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- Alpine Fit
- Soft and Breathable Polartec Power Stretch Fabric
- Two hand pockets and one chest pocket
- Weight: 346 g (12.20 oz)
- Fabric: 241 g/m² (7.1 oz/yd²) 53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane Polartec® Power Stretch® smooth-face jersey
- Lifetime Warranty
The North Face continues to produce their Summit Series range of clothing designed by climbers for climbers. This time they have produced a super light soft-shell that is great for climbing in. In the past I stated that I wouldn’t buy a soft-shell for climbing in and I generally tended to keep them in the bottom of my pack until it rained but… I have had a change of heart. There are many benefits to using a soft-shell for climbing in on cool mornings and windy days on the peak. The new breed of lightweight shells have come a long way from where they were at 2-3 years ago. They are 100% windproof, they are lighter and it’s easier to regulate you temperature when on a big multi-pitch route. I’ve found that since using a soft-shell more often on mountain routes I am warmer and more comfortable which is key.
North Face as billed this and many other Summit Series products “the jacket for modern mountaineering: in-action performance, freedom of movement and extreme resistance to adverse weather and abrasion”, the Anti-Matter is built from a soft-shell fabric. I found this to be quite thick and robust and stood up to some thrutchy chimney climbing very well without damage. The fabric is also very weather resistant – light rain actually beaded up on the fabric. Because of this, although primarily a summer jacket, the Anti-Matter wouldn’t be a bad choice for year round use – sunny ice cragging or drizzly running could all come within its scope. The fabric is also very stretchy, something I found useful when it came to the fit of the jacket. The jacket is made of mostly a 2 layer Gore windstopper with the shoulders and outside arm areas in 3 layers, and these are the areas that are exposed to abrasion when climbing so you have some extra durability. This hybrid construction has made the jacket very light. The North Face Anti-Matter Jacket is 319g, the trusty CGR scales weighed it in at 305g! I really liked the high collar of the Anti-Matter, it is very comfortable, fitting snugly but not tightly. An issue I have had before with hoodless jackets is that the collars just never seem right and struggle to seal out the elements. With this jacket, I really liked the high fit and elastic drawstring of the collar to keep out the breeze.
The materials make The North Face Anti-Matter Jacket very compressible and it took up very little room in the pack, it was ideal for big days out, especially winter when space is at a premium. The styling was great for climbing in, it was an Alpine fit and there was no rise when worn with a harness. The breathability was very good on walk ins. The pockets are plenty big enough to fit maps in as well as gloves, compass, GPS, etc. The sleeves were taped and a good length, not too long. The ends were large enough to tuck winter climbing gloves underneath them and cinched tight enough to tuck them into belay gloves. They had molded cuff tabs, but I didn’t see any advantages to these over a material one. The full-length zip runs smoothly and has an under flap to further block out the wind. Two large pockets cover pretty much the whole of the body of the jacket providing plenty of space for OS maps, guidebooks or chocolate bars. A drawstring at the hem allows you to cinch it in but I never felt the need. The zippers are made from YKK Aqua Guard. The zippers have worked every time and I have never got caught (I am often zipping and unzipping as I keep my gloves inside my jacket and not in pockets). The chin guard and back of the collar had a laminated brushed micro fleece layer to help comfort. Even though I would like to see some extra durability in the waist area and the pockets were not as easy to use as I would have liked them to be. I have no hesitation in giving The North Face Anti-Matter Jacket 5 stars; it has performed well for me throughout the winter season. And has quickly become a go too item of clothing, I suspect it will remain my favorite Alpine Jacket for a while.