The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

The North Face Dryzzle Review

A solid all-around performer that was super effective at keeping the wearer dry but its features and design weren't quite as functionally focused.
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Price:  $199 List
Pros:  Unbelievably long-lasting DWR, very stormproof, great breathability, excellent fitting hood with incredible peripheral vision
Cons:  Slightly boxier cut than most, sleeves pull back from wrists at full extension, hood doesn't work with climbing or bike helmets
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2016
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Water Resistance - 30% 9
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 7
  • Comfort & Mobility - 20% 6
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Durability - 5% 7
  • Packed Size - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The North Face Dryzzle is a reasonably versatile jacket featuring Gore-Tex Paclite for weather resistance. Our testing team loved this fabric for its relatively low weight, excellent breathability, and long-lasting weather resistance. We really liked most features of this jacket and were impressed by the functionality of its hood; however, each tester commented on the same primary downside: the Dryzzle's slightly below average mobility and range of motion. While we wouldn't say it was terrible, we do want to note that the sleeves pulled back from the wrists when we reached up or away at full extension. We experienced a little more bunching than other similar priced models like the Marmot Minimalist, Outdoor Research Foray, and Arc'teryx Zeta SL.

Color Updates
While the Dryzzle is no longer offered in the fiery red color that we tested, you can grab it in a variety of new shades, like the Rage Red shown in the photo above.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $199 List$224.99 at Backcountry
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$249.00 at REI$229.95 at Backcountry
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$122.85 at Amazon
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Pros Unbelievably long-lasting DWR, very stormproof, great breathability, excellent fitting hood with incredible peripheral visionTop-tier storm-worthiness, mobility and range of motion, hood design, long-lasting DWR, exceptional breathability, harness and hip-belt friendly pocketsThe most breathable material in our review, lightweight and compressible, stretchy fabric, top-tier hood design, extremely stormworthyStretchiest fabric in our review, cozy interior feel, breathability, robust, pleasant low-profile wrist closures, hood design is comfortable and maintains good peripheral visionAwesome hood, fantastic fit, very durable, exceptionally versatile, good breathability and ventilation, waterproof pockets
Cons Slightly boxier cut than most, sleeves pull back from wrists at full extension, hood doesn't work with climbing or bike helmetsNo ventilation options, expensive, no easy way to clip to a harnessCut is slightly on the boxy side, not as durable as other modelsNo chest pocket, hood doesn't fit over a helmet, size up this model to accommodate layeringHeavy for a "minimalist" design, slightly more expensive than non Gore-Tex jackets
Bottom Line A solid all-around performer that was super effective at keeping the wearer dry but its features and design weren't quite as functionally focused.This storm-worthy and function-focused model is exceptionally versatile, offering some of the best across-the-board performance in our review.One of the best jackets for backpacking and hiking, it's and packable, yet still provides top-tier storm worthiness.A solid alpine performer for mixed weather conditions, this mega stretchy model moves with you - without holding you back.While this jacket didn't win an award, it remains one of our favorites and is an awesome do-anything jacket offering excellent stormworthiness, functionality, & durability.
Rating Categories The North Face Dryzzle Arc'teryx Zeta SL REI Co-op Drypoint GTX Rab Kinetic Plus Marmot Minimalist
Water Resistance (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Breathability & Venting (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Comfort & Mobility (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
Weight (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
4
Durability (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
Packed Size (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Specs The North Face... Arc'teryx Zeta SL REI Co-op Drypoint... Rab Kinetic Plus Marmot Minimalist
Measured Weight (Medium) 13 oz 11 oz 10.5 oz 10 oz 15 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material 2.5 layer Gore-tex with PacLite technology 2-layer GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus waterproof breathable laminate 3-layer Gore-Tex Active Proflex™ 3-layer GORE-TEX with PacLite technology
Face Fabric and Layer Construction 50D 100% polyester w/ Gore-tex PacLite waterproof breathable membrane 40-denier ripstop (N40r) GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus 20D ripstop nylon Propriety Proflex waterproof membrane 2.5L 100% recycled polyester
Pockets 3: 1 chest pocket & 2-hand pockets 2 hand 2 zip hand 2 hand 2 zip hand, 1 chest
Are lower pockets hipbelt friendly No Yes Yes Yes
Pit Zips Yes Yes No No Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood (not only fits but not too tight) No No No No Yes
Stows Into Pocket? No No No No (but included stuff sack) No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Dryzzle is an excellent all-around jacket for hiking, backpacking or around town use; it will function for occasional downhill and backcountry ski days or summer-time mountaineering trips. Its Gore-Tex Paclite fabric provides excellent breathability and long-lasting storm protection. Feature-wise, this contender is worthy for around town or hiking or backpacking. Its fit and mobility make it just okay for climbing or other activities that require significant movement.

