Arcteryx Proton vs Atom Jackets

Arcteryx Proton vs Atom Jackets: A Comparative 2022 Guide

If you’re looking for the perfect winter wear for your snowboarding and skiing plans, you might want to check out Arcteryx Proton and Atom jackets. They are both highly popular for their style and insulation properties, but which one of these is a better match for you? 

In this detailed comparative guide, we look to settle the Arcteryx Proton vs Atom debate once and for all, so read until the end.

Table of Contents

Arcteryx Proton vs Atom: What’s the Difference?

To make it easier for you to understand the difference between these two popular types of winter wear, we’ve created a feature-based comparison:

Insulation Efficiency

Proton jackets are comparatively warmer than Atom jackets, so when it comes to insulation, your requirements will determine which of these is a better match for you. 

For example, if you’re hitting chilly terrains on your next snowboarding trip, go for a Proton LT jacket. If you just want to hit your nearest park for a quick ride, an Atom LT will suffice.

The difference in insulation efficiency has its roots in the constitution of the Coreloft Compact. Proton LT uses 80 grams of Coreloft compact per square meter, whereas Atom LT only contains 60 gm per square meter. 

Coreloft is a special type of synthetic insulation material designed by Arcteryx, especially for their Proton and Atom winter range. This material consists of a thick layer of polyester which traps body heat and prevents heat loss. The difference in concentration of Coreloft compact is what determines insulation efficiency.

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This is important for winter wear, especially those used in winter sports. It’ll keep your body temperature from getting out of hand and allow enough air circulation to prevent sweat build-up.

When it comes to comfort and breathability, Proton LT has a slight edge over Atom. Its independent, mid-layer piece is permeable to air, making Proton LT winter wear even more comfortable. Atom LT, on the other hand, is comfortable and breathable, but it lags in air permeability and circulation. 

Simply put, if you’re going to engage in a high-intensity physical activity that can spike your body temperature or make you sweat profusely, stick to a Proton LT jacket.

Durability and Wind Resistance 

Choosing a compatible and insulating jacket is not enough. If you’re planning to wear it every day for intense physical activity, your jacket should be durable and wind-resistant to last the entire season. 

As far as resilience and durability are concerned, Proton LT takes the lead on Atom jackets. Proton is abrasion resistant, so even if you fall or scratch your jacket against a rough surface, the material will remain intact. Atom jackets are sturdy but not as resilient to abrasion and damage as Proton.

Atom has the upper hand in wind protection. As discussed in the previous point, Proton LT is extremely permeable to air, bringing down its efficiency in resisting wind. Although it might successfully keep you comfortable during the most strenuous physical activities, it’ll almost always allow winter winds to pierce through the material. 

Atom LT is breathable but not permeable to air. These two features blend perfectly to offer the right level of comfort without exposing you to harsh winds. 

Fitting & Design

A jacket could offer all the features in the world, but it would still not be a good buy if it doesn’t fit snuggly. Luckily, both Proton and Atom jackets come in different fits and designs, allowing people with different tastes to select the best one for their needs.

For instance, Proton jackets have a narrow and snug fit. They’re comparatively longer than Atom jackets and offer enough room over your shoulders to facilitate agile physical movement.

Arcteryx Proton vs Atom JacketsAtom jackets are wider and comparatively larger than proton LT of the same size. Depending on your body shape, you might need to alter an Atom jacket to fit you well.

If you prefer a base layer, we suggest going for Proton LT. They’re narrower, so you can wear multiple layers without looking too fluffed up.


How to Choose the Perfect Jacket For This Winter

While the features of a jacket play a huge role in what you will pick, that’s not the only thing you should be looking at if you want the perfect winter wear. You also need to consider your preferences and requirements. 

Here are three important tips to choose the best jacket for your personal needs this winter:


Even if a jacket offers excellent insulation, you need to evaluate if it’s compatible with your city’s weather conditions. If it’s too hot or cold, its efficiency won’t help you.

People dealing with extremely harsh winters might do better with Proton jackets, while those who live in moderate winter temperatures are better off with Atom jackets.


The purpose of the jacket also determines the type of jacket you’ll need. 

For example, if you’re going for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, you’ll need a resilient Proton jacket that’s more capable of avoiding damage. On the other hand, if you simply want to explore your local parks on a skateboard, the Atom jacket will serve you well.

Personal Style

Every jacket comes with its unique style, and it depends on you to choose the one that best meets your needs. 

As mentioned earlier, Atom jackets have a slightly wider cut, whereas Proton jackets are slim and tapered. These features alone do not make either of them better. You need to see which of them go better with your body shape, overall outfit, and personal preference.


We hope you now have a clearer idea of the whole Arcteryx Proton vs Atom debate. They are both excellent insulated jackets with different features and applications, and they serve their purpose well. 

Here’s a good way to pick your dream jacket: Make a list of your top 3 priorities this winter (it could be warmth, comfort, movement, etc.) and skim through the features we listed above. The one that meets the most if not all your requirements is what you should buy!