Dude, you’ve gotta have a vest. Believe me… vests are one of the most essential pieces of gear you should have in your closet. Still in denial? Well, if you use The North Face Hydrogen Vest, you just might change your mind.

The North Face Hydrogen Vest Features:

  • Ultralight nylon ripstop fabric
  • Full mesh back panel for breathability
  • Reflective logos
  • Shaped collar
  • Napoleon pocket
  • Elastic-bound armholes and hem
  • Glow-in-the-dark zip pulls
  • Weight: 2.3 oz
  • MSRP: $79

The North Face Hydrogen Vest Review

Ultralight, breathable, wind-blocking… ’nuff said. Case closed. I really could just end the review there, but I’ll pontificate a bit. As a huge advocate of vests, I’ve really enjoyed the Hydrogen vest and have found it a trusty companion for mountain biking, road biking, trail running and any other outdoor activities I could throw its way. With wind-blocking 20D nylon ripstop material in the front and mesh in the back, your core stays warm without overheating.

Not only is the vest blocking the wind, but light PU Kiss Coat treatment keeps light rain at bay. Well, it at least blocks the frontside of your core and your backside will stay out of the rain so long as you keep on moving. The collar is just the right height and diameter for athletic pursuits and the locking zipper can be unlocked for single-pull ventilation as needed.

The North Face Hydrogen vest is comfortable, athletic-fitting and great in combination with a long-sleeve base layer for trail running in the 40-50 degree range and worn on top of a short-sleeve base layer in slightly warmer temps. I’ve also enjoyed wearing it as an ultralight mid layer.

On a recent trip to the Midwest, I stashed the vest in the car door as a “just in case” layer. I slipped it out a few times when a cool wind blew and it was just the trick.

I love the length of the vest as it hits about 3-inches below the hip for maximal coverage without extending too far. I wish there was at least a single mesh back pocket to stash little goodies, but that’s really the only negative.

Good Hydrogen

  • Perfect athletic cut… not too tight or loose
  • Just the right length for good coverage
  • Great protection for your core
  • Stays relatively stink-free
  • Collar height and diameter is perfect
  • Packs down to nothing
  • Wears well underneath a packpack (Deuter Kangakid shown above)

Bad Hydrogen

  • I’d love a rear mesh pocket

Bottom Line: The North Face Hydrogen Vest

A key piece of any outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe, The North Face Hydrogen vest has performed well on trail runs, hiking and mountain biking. I dig the wind protection and breathability in this ultralight package.

Buy Now: Find The North Face Vests at Backcountry.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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