Nothing says “I care” more than a new raincoat, especially when we’re talking about a raincoat that feels more like an extension of your skin rather than a crinkly trash bag sewn in the shape of a torso. The North Face and its recently appointed VP of Global Marketing Steve Lesnard delivered on the wish list of world-class athletes and weekend warriors alike who were continually asking for a better product to protect against the elements.
The result was FUTURELIGHT, which utilizes a proprietary process called nanospinning, wherein microscopic nozzles spin webs of ultra-thin fibers into a waterproof fabric with unmatched permeability, durability, and protection from the elements.
The North Face’s groundbreaking FUTURELIGHT technology offers limitless possibilities for innovation and customization that promises to rock the outdoor apparel niche. A gift of anything FUTURELIGHT promises to deliver for even the most challenging gift recipient.
Here are a few reasons to make The North Face’s FUTURELIGHT your gifting go-to and a list of our favorite product picks:
The Soft Is the Bomb
You know what I like even more than not getting wet in a rainstorm? Not feeling like I’m running around in a twinkie wrapper. FUTURELIGHT to the rescue! Testers describe FUTURELIGHT apparel as soft and surprisingly quiet. By all accounts, wearing a FUTURELIGHT jacket on your next run may be the closest thing you’ll get to burning 600 calories per hour while cuddling kittens on your couch.
With one of the world’s most powerful and prolific teams of athlete testers, The North Face subjected its FUTURELIGHT technology to over 400 continuous days of rigorous testing in some of the toughest conditions on earth. And just in case you still had questions about its durability, FUTURELIGHT fabric received a 100 percent waterproof certification from UL, the same company that has been the mainstay in testing for fire and hazmat suits for 120 years.
Greta Would Approve
Crafted from 90 percent recycled materials in solar-powered factories without the use of toxic PFAs (a toxic chemical found in most waterproof fabrics), FUTURELIGHT gets an A+ in the sustainability category. Although The North Face has always held an ethos of environmental sustainability, FUTURELIGHT claims to be the most sustainably-produced fabric to date.
“One thing that is really unique about The North Face is the ability to push the boundaries of performance innovation without making any trade-off on sustainability,” says Lesnard. In Steve Lesnard’s own words, “the company hopes that its dedication to “making the very best… in the most sustainable way” will endear it to a new generation of consumers for whom sustainability is one of the most important factors in their purchasing decisions.
Our Favorite FUTURELIGHT Picks
From the Summit Series:
In the words of The North Face-sponsored ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson, “from the Rockies to the Himalaya,” the Summit series will serve you well in any condition or locale. Indeed, Nelson and expeditioning associate Jim Morrison conquered the first skied descent of the Lhotse Couloir, the fourth tallest mountain on Earth, decked in FUTURELIGHT from head to toe. For the high-alpine expeditionist on your list, the Summit Series is your gifting go-to.
One of our favorites from the Summit series is the Summit L5 LT FUTURELIGHT Jacket. With both women’s and men’s designs, reviewers describe the Summit LT as being so soft that you won’t believe it’s waterproof. All the while, a slew of testing has proven that the fabric holds up to the rigors of a record-breaking powder descent or a bushwhack in heavy timber.
From the Steep Series:
The North Face offers the Steep Series as its flagship FUTURELIGHT offering for powderhounds and backcountry enthusiasts. While we can’t balk at the thought of a ski bib that feels like butter and breathes like linen, we’re especially excited about The North Face’s new line of Steep Series gloves constructed with FUTURELIGHT. The North Face’s Steep Patrol FUTURELIGHT Gloves are designed to provide maximum dexterity while maintaining the warmth and waterproof protection for which the brand is known.
From the Flight Series:
Whether training for your first 5K or trying to qualify for Boston, you’ll appreciate the lightweight breathability of FUTURELIGHT’s Flight Series, one of the most affordable products now offered as part of The North Face’s initial FUTURELIGHT product launch. Although The North Face currently offers only the Flight FUTURELIGHT Jacket as part of its FUTURELIGHT running gear offerings, the jacket seems built to deliver. It’s fully waterproof, ultra-breathable, reflective in all the right places, and small enough to squeeze into your pocket.
More on FUTURELIGHT
The introduction of FUTURELIGHT signals a shift in strategy for The North Face. Its new offerings embody true innovation in a marked departure from the offerings of competitors, who make the promise of innovation while continuing to offer no more than thinly disguised one-up designs of the same old product.
Some credit this pivot to Steve Lesnard, who came to The North Face with other 20 years of experience building successful marketing campaigns for one of the largest athletic brands in the world. Lesnard holds to what he calls a “consumer-centric” approach, in which data and communications channels harmoniously work together to personalize the consumer experience and deliver products that solve real problems.
About Steve Lesnard and The North Face
Steve Lesnard is the newly appointed global VP of marketing at The North Face. In his previous tenure at one of the largest athletic brands in the world, Lesnard served as global vice president and general manager of the company’s running division, where he led two Olympic marketing campaigns, led the company’s running business to its current position as a global leader in the sporting industry, and ran the European marketing organization. During that time, his industry-changing innovations drove $5.3 billion in business.
As a sports fanatic and outdoor enthusiast since childhood, Lesnard’s passion for creating global branding campaigns in the athletics sector is fueled by his personal zest for sports and the outdoors. Steve Lesnard has also provided consulting services on various global marketing campaigns for several other brands in the athletics, fashion, and tech sectors. He releases regular podcasts on which he shares his experience and insights on consumer-centric global marketing and branding campaigns.