Waterproof pants

Review: The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Men’s Waterproof Pants

An ultralight and highly packable pair of waterproof pants that are ideal for casual hikers in moderate climates.

The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Waterproof Pants are aimed at the affordable, ultra-lightweight and easily packable section of the market. They are made out of DryVent 2.5L rip-stop nylon shell with polyester liner fabric making them waterproof and windproof. The fabric of the pants is also nicely breathable and helps wick moisture and sweat through the material so you don’t end up boiling in the bag as you hike! They pack down tight and stow in their own pocket which makes them ideal to fit in your bag either in the city, on the mountain or up on the moor. For the price, they are one of the most versatile water resistant over pants on the market.

The North Face Venture 2 Waterproof Pants: The stats

Weight:230g
Waterproof:DryVent 2.5L
Fabric:40D nylon ripstop
Colour:Black

Design features of the The North Face Venture 2 Waterproof Pants

Fabric

Fabric of waterproof pantsThe 40D DryVent nylon ripstop fabric is designed to be tough and durable, as well as providing breathable waterproof protection to the wearer. It also has a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) coasting to help water bead and roll off the fabric.

Pockets

Pocket of waterproof pantsThere are two zippered hand pockets that. Super useful if you end up wearing them all day. The pants stow into one of the pockets for easy and compact storage.

Side zips

Side zip of waterproof pantsOn the outside cuff of each leg is a zip that runs up to the knee to help getting the pants on and off without taking off your boots. These are also good to help airflow on the big ascents.

Bottom cuff

Velcro tab on waterproof pantsAt the bottom of the cuffs there are velcro tabs that help to cinch in the pants and keep them secure around your boot. Open up the zips for venting and these cuffs stop the open pant legs from flapping in the wind.

Waistband

Waistband of waterproof pantsThe elasticated waistband can be further tightened with a nylon drawcord that you’ll need to tie up with a bow or knot.

Articulated knees

Articulated knee of waterproof pantsThe extra seams at the knees add to the overall comfort and fit of the Venture’s. They prevent you from feeling restricted when crouching down or on big steps ups when ascending, and also help to prevent the pants from riding upas you walk.


The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Waterproof Pants Review

Fabric

The DryVent 2.5L ripstop fabric is ultra-lightweight at only 230g, and is waterproof and windproof keeping the elements at bay for most of the day. When I first tried them on I was amazed at how lightweight they were and I love how they pack down so small into their own pocket. You can pack them in your bag and forget about them until the clouds come over and the heavens open. The inner layer of polyester liner fabric has a ‘dry touch print’ supposedly to raise the fabric off of your skin and aid the breathability of the material.

When I reviewed the pants the weather was on the more extreme side; single digit winter temperatures, and heavy rain throughout the day with sustained winds above 25 kts. I was out for most of the day and at the beginning of the day the rain beaded nicely off the material. I was confident with how waterproof they were – especially for such a lightweight design. Towards the end of a full day of heavy downpour, however, I did find that moisture started to seep through at the seams where the pants were stretched at the knees and when zips were exposed on the pockets and side leg openings.

Also, in the high winds the pants were exposed to, I would say they were wind resistant at best, but not fully windproof. As the wind pushed the wet fabric against my legs I found them getting cold through the material. For the price, however, they are a great entry level over trouser if you are not expecting to battle the elements all day.

Man standing on the beach

Fit

The relaxed fit of these waterproof pants mean that they hang nicely off my hips and looked more like a walking trouser rather than the oversized baggy pockets and thighs that one might expect when donning your over trousers.

The articulated fitted knees are a nice touch which mean that the legs of the pants aren’t too baggy and conform to your legs.

The waistband is elasticated to clinch the material in at the waist and fit neatly under your coat. I found the nylon draw cord in the elasticated band was a little difficult to tie when my hands were cold, and as I walked along I started to look like a teenager going to a rap concert! I would prefer a bungee drawcord which can be tightened and released using a toggle, even with cold hands.

Overall, however, the fit of these pants was pleasing and a real asset to this product.

Waterproof trousers

Side zips

The Venture 2 pants feature knee length side zips to enable you to vent the pants and to aid getting your boots through the holes to get your over trouser on. Side leg zips are a great feature and I would never buy a pair of over pants which didn’t have these zips, as I have learned from past experience of hopping around on one foot as the droplets start to fall!

I would like to think that my feet are bigger than they are but even with my paltry UK size 9s it was a tight fit through the leg holes, and perhaps my perfect pants would have longer zips so that I don’t coat the inside with a donation from the bottom of my boots. These zips are covered with an external storm flap to give some waterproofness to this exposed area, however, without protection on the inside or sealant on the zips they will eventually start to seep to provide you a fashionable wet stripe down the outside of your inner-pants!

The adjustable Velcro leg cuffs are also a really good feature. That said, Velcro in this position gets fouled up, losing its integrity, and then turns into a flap that drags in the mud at each step. What would be a great feature would be to have built in gaiters onto the bottom of these pants to clinch them against your calves and hook them onto your boots.

Packed waterproof pants next to spoon

What I love the most about the The North Face Venture 2 Waterproof Pants

These are great versatile, ultra-light and extremely packable over-pants that you can keep stowed away in your bag until they are needed. They are a great entry level choice perfect for dog walkers, city slickers or short walks for those who need respite from the elements for a few minutes to a few hours.

What I don’t love so much about the The North Face Venture 2 Waterproof Pants

I would prefer if the side zips went up to your thighs/hips so you could get your boots through the leg openings easier and you didn’t have to either sit down or hop around. These pants were waterproof for the first few hours of the walks but when faced with heavier and longer downpours the pants couldn’t quite cope with Dartmoor’s prolonged wetness.


Verdict

The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Waterproof Pants are a superb choice for hikers that are unlikely to encounter prolonged and heavy rainfall. Excellently lightweight and small enough to carry with you in your daypack, these entry level waterproof pants provide comfort and protection in short downpours and light rain.

If your hiking adventures are predominantly in very rainy and windy environments you may want to opt for something a little more stormproof.

Find the latest price at:
Ellis Brigham

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About Mike

author-mike

Mike spends much of his time stomping around the wet and windy moors of South West England teaching school kids how to survive and not get lost! When he’s not there you’ll find him tearing up his local break on his surfboard, running the trails of the Cornish coast or playing Spikeball with anyone who’s brave enough to take him on! Mike is also an accomplished sailor, keen footballer and enthusiast of everything that gets him active in the outdoors.

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