Arc’teryx Tantalus Jacket
Size Tested: Large
Front Zipper Length: 80.5 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight (size L): 680 grams
Stated Fit: “Athletic” / (“Standard”) Fit
- Gore-Tex three-Layer
- Fully taped seams
- Athletic e3D fit
- Underarm vents
- Powder skirt (integrated / non-removable)
- Adjustable helmet-compatible StormHood
- Slide ‘n Loc jacket-to-pant interface
- Adjustable hem and cuffs
- Recco avalanche rescue reflector
- N150p-X GORE-TEX® fabric with 3L tricot technology
- N70p GORE-TEX® Fabric with 3L lo-loft soft shell construction
Reviewer: 5’10”, 175-180 lbs.
Days Worn: 30+
Test Locations: Canterbury Club Fields, New Zealand; Seattle; northern New Mexico
New for this season, the Tantalus effectively replaces the Caden jacket in Arc’teryx’s Whiteline Series of big-mountain, freeride-oriented pieces.
The Caden was one of our ‘Best Of’ jackets of 14/15, and was a benchmark for fully-featured shells designed to stand up to the harshest, nastiest conditions. But so far, we like the Tantalus more—it received a ‘Best Of 15/16’ Award, and roughly speaking, you can think of the Tantalus as a Caden with an improved fit (the arms were oddly long on the Caden).
Arc’teryx gets points for putting out accurate and pretty useful product descriptions lately, and that trend continues (for the most part) with the Tantalus:
“Designed for skiers and snowboarders who know how to maximize on area days and take the time to explore off piste, the Tantalus Jacket is a richly featured, durably constructed hybrid GOTE-TEX shell. Built from two types of GORE-TEX fabric, the Tantalus delivers hardwearing windproof, waterproof breathable protection with moderate warmth. Snow shedding N150p 3L GORE-TEX fabric with tricot technology is used in the shoulders, lower back, hood and forearms to provide serious abrasion resistance in these high wear areas. The jacket’s body, back and upper arms are made from a N70p 3L GORE-TEX fabric with lo-loft soft shell construction. Hardwearing, weatherproof and comfortable, this fabric is soft, quiet and has a light backer for warmth.”
Yep, pretty much. Except that first sentence might be a bit confusing, and give the impression that this is first and foremost a “50/50” resort / backcountry touring jacket. But this is a fully-featured inbounds jacket, and while you could, of course, tour in it, there are lighter, more packable options out there (like Arc’teryx’s own Lithic Comp) that might make more sense if touring is your focus. Having said that…
(1) If you’re just looking for a dedicated touring jacket and you don’t tour in high precipitation areas, then consider the Arc’teryx Lithic Comp. It’s lighter, more breathable, and more packable.
(2) But if you do expect to be out in sustained rain or snow storms, the Tantalus may be the better option than the Lithic Comp. Alternatively, if you insist on having pit zips, then you might also want to consider the Tantalus over the Lithic Comp.
3) Arc’teryx is right to mention that the N150p-X fabric of the Tantalus is pretty burly and durable—in fact, it’s the most durable fabric Arc’teryx uses—which are attributes that I value in my resort jackets where weight and packability aren’t really concerns. And furthermore, the fact that the Tantalus has a non-removable pow skirt also pushes it a bit toward the resort-jacket side of things.
NEXT: Fit, Packability, Comparisons, Etc.