We were excited to try out the The North Face Apex Flex GTX, a feature-rich rain jacket/softshell hybrid. But, unfortunately, its performance was underwhelming, the fit awkward, and the material overly stiff and heavy-feeling. The stiffness, in particular, surprised us because the description for this jacket on the manufacturer's site, and backed up by multitudes of customer reviews online, describes a contender that is soft, lightweight, and stretchy - practically the opposite of our experience.
This puzzled us, and with a bit more investigation we found that the solid-colored Apex Flex GTX models have a substantially different material composition than the heather-colors: which is what we tested. The solid-colored jackets are comprised of 75D Gore-tex, 92% polyester, and 8% elastane. The heather colors are 70D Gore-tex, 60% polyester, 33% nylon, and 7% elastane. It is frustrating to know that we may have had a different experience with this jacket had we ordered a solid color, but sadly that's the reality. The review that follows is for the "Dark Grey Heather" color.