Trail runners know just how important a lightweight jacket can be. When pacing along a rocky scree field or through a mountain pass, wearing the right gear is crucial. It can be the difference between a great run - and a terrible one.
The North Face are consistently among the pioneers when it comes to new fabric technologies. The Californian company have spent 50 years searching for the finest alpine equipment. The Flight Series Fuse jacket is their lightest wind and water-resistant jacket, made for high-intensity runs in inclement weather.
Created with a DryVent exterior, this jacket sheds light rain and protects you from the wind on those wet, blowy summer days. It is also made using The North Face’s new technology called FuseForm. This is a process of weaving together thicker, more durable threads with lighter, low density fibres in high-wear zones. The idea is that it reduces the overall weight of the jacket and creates a seamless transition from tough-wear to lighter areas. Fewer seams also means less chance of water unexpectedly seeping through.
“This is The North Face’s lightest wind and water-resistant jacket, made for high-intensity runs in inclement weather."
There are perforated strips built into the jacket down the back, sides and underarms. These aren’t holes as such - they won’t let rain in - but they do allow your body to breathe in those high-sweat areas.
The fit is athletic, so you will find it quite fitted but this is perfect for trail running when you don’t want excess material flapping around. There are also bright (seriously bright) reflective panels on the Flight Series Fuse jacket, so you can run on roads at night and feel safe in the knowledge that your jacket will glow in front of car beams.
There aren’t a huge number of pockets in this jacket, but pockets add weight and anyway you wouldn’t want to compromise such lightweight outerwear by carrying a whole load of gear. You can easily fit your phone and keys into the chest pocket. It won an ISPO 2016 Award for a reason - and now has joined the rankings of our Summer Outdoor 100.
If you are the kind of runner who likes pacing up mountains in all weather - rain or shine - then The North Face Flight Series Fuse jacket is built for you. It isn’t cheap but hardcore runners that require high-performance protection will appreciate this jacket.
The North Face Men’s Flight Series Fuse Jacket