Review: Arc’Teryx Incendo Hoody

The Incendo Hoody is Arc’Teryx‘s take on a light-weight running windproof.
Arc’Teryx are known for their high-end climbing/hiking equipment and I’ve been fortunate enough to try a few of their products in the past. They are always exceptional in quality but have a price tag that conveys this, which often puts them out of range of the general consumer.

Design and Sizing
The Incendo hoody is a great looking, fitted wind-shell. The fit is designed for runners and as such runs a little on the small side to prevent excess material being blown around while out on the fells or roads. However, I managed to get away with a medium (which is the same as almost every other jacket I own) and it fits perfectly.
The jacket has two large mesh panels under the arms which allow for increased breathability once you start heating up. This is a nice touch as a lot of windshells turn into sweat-suits after a couple of miles. The location of these panels is clever too as they are protected (by your arms) from the worst of the wind and rain.

Since this is the ‘hoody’ version of the Incendo jacket, it comes with a non-adjustable, fitted hood which gives a little more protection on those particularly bad days. However, since it is non-adjustable, depending on the shape of your head you may not get as snug a fit as you’d like.

In Use

I’ve used this jacket on a number of different runs, both on the road and the trail, and in conditions ranging from wet and windy through to mild and sunny and overall it’s performed way above what I was hoping for.
It really does cut out the worst of the wind yet still avoids becoming overly warm once the wind dies down. This is helped in large part to the underarm mesh panels and the elasticated cuffs that can be rolled about half way up your forearms should you start to get a little toasty.

However, it is still designed to be used in windy conditions and if you end up wearing it on a mild to warm day, no amount of sleeve rolling is going to stop you overheating. But this isn’t a fault of this jacket as it is a side-effect of all wind-shells. If anything the Incendo hoody does a better job of combatting this than others I’ve used and once you do take it off, it packs down into it’s own pocket for convenience.

Pocket has outlet for passing through headphone cable

I also tested the jacket in truly wet conditions and, while it won’t hold up to the heaviest of rain (at the end of the day it’s not intended as a waterproof), it sucesfully kept me dry in prolonged, light rain. The addition of the hood helps greatly in this regard.

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Water beads well after long run in very damp conditions

At night there are a couple of reflective ‘blazes’ on the wrists and the logo on the chest is also of the same reflective material which will help you stand out, but if you were running on the roads in the dark for any prolonged amount of time, I’d recommend something more suited to visibility than this.

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Reflective ‘blazes’ on sleeves

As with all products, there’s usually a few things that the designers either got wrong, or just aren’t suited to purpose. Thankfully, in the Incendo’s case, that list is pretty small.
Other than the hood being non-adjustable (which isn’t an issue for some people, myself included), there was only one other area that may cause issue, and that’s the zipper.
It’s tiny! Whilst this isn’t a problem in the milder weather, once the temperature drops enough to to warrant wearing thicker gloves, it becomes a hastle trying to undo and do up the jacket.
This could easily have been remedied by having a hole on the zipper allowing people to add a cord or bungee to it, but this seems to have been overlooked.

Pros

  • Fit
  • Mesh panels
  • Windproofness
  • Shower-proof

Cons

  • Tiny zipper
  • Non-adjustable hood

Spec

  • £100
  • 125g (medium)
  • Windproof
  • Compressible and packable
  • Lumin Nylon fabric with Polyester mesh panels
  • Articulated patterning for unrestricted mobility
  • Full-length zip (with wind flap)
  • Adjustable hem drawcord
  • Drop back hem
  • Elasticated cuffs
  • Fitted hood
  • Reflective blazes and logo
  • Zippered stow pocket with inset media pocket and port

Conclusion

There’s no getting round the price. This is an expensive item of clothing. It’s also not 100% perfect as you can see from my review above…but it is as close to perfect as you can probably get right now.

The fit and styling are perfectly tailored to suit the activity and because of the minimalist nature of the design, it easily packs down to almost nothing when it’s not needed.
Of all the wind-shells (and even some waterproofs) I’ve used, this is by far my favourite and is now the item I will always grab on those wet and windy days.

I can’t recommend this enough.

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