A very lightweight soft shell with no fleece lining, the Cipher feels more like a windshirt than a mid-layer. The fit is quite relaxed, with stretchy, forgiving Gore Windstopper fabric that is very easy to move around in. The fit at the cuffs and hem relies on elastic, which keeps adjustment simple and saves weight, but won’t fit everyone. There’s a mid-height collar that sits comfortably under the chin, and two deep, mesh-lined hip pockets which add a bit of extra ventilation when needed. It’s a great jacket for high-energy walking, with four-way stretch side panels made from Apex Aerobic, the lightest and most breathable of The North Face soft shell fabrics, and it does a great job of keeping out wind, breathes well, and sheds water easily.
Fabric: Gore® Windstopper® Soft Shell 3-layer
Weight (tested size): 392g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 822155; www.thenorthface.com