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The North Face Dryzzle FutureLight



Our Rating:

Good for cold and humid trips

Weight:340g (m), 300g (w)

At a glance
: Light for a three-layer jacket, excellent tramping- specific hood and breathability.
Minuses: Handwarmer pockets can’t be accessed while wearing a pack harness.

Features: Made from three-layer air-permeable Futurelight fabric using recycled polyester on the outer, this shell is a step up in terms of durability, waterproofness and breathability on the previous 2.5-layer iteration of the jacket. It has a fully adjustable hood and a full-length double stormflap protecting the zipper. Hand pockets are protected by stormflaps but the chest pocket has a water-resistant zipper. A one-handed drawcord pulls the hem tight. 

Fit: Described as a standard fit, medium is true to size offering good length in the arms and a below-the-waist length. I found the jacket tended to bunch up around the chest and stomach which made it feel bulky and gave an unflattering profile. But it does offer excellent freedom of movement and I could wear my winter layers beneath, so for practical purposes it’s fine. 

Comfort: The jacket feels good when worn, even next-to-skin. Futurelight is a technology that works as advertised, being noticeably more breathable than comparable three-layer jackets. The main benefit is that the fabric breathes continuously, from the moment you put it on (traditional waterproof/breathable jackets require pressure to build up inside the jacket before air can be forced through the membrane). This negates the need for weight-increasing pit zips. It’s no miracle fabric though, I still built up a head of steam when exerting myself. 

In use: In downpours and strong winds, the jacket kept me dry and warm. The hood is near perfect – just right for bushline trampers who don’t require a helmet. It can be cinched tight to move with the head and doesn’t obstruct lines of vision. It’s complemented by a high-closing zipper that covers the mouth and limits the amount of face exposed to the elements. A soft-touch chin guard provides comfort on those occasions. 

The hand pockets can easily store gloves and other items. However, accessing the pockets while wearing a hipbelt isn’t easy as the pockets are positioned low and the hipbelt squeezed the pockets to make unzipping and accessing them difficult. The chest pocket is deep and can hold a Topo50 map and large electronics like oversized smartphones.

It’s a respectable weight for a three-layer jacket with a 35×25-denier recycled face fabric that is soft to touch yet feels, and offers, decent durability.

Value: The price reflects that fact it’s a hi-tech jacket offering acceptable durability and breathability on humid tramps. Cheaper options abound, but I think this is reasonable. 

Verdict: A tramping jacket offering all the storm protection and breathability you could ask for without providing any standout features.