Performance Comparison



Water Resistance


This contender uses Gore-tex PacLite for its weather resistance, and our testing team feels this is easily one of the best fabrics available. The Dryzzle's DWR is unbelievable good; we struggled to take a photo with water on the jacket because it just ran off so easily. The Gore-Tex Paclite is super long lasting and near as stormworthy as it gets. The hood offers fantastic weather protection; while on several extended hikes on very wet days, the Dryzzle kept us dry.

The DWR on the Dryzzle is so good that we struggled to take photos of water on it because it ran off so easily. Our testing team was also impressed with how long the DWR lasted on this jacket - still going strong after a dozen hikes and lots of around town use in the Pacific Northwest.
The DWR on the Dryzzle is so good that we struggled to take photos of water on it because it ran off so easily. Our testing team was also impressed with how long the DWR lasted on this jacket - still going strong after a dozen hikes and lots of around town use in the Pacific Northwest.

Breathability and Ventilation


This rain jacket's Gore-Tex Paclite fabric offered top-notch breathability and proved more permeable than most other materials we tested. This contender impressed our review team while on real-world hiking and backpacking trips and during our side-by-side treadmill test. Besides great breathability, this rain jacket features pit-zips. While they aren't anything special and are common among similarly priced jackets, they certainly are nice when you want to dump heat and facilitate the moisture to escape.

Comfort and Mobility


We liked the overall feel of the Dryzzle. It offered decent (but not excellent) mobility. The only thing our testing team found lacking was that its arms were ever so slightly on the short side and the cut was a little boxier than most. We never had a problem with the sleeves while hiking or backpacking, but while climbing or performing other tasks with our hands above our heads, we noticed the sleeves pulled back near our wrists more than most models. This wasn't a huge drawback, rather more of a minor annoyance.

The Dryzzle offers average mobility. The hem stayed down with our hands over our heads and the jacket never felt restrictive  but the sleeves would pull back when reaching above our heads or straight out in front of us.
The Dryzzle offers average mobility. The hem stayed down with our hands over our heads and the jacket never felt restrictive, but the sleeves would pull back when reaching above our heads or straight out in front of us.

Several small features made the Dryzzle a little cozier. Some of these features include a micro-fleece fabric on the inside of the top of the zipper to keep the wearer's chin from getting caught in the zipper. There is also an internal fabric that rarely felt clammy even while working hard, as well as easy-to-grab zipper pulls. Other small features warrant us to give a subtle nod to comfort and show attention to detail.

The Dryzzle's hood  like the Marmot Minimalist's  is fantastic  offering outstanding storm protection and excellent peripheral vision. The only downside for some users is that it doesn't work very well with a climbing or bike helmet.
The Dryzzle's hood, like the Marmot Minimalist's, is fantastic, offering outstanding storm protection and excellent peripheral vision. The only downside for some users is that it doesn't work very well with a climbing or bike helmet.

Hood Design

The Dryzzle's hood was fantastic with a baseball cap or a beanie, or only just your head. It provided the wearer above-average storm protection and kept our testers dry in both real-world uses and through an array of side-by-side comparisons. This contender offers excellent features that help keep it snug around the wearer's head without limiting any peripheral vision. The only downside? The Dryzzle's hood doesn't fit over a climbing or bike helmet very well; while it does technically fit, it's much tighter than the other models we tested, and it does affect the wearer's comfort and peripheral vision in these scenarios.

