The North Face Steep Tech MS Access Jacket
The Steep Tech MS Access Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2023.
If you want (or need) an amazing jacket that looks and feels like Batman's armour, this should be your choice. I concur with the other reviewers that this jacket is almost an investment for life. The jacket has always looked impressive, but the last version with the filled kevlar shoulder enforcements (the earlier versions had 'simple' kevlar shoulder pieces) makes it a head-turner. The construction of the whole thing is very thoughtful with pockets and zippers in the right places.
The only reservations one might have is that it is very difficult to find (at least now in 1999). REI does not normally hold it, but they were able to get it on special delivery, but told me the line was discontinued. Therefore, choices of available colors (also in 1999) were limited to blue only. The other problem is its elevated price, which although justified by its quality and obvious longevity, nevertheless remains and investment.
REI charged me $495 via their on-line store, and the other reviewers seem to have paid anything from $330 to $550. I guess somehow I was unfortunate that they had to make a special order, because if you do some research, you might find a store where they have still some available on sales, which apparently is how one of the other reviewers was able to purchase it at $330.
If you need to order it, the catalogue number is #87769.
Fabric: Taslan, Supplex, Kevlar, Ultrex
Price Paid: $495
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Reviewers Paid: $495.00