The North Face Futurelight Review

Published
July 5, 2021

Words
Mandy Lamont

Photos
Mandy Lamont

The first day I used The North Face Futurelight gear I didn’t want to take it off. It stayed on for the ski day, the après and even dinner. Such was the same for the rest of the season as I tested out The North Faces Brigandine Bib Pant and Freethinker Jacket. With last year’s weather as unpredictable as the current world events, all conditions were tried and tested in this gear review. From heavy and wet east coast low snowstorms to Antarctic blasts of freezing wind, to the melting warm days of spring.

What is Futurelight?

What is Futurelight? Over the last few years, The North Face have developed their own system of creating a membrane that they can fine-tune depending on what the garment is designed for. The membrane is the middle layer that is sandwiched between the face and the backer of the garment. Giving its breathability and waterproofness. Generally, the membrane is filled with tiny holes that are big enough to allow water moisture and heat that you create out (breathability). While small enough to not allow liquid to pass in (waterproofness).

Insane in the membrane

With the use of their own membrane and developing it with their face and backer materials. Instead of buying the membrane from one company and making it work with their fabrics. The North Face have developed a product that not only works properly in the environment it was designed for. But is comfortable at the same time. The stretchiness of the fabric and its ability to conform with your movements are a true testament to this. Compared with other high end shell garments which are stiff, noisy and don’t have the best articulation.

The Ideal touring partner

The majority of my skiing time last year was spent touring. The idea of The North Face with Futurelight was to create a garment that allowed you to wear it uphill and downhill as well. Not wasting time swapping between layers on each transition, something I can attest to. Even on warm spring days my Freethinker Jacket stayed on. While the multiple vents in the Brigandine pant allowed me dump heat while on multiple long skin climbs or boot packs.

Waterproofness

With the possibility of more of our snow days becoming wet. Waterproofness is always high on the top of everyone’s priority list for outerwear purchases. A factor that was made apparent to me recently. After spending half a day outside guiding a group in one of last year’s wet snow days. We returned to the shelter of Guthega for some of the group to swap out clothing and dry out. It was at that time a friend who had also been out that day elsewhere returned because of the dampness. He questioned if I had already changed my jacket due to its dry appearance. To which I replied that it was the jacket I had been using all morning.

The ingenuity and athlete testing of these pieces of equipment shine right through. From the placement and design of zippers that allow you to access all pockets even with a backpack or harness on while wearing gloves. To the synching mechanism that allows you to pull up your pants at the hem, so they don’t drag on the ground while you walk. The North Face have out done themselves with this outerwear design. Yes, the Futurelight gear might be on the pointy end of price for outerwear. But you will be paid back multiple times in the comfort of owning quality outerwear that will allow you to enjoy lap after lap. No matter what the elements throw at you.

Visit The North Face website here

You may be interested in Rohan’s Solomon Shift review here

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