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How The North Face Venture Jacket Stacks Up Versus Leading Rain Jackets

Best rain jacket

The North Face is an outdoor clothing and equipment company that invokes a sense of timelessness and quality whenever I hear their name. North Face consistently manufactures a high quality product; when shopping around I always end up including a piece of their gear in my expedition inventory.

In this comparison I am going to be mainly focused on economic rain jackets, constructed from rip-stop nylon with a laminate applied as the top layer to create a waterproof, breathable membrane. These jackets can be used for a variety of activities and generally tend to be an all-round great piece of gear.

I have been using North Face equipment for more than 20 years now, but in the history of the company, I am still a newbie!

The North Face recently celebrated it’s 50-year anniversary. This is a company who has stood behind explorers and adventurers for decades and will continue to do so. I still get thrills when I read their mission statement!

“We are a global movement that celebrates, encourages and enables exploration. We know it is more than putting one foot in front of the other. Exploration transforms the soul. It is social, creative and intellectual. It happens on the rock or the street. We exist to inspire you to explore.”

THE NORTH FACE

Any company who can claim to have had the Grateful Dead performing at it’s opening night in 1966 deserves some respect! Before I get into the jackets, I would like to pay a short tribute to Doug Tompkins, the founder of the North Face.

Doug Tompkins was perhaps the single most influential philanthropists of our time. His NPO, Conservacion Patagonica, is responsible for preserving the Patagonia Region of Southern Chile, one of the most spectacular glaciated areas on our planet. The biodiversity of this area leaves one speechless.

I was hiking across this area during one of the most testing times of the NPO; mining companies were seeking to dam the great glacier-fed rivers of Patagonia to gain water rights and feed power into their operations in the North of Chile. Together with local groups and international support, Mr. Tompkins fought these massive mining companies, and won a battle to save this unique area of the world. The new National Parks Conservacion Patagonica has created are world-class and we all owe a debt of gratitude to this amazing man who ensured this wonderful area of the world will survive for future generations to enjoy.

Now let’s talk about the Venture!

North Face Venture Jacket

In this article I am going to discuss the North Face Venture Jacket, a rip-stop nylon rain jacket that is quickly becoming an industry standard. In your research you have probably read many North Face Venture Reviews, but what most of these will not tell you is how the jacket stacks up against it’s competitors.

Cost-effective, waterproof, lightweight; this packable rain jacket will be excellent for use on your next adventure. As I mentioned, a great way to introduce you to the North Face Venture Jacket is to compare and contrast it’s options vs other leading rain jackets on the market today. With so many options it can be overwhelming to consider them all; with this article you should be able to focus on the models and brands you are most interested in vs the North Face Venture.

North Face Venture Jacket

I am also going to include some specialty options around the same price range and a “step-up” in case you are like me and interested in what a few more dollars can buy.

The North Face Venture vs the Marmot Precip; Battle of the Classics!

The North Face Venture Rain Jacket faces perhaps it’s toughest competitor in the Marmot Precip. Take any given rainy day in the mountains and you will see both of these jackets equally represented, more or less. This is for good reason; both jackets provide very similar options at a very similar price!

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the North Face Venture and the Marmot Precip are constructed using durable rip-stop nylon with a waterproof, breathable laminate coating
  • Both jackets come with ample ventilation, cuff and hood adjustments, and pockets to store small items
  • Both jackets can generally be found for less than $100

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The hood and neck closures differ between the jackets; the Marmot Precip incorporates a free-standing collar for an extra level of protection from blown-in rain
  • The laminate on the North Face Venture (what keeps you dry) is thought to be more durable

The Final Word

Both of these jackets are winners; it is going to be tough to choose between the two! One final note to add difficulty to your decision; the North Face Venture has been constructed from 100% recycled nylon and uses an environmentally-friendly membrane to ensure you stay dry. When an outdoor company goes the extra mile to protect those natural spaces we all enjoy so much, perhaps they deserve some preference!

The North Face Venture Jacket vs the Patagonia Torrentshell – Too Close to Call!

The Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket is another great option when trying to decide whether or not the North Face Venture is right for you. At first glance these two jackets are nearly identical!

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the Patagonia Torrentshell and the North Face Venture are constructed from rip-stop nylon and a waterproof, breathable laminate
  • Both are adequately ventilated and come with adjustable hood and cuffs.

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The pit zips on the Patagonia Torrentshell are slightly smaller than the Venture
  • The pockets on the North Face Venture are mesh
  • The Torrentshell costs slightly more on average than the North Face Venture
  • The Torrentshell runs a bit shorter in length than the Venture

The Final Word

Both the Patagonia Torrentshell and the North Face Venture are great options for your next rain jacket purchase, but the Venture is a bit more economically priced and provides very similar options. On a side-by-side comparison these jackets are nearly identical; for me, the extra cost is not justified.

The North Face Venture vs the North Face Resolve – Could North Face beat...North Face?

How does a company become known as truly competitive? When it finds a way to compete with itself! The North Face Resolve incorporates some additional options and with a similar price tag to the Venture, the Resolve might become your next rain jacket!

