the north face future fleece hoodie on a rock, an exemplary lightweight fleece jacket

The North Face FutureFleece Hoodie Review

Warmer, lighter, comfier, and more breathable than the competition

The North Face FutureFleece Hoodie is an innovative lightweight grid fleece constructed with high warmth-to-weight Octa fiber. FutureFleece is warmer than most other fleece in its weight class, and lighter and more breathable than most other fleece in its warmth class. With FutureFleece you can have your cake and eat it too. Shop now.

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  • Price: $170
  • Weight: 7.3 oz
  • Fabric: FutureFleece, grid, Octa fiber, 124 g/m2, 45% recycled polyester
  • Pros: Lightweight. Breathable. Warm. High warmth-to-weight. Hooded. Chest pocket. Recycled materials.
  • Cons: Expensive. No hand pockets.

Compare this to more great options in our complete guide to lightweight fleece jackets for hiking.

half open futurefleece

Construction & Features

The big story here, and why the garment is so expensive, is the namesake FutureFleece fabric. At a macro level, The North Face FutureFleece Hoodie another grid fleece design. The exterior is a flat faced polyester knit (45% recycled). It’s just-stretchy-enough for complete range of motion and adequate durability on the trail.

close up on loop clusters

It’s thin and airy enough to breath exceptionally well, but still prevents heat from drifting away. The interior is designed in a grid pattern of approximately ¼ inch squares. They alternate between insulative loop clusters of Octa yarn, and empty space to encourage breathability. The loop clusters are an effective and soft-to-the-touch choice. They add structure to the garment that lofts the exterior face off of your skin. The effect reminds us of a super thin puffy jacket with an open-face interior.

super close up on loop clusters

At a microscopic level, the FutureFleece is built with Octa fibers. This is an innovative new yarn. Each strand is manufactured with eight ridges surrounding a hollow core. As the ridged surface interlocks with adjacent strands, it captures dead air space. As does the hollow core. All of which enhances its insulative properties throughout the jacket.

close up on front zipper detail

The FutureFleece hoodie is feature-light. It is constructed with a full front zip, one zippered chest pocket, and thumb loops. The hem, wrists and hood all have a light touch of elastic to seal in warmth. There are no hand pockets.

Testing for The North Face FutureFleece Hoodie review

The North Face FutureFleece Hoodie Review Verdict

This is the best all-around lightweight fleece in terms of its comfort, breathability, durability and warmth-to-weight. Slightly lighter options exist but sacrifice warmth and durability. Warmer options exist, but they’re much heavier. Sure, the North Face FutureFleece Hoodie is expensive, but the quality is there and we’re confident that this is an excellent fleece. We recommend it very highly.

Compare this to the best hiking fleeces. And polish off your layering system with our guide to hiking shirts, down jackets, and rain gear.

wearing the north face future fleece hoodie
a lightweight fleece jacket in the moutains