Get To Know The North Face's Innovative Technologies
Whether you're a weekend hiker or a full-time outdoor enthusiast, chances are you've heard of The North Face. As one of the world's leading outdoor apparel brands, The North Face is renowned for its high-quality products and cutting-edge technologies. From VECTIV™ to FUTURELIGHT™ to ThermoBall™ Eco, here’s an overview of some of their latest technologies and products that can help make your next adventure even better.


VECTIV™ technology is designed to maximize performance while minimizing impact on the environment. It combines three key elements—innovative materials, advanced construction methods, and superior design—to create lightweight, durable footwear with unparalleled cushioning and grip that can take on any terrain. VECTIV™ shoes are perfect for runners who want to have a positive environmental impact without sacrificing performance. VECTIV™ is made of 3 parts: special materials, special construction and good design. It makes shoes that are light, strong and have extra cushioning.

  • A runner’s shoes standing in the dirt
VECTIV™ uses proprietary materials and designs to create some of the best, high performance running shoes out there.

VECTIV™ separates itself from other trail and running shoes by combining the rocker shape and the plate for stability while most competitors sandwich the TPU or carbon fiber plate between the midsole. This creates a unified piece to keep your foot steady and maintain forward momentum. Some VECTIV™ shoes even include FUTURELIGHT™ technology as a waterproof and breathable membrane to protect your feet from the elements.VECTIV™'s ingenuity is further enhanced by their state-of-the art uppers made from a Matryx material consisting of lightweight mesh and Kevlar for maximum security and protection. To top it off, cutting edge Surface CTRL rubber ensures grip on wet rocks or muddy terrain.


FUTURELIGHT™ is the most advanced waterproof breathable fabric ever created by The North Face. Using nanospinning technology, where microscopic polyurethane fibers are drawn through 200,000 nozzles to create a waterproof membrane, allowing air to pass through while blocking out water droplets. This membrane is then laminated in between a soft liner and tough face-fabric to create a 3-layer material that is durable, yet comfortable to wear. This ensures that you stay comfortable in wet conditions without feeling weighed down or restricted by heavy, crinkly, waterproof fabric.

  • A hiker wearing a waterproof jacket is standing outside while it is snowing heavily
FUTURELIGHT™ is a great option for those looking for protection from the elements without sacrificing weight and breathability.

FUTURELIGHT™ gear is perfect for anyone who wants reliable protection against the elements without sacrificing breathability or mobility. FUTURELIGHT™ is also one of the few materials that can be customized depending on the application. By fine-tuning the density of the fibers, thickness of the membrane, or lamination process, the 3-layer material can be customized to be more breathable or more durable depending on the intended use. TNF has also created its own stretchy seam tape, allowing for maximum breathability and stretch, even at the seams. All FUTURELIGHT™ garments are also made with recycled face and backer fabrics and use a PFC-free chemical waterproof coating as well making it a more eco-friendly choice.

ThermoBall™ Eco Insulation

ThermoBall™ Eco insulation is made from recycled materials and provides warmth similar to typical synthetic at a fraction of the weight by mimicking traditional down in insulation properties. It features small round clusters of synthetic insulation that trap heat within air pockets for greater warmth retention than traditional synthetic insulation. Another perk to ThermoBall™ over down insulation is that it provides exceptional warmth even in wet conditions. ThermoBall™ Eco insulation can be found in jackets, hoodies, vests, and even slippers.

  •  two hikers may their way down a rock scramble
Smart layering with down or synthetic layers is the most efficient way to regulate your body temperature, regardless of outside temperatures or activity level.


FlashDry™ technology helps keep you dry in wet weather by rapidly wicking moisture away from your skin and accelerating evaporation, so you stay comfortable during intense activity. FlashDry™ technology is found in many of The North Face's outerwear pieces including hoodies, jackets, pants, and more! These pieces are perfect for anyone looking for reliable weather protection in all kinds of conditions. FlashDry™ fabrics are engineered to push moisture to the surface and resist wetting out to provide quick drying performance and comfort. FlashDry™ cotton fabrics are also engineered to provide moisture management and reduce dry time, while staying soft like regular cotton. For those looking for a more durable alternative, FlashDry™ XD is designed for better abrasion and snag resistance than its other quick-drying counterparts.


DryVent™ technology provides waterproof protection while still allowing sweat vapor to escape, so you stay dry during strenuous activities like hiking or running in wet weather conditions. Unlike other waterproof fabrics which often feel heavy and stiff, DryVent™ fabric has a soft feel with excellent breathability so you don't feel weighed down or overheated as you explore outdoors! DryVent™ comes in three different flavors, 2L, 2.5L, and 3L. DryVent™ 2L is a two layer construction and is used for numerous applications. Most 2L fabrics will be clothing and accessories that have a secondary fabric for extra comfort and warmth. These lined products usually include fixed insulation as well.

