Favorite TNF fleece?

3:16 a.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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Guys, I'm in the market for a fleece insulating layer to zip into my hardshell North Face jacket. This winter in Kentucky is prooving to be a colder one than we had last year, and I'm really just looking for some suggestions.

I'm not sure on the model of the hardshell; it looks just like the Decagon, but according to the info I found online, the Decagon jacket doesn't have zip-in compatibility. So, I don't know what I have. If it matters to anybody, here are the codes:

PO#: 4500632094
Sap#: ACLX
Season#: LF2007

I'll probably buy from eBay, so I'm alright with getting a fleece that's a couple years old - doesn't have to be brand new. I'm just looking for something to keep me warm. I looked at the Denali, Pumori, WindWall, and a few others...not sure what would be best.

Any advice would be greatly appreceated. Thanks!

7:34 a.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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I've been zipping a Denali into my 10+ year old TNF Mountain Jacket for, well, 10+ years. It's roomy, comfortable, breathes well, and works great on it's own. It has held up very well over the years too. The Denali HAS seen a rise in popularity, in recent years, as fashion/street wear and there are LOTS of knock-offs and fakes out there. If buying anything from ebay, somehow make sure you are getting the real thing. If it doesn't have pit zips, it's a fake.

The jacket I'm wearing in my profile pic is a fake. I knew it when I bought it, but then again the $19 price tag tipped me off to that. I bought it to knock around in.

7:47 a.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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f, thanks for the advice. The Denali seems like one of the most popular TNF fleeces, and I suspect for good reason. I hear you, too, about watching out for the fakes. I've only bought 2 of my North Face jackets from ebay, at a time when I was new to the brand and was unaware of the fakes being made. Luckily, both turned out to be authentic. I'm more careful now :)

Thanks again!

8:47 a.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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Denali hands down...or the Pamir for that matter. Both are great.

10:40 a.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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I have lots of older NF stuff from tents to shells but at this point in time i feel there are way to many nicer fleece jackets on the market to even consider NF products.Take a look and also check out steep and cheap.ymmv

12:32 p.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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I was thinkin that myself Skimanjohn, for the $ I would probably opt more towards the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man or Tech Fleece, The Patagonia Retro-x, or the Arc'Teryx Strato. Just me...the prices are comparable.

3:52 p.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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I tried the Denali under my Mountain Light shell and if felt bulky and bunched up under my arms...I opted out for TNF Redpoint, primaloft jacket as an insulating layer and absolutely love it! In fact, I went back and got a second one just to have one to work around the farm in. The redpoint is the first jacket I grab on almost any occasion for cooler-cold weather. Its is lighter and warmer than the Denali IMO. It actually sheds water pretty well on its own, breathes well, and wind surprisingly does not penetrate it very easily. It also is zip-in compatible if that is a requirement for you. TNF offers a hooded version as well, but for some reason it will not zip in to their shells. I actually never zip it in though.

6:27 p.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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I have lots of older NF stuff from tents to shells but at this point in time i feel there are way to many nicer fleece jackets on the market to even consider NF products.Take a look and also check out steep and cheap.ymmv

While I might agree with you to a degree about quality fleece and other jackets currently available, you seem to have missed the point here. Syphonation already HAS a TNF jacket that he would like to match up. Though it is possible to find an occasional cross-brand zipper match, products from a common manufacturer, like TNF, are made to be compatible. While we are on the subject, I still stand by my statement from waaay back that there is very little difference in fleece of the same weight, from one garment manu to another. A great deal (most)of the material is made by the very same company, Polartec.

7:49 p.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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I used to have (actually still have, but never use) a ski jacket that had a zip-out liner. After a couple years, I found it was much more convenient to just get a shell and vary what I wore under it - 200 or 300 Polartec, R2 or R3 Pata, jacket or vest, or Primaloft or down filled vest or jacket. I thought the zip-in would be more convenient and easier to get on and off, but eventually found that that wasn't the case. Vests offer a lot more arm freedom for activities like skiing or climbing, and for putting a pack on or off (less bulk in the arms inside the outer shell).

So my advice would be to just find insulating layers that are the temperature range for your conditions and don't worry about the zip-connector (although you already have the extra weight of that added zipper).

9:28 p.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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i no longer zip my north face fleece in because i ditched my mountain light shell for something lighter weight from another manufacturer. North Face used to offer multiple fleece with different weights. the Denali is Polartec 300, the thickest. Polartec 100 is lighter weight but still provides quite a bit of warmth. North Face used to make vests of Polartec 100 that would zip into their shells - i found that to be a nice lightweight option.

a word of caution about purchasing on Ebay - North Face has changed their zippers occasionally over time. i replaced a North Face shell several years ago, only to find that my old Denali zipper no longer matched the new shell.

