REVIEW: THE NORTH FACE
FUSEFORM DOT MATRIX JACKET
RATING: 4.5 /5
By Meghan J. Ward
If there are two things the outdoor experience in the Canadian Rockies can guarantee, it’s wild weather and rough terrain. Here is one place where you really need an outer layer that performs well. For the most part, I haven’t had much luck finding a jacket that is truly waterproof and durable. The North Face FuseForm Dot Matrix Jacket (reg. price $259.99 CAD) promises to be both of these things, as well as ultralight and breathable. The FuseForm technology seamlessly integrates strong nylon yarns at the shoulders and breathable polyester yarns through the torso. In plain English, that means durability without bulk and constriction. Here are the results of my test-drive so far.
- I have somewhat broad shoulders for my size and jackets rarely fit across the back of my shoulders. This one offers ample room and flexibility. It’ll definitely be a go-to on scrambles and climbs, especially if it holds up in a more rugged environment when I’m potentially scraping past rocks.
- I have so far worn it in a snowstorm and a rain storm and it kept me dry as can be.
- The adjustable hood fits comfortably. You can also stretch it easily over a helmet.
- I appreciate the width in the wrists of the sleeves. Often we’re pulling mittens on or pulling a jacket over a fleece. The velcro on the wrists adjusts quickly and easily.
- Two words: pit zips! Why do companies ever make jackets without these vents? Happy to see them on the FuseForm Dot Matrix.
- Overall, this is a no-fuss jacket that would be a great option for most recreational mountain activities, especially camping, hiking and scrambling.
- I am usually a clear Medium in The North Face products, and while this product was supposed to have an “Active” (and not “Relaxed”) fit, it is quite loose on me. The good news is that this allows me to wear some layers underneath. But, for me, it’s not exactly true-to-size for a fitted jacket.
- I love bright colours, but wow – this pink is highlighter pink! My photographer friends will either love it or hate it. It’s a bit too bright for me, but I suppose if I’m ever lost out there, someone will surely pick me out of the landscape.
- I love having an interior pocket to store those things that I don’t want accidentally falling out of my hand pockets when I open them. This jacket only has the two hand zip pockets. For that same reason (so chest-level pockets), I wouldn’t use this jacket if I was also wearing a harness and wanted easy pocket access.
Thanks to Live Out There for sending this product for review.
Writer, adventurer, outdoorsy mama and summit cartwheeler, Meghan J. Ward is the editor and co-founder at Crowfoot Media and lives for backcountry getaways.