  • A hiker’s waterproof jacket sleeve is covered in droplets of rain
Smart layering with down or synthetic layers is the most efficient way to regulate your body temperature, regardless of outside temperatures or activity level.

2.5L fabrics are usually used in items designed for high-output activities and minimal weight. 2.5L DryVent™ excels at being lightweight and packable while still being comfortable next to skin. These fabrics are usually unlined clothing and accessories for lightweight, packable, and breathable performance.

DryVent™ 3L is a three layer construction reserved for high performance technical products designed for the most extreme activities. Designed to provide durable breathability in the most severe conditions, these fabrics are most commonly found in the most technical clothing and accessories.


WindWall™ softshell and fleece fabrics are designed to block out wind while still allowing breathability. This makes it perfect for cold, windy conditions where you want protection without feeling weighed down by bulky, stiff layers. WindWall™ technology is found in many of The North Face's jackets and pants and is ideal for anyone who needs reliable weather protection without sacrificing comfort or mobility. WindWall™ fleece products are also excellent at temperature regulation and breathability of a traditional fleece, but with the added warmth of reduced windchill. WindWall™ products come in either windproof and wind resistant options and the fully windproof fabrics are also virtually waterproof as well.

  • A child climbing a tree
WindWall™ is deceptively warm due to its ability to block out the wind and retain warm air within your layers.


TKA stands for Thermal Kinetic Advancement which is an innovative fleece fabric designed to provide warmth without adding bulkiness or weight thanks to hollow core fibers which trap warm air close to your body keeping you warm even when wet! TKA fabrics are great for anyone who needs extra warmth but doesn’t want bulky layers weighing them down as they explore outdoors. TKA comes in four different variations, TKA 100, TKA 200, TKA 300, and TKA Superstretch.

  • Two hikers make their way along a trail
A fleece layer is perfect for those shoulder seasons or when the temperature starts to dip as the sun goes down.

TKA 100 is the lightest option, making it a micro-fleece good for its packability and warmth to weight ratio. TKA 100 would excel for chilly climates or for high output activities in colder weather.

TKA 200 is a midweight fleece that functions well as a mid-layer. TKA is make of 100% polyester and is pill-resistant.

TKA 300 is a mid to heavyweight fleece which comes in various styles and can either be worn as a midlayer or on its own. TKA300 can be used as a casual outerlayer or as a sweatshirt.

TKA Superstretch is a blend of polyester fleece and spandex to create a four-way stretch fabric focused on comfort and breathability. The soft fleece fibers are great at pulling moisture away from the body and prevent chafing while the spandex blend makes these Superstretch layers great as a layering piece.


Down insulation provides superior thermal regulation while being lightweight enough not to weigh you down as you explore outdoors! Down insulation works by trapping warm air between small feathers creating a pocket of air around your body keeping you warm! Down insulated jackets are perfect for anyone who needs extra warmth but doesn’t want bulky layers weighing them down. Down also has the perk of being extremely packable compared to most synthetic options. The North Face uses Responsible Down Standard (RDS) goose down in their products ensuring that only the highest quality, and most eco-friendly materials are used. Down comes in different fills from 600 to 900 depending on the packability and durability needed in their products. 600 fill down is warm and durable, making it excellent for day-to-day casual usage. 900 fill down is the highest quality down available and has the best warmth to weight ratio, making it highly compressible as well. You can find 900 fill down in TNF's Summit Series gear, perfect for expeditions where weight and warmth are paramount.

  • A camper wearing a headlamp zips up their down jacket in the mountains
Down is still king of the insulation when looking at packability and warmth to weight ratio


FuseForm technology combines two different deniers of fabric in a single construction providing superior strength and durability without sacrificing weight or mobility. FuseForm fabrics are perfect for anyone looking for extra protection in tough conditions while still maintaining a lightweight design. They’re ideal for exploring difficult terrain! Combining fabrics of different denier weights allows for a smooth transition from heavy-duty materials in areas subject to frequent wear, without needing additional panels. This ensures that the fabric construction is both lightweight and less bulky.


The North Face continues to prove itself as an innovator in the outdoor apparel industry with its range of cutting edge technologies and products designed to keep adventurers safe while exploring the great outdoors - no matter what Mother Nature throws at them! VECTIV™'s eco-friendly design philosophy, ThermoBall™ Eco's exceptional warmth to weight ratio, FlashDry™'s advanced moisture wicking technology, DryVent™’s breathable waterproofing feature Fleece’s fast drying qualities and TKA’s thermal control capabilities alongside Down insulation are the top of the line options that any outdoor enthusiast should consider in order to prepare for anything nature has planned!

Collin Tarr
Avast! I am the General Manager of East Lansing but hail from New England. Before moving to Michigan, I spent several years leading trips up and down the California coast and parts of the South-West. Whenever I have free time, I find myself backpacking, climbing, skiing, disc golfin', and teaching about the outdoors. I'll defend Chaco toe-straps till I die and will always preach the values of "Leave No Trace". Ask me your Q's 'cus I got A's!

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