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Testing: Futurlight Flight Series by The North Face

The North Face announced it loud and clear, its new fiber, Furturlight, is both the most breathable and the most waterproof ever. Already available on the Summit Series, Steep Series and Flight ranges, the technology will be extended in the spring to many of the brand’s equipment. I had the opportunity to check the qualities of the new nugget during winter outings and in the footsteps of the Diagonale des Fous on Reunion Island … results, in the following lines!

I’ve been using The North Face’s new Futurlight Flight Series running jacket for two months by now. Two months, where I took the time to test it, in all conditions, and compare it with other competing models. My mission as a tester lived up to the announcement made by TNF at ISPO 2019; that of the creation of a nano-spinning, called Futurlight, which is at the same time breathable, waterproof, resistant, comfortable and eco-responsible.

Nanospinning technology: waterproofness, breathability, resistance

It took 3 years of R§D for the American brand specialized in outdoor textiles to develop its own technology. To sum up, TNF worked on a new process for weaving nano-scale polymer fibers, as in the medical or electronic industry. The manufacturing process incorporates microscopic holes offering both total impermeability, the holes are too small to let the drops pass, while ensuring good ventilation. This spinning process of the fabric also ensures excellent resistance.
All products using this new technology are eco-responsible. They use recycled materials, without PFC, produced in ecological factories.
The final advantage is that the technology is adaptable to any type of textile, which will allow the brand to adjust the weight, elasticity, ventilation, durability and structure to all the needs of athletes. Futurlight will be gradually extended to other applications. From spring, it will be used on shoes, before being adapted to other equipment such as tents.
The Futulight Flight Series intends to improve the exercise of the race by competing with jackets equipped with Gore’s Shakedry technology, used by many brands, or the latest Hurricane Waterproof from Compressport, which served as a benchmark for our test. I used it on roads in the Paris region, but also, and above all, during a trail stay on the summits of the island of Reunion.

An outdoor look

The Futurlight Flight Series jacket tested is green, very cool and original. It is also available in black, for a more urban look, and now in a pretty blue. The recognizable and respected identity of The North Face in design and cut. The latter is slightly larger than the Gore Wear C7 Gore-Tex Shakedry or the Compressport Hurricane Waterproof, which are very snug. This is noted at the level of the trunk, the cut of which is more straight and long, allowing great freedom of movement and protecting his buttocks from the rain. The jacket has a full waterproof zip and a single back pocket for storing a Smartphone, but the main purpose of which is to compact and store the jacket. An internal drawstring was placed at the waist and another at the visor hood. The visibility elements are arranged over the entire jacket. In the end, the outdoor look is assertive and successful, as often with The North Face.

A soft, pleasant, light, fine… and resistant fiber

For a fiber that is both waterproof and breathable, the Futurlight fiber is surprisingly soft and flexible. It is not thick or rough like on other models that I had the opportunity to test. The Futurlight is particularly suitable and comfortable if you have to run with a short sleeve t-shirt. I was able to observe it around the Cirque de Salazie where a beautiful sun made its way through the fog and a beautiful tropical downpour. The contact on the skin is super pleasant, silky. Its slightly wide cut allows perfect freedom of movement. As it should be on the slippery slopes of Reunion, I clung to shrubs and even made a small fall … the jacket has not suffered at all … no scratch or snag, which is amazing for such a fine and flexible fiber…
Perhaps it is only at the level of lightness that I can make my spoilsport. Indeed, the Futurlight is imperceptibly heavier – we are talking about few grams – than certain models that I mentioned above.

Promises kept

At this point, what finally interests you is whether the jacket is as waterproof and breathable as announced. The North Face did not communicate the values ​​of waterproofing or breathability; you will have to be satisfied with my own experienced tester.
First of all, whether it’s the cold Parisian showers or the abundant tropical rain, the jacket keeps you dry. The nanos holes, imperceptible to the naked eye, do not allow fine drops to penetrate the fiber. The body stays dry and protected from the cold.
Breathability is also there. Heat dissipation and sweating are easy even in mild to high temperatures. Over more than two months of use, I have never had a problem with body moisture or excessive heat; in short a real pleasure. The only limit I could bring to the jacket is that this Futurlight Flight Series model is rather suitable for spring, summer and autumn. It does not protect enough from the cold when the temperatures drop below 0 … but that was not often the case this winter and we are fast approaching spring.

To conclude, The North Face proves to us that Futurlight technology is up to expectations. The Flight Series jacket is at the same time soft, pleasant, fine, resistant, waterproof and breathable… with the North Face style as a bonus!
The price ? 250 €