Thursday, June 23, 2016

The North Face: Flight Series Short Sleeve and Better Than Naked 5” Shorts Review

The North Face was founded in 1966 by Douglas Tompkins. Named for the coldest, most unforgiving side of a mountain. As the name of the company implies, you might think that it probably started somewhere in the high altitudes. Ironically, the company began on a beach. Yup, to be exact in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood with an altitude of 150 feet above sea level. The North Face started as a climbing equipment (mountaineering) retail store and later added outerwear to their product lines. It bears the quarter circle logo that evokes the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

For almost 50 years, The North Face has grown popularity and recognition. Tested and proven by athletes around the world, it is no surprise that their gears and apparels are unparalleled. I’m an outdoor fanatic and have heard so much great things about them. I’m so glad that I was able to get my hands on some of their products and put them to the test.

·   Engineered knit short-sleeve tee helps regulate body temperature
·   Flight Series™ performance running gear is race-day ready
·   Athletic/fitted silhouette
·   360-degree reflectivity for visibility in low light
·   Engineered ventilation
·   Stitch-free construction on critical seams
·   Reflective logos

Fit and Functionality
The Flight Series Short Sleeve Shirt is a quick drying, fitted running shirt that is designed with an ultralight construction to reduce chafing and a breathable lower back for improved temperature regulation. The North Face utilizes the FlashDry fabrics that are engineered to accelerate the removal of moisture from the skin and speed up the evaporative process.  This enables you to stay drier, more comfortable and out performing longer in a wide range of weather conditions and environments. The FlashDry fabric doesn’t add weight or bulk and never washes or wears out. For safety standpoint, the shirt is equipped with 360 degree reflective materials for visibility in low light conditions and has an athletic/ fitted silhouette that semi hugs the body.

I started a little bit late when I did my long run last weekend sporting this shirt. The temperature was a bit high when I got out the door and not even two miles on my run I was already sweating a lot. The shirt performed well and true to how it is advertised. I’m not a big fan of loose shirts and the silhouette form feels more comfortable and conforms to my body. I did a total of 13 miles and though I’m not expecting that I will be completely dry, the shirt was still comfortable throughout my entire run.

·   Lightweight 5" inseam running shorts with quick-drying liner
·   Stitch-free on critical seams
·   Inner drawcord
·   Pieced FlashDry™ knit liner
·   Stretch knit panels for mobility and venting
·   Storage pockets on rear waistband
·   Opening at back waistband allows you to slide and stash your T-shirt
·   Zip back pocket
·   Reflective logo

Fit and Functionality
I received the Better Than Naked 5” Shorts along with the Flight Series Shirt and tested them both on the long run I did last weekend. The BTN 5” shorts fabric was so light, soft, thin and comfortable to my skin. The liner brief has a FlashDry fabric that helps keep me dry and aids in evaporating process. The brief liner is a critical aspect for manufacturers since this is a “hit and miss” in my opinion. Too small and it will create an uncomfortable, tight constricting feel along the groin that could sometimes lead to chafing. Too loose and it basically serves no function. I’m not a big fan of liner briefs and I normally cut them off, but not with this short. It’s amazingly comfortable that it didn’t bother me while I was running.  

Other features that I like are the storage pockets on the rear waistband where I can easily stash my gels and gummies. There is also a zippered pocket in between those pockets where I can store and carry my Nexus 5 phone, it’s a bit tight but I was able to squeeze it in. I was concerned that having my phone in there will create some bounce, well that was not the case, it was bounce free and comfortable. It’s so comfortable that I almost forgot that I have my phone in it after I finished my run.

My Verdict
The North Face is known for its high quality and undoubtedly superior reputation on their gears and apparels. Their products are capable to withstand the most extreme conditions as tested by world class climbers, explorers, extreme skiers, ultra marathoners and high altitude runners, whose lives depend on the performance of their apparel and equipment.

 I’m happy to say that I’m very satisfied with these apparels that I tested. The Flight Series Short Sleeve Shirt sells for $80 and the Better Than Naked 5” Shorts sells for $55. This is the only negative aspect that I can say…yes, it’s a bit pricey and it will definitely put a ding in your wallet. But the quality comes with a price and these are high quality apparels that will not disappoint you. The North Face stands behind their products and they offer a lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.

The North Face offers different varieties of gears and apparels depending on the type of activities you are into. So check their website or retails stores near you and let me know what you think.

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