Designed with long distance trail runners in mind, the new GTD Jacket from The North Face is ultra-lightweight, breathable and water repellent, and comes in a few happy bright colours. I might not be a distance runner, but as with so many things like this, they are not confined to one sport or one use. I’ve been using my jaiden green and white (read: turquoise) GTD Jacket as my top layer when walking and cycling.
The main feature of this jacket that makes it useful is how small and light it is. It is really thin and all stuffs into the chest pocket with room to spare, fitting in the palm of my hand. This makes it absolutely perfect to carry in my bag as a layer when walking and cycling – it takes up practically no space and weighs next to nothing. There seems little point not taking it out.
Described as “water repellent”, this is not designed to be a waterproof coat by any means, but it will keep light rain from soaking you through. It’s main function is to be windproof whilst also being breathable, both of which it does very well – the mesh sections under the arms and down the back where you are most likely to sweat are complemented by a rip-stop fabric for the rest of the jacket which helps to keep you protected from the wind. It might be thin and therefore look fragile but an attack from some pesky brambles on my cycle ride the other day did no harm to the sleeve – no rip, no hole, no scratch.
Even on the warm days we’ve had this year I have found myself reaching for this for my commute to work in the mornings – it was just enough to keep my temperature up and then is easily stuffed in the side pocket of my bag for the journey home when it was much warmer. The jacket has a reflective elements to it including reflective logo and strips, while it is not as visible as a proper high vis top, it is fine for summer days.
I find The North Face sizing is pretty standard across their range. I am a size medium in all the jackets/tops I have from my ski coat to waterproof layers to technical t-shirts. This jacket is also a medium and fits my lumpy 10/12 upper body just fine. There is enough stretch in the material to move with you easily when you are being active.
It’s no secret that I am a fan of The North Face and the quality and usefulness of their technical clothing, and there is no difference for this product. It might be designed primarily for trail runners doing long distances over hills who want something small and light that doesn’t get in the way, but the jacket is also ideal for walkers and cyclists who want an easy-to-wear and easy-to-carry top layer for cooler breezy days.
The Women’s GTD Jacket is reduced on The North Face website at the moment to £39.99.
Thanks to The North Face for sending me this new jacket to try out.