Fit / Sizing (with Comparisons)
The Lithic Comp has Arc’teryx’s “expedition fit,” which is their largest fit, and designed to accommodate thick mid-layers. I prefer slightly bigger, looser fits for both my jacket and pants, so while I could easily wear a size Medium (I’m 5’10”, ~175 lbs), I’m quite happy with the Lithic Comp in a size Large. But if you don’t intend to wear thick mid-layers under this thing and / or you like a more fitted cut, then do not size up.
The Lithic Comp is roomy without being bulky, which I like. With a front zipper length of ~80.5cm, it’s also cut longer than the Westcomb Apoc (~74.5cm zipper length), and just a touch longer than the FlyLow LabCoat 2.0 (~79.0cm).
The LabCoat 2.0 has the loosest fit of these three jackets, BTW.
The packability of the Lithic Comp is very good, better than that of the FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0, though the Lithic is not as packable as the lighter, thinner, Westcomb Apoc jacket (size Large ~440 grams).
I don’t think I can declare a clear winner between the Westcomb Apoc, the FlyLow LabCoat 2.0, and the Lithic Comp. And that’s probably saying something for the Lithic Comp, given that Polartec NeoShell is the most breathable hardshell fabric we’ve used.
On the warmest days in March, I’ve gone back and forth wearing the Lithic Comp and the FlyLow Labcoat 2.0, and it’s very difficult to declare a clear winner. In some ways, it seems to me that the thinness of the Lithic Comp might give it an edge over the LabCoat 2.0. But then again, the LabCoat has big pit zips that allow you to ventilate in a big way.
Pockets: Fitting Skins
In case you’re wondering, I can sort of fit a pair of 187cm-long, 113mm-wide skins (folded over the plastic webbing used to keep them separated—aka, skin savers) in the Westcomb Apoc’s exterior pockets, but not really. Shorter, skinnier skins work better, but the Apoc isn’t really designed to accommodate skins cut for bigger skis.
I can fit the same skins + skin savers into the Lithic Comp more easily. There isn’t much extra room, but they fit.
The FlyLow LabCoat 2.0 has plenty of room – the interior pockets easily swallow up the skins. Honestly, the LabCoat is the only jacket of the three that I’d consider using the pockets for these skins. With the other jackets, I’d stow them in my backpack, for sure.
While the Lithic Comp’s shell fabric is thin, it’s tough. I don’t baby this jacket, I bootpack and shoulder skis on it all the time, and after nearly 50 days, it still looks new. Zero issues so far, zero concerns.
Who’s It For?
If you’re doing 80-100% resort riding, I’d vote for the Arc’teryx Caden or FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0, in large part because of the extra pockets that those jackets have.
If you’re closer to 50% resort / 50% backcountry, I think it’s more of a coin toss between the Lab Coat 2.0 and the Lithic Comp. The Labcoat 2.0 is more breathable than the Caden, has more pockets than the Lithic Comp, and is probably the better option if you’re often out in wet conditions, but it isn’t as packable as the Lithic Comp.
If more than 50% of your days out are spent touring, then I think the Lithic Comp is very hard to argue against, and I would currently consider it or the Westcomb Apoc. The Lithic Comp is a little heavier, has a slightly thicker shell fabric, and isn’t as packable. The Westcomb Apoc doesn’t have any internal mesh pockets, and the jacket has one flaw: the velcro closures on the wrists don’t really work; every time I’ve cinched down the cuffs over a pair of gloves, I’ve found them loose and dangling a few minutes later.
The Arc’teryx Lithic Comp jacket is a very impressive soft shell / hard shell hybrid jacket. The construction is impeccable, and its performance across a very broad range of conditions has proven to be stellar.
If you are looking for a dedicated touring jacket, or even a 50 / 50 resort-backcountry jacket, the Lithic Comp is a new Blister ‘Best Of’ contender in both categories.