The North Face Thermoball Hoody ReviewMay 10, 2016
- Excellent warmth for its weight
- Great fit and attractive style
- Compressible and lightweight
- Lacks extra features
- Not as breathable as other mid layers
The North Face Thermoball Hoodie great jacket that will quickly become your go-to for all cold weather activities whether on backcountry ski trips or going to the grocery store during a snowstorm. It was rated highly in all categories with the exception of breathability.
The Thermoball scores highly for warmth due to its Primaloft insulation. It provided plenty of warmth when layered underneath a windproof shell but wasn’t too warm to cause sweating when doing moderate exercise. It is also very lightweight at 12.5 ounces so it’s easy to pack away.
The Thermoball fits snugly everywhere that it should while not restricting arm movement at any time. It is one of the longest layers tested in this category which is a feature greatly appreciated to keep out snow and cold air. It also has sufficiently long sleeves to fit most arm lengths and elastic cuffs on the wrists to keep out cold air. The hood fits nicely around the head and features elastic around the edges so that it can be pulled over your head and still stay on comfortably.
The ability of this layer to stuff into its own zippered pocket is a great feature that makes it easy to pack up and stow in a bag. It’s a bit tough to close the zipper once stuffed. It didn’t pack down quite as much as the Atom LT when put in a stuff sack but it is comparable to the Rab Strata, which also has a hood.
The Thermoball has the standard feature of being able to cinch down the bottom of the jacket to keep out the cold. Another innovative feature is the elastic wrist cuff that is set back a few inches so that it’s not noticeable and has a sleeker look on the wrists than all the other layers tested. However it lacks extra features besides those such as a chest pocket, which testers appreciated in the other jackets that had them. However, the lack of extra features does have an advantage of keeping the weight down.
While the Thermoball doesn’t feature fleece side panels or breathable insulation material like the Nano Air it still does provide a good deal of breathability. This layer is better suited for warmth versus high breathability but still works as a layering piece when doing outdoor activities in the winter.
This jacket received the highest amount of points for style due to sleek design that looks great in the outdoors but can also be worn around town. It uses a quilted square pattern that looks stylish and fits most body type in a flattering way.