A huge thank you to Backcountry and Shopstyle for sponsoring this post!
I learned the value of waterproof hiking pants on our trip to Iceland, oh gosh…five years ago now? I didn’t arrive in Iceland with waterproof hiking pants — quick-dry leggings are almost as good, right? — but after a few days of consistently wet legs, I became the proud owner of waterproof hiking pants.
Hiking in near-constant drizzle is infinitely more comfortable when your legs stay dry.
In Iceland, I wore an old Apex Flex Jacket by The North Face and loved it. Both Mike and I had a version of this jacket and the performance was unparalleled. It was the most breathable (and comfortable) of all waterproof shells I had tried…while still remaining waterproof. So when The North Face recently came out with a new version of my old jacket, called ‘Futurelight’ and a pair of waterproof hiking pants, I had to try.
The North Face Futurelight Hiking Pants & Jacket Are Really Impressive
The North Face’s new Apex Flex Futurelight Jacket is impossibly soft and lightweight. And yet it has been keeping me completely dry during Vermont’s summer storms, (which have been so frequent that we’ve just started embracing them and hiking in the rain.)
This jacket comes with all of the bells and whistles, too: storm flaps to keep the wind out; fully adjustable cuffs, hem, and hood…yet is both stretchy and breathable while being completely waterproof. There’s absolutely nothing stiff or (worse) rubbery about this jacket.
And frankly, The North Face’s Dryzzle Futurelight Pants are just as good. They’re stretchy and comfortable and come in both short and regular lengths. They have the same waterproofing and breathability as the jacket, with side zippers for ventilation and easy on/off.
And they look pretty cute, too.
I haven’t been this impressed with rain gear in a really long time. It seems like most waterproof shells are great for snowy conditions: it’s easy to make those babies really, really warm, but making something waterproof for warmer temps (or heck, even not-freezing temps) is tricky. Even my past breathable rain shells aren’t usually stretchy, and often uncomfortable on my skin.
I highly recommend these pieces.
Fit Notes: The North Face typically runs on the small side, so if you are between sizes, go up. I’m wearing a size small in the jacket and a size small (short length) in the pants. I’m roughly 5’3″ and 120 lbs. for reference. Happily, the pants are available in both a short and regular length. My Danner hiking boots are five years old now, and have logged tons of miles — I love them. The Dakine hydration pack has been my husband’s long-time favorite. Every time I try out a new pack, he goes back to the Dakine. He uses it for both hiking and skiing — and he’s right: it’s great. It’s one of the most comfortable packs, even with a full hydration bladder, and we can stuff it full.
…And The Jacket Is Cute Enough For The Daily
But one of the big reasons I keep going back to this North Face rain jacket (in black, specifically) — besides the stellar performance — is because it’s cuuuuute. And chic enough to double as my regular rain jacket.
Speaking of cute…if you are looking for hiking shorts, check out Backcountry’s Pecos Water Short. They’re lightweight, quick-dry, super-comfy and on sale. I’ve been wearing the heck out of mine in Vermont. Even when, uh, not hiking.
Fit Notes: This sweatshirt is thin, drapey and shockingly flattering. It also comes in black. The sandals are sneaker-comfy (I can walk all day in them), and the backpack comes in a zillion colors. My specific color is called, ‘ox red/goose eye’. Lastly, the baseball hat is made from recycled materials and is fully adjustable, so it fits Mike, Raines, and myself. Which…is already a problem.
We’re not going on any far-flung travels this year, but we’ve been able to find some seriously fun adventures closer to home. Vermont, in particular, has been stunning. We feel really lucky to be there.
photo credits: Savannah Brown Photography (SO nice working with you!!)
A huge thank you to Backcountry and Shopstyle for sponsoring this post! My family lives for our outdoor adventures, so getting to write about things near and dear to my heart is always a treat. As always, all product choices, thoughts and opinions are my own. And readers, thank you for your continued support. It doesn’t go unnoticed and is so very much appreciated!