Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gear Closet: The North Face Radish Mid-Layer Jacket

The North Face week continues here on the Adventure Blog with a new gear review today. On Monday, I shared my thoughts on the company's Runners Gloves and Pass Through Beanie and yesterday I posted my review of their excellent Flashdry Crew Neck Baselayer. Today I share my feelings about another great piece of performance apparel from TNF – the Radish Mid-Layer Jacket.

Snug and form fitting, the Radish is a fleece mid-layer designed to move with the wearer without restricting motion in any way. That makes it an excellent option for nearly any outdoor activity or for simply wearing around town.

The North Face incorporated its Flashdry fabrics into this jacket as well, delivering high performance in a great looking package. Flashdry imbues this jacket with the ability to not only shrug off moisture quickly and easily but it also allows it to breathe nicely as well. That combination of effects helps to keep us warmer and dryer no matter what kind of weather we face on our outdoor pursuits.

Since the Radish is designed to act as a mid-layer, it does an excellent job of working in conjunction with a baselayer to extend performance even further. I wore this jacket with the TNF Flashdry Crew Neck and found that thy were a perfect combination. In fact, they kept me so warm that I never needed an outer shell while hiking in colder weather. I tend to run a little warm in general, but I think most people will find these two products to be a great combination for cold weather trekking, peak bagging or trail running. Add in a shell and you have a complete layering system that will have you ready to explore all but the harshest environments.

When I first pulled on this jacket I was immediately impressed with how comfortable it is to wear. The form-fitting design might not be for everyone, but I appreciated how well it wraps around my body, keeping me toasty warm, without impeding my range of motion in any way. Even the fitted hood is nicely designed, stretching just enough to cover a helmet when needed, and swiveling with your head to avoid obstructing your view. North Face even cleverly integrated protective fabrics on the shoulders and hips to prevent unexpected abrasion damage when wearing a backpack.

I have been so happy with the performance of this jacket that I've even been wearing it when I don't need high performance gear. The Radish looks great, which makes it a nice choice to wear casually around town in cool or cold weather, and it even garnered a few compliments from friends who now want one for their own gear closet.

The Radish Mid-layer Jacket is a high performance piece of gear that outdoor athletes will simply love. Whether as part of a complete layering system or just as causal wear, I think you'll be as impressed with this jacket as I am. This is North Face apparel at its finest, comfortable, versatile and incredibly well made. Those who appreciate the kind of performance that this jacket delivers won't balk at its $230 price tag, but for those who hesitate at that kind of investment I have some advice. This is a jacket that will last you for years to come and provide unprecedented performance. In short, it is a product that is worth the money and one that you'll truly appreciate every time you put it on.

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