In the in-between seasons, there’s a constant question I have: do I bring a jacket or not? It’s usually a no, and that’s usually a mistake. I end up shivering, toughing it out when there’s no need. The next time I go outside, I err on the side of caution. I end up lugging a jacket around even though it’s a beautiful day and there’s no need for one. But recently, I discovered a jacket I can bring with me no matter what, whether I plan on wearing it, or not.
Arc’teryx is known as an outdoors brand, but outdoors brands make the best jackets, plain and simple. The Nuclei FL Jacket is pretty much designed to be the perfect jacket for rain, snow, wind, or even days when you realize you don’t need it at all. It’s a puffy, made with what Arc’teryx calls “Core Loft” insulation. When you pick it up, it feels impossibly light and thin. There’s no way it should be able to work in freezing temperatures, and yet it does. And then, somehow, it even works as a layering piece when you’re just chilly. The fabric is soft, light, and airy, and it feels like an ultra lightweight sleeping bag. But beyond that, it looks really good. It’s not puffy at all, but instead, has tailored arms, and sides so you don’t look like the Michelen Man. As an added bonus, it can pack up into its own pocket. It’s like stuffing a sleeping bag, and suddenly, you’re left with a pouch the size of a grapefruit that you can put in a tote, your backpack, or whatever you’re carrying if you decide today isn’t the right day for a jacket.
This is a do-it-all puffer. I can wear it no matter the season, except summer, and I want to. It feels like it was designed to fit me and my lifestyle, the way a perfect jacket should.