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The North Face Fuseform Dot Matrix

The North Face’s new Fuse Form Dot Matrix jacket was all the buzz so in early spring, we took one for a tour on Canada’s West Coast.

North Face Fuse Form
North Face Fuse Form Dot Matrix

There’s no better place to test technical rain shells than Canada’s West Coast. During the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Gripped took some time and traveled to Vancouver Island for a week of climbing and fishing.

While on the island the weather cooperated for the climbing and, despite the West Coast’s rainy reputation, almost didn’t cooperate for rain shell testing.

Our West Coast guide Danny O'Farrell takes us to his favourite fishing spot near Ucluelet after our morning in the mountains. O'Farrell is a longtime surfer and climber who works with the Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island.
Our West Coast guide Danny O’Farrell takes us to his favourite fishing spot near Ucluelet after our morning in the mountains. O’Farrell is a longtime surfer and climber who works with the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation of Vancouver Island.

Luckily at the end of our trip, the skies opened up and we welcomed the low pressure system and the precipitation that came with it.

We took The North Face Fuseform Dot Matrix into the MacKenzie Range near Ucluelet. Our local guide and fly fishing extraordinaire, Danny O’Farrell, knew exactly where we could put the Dot Matrix to the test.

After two hours of wet bushwhacking we popped out near the Red Wall, a 4oo-metre alpine granite wall overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Of course, we couldn’t see the wall through the heavy clouds.

We didn’t have to go any farther, the rain was torrential and with small packs on, the Dot Matrix was put to the ultimate test.

It’s the newest lightweight, technical rain shell any of us have tried this year. The abrasion resistant technology we’d heard so much about helped during the bushwhacking and the big pit zips let us sweat it out without overheating. We bouldered around a bit at the base of the wall and the coat moved easily with our torso without getting bunched up despite the heavy rain.

Once we were above the trees, the chilly air settled in and the cold wind picked up, so we added a layer under the shell. Once we returned to the truck, the wind was still howling but it had warmed up so we could de-layer.

Without a doubt, this is the technical rain jacket for us. It’s tough, kept us dry and was very windproof on exposed sections of the mountain. Just remember if it’s going to be cold then bring some extra layers.

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