Why We Chose The North Face Apex Flex Futurelight: Comfier than most hard shells, innovative technology
Futurelight is The North Face’s proprietary waterproof-breathable fabric – and they are making a big fuss about it. Their slick marketing waxes lyrical about the fabric, labelling it the “world’s most advanced” and guaranteeing that it has been “rigorously tested to withstand the harshest weather conditions”. But what is Futurelight? There’s a lot of scientific-sounding gobbledygook published about it, so here’s our attempt at summarising it simply. It’s a waterproof membrane with added air permeability thanks to the use of “nano-spinning”, a process which involves depositing a PU solution onto a surface from over 200,000 nozzles, apparently, to create a randomised matrix membrane (ok, looks like we’ve failed to describe it simply). Unlike conventional membranes, the nano structure of the Futurelight membrane allows air to pass through for better venting and breathability without sacrificing waterproofness and durability. That’s the theory, anyway. It’s a bold and interesting aim, and that’s why we’ve chosen the Apex Flex Futurelight jacket for our Outdoor 100.
Who Is The North Face Apex Flex Futurelight For?
The North Face state the Apex Flex Futurelight has been designed for hikers and we’d certainly agree. At 450g, it’s a mid-weight jacket and therefore not ideal for fast-hiking in summer or high-octane trail running, where you’ll want a far lighter jacket. But for hillwalking, scrambling and general mountain adventures anytime from spring to autumn, the Apex Flex Futurelight is a good choice: breathable, waterproof and comfy enough for all-day use.