There’s no getting away from it people, winter is well and truly on the way. What with the dark evenings, the cold mornings and the fact that meeting people for a drink is becoming considerably more effort than it was eight weeks ago.
But, ho-hum. It’s not all bad news. In fact, if we’re being honest we actually love winter. You’ve not only got Christmas, snow trips and pub fires, you also have, what we’d say, is the best time of year for clothing. You know that feeling when you step out of the house into a freezing cold day, but you couldn’t care less because you’re wearing you’re favourite winter jacket? Now that’s what we’re talking about.
The North Face, as you’re probably aware, make pretty damn nice jackets for the outdoors. The kind of jackets you would wear as you clamber your way up to the top of some snow-tipped peak; wind battering you as your ice pick smashes powder into your face. The kind of jacket that is not so much a convenience as it is an essential tool for survival. That’s the kind of jacket we like to wear when it starts getting cold. A jacket that makes you feel smug, like you’ve beaten the weather.
The latest offering we’ve been testing from The North Face is the Thermoball Plus Hoodie. A sort of semi-serious outdoor jacket designed to be a bit of an all-round piece of winter wear. Using something called Thermoball insulation – a synthetic insulation a bit like down – the jacket is made to retain body heat in cold weather. Which is a pretty good prerequisite for a jacket made for explorer types.
The benefit of using Thermoball insulation over down is that it actually maintains a high level of performance when it’s wet. Something you pretty much always need to plan for in the UK. Even if it looks nice when you leave the house. So you don’t have to worry too much about packing a load of different items when you head out.
Functionally we can vouch for effectiveness of heat preservation. Is ridiculously snug. Which is impressive for something that feels pretty thin and light when you put it on. We were actually surprised at how warm it was after stepping out of the house. It almost makes getting up for the gym at 6am manageable.
It looks damn nice as well, which is no surprise really when you’re wearing something from The North Face crew. The kind of outdoors cloths that work just as well at fending of the freezing cold as they do impressing passers-by as you walk down Leather Lane holding a burrito.
There are a few other nice features as well: two secure-zip hand pockets, front pockets, a cozy hood (obviously), underarm stretch venting panels (good for us sweatier types) and a Vislon centre front zipper. So yeah, all in all a pretty nice piece of kit whether you’re heading off to the alps or just want something formidable to make the UK winter a bit more bearable. Either works.
The Thermoball Plus Hoodie costs £200 and comes in three colour sets. To find out more head over to the website here