The Venture Fastpack from North Face is a great little jacket for the money. This lightweight and budget-friendly rain jacket is sure to keep you dry and prepared when foul weather comes your way.
Let’s dive straight into some features of the Venture Fastpack! The first is that it’s equipped with two hand pockets that have large openings to make it fast and easy to slip an item into. When I go running in my Venture Fastpack, I like to store my GU Energy Chews in the hand pockets because I know I will be able to have quick access to them at any time during my run. You can also put your phone in the left pocket and listen to music with headphones because it’s media compatible. The insides of the pockets are lined with a simple mesh fabric which helps keep the jacket lightweight and breathable.
Next up are the zippers to the pockets and front center. I really love the North Face pulls for the zippers because they’re big and have a texturized grip that makes them super easy to operate when your hands are wet. For the zipper mechanism itself, I’m going to have to take a point off. The zippers on this jacket are a bit stiff and have a cheap feeling when zipping and unzipping them. Even though they aren’t the smoothest of all zippers, they keep the water out which is the most important job of all.
Moving downwards to the waist of the the Venture Fastpack, you will find cinch-cords on the left and right interior sides. These make it easy to secure the jacket around you while helping to keep water from splashing up under your waist.
While I’m on the subject of cinch-cords, I’d like to talk a bit about the hood of this jacket. On the back side of the hood, you will find a cinch-cord identical to the ones at the waist that tightens and loosens the back part of the hood. For fine-tune adjustments to the front, you get two adjustable cords which can be seen in the picture above.
Finally, we arrive at the cuffs. The Venture Fastpack has standard velcro cuffs that I’m sure you’ve seen on hundreds of other jackets. By now, you may have noticed that triangle pattern which is easily visible inside of the sleeve in the picture above. This design is screened on and gives the Venture Fastpack a unique look which I’m a huge fan of.
How it Performs
Considering that North Face’s Venture Fastpack Jacket comes in at just $130, I am pleasantly surprised with how well it performs. For a jacket to be this lightweight and fully waterproof is impressive. Most rain jackets that are this light and fully waterproof can cost between $200 to $300. As far as breathability goes, it’s decent, but could be improved upon. As for the build of the Venture Fastpack, it combines North Faces’s DryVent and Active Fit technologies to allow you a full range of motion, waterproofness, and breathability. The material is 100% nylon, and the total weight of the jacket is only 8.36 oz. The best part about this jacket is that you can quickly stuff it into a bag and go. You don’t have to worry about it because it barely takes up space and is as light as a feather.
For all of the features the Venture Fastpack has, it’s truly a bang for your buck. It’s extremely lightweight, breathable, and completely waterproof. At $130, this jacket is ideal for the budget-minded person who’s interested in the outdoors, or someone who wants a simple jacket to keep them dry while going running, walking, or getting around town. Even though I own some jackets that are three times more expensive than the Venture Fastpack, I still find myself wearing it occasionally due to the simplicity and packability of it. Yes, there are many jackets out there that perform better, but none are as cheap and as good looking as the Venture Fastpack.