FACE VENTRIX HOODIE
THIS RESPONSIVE INSULATION WORKS HARD BECAUSE YOU DO.
Active insulation—layers designed to keep you comfortable both when you’re moving and when you’re not—has been around for a few years now. We’ve seen a few versions and they’re nifty, but windblocking nylon shells mean they’re never quite breathable enough to live up to their promise. The Ventrix, an insulated softshell, changes that with what we might call “smart” insulation.
The secret is the stretch. The flexible synthetic insulation has tiny holes under the arms. When you’re standing still, the holes remain closed. But when you move, the holes pull open. To complement that, the DWR-treated nylon/elastane outer fabric also has tiny holes—in the armpits and upper back. So for every high reach and pole plant, the outer perforations and the insulation work together to dump heat and sweat vapor, which kept us comfortable whether we were skinning uphill under the sun or ripping turns on the way down.
Usually, managing layers eats up daylight, but the Ventrix kept us moving and comfortable from our first run to our last.
$220 ($199 for non-hooded); 15.5 oz. (m’s M); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL; thenorthface.com