The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight Jacket review: hardshell performance with a shoftshell feel

A remarkably flexible and comfortable jacket, the North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight is ideal for tackling the worst conditions in the mountains

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket hood up
(Image: © Craig Taylor)

Advnture Verdict

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket is a very impressive water and windproof hardshell that keeps you feeling comfortable in horrendous conditions. Cleverly designed, feature-rich and easy on the eye, it’s an ideal option for everything from the morning commute to high-altitude mountaineering escapades – with the Futurelight membrane delivering amazing performance for its weight.

Pros

  • +

    Reliably water and windproof

  • +

    Looks good enough to wear casually

  • +

    Very quiet to wear

  • +

    Jacket is comfortable against naked skin

  • +

    Highly adjustable hood for optimal fit

  • +

    Large dump pockets inside

Cons

  • -

    Not the lightest

  • -

    Expensive

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Meet the tester

Why I Love Camping – Finally time for a brew
Craig Taylor

Craig loves nothing more than pitching up in the backcountry, preferably while taking on a long-distance thru-hike. His adventures usually take place in the hills and mountains of Wales but he occasionally gets away to his beloved Alps. As one of our expert campers, Craig revels in testing camping equipment and knows a sturdy shelter from one that will give up the ghost when conditions become challenging.

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket: first impressions

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight is one of the brand’s dedicated mountaineering hardshells, a waterproof jacket designed to keep you safe and comfortable on mountaineering escapades.

Specifications

• List price: $590 (US) / £515 (UK)
• Weight (men's M): 19.7oz / 560g
Sizes (men’s and women’s): S-XXL
• Fabric: 3-layer, 5-oz 75-denier 100% recycled polyester plain-weave G shell with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
• Colors: TNF Blue / TNF Red / Cave Blue / Summit Gold / Citrine Yellow

It comes with a series of technical features, such as pit zips, wrist cuffs, internal dump pockets and a phenomenally well-designed hood, as well as The North Face’s proprietary Futurelight fabric – a clear Gore-Tex rival which, according to The North Face, delivers, “breakthrough breathability”, “innovative waterproofness” and “exceptional comfort”.

All of this tech doesn’t run cheap, however: when bought directly from The North Face, the Torre Egger jacket will set you back a whopping $590 / £515. This puts it very much at the top end of the price spectrum for three-layer mountaineering hardshells in this class, coming in almost $200 / £200 more expensive than similar jackets, such as the Patagonia Triolet or the Berghaus MTN Seeker GTX jacket. 

So what is it about the Torre Egger that makes it so pricey, and is it worth the investment?

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket: in the wild

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket

The hood of the The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight works equally well over a helmet or on a naked head (Image credit: Craig Taylor)

I’ve had my hands on The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket for several months now, and I’ve been able to get out in it on several occasions. Most notably, I was able to take it on a three-day mountaineering trip through Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park in January where I put the coat up against everything from driving wind and unrelenting rain to the odd January snow shower. Over the span of the trip, I wore the Torre Egger under a heavy 16kg pack (and a lighter daypack for a summit push up Cairn Gorm on day two) and got a real feel for how it performs during both high-output exercise and zone 2-style gentle jaunts. And after all of that, I have to say, I was left nothing but impressed. 

Try as I might, I was unable to spot a flaw in this jacket. Coming in at such a high price, I was constantly nit-picking, trying to find the one poorly designed feature that would validate my assumption that “this should never cost so much!” But there’s just nothing negative to note. It’s super comfortable, breathable and a joy to wear, feeling more like a softshell-style jacket rather than a hard-wearing three-layer waterproof powerhouse.

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket

Testing out the The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park in January (Image credit: Craig Taylor)

Which is one thing I particularly appreciate about the Torre Egger: the feel when wearing it. This jacket doesn’t trap you inside like other durable hardshells, with the material and the cut allowing you to move optimally as if you weren’t wearing a powerful hardshell at all. What’s more, my experience only validates The North Face’s claims regarding the breathability of Futurelight. And while I can’t confirm this with any scientific breathability breakdown, I’ve climbed Cairn Gorm many times over the year in a variety of different three-layer Gore-Tex hardshells, and this latest jaunt was definitely the most comfortable.

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket sleeve detail

Futurelight is The North Face’s Gore-Tex alternative (Image credit: Craig Taylor)

Another thing I really liked about the Torre Egger is the hood. Helmet-compatible hoods are often built for the helmet first, a naked head second. Take the Patagonia Triolet, for example, a jacket I compared the Torre Egger to earlier. This jacket is near perfect, being let down only by the sloppy design of the hood when you’re not wearing it over a helmet. The Torre Egger has no such drawback, however – the numerous toggles on the hood allow you to cinch the hood down tight to your skull when you’re not wearing a helmet, and the short duck-bill peak does a great job at stopping rainwater from driving inside.

The zips on the Torre Egger have all been designed to be easily operable when wearing thick winter gloves. The long toggles are easy to grab, and the waterproof zips glide open and closed easily. Inside the jacket, there are also two large dump pockets for storing things like gloves, water bottles, snacks or, in my case, an Ordnance Survey map, which fits in the pockets perfectly. And while I can’t be sure these pockets were designed with the dimensions of an OS map in mind, the fact that one fits so well in these dump pockets was something I really appreciated when I had to keep pulling and packing away my map on a snowy Scottish Munro in January.

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket

This jacket doesn’t trap you inside like other durable hardshells – the material and the cut allow you to move as if you weren’t wearing a powerful hardshell at all (Image credit: Craig Taylor)

Fit

The cut of The North Face Torre Egger is reasonably athletic while still being technical in nature. It’s big enough that you can layer up underneath it but doesn’t flap around uncontrollably in the wind. 

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight jacket and tent

The North Face Summit Torre Egger Futurelight makes mountain climbing in harsh conditions are more pleasurable experience, but at a price (Image credit: Craig Taylor)

Is it worth the price?

This is the million-dollar question. Is the Torre Egger Futurelight worth the 500+ price tag? Going into this test, I assumed there was no way it could be. But, coming out of it, the design considerations, the materials and the way this jacket can tangibly improve your experience of mountaineering in less-than-ideal conditions have changed my opinion to “it depends”. 

If you can afford it, I think you’ll be happy with what you get for your money. But if nearly $600 is a huge stretch for you, the marginal gains in performance versus jackets around the $300 - $350 market might not count much – nor might you be happy splurging so much cash on them. But if you’re looking for a versatile, comfortable and hard-wearing hardshell that will keep you safe on real mountaineering escapades, I don’t think you can go much wrong with the Torre Egger, and I can’t wait to get out in it again next winter.

Craig Taylor

Growing up just south of the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig spent his childhood walking uphill. As he got older, the hills got bigger, and his passion for spending quality time in the great outdoors only grew - falling in love with wild camping, long-distance hiking, bikepacking and fastpacking. Having recently returned to the UK after almost a decade in Germany, he now focuses on regular micro-adventures in nearby Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, as well as frequent trips to the Alps and beyond. You can follow his adventures over on komoot, or visit www.craigtaylor.co for more info.