The 10 Best Men's North Face Jackets
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in January of 2017. The North Face is one of the most recognizable names in the outdoor industry, and you're as likely to see the half-dome logo on the streets of New York as in the Rocky Mountains. Their line of men's jackets is extensive, including a variety of shells and insulators. Our list covers the greatest hits and best values, with picks for a variety of cold-weather activities. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
October 30, 2020:
The North Face isn't in an easy position. They can't drastically change their classic models, but to maintain their wilderness-ready reputation, they need to continue to innovate. They seem to keep up well, and we've overhauled our list with updated models and recent additions. The brand has made an effort to move toward sustainability, using recycled fibers in the Thermoball Eco and responsibly sourced down in models like the Gotham III and McMurdo Parka. The Apex Bionic 2 is an improvement over the previous generation, doing away with the velcro wrist straps and returning to our list. When shopping for a jacket, consider your most likely uses — models like the Venture 2 and Millerton Hooded are best for simple rain protection, while insulators like the Junction Insulated or Canyonlands Full-Zip add warmth. Cyclists and runners will appreciate the Fanorak Pullover, which cuts the wind and packs down small. If you don't care about the logo on your chest, you may want to consider a wider range of down and waterproof jackets.
June 05, 2019:
We encountered availability issues with the Denali 2 and Atlas Tri-Climate, so those have both been taken off the list. We also removed the Apex Bionic after discovering complaints regarding its inadequate Velcro wrist strap system, which tends to come undone easily. It doesn’t seem to provide the durability or ventilation that North Face fans are accustomed to, either.
In reviewing the Thermoball Triclimate, we confirmed that it is indeed a quality jacket, though some reports suggest that it should provide a bit more warmth given its high price tag. We lowered it slightly in the rankings, placing a couple items ahead of it that seem to provide better value.
Of the new additions, the Venture 2 is the most well-rounded option. Users like that it includes multiple pockets (both outside and inside), and the dependable drawstring on the waistline is super helpful for ensuring a tight fit around the midsection. Available in a host of stylish designs, the Millterton Regular combines a clean, modern appearance with strong wind resistance and reliable breathability, making it a great option in climates where temperatures don’t become too frigid.
1996 Retro Nuptse If you're after the retro vibes of an old-school puffy, nothing does the job quite like oversized baffles and a boxy silhouette. With plenty of down insulation and a bungee cinch at the hem, this jacket is quite warm, and it's also available as a vest. thenorthface.com
Summit L3 Down Hoodie Designed for high peaks and technical ascents, the L3 line has earned the respect of many mountain athletes. This lightweight insulator is a standout, with hydrophobic 800-fill down that offers remarkable warmth for the weight. thenorthface.com
Is The Juice Really Worth The Squeeze?
When you don this apparel, you’re confident you’ll look good, regardless of the setting.
Those of you who are the least bit outdoorsy are almost certainly familiar with The North Face and the high-quality outdoor gear the company produces. If you know you’re in the market for a new jacket, this brand represents an exceptional place to begin your search.
Truth be told, shopping at The North Face can be a bit intimidating for some folks. The selection is massive, the gear is equipped with some fairly advanced features, and you wouldn’t exactly describe most of the jackets as “budget-friendly.”
So why is this high-priced outerwear so popular? Several different answers would suffice, but in a nutshell: the company sets itself apart by using cutting-edge technology, blending style with performance, and staying committed to environmentally-conscious business practices.
North Face jackets are typically well-insulated, with heavy-duty membranes and hard-wearing shells that effectively trap heat and prevent chilly air from penetrating the protected interior. The company has developed unique fabrics that deliver a resistance to water and wind yet remain highly breathable so the wearer doesn’t overheat, a combination that helps the brand outperform many of its rivals.
While North Face jackets are definitely suitable for hardcore adventurers, it’s no secret that the majority of people who own this clothing are more frequently taking part in normal, everyday activities — running errands, commuting to work, going out socializing with friends. When you don this apparel, you’re confident you’ll look good, regardless of the setting. Plus, the aesthetic appeal of these jackets is matched only by their durability; each one comes with a lifetime warranty.
Lots of people connect to a brand based on its corporate social responsibility platform, and North Face fanatics are no different. The company remains committed to nature, consistently donating to a wide variety of environmental organizations and fostering an internal culture focused on promoting a healthy, active lifestyle and taking every opportunity to explore the pristine wilderness.
Zeroing In On Your Ideal Jacket
While an arctic mountain climber and an avid cyclist in the Midwest may both fall into The North Face’s ideal target market for a jacket, they’re likely to purchase vastly different models. Where you live, the season, the intended activity, and your individual style will all play an important role in your individual decision-making process.
If you live in a cold climate or are in the midst of preparing for winter, you’ll probably want to narrow your search down to fleece, insulated, and down jackets. Fleece is thermal and soft, with options ranging from lightweight to heavyweight, while insulated and down jackets are best suited for locales where the cold can potentially become bone-chilling.
Jackets with Windstopper shells are great for — you guessed it — protection from harsh winds.
Inhabitants of moderate-climate regions who need an extra layer during the spring and fall months will want to take a look at lightweight and windbreaker models. All of these offer a certain level of resistance to the elements, while windbreakers are particularly useful for cyclists and bike commuters who spend a lot of time facing a stiff breeze. Waterproof rain jackets are also available.
Of course, you can opt for the best of all worlds with one of the brand’s three-in-one Triclimate jackets, which allow you to configure your gear for the specific situation and weather conditions you’re facing at the time. These usually combine a resilient lined shell with a zip-out fleece, giving you the option to wear either one individually or both at the same time, depending on the conditions at hand.
As mentioned above, The North Face has developed some innovative technologies to help set its jackets apart from the masses.
Its Thermoball fabric serves as a synthetic, lightweight alternative to down, using tiny clusters of fiber to trap heat in when the conditions are cold and wet. If breathability is your primary concern, jackets designed with Flashdry technology act like a second skin, repelling moisture and promoting airflow to keep you cool and comfortable.
Jackets with Windstopper shells are great for — you guessed it — protection from harsh winds. They also provide flexible freedom of movement for outdoor activities that require your full range of motion. Primaloft jackets place a heavy emphasis on insulation to deliver heat retention, softness, and dryness in myriad conditions.
A Quick History Of The North Face
What began as a small mountaineering equipment retail shop in San Francisco has transformed into one of the most high-profile outdoor gear producers out there today.
Named as a tribute to the side of a mountain that is typically the coldest and most unrelenting, The North Face embarked on its journey in 1966 when two hiking enthusiasts wanted to share with consumers and the community their passion for exploration and the benefits of the natural world.
The business is headquartered just across the bay from San Francisco in Alameda, on a campus where the company ethos is on full display.
The company’s core offerings expanded from apparel aimed toward climbers and backpackers to a wider audience in the 1980s, when it added extreme skiwear and camping gear to the mix. Over the following years, the brand became best known for its high-quality insulated jackets, developing a loyal fan base in the process.
Today, VF Corporation — the company that controls well-known brands like Jansport, Eastpak, and Timberland — owns The North Face.
The business is headquartered just across the bay from San Francisco in Alameda, on a campus where the company ethos is on full display. A keen focus on green business practices and avoiding waste is readily apparent in the form of composting bins, solar panels, and free charging stations for electric cars.
You’ll also find a culture emphasizing an active lifestyle and athleticism, where it’s not uncommon to see employees participating in bootcamp workouts, agility drills, or organized runs along the river. The North Face strives to bring workers on board who identify with its core convictions and values, which it believes will drive employee engagement and enhance the company's performance.