12:58 a.m. on January 6, 2010 (EST)
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I really appreceate everyone putting forth their knowledge and opinions. I've definitely got more than 1 option, that much is now obvious.

I hear you guys saying to find a warmer fleece for the $$. I have a Patagonia fleece pullover that gives my heaviest winter coat some competition in terms of warmth. But as f_flock pointed out, I was hoping to have something compatible with my TNF shell.

I'll look at some of the stuff you guys recommended and post what I decide to go with. Thanks very much.

10:27 a.m. on January 6, 2010 (EST)
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I used to have (actually still have, but never use) a ski jacket that had a zip-out liner. After a couple years, I found it was much more convenient to just get a shell and vary what I wore under it - 200 or 300 Polartec, R2 or R3 Pata, jacket or vest, or Primaloft or down filled vest or jacket. I thought the zip-in would be more convenient and easier to get on and off, but eventually found that that wasn't the case. Vests offer a lot more arm freedom for activities like skiing or climbing, and for putting a pack on or off (less bulk in the arms inside the outer shell).

So my advice would be to just find insulating layers that are the temperature range for your conditions and don't worry about the zip-connector (although you already have the extra weight of that added zipper).

Spot on bill!I still stand by what i said on my first post on this subject.While a lot of jackets are made in like fabrics there is a wide diff in the designs used.Also some manufacturers add their own twist to the fabric and details and fit.

1:00 a.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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The Patagucchi Retro-X is, IMHO, better than Monkeyman B/C Monkeyman lays down too flat under a shell where Retro-X keeps its "loft" better.

And yes, Bill & Skinman are correct. A zip-in liner looks like a good idea but isn't that great in practice. Plus you lose the liner's insulation in a 2 inch strip right behind the shell's front zipper.

Eric

2:05 a.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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From what I could find out, your jacket is called a Kaos Jacket and was sold at TNF Outlet stores. Is the "o" in the North Face neck tag blacked in? Regardless, be careful buying fleeces off Ebay as 80-90% of the Denalis are fake as well as a lot of windstoppers. I would recommend finding one on sale at an Authorized online retailer like Altrec or Backcountry. As for my favorite TNF fleece, the 97-99 Polar Sun vest and jacket, 300 BiPolar Polartec fleece. If you know what they look like, you can buy them on Ebay as I have yet to see a fake version. I also like the Redpoint vest and jacket as a zip in liner.

3:27 a.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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Apex, thanks for your research. I found a post on this forum stating the same thing, but I couldn't even find a photo of the "Kaos" online. My jacket looks exactly like the Decagon, only it's orange - a color I've never seen on the Decagon jacket. I dunno..

But to answer your questions, yes, the "O" is blacked out.

I checked ebay, but no luck on the Polar Sun jacket.

Thanks!

9:41 a.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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Throwing in my 2 cents on this older topic, but I wear my TNF Windwall 1 practically everyday and it mates with my TNF shell without a problem. I used to have a fuzzier (Polartec 100?) TNF fleece, but I prefer the stiffer feel of the Windwall and it keeps me plenty warm by itself most days. The cut is nice and what actually seemed like high hand pockets I now prefer. Would be nice if it had one or two more pockets in it (Napoleon or interior), but other than that I have no complaints.

11:10 a.m. on February 7, 2010 (EST)
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I am looking to sell my Denali and my Mountain Jacket. Both zip together. Both blue, XXL, had both for 10 years or so, but I don't really use them. They are in good condition, no tears or rips.

I have reproofed the shell with Nikwax wash and reproofing stuff. I will get photos soon.

If interested give me a shout. epearso AT msn DOT com.

12:32 a.m. on February 14, 2010 (EST)
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I own the TKA 100 and Borealis fleeces from TNF and their both pretty good. I also own TNF Atlas Triclimate jacket with a removable fleece lining and it's been my everyday jacket this winter.

My favorite fleece though is the Mountain Harware Micro Grid pullover. Very warm and looks great.

1:07 a.m. on February 14, 2010 (EST)
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Really, PolarTec 300 weight fleece is, IMHO, the warmest fleece on the market...

... but fleece is still not as warm, or as light, as a synthetic fiber jacket like my ThermoLite jacket or a Patagucchi Micro Puff jacket (if you trust the durability of PrimaLoft...).

Eric

12:36 p.m. on February 14, 2010 (EST)
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I love my Denali. It zips into my (Marmot) shell no problem. Both are old, and the compatibility I test in-store, back when.

11:11 p.m. on February 14, 2010 (EST)
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I also have to agree that the Denali is the best TNF fleece. It is heavy weight so it keeps you warm and also has large pit zips for when it gets too warm, and it is also highly water resistant which gives you the capability of not always having to use a shell.

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