Founded in 1989 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Arc’teryx has earned a place at the top for climbing and mountaineering gear. Its name is synonymous with high quality. The name, Arc’teryx, is derived from “Archaeopteryx lithographica,” an ancient bird-like dinosaur that was the first reptile to develop feathers for flight. This name choice reflects the brand’s philosophy of continuous evolution and adaptation.
The founders of Arc’teryx, Dave Lane and Jeremy Guard, initially focused on designing and manufacturing climbing gear. They aimed to create innovative, high-performance products for outdoor enthusiasts by utilizing advanced materials and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. Up until recently, the company has been best known for its mountaineering and climbing gear.
Arc’teryx has expanded its product offerings beyond climbing and mountaineering, which means the rest of us outdoor enthusiasts get to enjoy Arc’teryx gear. The Norvan trail running line features everything from shorts and jackets to waterproof shoes and running packs.
I’ve only ever owned — and maybe obsessed about — an Arc’teryx jacket, so I was pretty interested in testing out their trail running gear. If the gear was anything even remotely like the jacket, I was sure the pieces would be staples in my running gear rotation.
In this article, I review four pieces of Arc’teryx trail running apparel:
- Arc’teryx Norvan Windshell Jacket ($130) — ultra-lightweight wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Arc’teryx Norvan Crew Neck Shirt SS ($90) — short sleeve technical shirt
- Arc’teryx Norvan Short 3” ($90) — everyday running shorts
- Arc’teryx Soria Long Line Bra ($70) — full coverage, medium support sports bra
While I tested the women’s versions of all the products, men’s versions exist for some of them, too.
Arc’teryx Norvan Windshell Jacket
The women’s Arc’teryx Norvan Windshell Jacket ($130) is quickly becoming a piece I always want to have with me, especially on alpine runs when conditions change quickly. Made with Canim ripstop fabric, this jacket is designed to withstand wind and repel moisture effortlessly. The innovative Permair 20 nylon panels ensure optimal ventilation, while the inclusion of shaped cuffs enhances comfort. The mid-height collar is snug around your neck, but not tight, providing extended protection. The hem features a drawstring to further seal your upper body off from the elements.
I set my women’s size small on a scale and it clocked in at 2.4 ounces (67 grams). Not too shabby. The jacket can be conveniently packed into its own pocket, making it virtually unnoticed, whether in your pack or while wearing it.
Although this jacket is minimal, Arc’teryx still snuck in some helpful features. The single hip pocket, with an invisible zipper and low profile TPU pull, stores small items easily — keys, credit cards, or an emergency snack.
Have a look at the men’s Arc’teryx Norvan Windshell Jacket ($130) too, which is almost the same as the women’s version.
Arc’teryx Norvan Crew Neck Shirt SS
The women’s Arc’teryx Norvan Crew Neck Shirt SS ($90) is a slim-fit shirt that hugs your body without feeling restrictive. The articulated patterning and gusseted underarms allow for a full range of motion, ensuring unrestricted movement during dynamic activities. Marrow-stitched seams reduce the risk of chafing and enhance overall durability. The crew-neck design provides a classic and versatile look while offering optimal coverage and protection from the sun. I can add, it also looks nice on Zoom meetings when your run lasts a little longer than expected.
Arc’teryx incorporates innovative technologies into the design of the Norvan Crew Neck Shirt SS. Made with wicking fibers, its Phasic FL fabric, this shirt is oh-so-buttery feeling. Which is to say, it’s incredibly soft. Despite its plush texture, the shirt is incredibly light, mostly thanks to the mesh back. To help keep you dry and smelling fresh, the shirt is finished with two treatments, DAO finish (Durable Anti Odor) and DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish. After a tempo run, I did a smell check on the shirt and the DAO did its magic, it still smelled fresh.
Once the sun is out, I tend to overheat pretty quickly, often ditching my shirt mid-run or tucking it into my shorts. So for me, this shirt is the perfect go-to for early morning shoulder season runs.
A men’s version of this shirt doesn’t exist, but you can have a look at the men’s Arc’teryx Norvan T-Shirt ($90). It’s made of the same soft material but with a different construction.
