Catskill Mountaineer

Review of North Face Fuseform Dot Matrix Rain Jacket

North Face Rain Jacket

Rating: 3 star rating North Face rain jacket Good

Price: $199

Sizes: S, M , L, XL
Colors: 4 colors
Material: WPB (2.5 layer) - 50D x 70D + 75D HyVent 51% polyester, 49% nylon
Rain Resistance: Good
Waterproof for general use: Excellent for short term use
Waterproof for backpacking: Good (Some wet out in heavy downpours)
Durability: Fair
Weight: Excellent - Good for minimalist
Comfort: Excellent
Zippers: Waterproof Comb nylon
Warranty: Life Time with Exceptions (read warranty carefully - Does not cover wear and tear)
Availability: The North Face and most hiking retailers (REI, EMS, etc)

North Face designs and manufacturers great products. But, this jacket has a few issues. While this 2.5 layer WPB (Waterproof but Breathable) material is better then most of the HyVent material that we have seen. It is not perfect, and does wet out in a long downpour. We also found that if you use it below 32F, the material becomes rigid and you can hear it crinkle. In fact, the fabric become fragile, and will like wear out very quickly if you use it occasionally in the Winter months. But, like some North Face products, this one comes with a life time warranty. You are probably going to need that warranty. If you do use it for backpacking, I would bring a garbage bag to keep your core body dry and warm when the jacket starts to wet out. The cut of fit of the jacket is excellent. Some people didn't like the angled cut on the cuffs of the sleeves, where others did like it. The hood is one of the best we have seen. You can close up the hood around your face. No one liked the cinch cord around the waist. Extremely difficult to use. The pull cords are in the jacket pockets.

Things we DIDN'T like:
Fabric - The fabric is so disappointing. I don't think I have ever seen a HyVent products that I have ever liked. The inner layers fail often. The inside layer will flake off after a while. But, you do have that life time warranty. I don't like how brittle it becomes in cold weather.

Durability of the Fabric - The main concern with this products is the long-term durability. The layers come apart and causes this jacket to have a short life.

Waist Cinch Cord - is absolutely horrible. VERY Difficult to use. If you are baffled how to use it, you are not alone. We finally were able to tighten it after about 5 minutes of work. But, during the life of the product, we were never able to release it. What in the world were North Face designers thinking?

Large Number of Colors - These hiking pants come in couple of different colors. Not many options. Their web site only shows one color, but were were aware of other colors. Yeah, and their web site provides very little information about the jacket.

Things we DID like:
Light Weight for Minimalist - Due to the light weight fabric that was used Summer hikers who are minimalist will like this jacket .

Cut of the jacket - The cut of the jacket was pleasing to everyone that tried it. It has that great fit that everyone likes. The length of the jacket seems to be perfect. So were the lengths of the arms. If you use it as a rain jacket for occasional use, you are going to love it.

Features of the jacket - All the features seem to work quite well. Everything from the zippers and hoods worked fairly good. The one exception was the waist cinch cord.

North Face rain jacket North Face rain jacket
North Face rain jacket
Overall View of the Jacket
Men's Jacket Shown

Links and References:

North Face Official Web Site

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