Hands-on Gear Review

The North Face Venture 2 - Women's Review

This jacket performs well for the price, sacrificing only pack size and durability.
By: Holly Zynda ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 4, 2018
Price:  $99 List  |  $98.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Affordable, lightweight, breathable
Cons:  Not as durable, fairly bulky
Manufacturer:   The North Face
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Water Resistance - 30% 9
  • Breathability - 15% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Packed Size - 5% 6
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Our Verdict

The North Face Venture 2 stands among the leading rain shells in its class, ranking just below our top picks. It is a solid product, offering excellent functionality where it counts, particularly in water resistance. Thus, this jacket will do just what it purports to do—keep you dry while you adventure in the wilderness (or during your daily commute). In addition to keeping you dry, this jacket ranked well in breathability, weight, and comfort, making it a functional piece to add to your wardrobe in case of rain. And, at the relatively low price point, you can get a reliable jacket from a trustworthy brand. However, if you are an ultralight backpacker, the Outdoor Research Helium II- Women's might be a better pick, or if you want a dependable jacket that will protect you for years, check out the Outdoor Research Aspire-Women's.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

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Performance Comparison


An affordable option for a daily-use rain shell, the Venture 2 will ensure you don't get wet and won't take up too much space or add too much weight to your pack while remaining comfortable for all-day wear.

The Venture 2 proved highly water resistant in both field testing and in the lab.
The Venture 2 proved highly water resistant in both field testing and in the lab.

Water Resistance


The North Face Venture 2 comes equipped with Dryvent™ technology to keep you cool while also keeping you dry. Moreover, the seams are fully sealed with reinforced waterproof material and a liner coating to ensure full waterproofing. The zipper includes double storm flaps to keep water out and keep the zipper from chafing while on the move. Plus, this jacket offers all of the possible cinch ties, so you can batten down the hatches when facing the most extreme weather. In our tests, this jacket lived up to its claims, ranking among the highest in water resistance both in real conditions and under testing conditions, when compared to the other jackets we tried.

Breathability


With its relatively thin fabric and Dryvent technology, as well as the (quickly becoming) ubiquitous pit zips, the Venture 2 ranked highly in breathability. This jacket doesn't sacrifice airflow for waterproofing, keeping the user comfortable during exertion or on hot, wet days.

Comfort


The North Face is known for its stylish, high-class design, ensuring wearers look good in highly functional gear. With its flattering fit, the Venture 2 is no exception. It boasts sleek, smooth material, keeping you comfortable without sticking to your skin. The inner storm flap protects you from the zipper and even has soft fabric at the top, so your chin doesn't chafe when you have it zipped all of the way up, and the pit zips are constructed in such a way that they also prevent chafing.

Weight


At 10.34 ounces, the Venture 2 ranked as the third lightest of the jackets, making it a great lightweight option. It uses advanced technology to keep the fabric light without sacrificing water resistance, making it an excellent option for keeping in your day pack just in case or packing in your bag for a longer trip. It provides you with leading performance without weighing you down.

Durability


Not the highest ranking jacket in durability, this shell's thin fabric provides great protection for light use. For more extreme uses, this jacket may not hold up as well as some of the thicker-fabric jackets. In order to extend the life of your Venture 2, make sure you follow the manufacturer's care instructions. Plus, with The North Face, you get a limited warranty in case of failure.

Packed Size


The packed size of the Venture 2 was a bit surprising, especially considering the seemingly light weight of the material. At 9.5x5.5x3.5 inches while packed, this jacket ranked among the lowest in packed size, partially because, while it does offer the convenience of a stuff sack pocket with carabineer loop, it isn't the most efficiently sized container.

For your on-the-go convenience  the Venture 2 packs down into a pocket stuff sack.
For your on-the-go convenience, the Venture 2 packs down into a pocket stuff sack.

Best Application


This jacket will serve you very well in town, on your commute, or for three-weather outdoor use. It is also a great rainy-day option for keeping in the bottom of your bag for when you need it. It wears also wears well over a base layer for cooler weather.

Value


At $98.95 this jacket ranks among the most affordable, particularly from such a trusted name brand. Plus, you get the waterproof performance of a top-of-the-line jacket, though what you gain in affordability, you lose in durability, so plan on replacing it after a few years of heavy use.

Conclusion


An excellent option for wearing while window shopping, hiking, or pursuing other adventures, this jacket comes in at a low price point without sacrificing reliability nor functionality. If you are seeking a rain shell to keep you dry in all types of weather, this jacket is a suitable option.

Holly Zynda

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Most recent review: May 4, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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5 star: 100%  (1)
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