When The North Face announced their ground-breaking FUTURELIGHT tech, they threatened to rip the rug out from under the apparel industry. Essentially, FUTURELIGHT is a nano-spun material that’s peppered with purposefully tiny holes through which air can pass but water drops cannot. FUTURELIGHT is waterproof, breathable, and has to make The North Face’s old partner’s at W.L. Gore & Associates exceedingly nervous.
The hype, in the case of FUTURELIGHT, is real: we tested the A-CAD in subzero temperatures in Utah and were impressed by the performance. Despite the material being so thin and light, it cut the wind beautifully. The fit is freeride-friendly: it’s big without being too baggy. Style-wise, the A-CAD was arguably the best-looking shell of the bunch. It certainly earned the most compliments due to the two-tone coloring, bold zipper lines, and loose fit.
We were impressed by the potential of the FUTURELIGHT material, however, this jacket is far from a featherweight. Weighing just over 2 lbs, this shell is heavy and best-suited for in-bounds riding, heli drops, cat days, or sidecountry jaunts.
Favorite Feature: Our tester was amped on the pockets of the A-CAD. The large chest pockets hold plenty of snacks, and the lower front pockets are big enough to hold mittens, spare lenses, or other essentials.
Tester Comment: “I recently wore it in -8-degree weather with 50-mph wind gusts and while everyone else was complaining about the cold, I was raving about how great the powder was! The only thing I will warn people about is the fact that the sizing runs large.”
A sharp-looking shell with best-in-class pockets, the A-CAD gives freeriders space for all their snacks. Look good, eat good, shred better.
- Standard fit
- Mechanical stretch fabric with warm backer
- Fixed, helmet-compatible drop hood with riveted cord-lock adjustment system
- Two-way, adjustable hood-management system
- #5 YKK® AquaGuard®, two-way center front zip
- #5 YKK® AquaGuard®, pack-compatible pit-zip vents
- Two #5 YKK® AquaGuard® zip chest pockets
- Internal cell phone pocket on left chest
- Pass-through pocket
- Two high-volume, expanding cargo pockets
- Two internal goggle pockets
- #5 YKK® AquaGuard® zip wrist pass pocket with goggle wipe
- Pack-friendly pockets and venting
- Integrated wrist gusset and elastic thumb-loop cuffs
- Bonded, Adjustable cuffs with pieced-in Velcro® closure
- Integrated cuff closure
- Adjustable powder skirt
- Jacket-to-pant integration