Arc’teryx Norvan Short 3”
The women’s Arc’teryx Norvan Short 3” ($90) is designed to deliver comfort, mobility, and durability, whether you’re hitting the trails or pounding the pavement.
The Norvan Short 3” combines advanced materials and thoughtful design features to provide optimal performance. Made from 100% recycled Diem polyester, this lightweight and breathable fabric ensures excellent moisture management, allowing sweat to evaporate quickly and keeping you cool and dry during your runs. During runs, I found these shorts to be a great length, they never bunched or rode up. They performed exceptionally well during warm weather runs. The lightweight fabric was breathable and wicking — no sweat spots on these shorts during my run, even in humid conditions.
The Norvan Short 3” features a tailored fit that strikes the perfect balance between comfort and freedom of movement. The articulated patterning and gusseted inseam offer a wide range of motion, allowing you to stride with ease and tackle challenging terrain. The waistband is adjustable and secure, providing a personalized fit and minimizing any distractions while you’re on the move. The zippered pocket on the back provides a secure spot for storing small items like keys or energy gels.
Arc’teryx pays careful attention to the details that matter. The Norvan Short 3” is designed with reflective elements strategically placed to enhance visibility during low light conditions, increasing safety on early morning or late evening runs. The shorts are reinforced in high wear areas, ensuring longevity even with rigorous use. They are so comfortable that you might find yourself wearing them casually around the house. Though not rigorous, they still perform well in a lounge setting.
Women, if you’re interested in a longer inseam, you can try the women’s Arc’teryx Norvan Short 5” ($90).
Arc’teryx Soria Long Line Bra
At first glance, I thought the Arc’teryx Soria Long Line Bra ($70) was more crop top than bra, which isn’t a bad thing. Why? More use cases. I love items that I can wear on a run, but seamlessly wear while gardening or if I need to run into the store, bike to old town Fort Collins, Colorado, and more.
The Soria Long Line Bra is constructed using high quality materials that prioritize both performance and durability. The blend of nylon and elastane ensures a snug yet flexible fit, allowing for unrestricted movement during various activities such as yoga, running, or gym workouts — or during a casual ride to a food truck rally. The fabric is breathable and moisture-wicking, keeping you cool and dry even during intense workouts. I experienced no sweat marks during use. Additionally, the bra has been treated with a DAO finish (Durable Anti Odor), ensuring you and your gear don’t smell offensive during or after your workout.
As I mentioned before, one of the standout features of the Soria Long Line Bra is its extended length, which provides additional coverage and medium support for B to D cups. This longer design offers extra support to the torso and ensures a secure fit, making it an excellent choice for high impact activities. The bra also features bonded materials in key areas to help reduce chafing. I was worried that, after a few washes, the bra’s material would begin to wear — but after numerous washes, the fabric has not changed since the day I got it.
The Soria Long Line Bra’s racerback design not only adds a stylish touch but also enhances freedom of movement for your shoulders and arms. I enjoyed wearing this piece on runs lasting less than one hour in warmer conditions but felt that for longer runs, especially in the summer, I would want a bra that was a little lighter and more minimal.Shop the Arc'teryx Soria Long Line Bra
2023 Arc’teryx Running Apparel Overall Impressions
The Arc’teryx trail running line does not disappoint. This line delivered the same thoughtful designs and premium quality that you’d expect in their mountaineering gear. The items I tested would be great for everyday training or racing. The wind jacket is a piece I’ll probably keep in my car — for those just in case I need to grab it before I hit the trail kinda’ days.
And while each piece is crafted to be the ideal gear for trail running, Arc’teryx managed to produce versatile pieces that translate well for daily wear. I’ve definitely found myself wearing their shorts, bra, and shirt around the house on more than one occasion. Kudos to Arc’teryx for finding a balance between performance and casual wear.
Arc’teryx is typically not shy about charging a premium for its products. For instance, their Alpha jackets can set you back a cool $800, and they have kept the trail running gear at a more reasonable price point. Like many other outdoor brands, I’m happy to see that Arc’teryx offers customers a way to resell, reuse, or recycle their used gear.
Call for Comments
Are you running in any of Arc’teryx’s running apparel? What say you about those items?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]