The North Face Breithorn Hooded Jacket | Review

This year’s winter has been all over the place. Ski stations having to shut down, green pastures throughout the Alps, and spring temperatures throughout the Netherlands with the occasional dip in temperature now and again to remind us of the season we are supposed to be in. The last few weeks however have been more in line with what we could have expected with frost on our car windshields, icy sidewalks and, most importantly for some, heaps of powdery snow in our mountains, short-lived as they may be.

Time therefore to select the finest winter apparel to make the most of these wintery conditions! Thankfully, we were able to count on The North Face who were kind enough to provide the team with the latest gear from their (in)famous Summit Serie. For this review, I have been lucky enough to test out their latest active layer, the Summit Breithorn Hooded Jacket.

The North Face Summit Series

First things first, the brand. Who has not heard of the North Face? The company is renowned for their outdoor apparel and gear,and known for its high-quality products designed for extreme conditions. The company’s Summit Series line is a collection of gear specifically engineered for mountaineering and alpine climbing as illustrated by the more than 150 athletes the brand sponsors, including the likes of mountaineering legends Hilaree Nelson and Alex Honnold, and French snowboarder extraordinaire Xavier De Le Rue to name a few.
The Summit Series line makes use of the most advanced materials and construction techniques to ensure they can withstand the harshest environments. With a focus on innovation, durability, and performance, it is meant to provide outdoor enthusiasts with what they need to tackle extreme conditions while remaining versatile, and durable. Oh, and it looks good too!

The North Face Breithorn Hooded Jacket | Review
Comfortable fit with a regular cut

Specifications/features

The jacket is made using a sustainable circular approach to manufacturing, meaning that the products can be reused, repaired and remanufactured. It is made using premium materials including 800-cuin ProDown (Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified) and Ripstop fabric for extra durability and resistance to wind. The jacket is also treated with a water repellent finish which I have found to be very effective. Even if the jacket were to become wet however, the down has also been treated to make sure it preserves its heat-retaining properties when wet.

Summit Series 800 Pro

This jacket also has some excellent features such as its low weight (499.5 grams for size L) and its compressibility. The jacket can conveniently be packed down into its pocket with a two way zipper, making it easy to store in your backpack or clip it to the exterior while hiking up the mountain to gain access to those idyllic free ride sections.
With regards to storage, the jacket has 2 zippable pockets, a chest pocket and 4 large internal pockets that will easily accommodate your accessories (gloves, ski goggles, etc…).

Fit & comfort

The jacket comes in a regular fit and offers a lot of comfort , especially thanks to its raglan sleeves which allow for a lot of freedom of movement in the shoulders. The gussets set in the underarms help keep you cooler during your activities and the jacket’s hood is helmet compatible making it perfect for mountaineering expeditions and general wintersport activities. In essence, the jacket does exactly what it needs to do: protect you from the elements without being a distraction.

The North Face Breithorn Hooded Jacket | Review
Helmet compatible hood

My experience

I have been able to test the jacket for a few weeks and overall have been very impressed with its performance, especially with regards to its breathability. Whether in and around town or during more intensive activities such as long distance hiking, and mountainbiking, the jacket was able to keep me warm without me getting overly hot and sweaty. Its water resistance was also put to the test given the Dutch weather conditions and the jacket passed with flying colours though I am still to see what happens in a really heavy downpour.

The North Face Breithorn Hooded Jacket | Review
Wishful thinking

Conclusion

It is hard not to be impressed with the combination of technical features and comfort this jacket achieves. The North Face has knocked it out of the park with this one and it is no wonder the Summit Series has such a good reputation. It is in no way an affordable jacket but, when compared to its direct competitors, it is a very attractive proposition.

I have sadly not yet been able to review the jacket in its home territory: the mountains. I am extremely confident in its efficacy however and can not wait to use it on my next freeride tour in the Austrian Alps.

Retail price:€380 (thenorthface.com)

Review overview

Comfort
10
Fit
8
Warmth & insulation
9
Breathability
9
Windproof
8
Features
8
Sustainability
9
Price/quality
9

Summary

It is hard not to be impressed with the combination of technical features and comfort this Breithorn Hooded Jacket achieves.. The North Face has knocked it out of the park with this one and it is no wonder the Summit Series has such a good reputation.
David Duclos
David Duclos
Having grown up in the middle of no-where with no kids my age living nearby, I established a strong bond with nature surrounding me. Mountainbiking, hiking, skateboarding,snowboarding… I loved it all.Later on, life took me on a different route, leading me to a city life in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Happily married and the father of two, I am determined to reconnect with nature and help others do so as well.

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It is hard not to be impressed with the combination of technical features and comfort this Breithorn Hooded Jacket achieves.. The North Face has knocked it out of the park with this one and it is no wonder the Summit Series has such a good reputation.The North Face Breithorn Hooded Jacket | Review