Arc’teryx Cerium Vs Thorium

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Arc’teryx is one of the leading Canadian brands for outdoor gear. They design their products with the harsh Canadian winter in mind.

Features of the Thorium

According to the Arc’teryx, the Thorium is their most durable jacket. It is a little pricey compared to others on the market. The upside is that you won’t need to buy a new jacket for many years to come.

Quick Comparison: Arc’teryx Thorium vs. Cerium

FeatureFillingArc’EssentialsMid-Layer or Standalone?Insulation
#1. Thorium
Our Best Pick

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750 Fill Goose DownHigh-Performance VersatilityEitherCoreloft 750
#2. Cerium

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850 Fill Goose DownHigh-Performance VersatilityEitherCoreloft 80 and 100

Fabric

The Thorium is made from Arato 30 fabric. This is taffeta that’s been very tightly woven. It’s a high denier fabric that keeps the cold out.  The jacket is quilted to help keep the down in place. It’s tear-resistant.

It features a DWR finish. This finish makes it waterproof. You’d think that the coating would leave it stiff. You’d be wrong. The fabric is plush and soft.

Insulation

There are two types of insulation used here:

  • 750 fill goose down feathers.
  • Coreloft 750.

The feathers add warmth but are also breathable. You’ll be more comfortable as a result. The Coreloft is a synthetic material that is excellent at keeping you warm. The company places Coreloft in areas where you’re likely to sweat more. That’s because down won’t do well when wet. 

Pockets

The latest incarnation of this model now has a pocket with a zip on the inside. This extra pocket gives you a safe place to store your keys, and so on.

There are also two side pockets. Look out for the hood sack in your pocket, which allows you to store your hood conveniently when you’re not wearing it.

Extra Features for Warmth

  • Dropped tail: The back end of the hem is rounded and extends lower than the front. The dropped hem provides additional protection against the cold, especially when sitting down.
  • Chin Guard: You can zip the collar all the way up, providing extra warmth for your neck and chin.
  • Elasticized cuffs: The elasticized cuffs assure the perfect fit and keep the cold out.

What We Like About It

  • Warm and well-insulated.
  • Stylish and practical.
  • Tear-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Compresses nicely for storage or when worn under another jacket.
  • Well-designed

What We Didn’t Like

  • The initial outlay is expensive. You’ll get your money’s worth, but this is not the cheapest jacket on the market.
  • It is a little on the bulky side, especially compared to the Cerium.
  • We’d like the choice of a vegan option without goose down.
  • Adds a little weight to your backpack.

Best For

Those that will pay a little more for a high-performance product should invest in the Thorium. It’s suited to colder climes and ideal for the freezing temperatures in the snow.

Features of the Cerium

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The Cerium looks quite similar to the Thorium, but there are subtle differences. The primary difference being that this model is more form-fitting than the Thorium.

Fabric

The outer layer is Arato 10 fabric, a lightweight, densely woven nylon. The material is quilted to help keep the down material in the right place. The DWR coating makes this model waterproof.

Insulation

There are two types of insulation here:

  • 850 goose down: This is more durable than other types of material. It is warm and breathable.
  • Coreloft 80 and 100: This filling is placed using the Composite Mapping process. The Coreloft is incorporated in areas that are most likely to get wet. This extra layer of protection safeguards the down material, which doesn’t respond well to water.

The difference between this and the Thorium is that this model adds extra insulation to areas that typically get colder. There is extra insulation on the neck and shoulders. 

It’s more streamlined and less bulky than the Thorium. Don’t let that fool you, though; this jacket is warmer.

Pockets

It also features two side pockets on the outside. There is a zippered pocket on the inside, allowing you to store your stuff. 

Extra Features for Warmth

  • Dropped tail: The back end of the hem is rounded and extends lower than the front. This design provides additional protection against the cold, especially when sitting down.
  • Chin Guard: The collar can be worn zipped all the way up, which provides extra warmth for your neck and chin.
  • Elasticized cuffs: The cuffs are elasticized to assure the perfect fit and keep the cold out.

What We Like About It

  • It’s very warm.
  • The jacket compresses easily for packing.
  • The more streamlined fit helps you look slimmer.
  • It can be worn on its own or under another jacket.
  • This jacket is very warm for the size and decently warm when compared to other jackets that might be a little bit thicker or bulkier.
  • It’s very lightweight.

What We Don’t Like About It

  • It’s pricey to buy upfront. You’ll get plenty of wear out of it, so it’s worth it.
  • We’d like to see the company come up with a plant-based alternative to the down.

Best For

Those living in cold climates who are prepared to pay a bit more for high-quality should consider the Cerium. If you’re worried about quilting adding extra bulk, the form-fitting design here minimizes that issue. It’s fitted but still comfortable to wear.

Which Model is Better?

That’s going to depend on your own circumstances. Both models provide outstanding heat retention and are easily packed away. They’re very similar, and you won’t go wrong with either. If we have to choose, though the Cerium is the best option.

Why?

  • We like the more streamlined fit.
  • The extra toasty warmth that it provides. If you live in a more moderate climate, the Thorium might suit you better.
  • The composite mapping that helps with keeping your more vulnerable areas warm.

Pricewise, there’s not much difference between the two.  Both of the jackets can be worn over a fleece or under a shell. Considering that the high-quality design and components of each are excellent, there’s no difference in quality.

You’ve just got to ask yourself whether you need the Cerium’s extra warmth and smoother lines.

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