Reviews You Can Rely On

The North Face Venture 2 Review

One of the better all-around jackets in its price range, it isn't as breathable as the PreCip and is cut a little looser, but is tough enough for the occasional downhill ski day
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The North Face Venture 2 Review
Credit: The North Face
Price:  $110 List
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Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 19, 2017
  • Water Resistance - 30% 6.0
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort & Mobility - 20% 6.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.0
  • Durability - 5% 6.0
  • Packed Size - 5% 6.0

Our Verdict

The North Face Venture 2 performs reasonably well, especially when you take into account its sub-hundred dollar price tag. While we found it was comparable to the Best Buy Award-winning Patagonia Torrentshell and the similarly priced Marmot PreCip, it didn't win an award primarily because it just wasn't quite as breathable as either of these two models. What the Venture 2 did have going for is its durability, which was among the toughest in its price range. The other thing that impressed our review team about this relatively few-frills jacket is how well its DWR (its ability bead and shed water) held over time. The Venture is a reasonably priced rain jacket for folks who will occasionally take hiking, backpacking, bike, or downhill ski trip but mostly need a rain jacket for around-town use.
Fairly light
Good ventilation
Nice hood design
Fairly compact
Solid weather resistance
Good mobility
Relatively bulky fit
Not the most breathable (but less clammy than the previous generation)
Hood doesn't fit over a helmet
Color Updates

The North Face is continually updating its palette of colors for staples like the Venture 2. We show a current colorway above.

March 2020

Our Analysis and Test Results

The North Face Venture 2 is an excellent value for the average hiker, backpacker, skier, or someone who needs a rain jacket for running around town. It offers a competitive price tag and competes for our Best Bang for Buck Award; it provides excellent weather resistance, and a DWR that we found lasted longer the most models in its price range. The Venture is also light and packable enough to live in the bottom of your bag for a day (or a week) on the trail and sturdy enough for occasionally downhill skiing. The primary factor that kept this otherwise solid model from winning our Best Buy award was the identically priced and similarly designed Marmot Precip offered superior breathability.

Performance Comparison

the north face venture 2 - the north face uses their proprietary dryvent coated waterproof...
The North Face uses their proprietary dryVent coated waterproof breathable fabric on the Venture II. This fabric performed fantastically in both our side-by-side shower tests and in real-world testing. It wasn't quite as breathable as other models we tested, but its DWR held up longer than most similarly priced jackets in our review.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Water Resistance

The North Face uses their own 2.5 layer propitiatory Dryvent fabric for weather resistance. This face fabric's DWR held up decently well after several weeks of field use and several more days of rainy around-town action. Long-term, the DWR held up similarly to the Patagonia Torrentshell, Outdoor Research Helium II, and Marmot Precip.

the north face venture 2 - while the venture's weather resistance wasn't outstanding, it did...
While the Venture's weather resistance wasn't outstanding, it did stand up quite well to the other models we tested - especially impressive considering its $100 price tag.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Venture kept us dry, especially considering its price tag. There's nothing particularly special about its hood; it doesn't have a stiffened brim, but when the elastic is cinched at the back of the hood, it keeps the elements out (and this task is easily accomplished with gloves on). The Venture 2's hood maintained a respectable amount of peripheral vision, even when tightly cinched down. We were impressed by how well this model held its water resistance over time. It offers slightly higher performance than the super light Outdoor Research Helium II or the Columbia Watertight II.

the north face venture 2 - dan whitmore testing a north face venture jacket during an extremely...
Dan Whitmore testing a North Face Venture jacket during an extremely wet trip to Washington's North Cascades National Park. The Venture, with its 50D external face fabric, was on the tougher end of jackets we tested.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Breathability & Ventilation

The proprietary DryVent 2.5 layer coating used for this rain jacket was not as breathable as other fabrics found on jackets in a similar price range. While the newest version of the Venture 2 is marginally more breathable, it's worth noting that we found the new Venture to feel noticeably less clammy than the older version.

the north face venture 2 - the venture 2 features average length pit zips which were similar to...
The Venture 2 features average length pit zips which were similar to its closest competition, the PreCip and Torrentshell jackets. If you are looking for a model with a ton of ventilation, check out the Outdoor Research Foray, which features vents from the hem of the jacket all the way up the sides to the armpit area.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

What the Venture does bring to the table is a good set of ventilation features for a budget-friendly rain jacket. It no longer features the larger-than-average pit zips; however, the pit zips are moved slightly forward, and our testers found this design not only created more effective ventilation but was also more comfortable, as the zipper wasn't right in your arm-pit. The hand pockets are lined with a tightly woven, but not waterproof fabric, meaning you get a little bonus venting when you leave them open.

the north face venture 2 - all of our reviewers liked the feel of the newer venture 2's...
All of our reviewers liked the feel of the newer Venture 2's internal fabric over the previous model's, as the newer fabric feels a little less clammy.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Although the Venture isn't as breathable as several of its competitors, it does provide good ventilation with its design of pit-zips, which are moved slightly forward, allowing them to dump heat and excess moisture more effectively.

