The North Face Venture Jacket
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40
Overall, the North Face Venture is a decent rain jacket. Not the most breathable jacket in the world, but the armpit zippers help to keep you from feeling like you're wearing a greenhouse. After an hour of wearing this jacket in a constant downpour, I was still dry. Can't say how much longer it will keep the water out after that, though.
- Keeps you dry
- Adjustable in several areas for a better fit
- Pit zippers to help you air out
- Not as breathable as it should be; kinda hot if you're exerting yourself
I tested this jacket out on two separate occasions. These are my findings.
Test #1 for this jacket was on the Pinhoti Trail. We were hiking 5 miles uphill at midnight. There was no light except for what our headlamps illuminated, and we were bookin' it. We covered 5 miles in under two hours, so there was some exertion on my part. We were expecting storms in the early morning hours and the wind was really picking up. Temps were in the low 70's and humidity was very low. We were hiking on a ridge, so there was little to stop the wind, which was nice because it helped to cool us off.
I was wearing my TNF Venture Jacket over a Columbia wicking shirt, carrying a 25lb pack. The lack of rain didn't tell me much about the waterproof properties of the jacket, but I got a pretty good idea of how breathable it was. Within five minutes, I had the jacket's main front zipper down, with both side pit zips following. It got hot. Fast.
The Venture Jacket employs HyVent, which, according to The North Face website, is a multi layer technology that is both breathable and waterproof. Depending on who you ask, the answer to the question 'Can a jacket truly be both waterproof and breathable?' would vary. If it has seams, it's going to leak at some point. I guess the real question is 'How long can it keep me dry?' and ' How long before it feels like I'm wearing a greenhouse?'
During this trip, my body was quickly turning into a furnace, so I just don't know that its fair to say it's not very breathable since I was working harder than normal on this trail. I would say that you may get a better sense of how breathable the HyVent tech is if the temperature was much cooler. The pit zips did help keep it cooler than it normally would have been without them, however. I'm sure of that.
My second 'test run' was some backroads near my house. The weatherman said 100% of rain, and he delivered. The temperature was 74 degrees, with 94% humidity. I went for a 3 mile walk and back in a steady downpour. I liked how the hood adjusted easily to cover the bill of my baseball cap. The velcro adjustable cuffs opened up my sleeves a little to allow for more airflow, but just barely.
Once again, the pit zips were the feature I appreciated the most, but the high humidity made my skin feel sticky. The front zipper has a double flap to cover it, so a leak by way of that zipper is unlikely. The two side pockets have a covered zipper, so I was able to reach into my pockets for things without getting rain in them. There are also inside pocket made of mesh, so you can more easily find what you're looking for.
The bottom hem of the jacket features lockable draw cords, so you can adjust the fit tighter at the bottom if you want to. I was uncomfortably hot, so I didn't wanna.
I was out in the rain for about an hour and happily, found that no water leaked in through the seams. My arms , head and back were damp, but that was from sweat. Would it hold up the same if I had a 20 pound pack on my back? Good question. I'll have to find out another time, but at this point, I'd say I'm pleased with the jacket overall and would recommend it based on my experiences. I think when Fall and Winter roll around, I'll have a better idea of what this jacket can do.
The jacket wasn't very heavy at only 14 ounces, and it packed down into a front pocket, so it fit inside my backpack with no problems.
I'm happy with the jacket and I'm happy I bought it.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 66 pounds
Nice looking, keeps the rain out. Average breathability, and average comfort. The big selling point of this jacket is its very low weight and small pack size which makes it ideal for throwing in your pack just in case the weather turns.
- Very lightweight
- Good looks
- Pit zips
- Decent hood
- Rides up while hiking leaving back exposed
- Material feel is average (very crinkly, feels almost like GoreTex paclite)
Fit and Comfort: Overall it fits well and feels fairly comfortable, but the bottom of the jacket is poorly designed and constantly rides up while hiking leaving back exposed and requiring readjustment. This tends to be a nuisance and is one major drawback for this jacket. Breathability and design is otherwise quite good and I would not hesitate to wear it more often, but because of the riding up issue I prefer to save it in my pack just in case I need it. However the small pack size and low weight make this more than reasonable and a major redeeming factor for this product.
Adjustability: Decent adjustability on hood, standard velcro on cuffs
Water Resistance: Good water resistance, nothing to complain about
Breathability: The material itself is probably no more breathable than any competitor in its price range, but the pit zips are excellent.
Moisture: Doesn't appear to be any more moisture wicking than any other rain coat in that range (which is to say quite poor!), but the pit zips as mentioned above go along way to curtail these effects.
Warmth: Not warm, just a thin outer shell. However, if all zipped up with chords cinched you can build up quite a bit of heat and moisture to keep you warm.
