the collar tightens around the chin to cover the neck. You don’t need a scarf or a neck-warmer.

– Finally, much to our distress, the Atom’s zipper has a tendency to come undone slightly when we wear the hood (according to Alex).

– With regards to style, my friend Guillaume just made the difficult choice between the two models, and says the Atom LT looks less like a jacket than the Redpoint Optimus. It is also lighter than the Redpoint (375 g vs 600g).

So to conclude, the Atom LT Hoody is a great option for the quality and price, and makes a good fall, city jacket, but would be less warm in winter than the Redpoint Optimus. Indeed, I’ve worn the Redpoint Optimus for the last three winters, pairing it with a good fleece on the coldest days. For playing sports, the Arc’teryx jacket breathes more and is less insulated than the Optimus. Each jacket satisfies different, precise needs. Also, both are great insulation layers to wear under a shell in winter, for example, if you go skiing.

See you later,


Alex qui espère pouvoir tester son Atom bientôt!

Alex Altitude almost desperate to test out his Atom!!

translation by Judy Murphy