The North Face made an unexpected appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, where it revealed a revolutionary new fabric called Futurelight. This material promises to be a game-changer in terms of breathability and moisture management in outdoor gear, allowing skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, trail runners, and other athletes to stay drier and more comfortable even in changing weather conditions. At the time of the announcement, it was unclear how long we’d have to wait to try Futurelight for ourselves, but now we not only known when it is coming, but which North Face products will use the fabric as well.
According to The North Face, the first pieces of outdoor gear to incorporate Futurelight will go on sale on October 1. All of those products will fall under the company’s premium banners, including the expedition-focused Summit Series, the ski and snowboard-oriented Steep Series, and the Flight Series, which is built for trail running and other outdoor aerobic pursuits.
The first Futurelight products will include jackets, pants, and bibs built for use in the mountains and on the slopes. For example, the Summit Series consists of the heavy-duty Summit L5 Jacket ($650) and Summit L5 Full-Zip Bib ($600), along with the lighter-weight Summit L5 LT Jacket ($450) and Summit L5 LT Pants ($400). The Steep Series offers three different lines of ski and snowboard jackets and bibs, including the Brigandine ($749/$649, respectively), A-CAD ($599/$549), and the Purist ($649/$549), each with its own designs, features, and levels of performance. Finally, the Flight Jacket, falls under the Flight Series banner and is built specifically for trail runners. It is the most affordable Futurelight garment to date with its $280 price tag.
The first Futurelight products are aimed squarely at serious outdoor enthusiasts, and the price points reflect that. The North Face says that it expects Futurelight to eventually trickle down to other product lines in its catalog, bringing the fabric within reach of more consumers. In fact, the material is expected to be incorporated into a wide range of outdoor gear in the months ahead, including footwear and even tents.
A Futurelight page has launched on The North Face website, but for now it just promises that “The Revolution Begins” on October 1. A form is also in place to collect email addresses for people looking to be notified when the gear goes on sale. If the fabric lives up to the hype, and it delivers the level of performance that The North Face promises, Futurelight could indeed usher in a new era in terms of comfort in the outdoors. We’ll just have to wait a few more weeks to find out.
- Wikipedia angry at North Face after retailer gamed its site for free ads
- North Face’s new waterproof fabric makes Gore-Tex look downright primitive