If there’s ever a jacket that sounds like it’s out of a sci-fi movie then it’s the Fuseform Dot Matrix Insulated Jacket. Like Sprayway’s Halt, this jacket provides a waterproof outer shell and a fixed insulated liner to help provide protection from both the rain and the cold. It also uses The North Face’s new Fuseform technology, which does away with the need for seams, stitches and tape by weaving fabrics together, saving in weight and bulk.
As you would expect from a product from The North Face the jacket is finished to a high standard. Waterproofing is provided by a two-layer HyVent fabric and the insulation is Primaloft Eco, and immediately apparent as you slip your hands into the silky-smooth arms.
The jacket has two hand-warmer pockets and an internal chest pocket, but none are large enough to comfortably house an OS map. All the zips are water resistant and have large pulls to make them easy to use when you’re wearing gloves. The jacket’s shoulders are reinforced by a tougher fabric for protection against heavy rucksacks.
The hood is fully adjustable, and the insulation extends around the head which is a nice touch, though the peak has a tendency to lose shape in strong wind. Velcro cuffs make it easy to roll the sleeves up for temperature regulation, while two large pit zips allow you to cool off if you’re starting to sweat, which is likely in this furnace-like jacket.
That said, it’s also available in a non-insulated version, called the Fuseform Dot Matrix Jacket, for £170.
In a line: Comfortable, warm and waterproof: a very nice jacket.
- Weight and packsize: 6
- Features: 8
- Ventilation: 9
- Value for money: 8
- Overall: 8