Layering: Excellent for layering, loose fit can go over anything including multiple insulation layers as well as other softshell jackets you may be wearing when the weather turns.
Abrasion: Appears to be decent, but it has not yet been rigorously tried
Function: Functions as a standard rain shell, pit zips are a nice touch for the price range. It is perfect for packing away and using when needed. If I had to wear this for extended periods of time, I would have done more research and found something a better design/cut to prevent riding up.
Construction and Durability: Appears to be well made, only been used for 4 months, so far so good (spends most of its time in the backpack just in case). So far the print of the inner fabric hasn't worn.
Conditions: Hiking and traveling throughout rainy UK
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $70
The North Face Venture Jacket is really rain proof jacket for its price. Keeps you dry even in harsh conditions, really great for wind resistance. Vents on the side arms are great to keep you cool but does feel clammy if hiking in hotter conditions.
This jacket is great for its price, but should you be looking for a jacket that keeps you dry inside and out, this jacket fails to breathe while hiking. The heat one's body produces when hiking seems to make the inside clammy.
- Great waterproof fabric
- Fantastic fit and feel
- Breath ability lacks from body heat
The North Face Venture Jacket fits really well on the body provided you get the size and measurements correct.
Basic adjustments around the hands, waist and hood, bust serve its purpose.
The jacket is great in rainy conditions both waterproof and windproof.
Jacket lacks breath ability when doing an activity, but for the price you cannot complain.
The rip stop fabric on the jacket is great. Looks like it can handle a bit of abuse.
I have used the jacket on various trips into the Drakensburg mountains in winter and summer hikes and feel that should you need a jacket that can do a great job for its price is a winner.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $70
Great jacket. There must have been a problem with the older models, but all the new ones should be fine. I am not sure what all the bad reviews are for.
- Armpit zips
I love my Venture Jacket. It is light and gets the job done. The sizes are very standard and the medium fits me great (I'm 5'8").
It is adjustable at the waist, hood, and wrists. It is very water resistant and could also be used as a shell for skiing. However the breathability is not great, but it's not bad either, whenever I get hot I just open the pit zips and it cools me off, just a little exposing. It is light and thin so it is not that warm of a jacket but works well for layering.
All of its functions are great, zipper doesn't get stuck and there are plenty of pockets. I have used this while camping above treelike in the poring rain and raindrops bead up and roll right off. Highly recommend it for a great affordable shell. check backountry.com!
Source: bought it new
Very bad jacket...not breathable at all, wateproof is OK. But the quality of this jacket is terrible. It tore on the sleeve after 1 month wearing. It is definitelly not an outdoor jacket. If you wore this while hiking — it wouldn't last very long.
- HyVent 2,5 membrane
- low quality
- not breathable
- very expensive for the quality (130 EUR)
Price Paid: $49.99
So far so good. Picked up two at 50 percent off. For $50 a lightweight, waterproof jacket that can be pulled out on the trail when the rain hits.
Does not breathe like some higher end jackets, but does the job.
Price Paid: $70
I bought this HyVent hard shell because I wanted a second rain coat and I found this one on sale. It is very similar to my Marmot PreCip jacket.
I wore it yesterday on a motorcycle trip through the heavy rain of a tropical depression that just hit the Gulf Coast. On the basis of that trip, I am very happy with this jacket. The inside was comfortable to the touch and it kept me completely dry.
Contrary to other reviewer's reports, it seemed to vent well. The hood fit well; the zipper action is exceptionally smooth; the pit zips offer additional ventilation if needed; the velcro cuffs allows a custom fit; and it compresses into a small space. Compared with my PreCip jacket, the material seems a little thicker but the overall jacket weight is about the same.
I really like the extra length of the jacket and the extra long sleeves (I have a 36-inch sleeve). My one concern is the smaller girth in the abdominal area may limit the number of layers I can add this winter - but this should not be a problem for most people.
Price Paid: $100
I've had this jacket for about 2 years. For the first couple times I wore it, it was fine. A little humid inside but otherwise dry.
A few weeks ago I used it in a heavy rain storm and my shoulders and upper back were wet. I may have just gotten a lemon but from my experience, NOT waterproof.
The PROS are it's only 12 oz and packs up nicely in the mesh pocket. Good for light showers but not so great in heavy rain.
Fabric: HyVent, Two Layer
Price Paid: $99
A nice, budget-minded jacket, breathes as well as you can expect for a hundred bucks. My only real gripe was the hood fit too tight, and the drawcords are troublesome, but altogether, great jacket for its cost.
Price Paid: ~ $60
I love it!! I bought this jacket at our local outdoor shop 7 years ago because it was on closeout and I got a spankin' good deal on it. For the first year, I only used it as a rain jacket on hikes and overnight camping and backpacking trips. Then I discovered how useful it is - it packs up really small, hardly weights anything, and keeps me completely dry!
