The North Face Summit L5 Proprius Gore-Tex Active Jacket ReviewAugust 24, 2018
- Excellent weather protection
- Four season versatility
- High packability for its protection
- Heavy for the category
- Only one pocket
The North Face L5 Proprius jacket was designed for ski mountaineering: climbing up and then skiing down. For the varied and rigorous demands of covering big vertical in the mountains they used Gore-Tex Active, a very dependable weather shield. In our testing while ski touring and backpacking it easily fended off four hours of soak-on-impact snow and a day long rain shower without a leak. A helmet compatible hood and stiff brim provided plenty of coverage for hiding from drips and well placed toggles made it easy to cinch things snug when the wind kicked up. In howling ridge top winds in the Yukon, testers not only felt sheltered but were able to lock down the hem and wrist closures to keep heat in.
The Gore Active used in the TNF L5 Proprius is one of Gore’s lightest and most breathable membranes. It does a good job of keeping internal conditions comfortable, even without pit zips, but without any mechanical venting options it was not as comfortable in warmer conditions as some of the other jackets tested.
The biggest con to The North Face L5 Proprius jacket is that it only has one pocket on the chest. We always miss hand pockets and we do here too. Otherwise the jacket is very well laid out and designed. The waterproof zippers have beefy pulls for use with gloves. The hood is easy to customize. The hook and loop wrist closures cinch tight or stay open for added venting. The fit is generous enough for adding a puffy jacket underneath, but not baggy when wearing it in warmer weather. That’s one of the biggest pros for this jacket: it is light enough for summer use but burly enough for winter.
The 13 Denier nylon used in The North Face L5 Proprius jacket is a good middle ground between weight and durability. It’s tough enough for the inevitable abrasion from playing and using skis, poles and ice axes. After more than 10 days of hard backcountry use it shows no sign of wear. Both the Gore Active membrane and the jacket in general are backed by lifetime warranties.
At 15 ounces The North Face L5 Proprius jacket is on the heavier side in this category, but it doesn’t feel it. The minimalist design feels much lighter than the weight suggests and it packs smaller than we’d expect from an almost one pound shell. It packed down to the size of a small melon, much like many of the other shells here.Continue Reading