It's Retro, Technically

The North Face Revived an Iconic Jacket with an Awesome New Feature


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Reviving iconic pieces of gear is a common way for brands to cash in on retro trends. The outdoor industry’s long-running bout with nostalgia has already produced uncountable examples. Still, old style doesn’t always match contemporary performance, and performance in nature’s elements is, after all, why this stuff exists. In bringing back its Mountain Light jacket, which debuted in 1988, The North Face is taking the opportunity to update the classic style with its most advanced material available.

That’s FutureLight, The North Face’s new flagship ultra-breathable waterproof fabric. The company first wrapped the new material into its latest ski and mountaineering lines and has since expanded it into rain jackets, footwear and more. It wasn’t around in ’88 when mountaineers wore the original Mountain Light on fast-and-light expeditions (though they would’ve appreciated it), and it wasn’t around in the nineties when urbanites embraced the jacket as daily wear.

More impressive technical layers exist for mountain climbers — including the most advanced collection by The North Face to date — but streetwear enthusiasts have a functional new ally in the 1994 Retro Mountain Light FutureLight Jacket reissue. If they’re so inclined, they might even wear it to the top of a nearby peak.

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Tanner Bowden

Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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