User Review: The North Face Men's Varius Guide Jacket
Fabric: Hyvent Water and Wind proof
Fill: compatabile with zip in down or polartec liners
Price Paid: $129 on sale
Good all around mountain shell for winter and heavy weather. Easy to zip in either TNF Denali Polartec Liner or Nuptse Down Liner. I have all three pieces for different conditions.
The one minor, very minor drawback is the zipper. It gets stuck at the bottom. If it ever gets to the point that it won't work, the jacket has a Lifetime Warranty from TNF. It keeps me dry, used it in a 60 knot gale and stayed totally wind and water protected, skiing excellent, backpacking excellent, with the added down liner in sub zero weather, excellent.
This is a good middle of the road as far as price. You have to spend about $200 to $300 more to get into high end Goretex Shells, even on sale. If you are looking to get the best bang for the buck, this is a good investment and it will last for years.
Hyvent, the waterproof breathable fabric used in this shell, works, it breathes, keeps you dry, and high nasty wind is never a problem. The hood is adjustable in the back to fit snug when you are not wearing a climbing or ski helmet.
Update: June 9, 2011
This is an updated review of my posting on the North Face Varius Guide Jacket. In 2010 I posted a rating on this jacket as 4.5. I noted in my post a slight problem with the main zipper.
Well in 2011 the zipper finally failed (zippers do wear some after over a thousand days of use) and I sent the jacket into North Face Warranty Department in San Leandro, CA. I have an upcoming Sierra trip and told them I needed it back right away.
I hereby officially upgrade my rating to a solid 5. Why? Because North Face not only repaired my jacket, but improved on the zipper with a very good quality replacement main zipper in a complementing color for the jacket, but here is the best part, under warranty with no charge to me, free return shipping, and did it all within ONE WEEK!!!
Now that is a product and company worth relying on, they said "GUARANTEED FOR LIFE" and they mean it. Thank you, North Face, great jacket, great warranty service.