"The Apex Flex Gore-Tex 2.0 is a real market groundbreaker launched by California-based outdoor specialist The North Face - it’s the first ever completely waterproof softshell jacket. The use of a Gore-Tex membrane ensures rain stays out of the garment while allowing perspiration to evaporate and escape easily. Unlike classic hardshell raincoats, which are quite restrictive, a softshell jacket provides freedom of movement, and they also don’t crease. Should you need more information about the The North Face jacket, check out this post.
The Apex Flex was designed for outdoor fans who want protection against the wind and the bad weather but who also need to travel light. The jacket is the ideal garment for simple hikes, challenging mountain trips, going out on your bike and hitting the city.
I tried out the Apex Flex during a snowshoe trip up the 1,569-metre high Hochries, in the Chiemgau Alps. Despite the icy double-figure sub-zero temperatures and the occasional snow shower, I felt warm all day - the icy wind didn’t even touch me. The only midlayer I had on beneath the Apex was a thin jacket made of synthetic down. I found that, when it got a little too warm during the climb, the large ventilation slits under the arms helped bring down my body temperature - all I needed to do was unzip them to let in some fresh air. The wide hood proved to be very practical too. It has drawstrings that allow you to adjust it as much as you can the jacket. So, for example, when it got windy I could pull the hood tighter for extra protection. After a good two hours of climbing I was able to conduct the “sweat test”: both the down jacket and the Apex Flex were only slightly damp - a very good result considering how challenging the climb was. Full marks for breathability.
When I wore the Apex Flex Gore-Tex 2.0 to cycle in, it was the great coverage that impressed me the most. The back of the jacket covers your whole back (I’m 1.75 m tall and I’m wearing size M). This means that the sensitive lower back area won’t get cold when you’re on your bike - perfect for the cold season. The colour also came in handy: wearing red makes you stand out, so drivers can spot you more easily on the road and you won’t be overlooked if you cycle in traffic.
The Apex Flex GTX 2.0 comes with two large, zipped side pockets. There’s also a large, zipped chest pocket that’s ideal for storing your wallet or a large smartphone if you want it easily accessible. The North Face lives up to its promise: the modern-looking Apex Flex Gore-Tex 2.0 really is the ideal garment for mountain trips and is also perfectly suited to cycling, even if the weather decides not to collaborate with your plans. Thanks to the Apex Flex, my old hardshell jacket will be staying at home from now on."