Arc’teryx Rush Jacket

Paul Forward reviews the Arc'teryx Rush jacket, Blister Gear Review
Arc’teryx Rush

Arc’teryx Rush Jacket

Size tested: Large

Color: Utility Green

Reviewer info:

  • 6’, 190 lbs.
  • Typically wear a size Large


  • New Gore-Tex Pro 3L waterproof/breathable fabric
  • Pit zippers
  • Vislon front zipper
  • Drop back hem
  • Internal mesh pocket
  • Sleeve pocket
  • Internal chest pocket
  • Two hand pockets
  • Non-removable powder skirt

Locations tested:

  • Honshu & Hokkaido, Japan
  • Kodiak Island, Alyeska Resort, Chugach, Talkeetna, & Neacola Mountains, Alaska
  • Jackson Hole, Teton Pass, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Days Tested: 40+

Growing up in Alaska, I spent every possible moment out playing in the mountains, and the importance of good outerwear was impressed upon me early on. (In fact, when I was in 7th grade, I did a class presentation on differences between Ultrex and Gore-Tex.)

Since then I’ve spent months in waterproof/breathable waders as a fly fishing guide, I’ve whitewater kayaked in waterproof/breathable paddlewear on 5 different continents, and now I’m fortunate enough to ski more than I do almost anything else, in resort and in the backcountry. Given that, I’ve worn quite a bit of outerwear and I’ve very much begun to appreciate the attributes that make a difference in harsh conditions.

Arc’teryx describes the Rush as a “waterproof, breathable and durable jacket designed for big mountain adventures and on/off piste skiing and riding.” I go on a lot of big mountain adventures and do a lot of on- and off-pisted skiing, so I wanted to see how well the Rush jacket measured up against some other jackets in its class that I’ve used, like the Mountain Equipment Firefox, Norrona Lofoten Active Shell, Salomon Shadow GTX, and 2012-2013 Patagonia Powslayer.


I was immediately impressed by the fit of the Rush. It is loose enough that I can easily wear a mid-weight down puffy under it, but it still feels great with only a light merino baselayer. It is about as close to a perfect fitting jacket as I’ve ever owned; there’s enough fabric where needed to allow for proper range of motion and layering, yet there doesn’t seem to be any extra material or bagginess in the jacket’s cut.

The jacket’s sleeves and hem are a good length for me. I could probably use a ½ inch more length on the sleeves and an inch or so on the rear hem line for a touch more coverage, but in general the length is totally adequate for my build.

Many modern ski shells like the Salomon Shadow and my 12/13 Patagonia Pow Slayer jacket have a bit of a looser/baggier fit than the Rush. I don’t mind this for skiing (when you’re likely to be layering underneath the shell often), but the Rush’s slightly slimmer fit helps make it the best year-round hardshell I’ve ever used.

Paul Forward reviews the Arc'teryx Rush jacket, Blister Gear Review
Paul Forward in the Arc’teryx Rush jacket, Hokkaido, Japan.

Waterproof / Breathable Membrane & Face Fabric

Gore-Tex revamped its high-end Pro Shell material this past season and the Rush Jacket features this new material. Gore claims that the membrane is up to 36% more breathable than the older Gore-Tex Pro Shell. (For an in-depth look at the differences between Gore-Tex Pro Shell and the new Gore-Tex Pro, see Sam Shaheen’s review of the Mountain Equipment Centurion and Tupilak jackets.)

Arc’teryx uses two different face fabrics on the Rush. The shoulders are covered with a heavier, more durable 80 denier fabric, while face fabric on the lower torso and sleeves are made using a lighter, more packable 40 denier material.

Below I’ll break down my experiences with the Rush and, where applicable, comment on how I think Gore’s latest pro-shell compares to their Active shell laminate.

(See our Outerwear 101 and Outerwear 201 articles for a more in-depth look at how waterproof/breathable fabrics work.)


In Alaska, it’s pretty rare for me to skin with a shell on because I’m usually ski touring in relatively nice weather. I’ll only wear a shell on the way up if it’s super windy or very snowy, and the latter is often the case in Japan.