The cinch cord on the Dryzzle's hood.
The cinch cord on the Dryzzle's hood.

Pocket Design

The Dryzzle features two hand-warmer-style pockets and one chest Napoleon style pocket. The lower pockets are a nice place to put your hands but are low enough that they get covered up by a backpack waist-belt or climbing harness, making them hard to access. The one small upside of this jacket during these activities is that even with a more substantial pack, the zippers don't seem to pinch; they aren't as painful as other models in our review because of a combination of the storm flaps and lower gauge zipper. With that said if you are aiming to do a lot of backpacking or other trips where you might be carrying a pack, we'd recommend the Arc'teryx Zeta SL, REI Drypoint GTX, or the Marmot Minimalist, which all have more pack friendly pockets.

The Dryzzle is a pretty versatile jacket  though its lower hand pockets get covered by a backpack's waist-belt or a climbing harness. Luckily  The North Face used pretty low profile zippers  so it generally wasn't a big deal as far as discomfort.
The Dryzzle is a pretty versatile jacket, though its lower hand pockets get covered by a backpack's waist-belt or a climbing harness. Luckily, The North Face used pretty low profile zippers, so it generally wasn't a big deal as far as discomfort.

Weight


This contender weighs 13 ounces; it's lighter than most three-layer construction Gore-tex jackets but pretty average among Gore-tex Paclite models. While this jacket could be considered lightweight, there are lighter weight options, such as the Patagonia Storm Racer (6 oz), the Outdoor Research Helium II (6.5 oz), and the Black Diamond Fineline (7.5 oz), which are all half or nearly half the weight. The REI Drypoint GTX and the Arc'teryx Zeta SL are the lightest Gore-Tex jackets that we tested, with both weighing around 11 ounces; however, neither feature pit-zips, which is likely where much of the two-ounce weight difference can be accounted for.

Durability


The Dryzzle uses a 50D face fabric which is slightly thicker than most rain jackets. Our testing team was impressed by the overall durability of the Dryzzle and think it's plenty durable enough for most backpacking and hiking uses. It would even be a good option for occasional mountaineering or backcountry skiing applications. It offers comparable toughness to the OR Foray and the Arc'tyerx Zeta SL, though isn't quite as tough as the Marmot Minimalist.

Packed Size


Similar to our weight comparison, this contender packs down reasonably small and offers better packability than most 3-layer Gore-Tex jackets. That said, it's pretty average among Gore-tex Paclite models and doesn't compress nearly as well as some Pertex or models that use a coated waterproof breathable insert. Though it's not as far off, it is likely only 10-20% larger than most of those models. It isn't a huge deal for most, but the Dryzzle doesn't compress into either of its pockets, unlike several other similar models that we reviewed.

Best Applications


The Dryzzle is a pretty versatile shell; it is breathable and packable enough for everything from day hikes to extended backpacking trips. It's also durable enough for climbing or backcountry ski trips, though other models like the Marmot Minimalist, Outdoor Research Foray, or Arc'teryx Zeta SL offer slightly better mobility and ventilation. How so? They are better for activities where those features become more paramount. While twice the price, we do think the material and design of the Dryzzle allows it to offer better performance at backcountry activities better when compared to the Marmot PreCip, The North Face Venture 2, or the Columbia Watertight II.

Value


At $200, this rain jacket is an average price wise when compared to many other Gore-Tex PacLite models on the market. It's slightly less expensive than the Outdoor Research Foray and a lot less expensive than the Arc'teryx Zeta SL. While the Dryzzle is more expensive than nearly all models that feature a propitiatory coated waterproof-breathable fabric, the Gore-tex Paclite fabric offers superior breathability and long-lasting weather resistance (when compared to many of the less expensive coated models). For folks doing more than just walking around town, it's worth it.

Conclusion and the Bottom Line


The Dryzzle is an excellent all-around shell for everything from backpacking to urban rainy day adventures. It's also reasonably priced. Folks will be impressed with its longevity and superior breathability over other options like the Marmot PreCip, The North Face Venture 2, or the Patagonia Torrentshell.


Ian Nicholson