Comfort & Mobility

This model is something of a mixed bag in this metric; the hood fits well, and a micro-fleece patch on the chin is quite comfortable. The zipper pulls are easy enough to use, but the cord locks for hood and hem adjustment are small. While these features are not the easiest to operate with gloves on, they weren't impossible, either. This jacket moves with you well, but it pulls up slightly more than others (near your waist) can with arms overhead (but is improved from the previous Venture).

the north face venture 2 - the venture 2 offers slightly lower than average mobility and range...
The Venture 2 offers slightly lower than average mobility and range of motion. It wasn't bad, just not quite as good as either the Marmot PreCip or the Patagonia Torrentshell.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


The Venture's overall mobility is slightly below average; it's not that we felt it was restrictive, but when compared side-by-side to other models like the Marmot PreCip or Patagonia Torrentshell, the Venture bunched up or exposed our wrists slightly more at the maximum ranges of mobility.

the north face venture 2 - while the venture 2 wasn't very good over bike or ski helmets...
While the Venture 2 wasn't very good over bike or ski helmets (though you could wear the hood underneath a helmet) it was great on its own and offered solid storm protection and above average peripheral vision.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Hood Design

The North Face has improved the Venture's hood, and we think it's one of the nicest in its price range. We like it slightly better than the Marmot PreCip, primarily because of a cinching elastic drawstring at the back of the hood. This allows the hood to move with us more effectively when we turned side to side. That said, the Venture's hood is NOT an over the top helmet design, and climbers may want to look elsewhere. It fits great over a beanie or a baseball cap, but it will have to be worn under a helmet unlike the Torrentshell or the Outdoor Research Helium II, which both fit respectably well over a climbing or big helmet.


Another nice improvement, besides a general overall better performance, is the Venture 2 lost about two ounces from its predecessor. Our size medium test model weighed in at 11.9 ounces, slightly lighter than its closest competition. If you are looking for a lighter and more packable jacket, we recommend you take a look at the 6.5-ounce Outdoor Research Helium II, or the 7.5 ounce Black Diamond Fineline.


This jacket's 40D ripstop nylon should stand up to some wear and tear, and it earned a middle of the pack durability score, proving to be a little tougher than the PreCip or Watertight. With that said, none of these jackets aren't quite as tough as the Marmot Minimalist, Outdoor Research Foray, or Arc'teryx Zeta SL. Compared to its closest competition, it offered similar longevity to the Marmot Precip Eco but was slightly less tear and abrasion-resistant as the Patagonia Torrentshell.

the north face venture 2 - this model packs tightly into a stuff sack built into one of its...
This model packs tightly into a stuff sack built into one of its pockets. While marginally on the tight side, we appreciated the more compact package when it's all stowed away. Shown here: a size medium packed away next to a 1-liter Nalgene for size reference.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Packed Size

This model compresses slightly smaller than average among comparable jackets on the market. A nice, though increasingly common feature is that the Venture stuffs into its left-hand pocket and features a clip-in loop when stuffed. When packed, it is similar in packed size to the Patagonia Torrentshell and the Marmot PreCip.

the north face venture 2 - the cuffs on this model were low profile but did a good job at...
The cuffs on this model were low profile but did a good job at sealing out the elements without feeling bulky around our wrists, even while wearing gloves.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


This rain jacket has a nice hood with a medium-sized brim, as well as two elastic cinch cords. The cord locks are external on the sides and at the rear of the hood. The cord that runs across the brow goes through a unique sleeve, which creates a little comfy airspace above it. This model comes complete with a comfy micro-fleece chin flap and a hang loop at the back of the collar.

the north face venture 2 - this model has cozy pockets to keep your hands warm, but they're too...
This model has cozy pockets to keep your hands warm, but they're too low to use with a backpacking pack or a climbing harness.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

This jacket has pit zips with strings on the zipper pull tabs, and storm flaps cover the zippers. It also has hand pockets that can add just a little more ventilation if left open. The jacket also stuffs into the left front pocket. The wrist cuffs tighten down with a Velcro tab, and the elastic hem cinch has cord locks on both hips.

the north face venture 2 - when stuffed into its "stow-pocket", the venture 2 also features a...
When stuffed into its “stow-pocket”, the Venture 2 also features a carabiner clip-in point sewn into one corner, allowing you to clip it onto a climbing harness.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


At just under one hundred dollars, this is one of the least expensive 2.5 layer rain jackets we tested. For the truly budget-conscious, it will get the job done. But the added performance and small details of the award-winning Marmot PreCip and the climbing-specific Patagonia Torrentshell are a better value for most.

the north face venture 2 - the venture's two lower pockets are a great place to put your hands...
The Venture's two lower pockets are a great place to put your hands when it's cold, but they're cut lower on the jacket and get trapped under a backpacks waist-belt or a climbing harness.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


As one of the most affordable 2.5 layer shells, we tested, The North Face Venture is a good entry-level shell for the budget seekers. It's also an incredible deal for the occasional hiker or backpacker and will impress urban-focused users.

the north face venture 2 - this model is sized for layers underneath.
This model is sized for layers underneath.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Ian Nicholson