Tough and rugged, yet incredibly gentle and light. If these were the properties of a human being, chances are we’d be describing the mid nineties incarnation of Aussie singing protein shake Peter Andre. That chiselled exterior, yet lamenting lack of confidence in approaching a mystery woman that’s caught his eye, is a staggering display of vulnerability.
Happily, we’re not here to discuss the merits of the British born, Aussie singer. In fact, given the context of outdoor gear reviews, doing so would be, at best, unusual. No, we’re talking about the Apex Flex 2.0 jacket from The North Face.
“This is a proper waterproof jacket.”
This is a jacket that, on first glance, you wouldn’t believe is waterproof. You wouldn’t believe it after the first time you touched its soft fabric either. It’s even hard to fathom when you’re wearing it. You’d just think it’s a decent softshell. But no, no, no. This is a proper waterproof jacket.
Designed to stand up to whatever a day or more on the trails can throw at you, The Apex Flex 2.0 features a three layer Gore-Tex shell. Not only is this completely waterproof, but it’s also breathable. You may be familiar with the previous version of the Apex Flex that became a bit of a favourite. Well, The North Face claim this new one is 12 per cent more regulating. Twelve! Sealed seams –the only giveaway that this is a waterproof jacket – also do their bit for keeping you dry when the summer becomes disappointingly British.
“Given just how much of a superhero the Apex Flex 2.0 is, 800 grams is a pretty good weight/tech ratio.”
Lined with a super soft-knit face and stretch-knit back, this moves precisely with your body so you retain a full range of motion. And technical stuff aside, it also means that it feels as comfortable and cosy as your favourite hoodie when you’ve got it on. Chances are, unlike your favourite hoodie, the Apex Flex 2.0 won’t have a three week old curry stain on the front.
The Apex Flex 2.0 has activity at the core of its design. Its slim fit is ideal for moving at pace along trails, and it wont start flapping about when you’re scrambling up that bit of sandstone that stands between you and the rushing endorphins of mild victory.
At 800g, The North Face have trimmed a noticeable 40g of weight from the previous version of this jacket. Granted, it’s not the lightest waterproof out there, but given just how much of a superhero of the jacket world the Apex Flex 2.0 is, 800g is a pretty good weight/tech ratio. Apex Flex even sounds like a Superhero.