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The North Face down jacket help

6:54 a.m. on December 22, 2012 (EST)
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I want to get a medium-weight down jacket that will serve as my all-purpose winter jacket for various activities, ie, hiking, short outdoor activities and even a jacket I can wear to the office. I live in southeastern PA, so we generally don’t get frigid temperatures. I have a Nutpse Jacket that serves as my heavy-weight down jacket. I have my eye on the Thunder Micro Jacket, which is an updated version of the regular Thunder Jacket. I handled the Thunder Micro in TNF store recently. It is a nice piece and fits me great. I really like the slimmer down chambers and the FlashDry panels underneath the arms. I am also a huge fan of the Summit Series. The “weird” thing about this jacket is how light-weight it is. It feels like I am wearing nothing. Is this jacket similar to let’s say a Patagonia Down Sweater? People say that these light-weight down jackets pack a power punch and are very warm. Is this true? The regular Thunder is definitely heavier, but don’t think I need a heavier jacket.

8:44 a.m. on December 23, 2012 (EST)
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yes, it's true that lightweight down sweaters like this are very warm for their weight.  you might compare the marmot zeus jacket, the patagonia down sweater, the eddie bauer/first ascent down sweater.  patagonia runs average to a bit roomy, first ascent is a fairly athletic cut.  the marmot is somewhere in the middle and is often available at good discounts.

I'm sure the jacket you are looking at is great.  the full retail price on that TNF jacket is on the high side for this class of jacket.  but if it fits and you like it best...

off-the-beaten-path alternatives from Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering are outstanding.  the feathered friends daybreak jacket, for example, costs less than the Thunder Micro and weighs (in a size medium, i presume) a fairly astonishing 9 ounces.  if you go the feathered friends route, call and talk to them - you often need a size larger than in other brands, their lightweight garments are cut pretty lean.  that's the downside of a brand you can't try on....harder to get comfortable with the fit, and that's not an insignificant concern.  

10:10 a.m. on December 23, 2012 (EST)
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If you need multiple down jackets you must have a job and not enough time to enjoy them.

2:37 p.m. on December 23, 2012 (EST)
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Every time I see a TNF jacket I think of the Wonka Meme for it.

On the last Ethical Consumer (UK) report, TNF came near the bottom, almost half as many points as a company such as Patagonia. However, for patagucci prices you could get something from the companies leadbelly suggests. I know someone who has a pair of Western Mountaineering down pants that are made in Canada; they seem like quality clothing, just as TNF used to be.

3:16 p.m. on December 23, 2012 (EST)
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tnf's quality is so crappy I think you would be lucky to get one with enough down in it. look at arcteryx too.

4:26 p.m. on December 23, 2012 (EST)
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I found the Thunder micro jacket at 20% off from an authorized online retailer, so that puts it in the price range of the ones you mentioned at their full retail prices. I've been a TNF fan forever. No complaints, no malfunctions, etc. The main reason I like the Summit Series is for the "alpine" fit. I am tall and slim and need an athletic cut stuff. Their stuff fits me great. The Summit Series logo and branding is cool as well. As I stated, I am looking for an all-purpose down jacket. I will consider the other down jackets that were mentioned in this thread.

yes, it's true that lightweight down sweaters like this are very warm for their weight.  you might compare the marmot zeus jacket, the patagonia down sweater, the eddie bauer/first ascent down sweater.  patagonia runs average to a bit roomy, first ascent is a fairly athletic cut.  the marmot is somewhere in the middle and is often available at good discounts.

I'm sure the jacket you are looking at is great.  the full retail price on that TNF jacket is on the high side for this class of jacket.  but if it fits and you like it best...

off-the-beaten-path alternatives from Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering are outstanding.  the feathered friends daybreak jacket, for example, costs less than the Thunder Micro and weighs (in a size medium, i presume) a fairly astonishing 9 ounces.  if you go the feathered friends route, call and talk to them - you often need a size larger than in other brands, their lightweight garments are cut pretty lean.  that's the downside of a brand you can't try on....harder to get comfortable with the fit, and that's not an insignificant concern.  

 

4:39 p.m. on December 23, 2012 (EST)
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ppine said:

If you need multiple down jackets you must have a job and not enough time to enjoy them.

i have a down parka, a down sweater, a down vest, a job, AND the time to enjoy them. 

and a partridge in a pear tree.....

11:02 a.m. on December 24, 2012 (EST)
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Sorry you guys.  This is a gearhead forum so I will stop with the I don't get it posts.  My gift to you.  Merry Christmas.

12:43 p.m. on December 24, 2012 (EST)
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 all in good fun.  no harm intended.  and please keep posting.  

1:34 p.m. on December 24, 2012 (EST)
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 all in good fun.  no harm intended.  and please keep posting. 

Hear, hear! Without our differences, civilization would be lost!

At least none of us are at this stage:

Weird Link of the Day

4:34 p.m. on December 24, 2012 (EST)
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I only own a a couple of TNF jackets and they're ok (although I do like my McMurdo parka). I have a Patagonia down sweater that I got half off at a Dick's winter clearence sale and Marmot Zeus which I got at Marshalls for $50.00 and both perform quite well.

I'm sure a lot people would disagree with me but it seems TNF is more or less a status symbol for suburbanites and high school/college kids now. Plus their prices are just so ridiculous.

But I guess the same could be said for a lot clohing manufacturers.

7:00 p.m. on December 24, 2012 (EST)
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it's off-topic, but i haven't had bad experiences with The North Face.  they honor their lifetime guarantee, their gear holds up well.  

i spent an hour playing soccer today in a north face softshell b/c it was snowing & windy, and it was great.  

7:37 p.m. on December 26, 2012 (EST)
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I have two TNF down jackets, a Nuptse and a Baltoro. Both are very good quality and for my purposes, as good as I could want - the Baltoro is Dryloft, huge hood, extremely warm. The newer version, called the Himalayan is a different version of Goretex, higher loft (800 v. 700) and different pocket and hood design. I like mine better. Pricey? Yes, but you get what you pay for most of the time. The FF Icefall is $600 and their Rock & Ice is $829.

 

11:50 a.m. on December 28, 2012 (EST)
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Pathloser said:

Hear, hear! Without our differences, civilization would be lost!

Or we would be deadlocked like we currently are in Washington DC.  Talk about being lost!  (don't anyone dare consider this an invitation to get political here!)

Ed

12:28 p.m. on December 28, 2012 (EST)
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I pulled the trigger on TNF Thunder Micro Jacket. It's a great piece. I wore it out in the chilly, windy and damp weather we've had in Philly the last few days. The lightness of the jacket will not fool you. It's plenty warm for me. And it's water repellent enough in light rain. At 20% off, the price is in line with similar jackets. Overall, I am thrilled with the purchase.

April 20, 2014
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