After getting to know this new jacket, our verdict is that North Face has done a 180 from the previous version. While there are vents sewn into the jacket along the ribs and back, the giant venting panels have been removed and replaced with a very slick and quiet 100% Nylon fabric. The entire jacket has taken on more of a wind jacket form with intermittent vents placed around the torso and we found the performance of the jacket to follow. It performed well in wind and weather resistance but poor in breathability. On our heart pumping uphill runs, the jacket would collect moisture and cling to our arms, whereas the previous version offered superior breathability. We did, however, find superior protection from the elements with this new version.
New colors are here for the Better Than Naked! The orange that we tested is no longer in the lineup, but the jacket is unchanged otherwise.