The North Face Stretch Speed multi-activity jacket has just about everything for enjoying a wide variety of activities. Firstly it is made of Hyvent fabric, which offers good performance in the lab tests. To improve condensation control the two main pockets are mesh-lined to allow extra airflow through the body too. The cut is quite short, so it’s ideal for climbing and biking. But there is good movement in the sleeves so that the cuffs don’t ride up when scrambling. The two main pockets are placed high on the chest so they can be accessed while wearing rucksack belts or a climbing harness. The pockets are also big enough for maps and guidebooks. The hood rolls into the collar, making it ideal for wearing with a bike helmet for example. Also the hood does move very well with the head. And there is reflective piping that makes night action safer. But as with all lower-priced jackets, better condensation control comes with a higher price tag. However the main problem with The North Face Stretch Speed multi-activity jacket was that the hood tended to swallow my head, making it hard to see out clearly when it was done up. Perhaps my head is just too small for this jacket? If the hood fits then this is a great jacket.
Outer Hyvent DT
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); S-XL (women’s)
Weight 428g (men’s L)
Made in Vietnam
Stores in the UK 60
Verdict: The North Face Stretch Speed multi-activity jacket is an excellent, low-priced multi-activity jacket – if the hood fits you better than it fitted me.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009