The North Face Hydrogen Jacket

The North Face Hydrogen Jacket
Scrunches into a ball the size of an apple and really is ridiculously light and comically small

First Look

Reviewed: 15 July 2009 by Jon
What's It For? Updated for 2009, the Hydrogen Jacket is part of The North Face's lightweight Flight series and aimed at fast-moving, lightweight enthusiasts like runners, bikers, minimalist climbers and lightpackers. It's aimed at anyone looking for a tiny, light, windproof jacket. The Techy Bits Lightweight kit is generally about leaving weight-adding features ...  Continue reading

Reader Reviews

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Discussions

friend of mine has got this. The water resistance is apparently really quite something but the breathability is not good enough, he says. Plus, I don't really like the fit. Too baggy, windshells should be cut close as you won't be running in anything more than a baselayer underneath. Cuts down on flapping and aids breathability. A mesh back would be nice but then all that coating they whacked on would be a bit pointless. I think the Vest version might be quite nice, though, if you're generously proportioned, as that does have the mesh back.

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:24

Andrew Sabisky wrote (see)
Too baggy, windshells should be cut close as you won't be running in anything more than a baselayer underneath.
Windshells can be for much more than running.... 

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:34

Andrew Sabisky wrote (see)
 windshells should be cut close as you won't be running in anything more than a baselayer underneath. Cuts down on flapping and aids breathability.


What if you aren't running? I have a few windshells for different purposes. I wear one over a baselayer, 100 weight fleece and down jacket in winter at camp.

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:37

Helly Hansen have had a similar jacket since Jan 2006 - very fine PU coating that makes the fabric effectively waterproof - called the Mars!

Here's a pdf from back then. I've had one a couple of years; the fit is much closer than the Hydrogen sample I tried on in a TNF outlet - especially in the arms (which are almost too tight for me but I'm not a Scando cross country ski champion afterall!)

It's incredibly light - I think I made it around 75g on the kitchen scales - and showerproof but the sweatiest windshirt I own and I'm not to confident about it's durability either. I pack it when I can't really see myself needing a windproof or a waterproof 'just in case' and have hardly worn it. I'd expect the TNF offering to be very similar.

John

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:37

Snap!

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:37

Mike fae Dundee mountainbolx.com wrote (see)
Andrew Sabisky wrote (see)
 windshells should be cut close as you won't be running in anything more than a baselayer underneath. Cuts down on flapping and aids breathability.


What if you aren't running? I have a few windshells for different purposes. I wear one over a baselayer, 100 weight fleece and down jacket in winter at camp.


Ditto...

the Mars for the uses mentioned; a couple of HH Motive jackets (two different sizes) as these are extremely versatile and very good for winter running with stretch panels across the back; a Montane Featherlite because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and it's big enough to go over most of my layers and a Paramo Fuera because I won it in a draw!! That's a baggy cut to say the least and will go over my down jacket but I haven't quite worked out why I'd do that... any pointers, Mike?

I should add that none of them cost me more than £15-£20 and they are the most used items in my kit cupboard after baselayers. Wouldn't do without one.

John

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:40

Just to protect the down jacket, John. If anything gets snagged, it will be the cheap windshirt. It adds a bit of insulation as well i suppose.

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 17:45

americans need to get to grips with the metric system. 2.9oz is 812g apparently. as it's touted as for aerobic activities i guess it could be too baggy for running as a personal preference despite its "performance fit".

i quite like the bagginess of the fuera as it allows lots of ventilation.

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 18:09

ventilation in a windproof... is it just me or is there a certain irony here!

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 18:27

lol. too true john. the type all comes down to what you use it for, personal preference and in my case, it's cheap.

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 18:32

I totally agree, Parky. But £50 for a windproof isn't really cheap is it? OK - mine was free - but I doubt I'd buy one at rrp.

Mike,

good point about the snagging. There's another benefit to having a windproof that can go over a downjacket and that's for Search & Rescue. My down jacket is black; all my windproofs are bright colours. If it went all a bit wrong, I'd be able to be Mango or Cobalt instead of (Crux) Carbon or PHD Black!!!

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 18:36

I like to sit around a campfire too John. Hot sparks and expensive ul down jackets don't mix!

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 18:41

£30 is cheap john. £50! for that! only if you throw in a gourd.

Posted: 13/08/2009 at 18:49

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