The North Face is all about layers and adjustability at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market
You can hardly hike a trail or make it through a lift line without seeing the iconic symbol of The North Face. This brand is a monster, and with a team of world class athletes at their disposal for testing and design input, it stands to reason that they are an industry leader. Their booth was more like a small city block at Outdoor Retailer, so rather than try to run down every new piece of gear they are offering, I took a good look at two new offerings: an outerwear layering system and their updated line of backpacks.
Getting the most out of your clothes by layering them is no outdoor secret. However, it seems that a lot of companies are now fine tuning and reinventing what a layering system can be. The North Face is in on the trend with their four piece kit. The Litho T-Shirt is the base layer made with merino wool, and features a small zippered pocket near the left ribcage area. Your all day outerwear is the Verto Pro Jacket which is a combination of Gore Winstopper and ultralight Pertex Quantum fabrics. This combo will block wind while still offering protection from rock and ice. When it gets extra cold the Verto Micro Hoodie tops you off. It’s a featherweight down jacket loaded with 800 fill goose down for excellent compressibility. And what outfit would be complete without pants? The Satellite Pant is light and versatile enough to become your go to mountaineering pant. The four piece system will be available for both men and women, and the jackets are easily the two most impressive pieces in the line.
For those of us that need a pack, The North Face is offering up the Optifit Suspension System. Their new design is built to adjust quickly to any user’s torso and iliac crest, two areas of your body that are crucial to carrying a load properly. Both shoulder straps and hip belts can be easily adjusted to give hikers maximum airflow in the backpanel while maintaining balance on and off the trail. I’m glad to see TNF giving their packs an update, it always seemed to me that they were somewhat lacking in this area. The new packs will come in sizes ranging from a single day worth of gear to multi-day trekking storage. Vibrant colors and simple, functional pocket arrangements are what you can expect when they hit the shelves.
Yes, there was plenty more on display at The North Face, but it would be sensory overload to describe it all. Suffice it to say that the are continuing their tradition of offering shoes, garments, and packs for every genre of recreating out there. Our outdoor pursuits might not change much, but gear certainly does, and The North Face is doing their part to keep innovating and rethinking how we enjoy ourselves out in the elements.