The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket Review
For the runner that counts every ounce, The North Face has an answer for you in the waterproof running jacket department. The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket weighs 4.32 ounces, which makes it one of the lightest fully waterproof jackets on the market. As with any piece of gear that focuses on being as lightweight as possible, the focus for this jacket is fit, function and to keep weight to an absolute minimum.
Protection When you Need It
If you find yourself in a rain or snowstorm, the Flight Series Fuse Jacket will provide all the protection needed. During my runs in both rain and snow storms, the Fuse kept all the elements out without a drop of precipitation on the inside. The jacket has a waterproof zipper that zips up to your chin to make sure no moisture enters in from the top or through the zipper channel. The hood of the jacket has elastic on the sides to help cinch around your face without having to fumble with a cinch cord. There is a cinch cord that can be used to get the hood to have a super snug fit in case it’s windy out. When cinched tight, this hood can take the place of a ball cap.
To keep water from entering your cuffs around your hands, there is a elastic band that wraps tight around your wrist. I tested a size medium and found the arms to be an inch short for my preference. I found there to be a small gap between my glove cuff and the jacket cuff that can be difficult when it’s really cold out. I may need a size larger at 6’0 and 174lbs, but having worn previous TNF jackets in a size medium, I was hoping for a similar fit. To keep the elements from coming up on the bottom of the jacket, there is a very small cinch cord that can be used.
Testing the The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket
I had the opportunity to test the Flight Series Fuse Jacket for the last few months in rain, sleet, snow, and cold mountain temperatures. The Fuse jacket has an athletic fit and is not intended for those carrying a little extra weight The jacket itself is very thin and if you plan to run in extremely cold weather, it is strongly advised that you wear a mid-layer to keep your arms and body from getting too cold. Since this jacket is a 2 layer jacket, if you wear short sleeves, you will get that clammy feeling when your body really heats up. I found this to be the case when doing mountain training runs where I get about 2200 ft of vert within 4-5 miles. While I may say this is a downfall, this happens with any waterproof jacket and it is best to wear a breathable layer if you don’t want condensation to build up. Yes, YNF has plenty of those available as well.
Safety with Reflectivity
The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket has reflectivity from every angle. If you run at night and you’re on the roads, this is a must to make sure you’re seen by vehicles on the road. This jacket has reflective hits on the hood, logo on the chest and the arms.
As you might expect with a minimalist lightweight jacket, The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket does not offer a lot when it comes to storage. There is one chest pocket that can fit a cell phone and a car key. You may be able to jam a gel in too. Outside of that chest pocket, there is nowhere else to store anything.
For the runner that runs rain, snow, sleet or shine, a serious waterproof shell that can perform is a must. With a price tag of $250, this jacket is not the cheapest running jacket on the market and is aimed at that hardcore runner that demands high performance. For more information, visit TheNorthFace.com.