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We tested the North Face Ventrix mid layer jacket on several hikes as well as for general outdoor use, find out what we thought in our review
tnf ventrix jacket
Overall Score
Great looks and reliable build quality
No more breathable than the competition

The North Face introduced Ventrix technology to a fan fair a year or so ago, we were excited to try it out, not least because it won a coveted ISPO Gold Award for innovation (ISPO being a mammoth trade fair for all things outdoors gear).

Some mid layers are designed to max out warmth when static, others aim for breathability for use on the move. The Ventrix attempts to straddle both camps through the use of a dynamic ventilating insulation complete with breather holes. The breather holes open when you're on the move only to close again when stood still. This is all very impressive on paper, but does it work?

When static the synthetic insulation offers decent warmth in cool but not frigid weather conditions. The well-fitting hood gives a boost of extra warmth when needed and the elasticated cuffs and drawcord adjustable hem help to keep the warmth you've already generated inside. There are comparable alternatives out there that are warmer, in particular jackets using Polartec Alpha Direct insulation.

On the move the Ventrix jacket feels breathable up to a certain point. Once you reach the tipping point where warmth becomes sweat though there's no going back and the fug builds up quickly. In this sense the Ventrix didn't perform quite as expected and we were left feeling a little disappointed. Further compounding that disappointment is the large pack size which makes it difficult to consider the Ventrix for anything other than a day hike where space isn't so precious.

Build quality is good, and the styling and detailing are on point. This is a jacket that looks great worn over an array of clothes including smart casual wear, perhaps making styling the jackets raison d'etre.

Overall, the Ventrix is a great looking jacket but is a middling performer on all counts for the uses we put it to.

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