Mountaineering & Expeditions

The North Face Summit L3 Ventrix Hoody | Review

Warm, breathable, and water resistant - this is one of the smartest mid-layers we've seen

The North Face don’t need to do much to hype up their Summit L3 Ventrix Hoodie at this point. They’ve already got the awards to speak for them.

The hoody won a Gold Award at ISPO in the outdoor segment for best hybrid-mid layer – ISPO being the winter trade show to end all winter trade shows; a place where there are more jackets and outdoor gear on show than there is snow in the mountains. Long story short, a golden nod at ISPO means an awful lot. It’s a signal of kudos from the industry.

And this jacket is more than worthy. The eponymous Ventrix technology is the stuff of genius. If you had described it to an adventure enthusiast a couple hundred years ago, they probably would have thought you were describing dark magic and backed slowly away.

“The jacket is kitted out with a ventilating insulation system that activates with movement.”

The jacket is kitted out with ventilating insulation that activates with movement. Essentially there are little perforations, or “micro-vents”, in the insulation that are body mapped to the places where you’re most likely to sweat. When the wearer is standing still, these ventilation holes remain closed, retaining heat, and when the user starts moving, the ventilation holes open up to make the jacket more breathable. Cool, right?

The 80g insulation is thick enough to handle most temperatures that you’d experience in the UK, and the exterior fabric is coated with durable water repellant (DWR) so you can wear this as an outer-layer even if it’s drizzling (of course it’ll fit easily under a waterproof shell too if conditions are really bad). The shoulders and arms are reinforced with a higher denier fabric to improve the durability and reliability of the jacket, and the hood is helmet compatible so it’s great for climbing.

80g insulation is thick enough to handle virtually everything the UK can throw at it. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The hoody has a DWR coating, so you can wear it as an outer-layer even in a spot of rain. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The zippable chest pocket is really handy for a mobile phone, or a few jelly babies. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The movement-activated ventilation system will keep you cool when you're pushing yourself. Photo: Chris Johnson.

This really is a release that’s right on the cutting edge of technology. In the movement-activated ventilation system you’ve got an innovative piece of technology that will no doubt be available across the market and in all sorts of jackets and mid-layers a couple of years down the line.

If you want it now, and you need a seriously versatile mid-layer for your adventures, then look no further than The North Face Summit L3 Ventirx Hoody. It can take whatever you hit it with.

The North Face Summit L3 Ventrix Hoody

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 Winter 2017

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