The North Face Apex Elixir

This soft shell jacket from The North Face is a great fit in the body and sleeves, and with a light stretchy fabric, drawcord adjustable hem and Velcro adjustment on the cuffs, you couldn’t ask for more. But although it was really easy to move around in, it didn’t feel as reassuringly warm and cosy as the best in class. It’s best suited to spring, summer and autumn walking. Excellent breathability prevents any build-up of moisture, and it vents well with cuffs that pull up easily. It will also work in winter, especially if you’re moving hard and fast, or wearing a lightweight fleece underneath, but really heavy rain will put it out of commission quite quickly.

Verdict: An excellent lightweight jacket that falls somewhere between a windshirt and an insulated soft shell top. It’s a superb outer layer on cold, windy or showery days and it’s not bad as a mid-layer either.

Colours: Four including molten red/graphite grey and sunlight orange/ignition orange

Sizes: S-XXL

Fabric: Apex Aerobic with DWR

Weight: 425g

Women’s version: Yes

Contact: 01539 738882; www.thenorthface.com