- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
The Beta AR is simply one of the best hardshell jackets on the market, period. The Gore-Tex Pro is completely waterproof and windproof and actually breathes decently. It rained for nearly four straight days on a Mt. Olympus climb. A 34 mile round trip approach in the pouring rain with a 50 pound pack is a pretty miserable experience, but the Beta AR kept me absolutely dry the entire time. Others in my group had their hardshells soak through and ruin their day. Not so for me.
It is not the lightest jacket nor is it the lowest volume. It's not terribly comfortable nor is it very stretchy. What it is, however, is an absolute bombproof hardshell that I can pack with complete confidence when I know I'm going to need to keep the precip from ruining my trip. It ain't cheap, but you certainly get what you pay for. Highly recommended.