Nothing spoils a good day out on the trail like an unexpected rainstorm, particularly in the spring when you’re itching to get back to your favorite outdoor activities. To help us avoid those kinds of nasty little surprises, The North Face has introduced a new jacket that is its first-ever fully waterproof soft rain shell. But that isn’t the whole story for this new jacket, as the designers at TNF have managed to mix functionality and comfort into a garment that will serve you well in a wide variety of situations.
The North Face says that the new Apex Flex GTX is the result of years of research, development, and testing in the field. The jacket uses Gore-Tex 3L technology to provide protection from both the wind and rain, while incorporating stretch-woven materials on the exterior and an incredibly soft knit fabric on the inside. The result is a jacket that doesn’t inhibit motion in any way and is surprisingly comfortable to wear, even when it isn’t raining.
Beyond that, the Apex Flex has a host of features you would expect to find on a soft shell built for use during active pursuits in the backcountry. For instance, it is equipped with an adjustable hood, Velcro cuffs, and two zipped hand pockets with a third found on the chest. And while the jacket has been designed to be highly breathable, zippered pit-vents are a welcome addition for when things get really steamed up.
We’ve had a chance to put the Apex Flex GTX through its paces and can attest to how comfortable it is to wear. North Face likes to brag that the jacket offers the same level of comfort as your favorite hoody, and quite honestly that isn’t far off the mark. We’re big fans of the blending of stretch fabrics, soft lining, and Gore-Tex protection, which will likely have us reaching for this jacket for use on numerous adventures to come. On top of that, when paired with a good layering system, this is a soft shell that will do its job exceptionally well, keeping the elements at bay while adding extra warmth. It even manages to look great too.
We’ll likely have a full review of the jacket down the line, but our initial impressions are obviously quite favorable. Give us a chance to test it more fully, and we’ll do a follow-up sometime soon.
The Apex Flex GTX is available now and is priced at $199. Find out more at TheNorthFace.com.