Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Insulated Jackets

The North Face Summit L5 LT Futurelight Jacket

From The North Face's new Futurelight collection. "The Summit L5 LT jacket’s breathability alone would be notable—but the jacket is also incredibly supple and agile for a waterproof shell."

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
$1.33 / week *

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Gaia GPS premium with thousands of maps and global trail recommendations.
  • Try out best-in-class gear and apparel for free before you buy
  • Coming Soon: Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

MSRP: $450

The North Face’s new waterproof-breathable Summit L5 LT Futurelight Jacket is a big step forward for ice and alpine climbing. The day has finally arrived when waterproof-breathable jackets actually breathe during strenuous climbing and you don’t get soaked from the inside out!

The Summit L5 LT jacket’s breathability alone would be notable—but the jacket is also incredibly supple and agile for a waterproof shell.

The North Face has developed a new nanomembrane—Futurelight—that is more breathable than the competition, while still keeping water out. On the L5 LT jacket, the membrane is sandwiched between two other fabrics to offer extra durability.

I tested the jacket in a range of conditions this fall and winter, climbing a dozen ice and mixed pitches with it in Vail, Redstone and Telluride. The jacket moves as well as any softshell jacket, and is just about as breathable too. In the past I have often preferred to ice climb in a softshell jacket, even at the expense of getting a bit wet from meltwater—I just couldn’t climb in a traditional waterproof-breathable shell that quickly became sweaty. The Summit L5 LT jacket changes the game for me, as it’s plenty breathable to wear when working hard.

To give the fabric a real test for moisture transfer, I wore the jacket against my skin on sweaty hikes and dry-tooling routes (I wouldn’t do this normally, for the record …)—the jacket moved sweat to the outside of the fabric with impressive breathability.

The North Face Summit L5 LT Futurelight Jacket is cut trim, with a long torso and long arms so it doesn’t rise up when climbing. The minimalist design is well thought out for alpine routes, with an easy-adjust hood that fits a helmet, a high collar coming up to mouth level, an inside chest stash pocket, and a single outside chest zippered pocket.

The fabric has just enough durability to endure the snags from ice screws on the harness and from ice tools draped over the shoulder when mixed climbing. I was careful with the jacket when shimmying up dihedrals on the Ames Ice Hose, as it’s a light fabric. It will tear, as my partner discovered when his crampons snagged his Futurelight pant leg by his calf.

With its impressive breathability and agility, the Summit L5 LT jacket is my new go-to for all ice and alpine endeavors.

—Tyler Stableford


Buy Now 

We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.