Price US $199

The North Face Varius Guide 2015 Review by A Better Ski

The North Face Varius Guide Jacket is a decent hard shell at a pretty budget friendly price. It may not have the top of the line fabrics or features of some of the high end shells, but it offers plenty of protection for an average day on the mountain. With North Face’s Hyvent 2L waterproofing the jacket does a decent job of keeping you dry in a moderate snow. Sure it’s not Gore-Tex, but at half the price it does a pretty decent job. The North Face Varius Guide isn’t insulated, but it is compatible with North Face fleeces and mid layers. I actually really grown to love hard shells since it’s much easier for me to control how warm or cold I get. Most insulated jackets are just way too warm for most days I ski. Shells are often much more breathable, and The North Face Varius Guide again isn’t the best on the market, it does offer a decent amount of breathability. The pit zips work well enough to drop some heat as well. Although this is advertised more as a rain jacket I think it would work fine as a ski jacket. It has a built in snap “windskirt” that works to keep snow out as well. The removable hood fits fine over the helmet, although it doesn’t cover the cheeks very well. Not a big deal unless it’s really cold and windy. All of the pockets are fine, and do have water resistant zippers which is nice. I don’t like the feel of the main zipper, but then again at this price I wouldn’t expect much more. The North Face Varius Guide fit pretty true to size, and the nylon inside is pretty comfortable. I do like fleece better when I don’t have any mid layers on, but the nylon seems to work better with mid layers. The waist is pretty standard hip length, but it does seem a little on the baloony side. It’s not too bad, especially if you size down. I was on the border of small and medium and went with the small. I really don’t like the baggy feel or look, and going smaller tends to help make it feel a bit more conforming. The North Face Varius Guide Jacket is a good jacket for those who want a decent waterproof shell without breaking the bank. Sure it’s not as technical as some high end shells, but at half the price we can’t complain too much. The North Face always backs their product with a lifetime warranty so even if you have issues you can get it fixed.

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Type

Shell

Primary Waterproofing

Hyvent

Outer Layer Waterproofing

DWR

Insulation Type

None

Taped Seams

Fully Taped

Waterproof Zippers

Yes

Hood Type

Detachable Contoured

Powder Skirt

Yes

Jacket to Pant Interface

Yes

Venting

Pit Zips

Meshed Vents

Yes

Layer Count

2 Layer

Waterproof Rating

Proprietary

Breathability Rating

Proprietary

Manufactured in

Imported

Fit

Normal

Packability

Thin

Waterproofing

Good

Breathability

Average

Warmth

Average