The North Face Apparition Anorak (2012)

Having a full-length zip is not always a great idea as more often than not if the jacket is on and you are moving fast the front zip is only going to be opened to the chest area, because if opened further the jacket will billow in the wind. So a smock with a short chest zip is ideal for fast activity and has the benefit of decreasing weight as there are fewer zips and seams, while increasing breathability down the front. The North Face Apparition Anorak makes good use of the smock design and also benefits from a tunnel pocket across the waist area that can be accessed while wearing a light pack. There are also pit zips for added venting, and when this design is combined with Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric you get a very comfy fast and light multi-activity body to the jacket. The hood is a little less impressive however as it does not have a wired peak and so if the peak gets creased it is hard to straighten it. The hood cannot be rolled and secured at the collar either, but the hood fit and movement are very good. The women’s equivalent of this jacket is the £250 Alpine Project, which uses Gore-Tex Active Shell and weighs 387g (women’s size M).

Weight 375g (men’s L)
Fabric Gore-Tex Active Shell
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes n/a
External pockets 2
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents yes


The North Face’s Apparition Anorak is generally an excellent smock design for fast and light multi-activity mountain use, but a slightly better hood would make it perfect.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012