Saturday, November 12, 2016

The North Face: Better Than Naked Jacket & Trail Trucker Hat Review

What could be better than “Better Than Naked”? Naked is actually good but this “_____” is much better. Ok, let’s not get too crazy…I’m talking about The North Face Better Than Naked Jacket.

Cold weather is just around the corner and if outside running is your thing, then a jacket is an absolute gear that you must have. Not unless you like running on the treadmill then you probably don’t need one. But me personally, I prefer being outside and it makes my running more interesting and enjoyable.

There isn’t much question if The North Face brand is one of the best brands in the sports industry, because they are and there’s no argument on that. I’m such a big fan of the TNF and reviewing their products has become second nature to me. I did an in-depth review on many of their products like the:
·      Flight Series SS Shirt and BTN 5” Shorts (read my review here)
·      BTN SS Shirt and Long Haul Shorts (read my review here)
·      Ultra MT Gore-Tex Shoes (read my review here)

Better Than Naked Jacket
The BTN Jacket has quite a lot of features that can make your running (even cycling) in cold weather enjoyable.

·   Lightweight hybrid jacket delivers wind protection with body-mapped ventilation
·   360-degree reflectivity
·   Media-compatible, secure-zip hand pockets
·   Body-mapped ventilation
·   Articulated elbows and cuffs
·   Reflective logos
·   FlashDry Technology

Fit and Functionality
The North Face really brought the technology to the 21st century when it comes to finding the right size for you. They developed this matrix and I was really impressed with it. First it will ask you about your height, weight and fit preference. Second, it will ask the shape of your body, like your belly shape (just be honest with yourself, OK?) and chest shape whether you have a slim or broad type and lastly is your age. I know, what does age has to do with my size? According to their matrix, age has an impact on how weight is distributed which I think makes perfect sense. So all that information is taken in by the matrix and it will show the result on what fits you most. Voila…I got my size in medium and this size fits me well. TNF really did their homework in making it easy for their customers. This is especially useful for those online shoppers, so hats off to TNF for doing such a fantastic job on that.

The BTN Jacket is one amazing lightweight jacket that you can use in running and other ativities. It has a nice feel to the skin like a super fine soft silk that doesn’t stick to the skin like other jackets.

It has a mesh liner that goes over the back shoulder and extends all the way to the front. This mesh liner acts in two different ways; first it helps the body to ventilate by letting the air circulate, keeping your core body temperature at bay. Second, it acts as a second layer protecting your core from the cold wind especially the chest area where it will catch most of the wind.

It has ports on both shoulders and the entire back side where hot and sweaty air can dissipate.

It has two outside pockets with zipper where you can store your phone and other running essentials.

The cuff is fully equipped with elastic band that is not tight or loose. I found this very useful when putting it over a glove, making a sure tight fit and preventing cold air in getting in.

Instead of using a draw cord like other jackets for the hem (backside), the BTN jacket utilized the elastic band for a better and secured fit.

The BTN jacket uses the FlashDry (video) technology 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.

Most of the lightweight jackets out in the market today are packable and so does the BTN jacket. You can crumple it or fold it nicely (which what I did) and it conveniently fits at the waist belt or even at the back pocket of your jeans. There’s no reason to leave the house without it.

For safety standpoint, the BTN jacket is equipped with 360 degree reflective materials for visibility in low light conditions thru their logo located at the front and back.

I have used this jacket on cold and windy runs and the fabric does a good job in blocking the wind and light moisture in the air from getting in. The mesh material and the location of different ports on the shoulder and back did a wonderful job in getting the air in and out of my body which is the most crucial part of the jacket. The issue with some jackets are the breathability aspect, the BTN jacket is truly one of the bests. What I liked most on this jacket is the soft material that doesn’t feel clammy on the skin especially when I started sweating and the articulated elbows and cuff moves very well with my body.  

Trail Trucker Hat

The Trail Trucker Hat is one of TNF’s new hat designed for trails, but this can also be use in road running where I ended using it most. Whether you’re a runner or not, we’re all accustomed to use hats to protect our head from the direct heat of the sun. The trucker hat is not too common in running communities and there’s only quite a few runners or even professional triathletes fond in using this type of hat.

Personally, I like the trucker hat especially when it’s really hot outside. I find it more breathable and the fact that you can let it sit high enough above the head and making some room for the air to flow thru. The TNF’s Trail Trucker Hat is quite unique. It’s incredibly light and can be rolled and stowed easily on the go.

The bill is long enough to protect your eyes from sunlight and the mesh material are so breathable.

This is also equipped with some reflective materials (front string and their logo) making it safer during low light conditions.

One of the reasons in wearing a hat is to direct the sweat from rolling into the eyes, which is quite annoying. The sweatbands of this hat absorbs the sweat pretty well.

I’ve used this hat on many occasions…there’s really nothing fancy about the hat and it’s more on the functionality side and that's how I like it!

My Verdict
The North Face is truly one exceptional company committed in delivering the best outdoor gears and apparels. Whether you’re a serious athlete, outdoor enthusiast or just a regular Joe (Jane) that just wants to go with everyday life, you can rest assure that TNF will never let you down.

You can get the Better Than Naked Jacket for a decent price of $120 and the Trail Trucker Hat for $30. It is available on their website or at any retail stores near you. The TNF’s brands are tested and proven by athletes around the world, it is no surprise that their gears and apparels are unparalleled. The North Face stands behind their products and they offer a lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.

Let me know what you think and thanks again for reading. Hope you find this review useful.

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