The North Face Terrain Vista 3L Pro Jacket: Tested

By Aus Geo ADVENTURE 28 May 2024
Reading Time: 3 Minutes Print this page
The Terrain Vista 3L Pro shows how smart design and attention to detail can result in a reliable outer-shell jacket ideal for wild weather.

As with most outdoor ‘essentials’, there are myriad outer shell jackets available, ranging from technical variants aimed at Alpinists, through to ultra-light versions intended only as a stopgap for when caught out for a short time in adverse weather. In the middle is the all-rounder, and this is where The North Face has positioned its new Terrain Vista 3L Pro Jacket. 


The Terrain Vista 3L Pro may seem like a ‘standard’ outer shell in appearance, but it includes a number of clever design cues underneath the 100-percent recycled body fabric’s Desert Rust exterior (other options are Black and Smoked Pearl – a grey). The Terrain Vista 3L Pro utilises TNF’s high-end DryVent 3L technology in a 70-denier (D) weight for optimum breathability, durability, and protection from the elements. DryVent differs from a membrane-based waterproof setup, instead using multi-layered fabric to stop water ingress, while adding a DWR (Durable Water Repellency) treatment to the outer side. 

The jacket is a standard fit and includes an adjustable hem (with internal cinch-cord and cord-lock), along with an adjustable, three-piece hood. This hood includes a bonded brim – anyone who has worn a jacket without a ‘stiff’ brim will know what we are talking about; there’s nothing worse than rainwater slamming your unprotected eyes when you’re trying to see where you’re going. The front zip is a wide, water-repellent VISLON® (injection-moulded plastic) jobbie, while the jacket ups the ‘tech’ a bit with pit-zips that assist ventilation. The two secure-zip hand pockets are bellowed, to allow for more stowage space, while the cuff tabs are adjustable. 

In the field with the Terrain Vista 3L Pro

We have now had the Terrain Vista 3L Pro for around five months and, after its initial testing during a wild, wet, and humid February, it’s been the go-to outer shell for other outdoor adventures through til June. In use, it has, simply, done the job it has been designed for, with minimal fuss. The aforementioned humidity saw the pit-zips called in to action early on in testing and we’ve utilised them quite often since then, as well. The ability to tweak ventilation easily is a big plus; the pit-zips are easy to reach and use (i.e., they are not too small for large hands to grab) when you need to do it quickly. Hood adjustments are another quick fix as/when necessary.

We found the outer fabric to be more than up to rough treatment (one tester, who will remain nameless, accidentally trod on the jacket on a track at one point and then dragged it with their foot a couple of steps – don’t ask…) and the amount of interior room has been welcome, too. Even with cooler conditions that have meant adding a mid-weight layer underneath, there is still plenty of ‘wiggle-room’, with the jacket never feeling too tight or restrictive.

One negative is the length of the jacket when combined with a lack of articulation – it is quite short for those with a longer torso. By this we mean that, when you’re reaching above your shoulders, arms raised, the jacket rides up quite high, leaving your lower back exposed to the conditions. I will add the caveat that two of our testers are longer torso types, and this is by no means a deal-breaker; it is just something for those who lean more toward that type of body-shape to be aware of.  

The final word on The North Face Terrain Vista 3L Pro Jacket

Outer shell jackets are a huge part of the outdoor retail scene. The North Face Terrain Vista 3L Pro Jacket is not the cheapest option, but its mix of essentials and extra features, along with the high quality of its manufacture, do make it a worthwhile purchase. 

The standout through our five months of testing has been the jacket’s breathability and robustness. The DryVent 3L tech is TNF’s high-end offering in regard to breathable fabric and having this available on a not-uber-expensive outer shell, is a big win in our eyes. Plus, we really like that colour. Check it out if you’re in the market. 

RRP: $450 See The North Face for more info on this and all other TNF apparel.