The original Arc’teryx Acto MX Hoody is an all time favourite piece of mine. Check out the review I wrote a few years ago here. For winter 2017 / 2018 Arc’teryx have reincarnated the Acto in the form of the Acto FL Jacket. It looks even better than the original.
In many ways, I regard the original Acto MX Hoody as a typical Arc’teryx product. At least typical for early Arc’teryx, before they became so huge. On first inspection it looks and feels different to similar items you’ve seen or worn before. It’s kinda left field. Sort of conventional, but different at the same time. It doesn’t have a hem drawcord, the cuffs are completely clean without any form of adjustment or finish, the fabric looks like many soft shell textiles yet it’s almost completely air permeable. It’s only when you use the product that everything starts to make sense and you realise that, most of the time at least, it’s better than pretty much anything else you’ve worn before.
The new Acto FL Jacket is a part of the Ascent line but I reckon it will end being being awesome for splitboarding and ski touring, just like the original. Recently I spotted a few images in and amongst Arc’teryx media of Eric Hjorleifson wearing one, so I had a feeling this winter might see a re-launch.
Although I’ve yet to get my hands on an Acto FL, I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying that the Aerius fabric is identical to the original. I certainly hope so, ‘cos it’s an amazing fabric to wear. Incredibly breathable, amazingly durable and decent at keeping moisture out too. There are a few differences where the features of the new Acto FL are concerned though.
Firstly the hood looks like an improvement. The old MX Hoody’s hood was ok but wasn’t adjustable enough. The hood on the new FL Jacket is made with a different fabric called Tyono 30 and has the now standard Arc’teryx hood adjustment which works really well. Tyono 30 is a lightweight nylon with a little stretch that Arc’teryx use on the Squamish hoody.
The Acto FL Jacket’s cuffs looks better too. They are still super clean but they have a panel of stretch fabric which should improve the fit. Likewise the hem now has a drawcord which also features the hem lock system to keep the jacket tucked into a harness or hip belt. The fit looks pretty much unaltered which is cool. The two big chest pockets also remain – they are so much better than conventional hand pockets for accessing stuff whilst in the skin track.
Now all we need is for Arc’teryx to re-incarnate the Lithic Comp Jacket and all will be well. I’ll update this page just as soon as I get the opportunity to use the new Acto FL Jacket – hopefully this winter some time.
More on the Acto FL Jacket on the Arc’teryx website.