North Face Thermoball Jacket
Review: North Face Thermoball JacketBy Scott Mares | Published Dec 26, 2013
Super Light weight: At only 330g this jacket feels like your wearing nothing at all. It was weird going out in the cold and feeling like I only had on a base layer and being just fine in the 35 degree air with 70% humidity. Quite impressive was how warm it was. It is probbly one of the jackets that I will reach for when I travel and will go in my carry on back pack. you never know when you will be freezing on the plane on a bus or in the office.
Warm: The Thermoball jacket is named after its own insulation called Thermoball. The gold standard for insulation is goose down. Nothing has its warmth to weight ratio or is a packable as down. However, when Goose down gets wet it does not retain heat. The loft of goose down collapses when it get wet and the loft is when the heat is trapped. No loft no heat. Most if not all synthetics are not as light as down, will pack as well or is as nice to wear. Synthetics will keep you warm when you get wet and that is a big deal. Thermoball insulation is a synthetic insulation that is taken and chopped up and frayed into something that looks like little cotton balls. This process increases the insulation loft and their warmth. North Face says Thermoball Insulation is 15% warmer than other synthetic insulators in the same weight. However, its not quite to the level of Goose Down though its getting there. And in a few years this may be the answer. Watch the video
Packable: So one of the really cool things about this jacket is that the left pocket is its own packing bag for the Thermoball jacket. In just a few seconds this jackets packs into a very small little head pillow. This could easily be stowed in a back pack but not a back pocket of a jersey.
Flexible option. Even though the jacket is not what is considered expedition weight it is useful in a wide temperature ranges and when you pair it with a hard shell you have something that will work in just about every situation.
We Didn't Like
We would like the pockets to be lined
We would also like the collar to be lined with a light weight fleece that would help trap heat and not allow it to escape through the neck.
The Final Say
Need a jacket that you can layer with or can stand on its own? Want something that you can pack when you go on the plane? How about something right after your race once you have changed your clothes and its snowing outside. When you travel, weight and space is at premium. Pair it up with a heavy duty rain shell? Then the North Face Thermoball jacket just might be the ticket for you. Its impressive how light and warm this jacket is. Even though its not in the same class as jackets with 800 wt fill it does come very close. If you get wet don't worry because the fill is synthetic it will still retain heat when you are wet. The Thermoball jacket comes in a host of colors and will no doubt be the workhorse jacket in any person that plays outside. Nicely done North Face.
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- The North Face
- Thermoball Full zip
- Outer is 100 nylon. Insulation is 100% Primaloft Thermoball.
- S, M, L, XL, XXL
- Blue, Black, Grey, Ted, Nautical Blue, Orange, Yellow
Light weight nylon with hundreds of small 2.5X2' Squares of Thermoball insulation. The Thermoball insulation is specific to North Face. Thermo ball is a synetic insulation that is cut up, then teased into little cottonballs to simulate the physical sturcture of goose down. Putting the insulation into this structure gives it 15% more warmth than other synthetic insulation.