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The North Face Apex Zip Shirt

rated 5 of 5 stars

The Apex Zip Shirt has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best soft shell jackets for 2024.

photo: The North Face Apex Zip Shirt soft shell jacket

Maybe the GREATEST piece of clothing I have ever worn! Honestly this shirt is as close to perfect as they come. Pro's and Con's are as follows:


This thing is indestructable. Honestly unless you took a blow torch to it you will have this item for life.

I have worn it as a base layer, mid layer, shell, you name it - it's the most versatile piece of clothing I own. Oh, and it looks cool too.

Pockets & Zippers:
One Napolean pocket on the left chest gets the job done just fine. All the zippers float up and down with easy.

Fit & Functionality:
I would say it fits slightly on the larger size, which is fine with me. It's ability to keep the elements of light rain and gale force winds at bay ensures a spot in my pack or on my back for every trip.

Its a tad heavy...roughly one pound.

There is no cinch cord at the bottom so you need to tuck it in to ensure that the heat doesn't escape.

OVERALL - this is one piece of clothing that everyone should own! They are going to bury me in it.

Fabric: Apex
Fill: none
Price Paid: Pro Deal

First off I need to say that this is a great top, very stetchy and durable, but it is sized too big in my opinion. I am 6 foot 190 lbs with broad shoulders. I almost always wear a large in everything unless it says it's a relaxed fit, then I wear a medium. I don't like my clothes baggy, expecially my tech wear. I wanted to use this top for fall and winter climbing and trail running.

Anyways--North Face says this is "a performance cut piece," "That can be worn as a base layer next to the skin, or outer layer over a light base layer." So I assumed it would fit close to the body, HENCE "Performance Fit".

Well... I ordered a large and it fit very baggy though the body, I could easily wear a thick base layer under it. The hem opening is very large too. The top is too baggy for trail running and climbing, but if you want a light top to go over a heavier layer this would be a good choice (Patagonia Expedition Capelene or something like that).

Fabric: Apex
Price Paid: $49

This was the first piece of gear I ever purchased. It resists water big time, never wrinkles, and is a great secondary base layer. I can't remember a trip that I haven't brought this with me.

It is also tough as nails, the apex material is really stretchy and cool. I'm 5'8" - 188 lbs. and the large fits perfect. I gave it 5 stars because I can't find anything wrong with this shirt, it really is a great and valuable piece.

Price Paid: $59

The best piece of gear I've ever owned.

I once showed up at squaw on a chilly early spring day with nothing better than this shirt to go out in and I was fine. It stops wind dead, it wicks moisture off, it looks great after days of wear.

North Face, please bring back the greatest shirt of all. I heart it.


Fabric: blue apex
Price Paid: $55

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Price Historic Range: $23.05-$75.00
Reviewers Paid: $49.00-$59.00
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