North Face Resolve

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the North Face Resolve and the North Face Venture are constructed of rip-stop nylon
  • Both jackets are waterproof and breathable
  • Both jackets are economic in price

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The North Face Resolve DOES NOT include pit zips
  • The Venture has a seamless hood while the Resolve has a free standing collar

The Final Word

Both the North Face Venture and Resolve are great options; for me, the lack of pit zips on the Resolve is a deal breaker. While I have seen some serious sales online that allow you to purchase the Resolve quite cheap, without pit zips this jacket will not adequately vent in humid conditions. I recommend the Venture UNLESS the jacket is to be used in non-athletic conditions (football games, boating, etc).

The North Face Venture vs the North Face Stinson – A Question of Style

The North Face makes many styles of rain jacket; the North Face Stinson incorporates all of the great HyVent® technology with some increased options for colors and style.

the North Face Stinson

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the North Face Resolve and the North Face Venture are constructed of rip-stop nylon
  • Both jackets are waterproof and breathable
  • Both jackets are economic in price

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The North Face Stinson comes in stylish two-tone colors that very ascetically pleasing
  • The Venture features better ventilation

The Final Word

The North Face Stinson is not as prepared for the outdoor activities you might be interested in pursuing, but will still provide a great option in rain gear. I would still choose the North Face Venture simply because it will perform better in the elements when pursuing an athletic activity.

The North Face Venture vs the Columbia Watertight – The Economic Competitor

I have actually chosen to highlight the Columbia Watertight II in this comparison because this is the model readily available from Columbia and on Amazon now. The Watertight is very similar but the Watertight II is their newer model.

Columbia Watertight II

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the North Face Resolve and the Columbia Watertight are constructed of rip-stop nylon
  • Both jackets come with an adjustable hood
  • Both jackets are waterproof and breathable

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The Columbia Watertight is considerably cheaper when purchased on sale
  • The OmniTech® laminate used for the Watertight is not as waterproof as the HyVent® used in the Venture

The Final Word

Both of these jackets are good options in the back country but for me this comparison comes down to a question of price. “You get what you pay for” is a common saying when shopping around and I believe it applies here. While the Columbia Watertight is a good, cheap options, I still feel the extra protection afforded by the North Face Venture justifies the increase in price when considering jackets in this price range.

The North Face Venture vs the North Face Dryzzle – The Next Step Up!

The North Face Dryzzle is a step up from the North Face Venture, both in terms of technology and in price.

Dryzzle Jacket

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the North Face Dryzzle and the North Face Venture are constructed from rip-stop nylon
  • Both jackets have a waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Both jackets have a similar cut and design

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The North Face Dryzzle uses GORE-TEX PacLite® laminate to ensure waterproof and breathable construction
  • The North Face Venture can be found for almost half the price on various colors and sales

The Final Word

Both the North Face Dryzzle and the North Face Venture are excellent choices when considering which rain jacket you decide to carry along on your next expedition, however, the Dryzzle certainly packs a more impressive array of options. The GORE-TEX® laminate used in the construction of the Dryzzle is an improvement on the Venture’s HyVent®, however, this does come with a corresponding price increase. If you are looking for other great jackets that might stack up to the Dryzzle check out my article on rain jackets here!

The North Face Venture vs the North Face Venture Fastpack – Improving on Perfection?

The North Face Venture Fastpack is a slightly more expensive option but tailored for specific activities. Ultra-running, ultralight backpacking, or any activity where weight is an issue to be considered; the North Face Venture fastpack will win every time! Let’s see how they stack up.

 North Face Venture Fastpack

WHAT THEY SHARE:

  • Both the Venture and the Venture Fastpack are constructed from rip-stop nyon
  • Both jackets have an adjustable hood and zippered front

HOW THEY DIFFER:

  • The Fastpack is light – weighing in at only 8.36oz (compared to the Venture 14.1oz) this is one for the ultra-light packers!
  • The Fastpack uses DryVent® while the Venture Classic uses HyVent® to keep you dry
  • The Fastpack is slightly more expensive

The Final Word

Both the North Face Venture and the Venture Fastpack are excellent options for your next rain jacket, however, this is a decision that should be made based on technical specifications. There are major trade-offs with saving weight because the lighter materials generally have less durability and are easier to tear. For standard hiking I would go with the Venture, and for trail running or ultralight backpacking I would suggest the Fastpack.

For more great information on rain jackets check out my article here, or for my top picks in winter shells, check out this article!

No matter which jacket you end up choosing, I hope it takes you on some great adventures and keeps you dry during the storm! Happy Trails!

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About the author

Joey Shonka

Joey Shonka is a mountaineer and adventurer who has spent more than a decade traveling in Latin America. Throughout his pursuit of isolated peaks, remote beaches and spectacular reefs, he has come to know and love the diverse cultures and kind people of these countries. Shonka is a professional biochemist, a former Division 1 rugby player, one of few individuals to complete the Triple Crown of Trails in North America, and has recently finished a 3-year solo trek across the entire Andes Mountain Range during which time he successfully climbed many of the highest peaks in the Americas. More About Joey

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