While it doesn't breathe like mesh (I don't know why anybody in their right mind would expect that), it most certainly does its job as a waterproof shell! I wouldn't intend to use it a running jacket, but for everything else I give it two big thumbs up! I use it for almost everything outdoors - from casually strolling in the neighborhood to backpacking trips to day hikes to wearing it around all winter to... you name it (within reason...).
In fact, I like it so much that I stole the fleece liner out of my Columbia parka and ditched the Columbia shell. It has withstood snowboarding and digging trucks out of the snow in the winter in Idaho, scrambling through fields and mountains of lava-rock, torrential downpours of both Washington State and Virginia, the Teton mountain range of Wyoming, the dense fog and sea-spray of Northern California, the cloudbursts of Scotland, and everything in between.
I'm 5'9", 170 lbs with a thicker athletic build and a medium fits well. It's not too baggy and saggy by itself and it has just enough room for me to move around with a fleece. It even fits fine with a hoody underneath the fleece for days when the mercury doesn't get above 0 and your nose hairs turn into snotsickles.
The only issue that I've had with it is the inner laminate layer is starting to rub off in certain areas (like by the cuffs and where the hood meets the shoulder/neck area from carrying a backpack stuffed with engineering books nearly every day) - but that's after 7 years of use and abuse. And, amazingly, it still keeps me dry.
It is EVERYTHING I expected in a lightweight low-cost hard shell!
Price Paid: £90
I'm really angry about this jacket because I paid good money thinking I'd get a premium (quality) product and I got a jacket that soaks me. It's utterly useless.
This jacket is just alright. It has many things I like about it such as this compresses very easy for travel and is light for packing. I would mainly use this for summer excursions and short trips.
Price Paid: 150 euro
Bad, sorry. I bought this jacket, not very breathable but stopped well rain and very small and light! I always had with me. After one year it began detaching the inside shell, starting from hat, then shoulders and so on. Useless.
I thought it was due to wrong washing.. stupid I was and bought e new one lots of $$$. The second detached in 4 months. Never buy unless you want to use just for walking in town. North Face says granted for life, my opn is you pay for tech and get cheap cinese stuff. Sorry.
I purchased my Venture jacket about three weeks ago to prepare for the upcoming rainy seasons. I've been able to use it once so far because I had to take my 10-month-old puppy out for a walk in the rain.
The jacket kept me nice and dry and I didn't get too hot in it either, which I really like because most rain jackets make me sweat and this one didn't (we walked two miles).
I especially like the long brim on the hood to keep the rain from splashing on my glasses. The adjustable velcro, around my wrists, on the sleeves is a bonus too!
Price Paid: $80
I am extremely disappointed with this jacket. This jacket
does not breath! I took it out recently in the coastal redwoods on a damp but not raining day. It remained dry on the outside and dripping wet on the inside.
As a frequent user of gore-tex, I understand the limits of gear. My gore-tex products become damp inside under similar situations too, but I at least get some breathability out of it. I see no difference in performance between this jacket and regular
unbreathable coated nylon.
Fabric: Hydra-vent (crap!)
Price Paid: $400 CAD
Do not trust The North Face! I bought this jacket on brand name loyalty alone. I could not have been more disappointed. I was trekking through the rainforest in Tasmania and was soaked after two days of serious rain. The jacket was only 1 month old. My friends in Gore-tex were dry. The North Face would not honour the warranty. The store in London (Novaks) gave me an in-store credit and I bought an Arc'teryx instead (excellent!).
Price Paid: $150 (Canadian)
I had this jacket for three days on three separate day trips, and then took it back to the store. It simply does not vent at all. You might as well not wear it. The CORE venting system that TNF has bet the farm on does not work. This jacket has a major design flaw, as it does not have pit zips. Stay away from this one.
Price Paid: $90
Rain seems to soak through after a while. At first I thought that it just did not breath very well, but after further use it became obvious that the fabric is really not waterproof. Water everywhere, not just at seams or around the edges, everywhere. I would not recommend this product at all.
Price Paid: $98
The worst jacket I have ever worn. It has the breathability and durability of a GLAD garbage bag. I just came back from a 5-day trip in Yellowstone National Park and this jacket is ripped in three areas and it was only lightly used with a medium sized backpack. And there is a 7 inch tear in front of the jacket after getting scrape with a small tree branch.
At least the rips increased the breathability of the jacket! This jacket is also made in Bangladesh. Bangladesh people do not know how to assemble jackets. As far as I know, The North Face is really stupid. I will get this jacket fixed and donate it to Goodwill - oh, damn, Goodwill might not even take it. Hello Salvation Army.