Over the past two years, I routinely found myself skinning all day in the midst of pounding snow storms while in Japan, taking laps in tight trees and protected slopes while the snow stacks up. This was a great opportunity for me to gauge the breathability of the new Gore Pro, and I can say that it is significantly better than the older Pro Shell used in my 12/13 Patagonia Powslayer jacket (which is consistent with Sam’s findings in his review of the Mountain Equipment Tupilak jacket).

I stayed noticeably cooler and drier skinning all day in heavy snowfall in the Rush than I would have in my Powslayer. And many of the storms I skied in in Honshu, Japan were not producing very dry snow, but conditions much wetter and more humid, more like the storms I’m used to in the PNW.

During much of the season back in Alaska, I frequently alternated between jackets made with Gore Active Shell (the Norrona Lofoten Active Shell and Mountain Equipment Firefox) and I did notice they they felt a little cooler / more breathable than the Pro while I was skinning. However, Active Shell is a lighter, potentially less durable material than the Gore Pro, and the Rush jacket has held up very well. Speaking of which..

11 comments on “Arc’teryx Rush Jacket”

  1. Spot on review pretty much the same pros/cons I saw when I was buying a new shell this season. Ended up going with the SVX mostly because of the chest pocket and the additional coverage slightly longer, roomier fit and hood.

    But the rush is an amazing hardshell and for me a close second place all over the range of hardshells only second to the SVX, but I’d say it’s a matter of preference, if you don’t care much for a chest pocket and like a powder skirt (which the svx doesn’t have) the Rush is the perfect shell!

  2. I’ve bought a Rush jacket this spring and haven’t used it yet. Looking for a nice pair of pants now.
    I’m debating between Sabre and Stinger, Sabre for relaxed fit and Stinger for Expedition fit(same as Rush).
    What’s your opinion?
    On one hand Sabre will be warmer a bit, because of sof-lining. I also prefer baggy fit, but Rush (expedition fit) fit’s me great: XL sizing for 6ft4 and 210lbs.
    On the other hand Stinger uses Goretex Pro (same as Rush) and Sabre uses Goretex(No pro) and I don’t know if there’s some difference, but I’d probably prefer one with PRO ;)

    • Victor, I think the stinger would work nicely with the Rush. I have the stinger bibs, and the fit is similar to the Rush in terms of how baggy it is, not quite as the sabre, but lots of room. And it’s much lighter than the sabre, and a stronger fabric. Great pants/bibs for both inbounds and outbounds!

  3. Hi Paul,
    I have a question about the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Active Anorak, since you mention the older version of the jacket alongside the Gore Pro Rush in this review. I’ve heard a employee warn against using Gore-Tex Active jackets for resort skiing, saying the material is too light to block wind well on cold days on the lift. But all the Blister reviews of Active shells say they’re essentially windproof. I ski primarily inbounds and I like the trees, so face fabric durability is important to me. Haven’t been able to find specs on the Norrona Active’s face fabric. Windproofing and waterproofing are more important to me than breathability, as I have no problem just taking the jacket off when things get hot.

    In terms of durability and windproofing, how would the Norrona Active shell fare for resort skiing?

    I only ask because it’s so very hard to find a good Gore Pro shell in such a pretty shade of purple.

    Thanks much.

  4. Was just about to purchase a Rush jacket & I’m roughly the same dimensions as you are. Did you ever wish that you had gone up to the XL? I’m imagining the L size would make for a better year-round jacket, but in terms of having the longer arm length/ longer rear hem for skiing, wondering if the XL would be an equally good or better fit.

    • Hi Ryan, I’ve never wished for a bigger size in the Rush Jacket but I’ve never tried on the XL. The hem and sleeves were perfect for me on the Large Rush. For what it’s worth, I have upsized to XL on some other jackets like the Black Diamond Sharp end and some of the jackets I get at work for guiding but Arcteryx ski stuff feels pretty good in a large to me. Best of luck, Paul

    • Hi.

      I got a Rush jacket in XL. I’m 6ft4 and 215-220lbs. I’ve been using Rush for everything last seaon in Siberia: resort skiing and touring. XL fits me a bit baggy, but I don’t mind it. I *might* go with L, but I prefer some extra space.
      With 6ft/190 L is enough.

  5. Hey guys. Have any of you noticed a weird piece of foam or something that is sewn in on the inside of the sleeve pocket? Does anyone know what that is? Thanks everyone!

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