Like anybody else who enjoys the outdoors, we've got a closetful of parkas, shells, layers, etc. One of my all-time favorite shells is made by Cortazu. They started out as a crowdfunding project based in The Netherlands called Cortez. Their shell is a superb, reasonably priced example of well-designed outdoor gear. I travel with it all over California, where its light weight and water repellency come in very handy, especially when paired with a down vest or liner.But it's still just a shell. For Iceland, I expected I would need a parka that had some built-in insulation for some cold, windy, rainy, and snowy weather. So, I did my research, read a ton of reviews, checked out packets and parkas in stores, etc. I settled on the Arc'teryx Camosun. And it did not let me down.
I didn't choose the Camosun lightly. Historically, I've not been a fan of Arc'teryx. I had tried some of their backpacks years ago and returned them all. The one jacket I had tried previously was too tight across the shoulders and pits. And I didn't think the workmanship justified the primo price. Still, the reviews were promising, and my avid outdoorsman son-in-law Griffin remains a huge fan of Arc. So, I decided to give it a go.
The Camosun exceeded my expectations. It is incredibly well-made, comfortable, and reasonably lightweight for its capabilities. It is nearly windproof, and it was rain-proof, snow-proof, and warm. It's insulated with artificial insulation where the jacket might collect moisture from sweat, and with down where warmth is critical and more likely to remain dry. The hood just works, the sleeves are long enough for my arms, and the length is just right for keeping cold from sneaking up your back.
I read some minor complaints that the fabric is "noisy," and I suppose it is, but it did not seem any more so than most outdoor wear, especially outdoors. I also read criticisms that the zippers are thin for a premium coats. The zippers aren't huge, but I had no trouble operating them with Heat mittens. I wish it had a few more pockets, but the ones it has are just fine, and more pockets bring more cost and more weight. All in all, this is about as good as it gets. 5 stars.