User Review: The North Face Men's McMurdo Parka
Price Paid: £225
I don't normally write reviews of stuff unless it's exceptionally good stuff or woefully bad, but in this case The North Face McMurdo Parka firmly falls into the latter category in a spectacular fashion (no pun intended!), hence my short review.
When I came across this website it made my blood pressure rise again, as I have now seen that others have had the same problems as me. It also shows the North Face shop where I bought the jacket (Covent Garden in London) in a very, VERY poor light (more of that later), which also reflects very badly upon the company itself.
Anyway, on to the jacket. It is an absolutely terrible garment and an amazing waste of money. I bought one last year from TNF shop mentioned above (from memory it cost £225, which is a lot), but it seemed like a good idea at the time as winter was approaching and I wanted something which would keep me warm when the frost and snow arrived.
After the first wearing of the jacket (about half an hour) I took it off and my jumper was covered in feathers! I contacted the shop and they told me that the lining was "leaking" and that it was normal and would be fine after a few wears. However this has continued to be the case ever since - I've had it about 16-17 months, have worn it no more than maybe 25 or 30 times max. and it's still "leaking" — it’s also ready for the bin too.
The fabric at the cuffs on both sleeves has frayed, looking like a furry edge now. The fabric, where it has creased naturally has worn through along the creases leaving long-shaped holes. This has also happened around the waist where the draw-cord causes the fabric to bunch-up.
I reported this to the North Face shop where I bought it and asked for a refund or replacement, but they refused and told me it was because of heavy wear. Heavy wear? I wore it going to and from work on the Tube in London, and over a two week period in Northern Ireland last Christmas. Heavy wear? I don’t think so!
The "fur" for the hood is held on by "poppers" and when wearing the jacket with the hood up this tends to fall down over your face if there is a gust of wind — no amount of folding it back into place will stop it happening again — which could be very dangerous indeed, depending on what you are doing; I've had it happen a few times when crossing busy roads on foot in the dark!
The jacket also lets the wind in. As it's impossible to get a good fit around the wrists using the velcro strips at the cuffs (the sleeves just fold over on themselves and bunch up here) the wind howls up the arms — it also does the same at the bottom of the zip and around where the hood joins onto the top of the jacket.
I can't believe how utterly useless and unfit for purpose this jacket is, and what a disappointment too. I bought it as I thought The North Face was a good brand which could cope with severe conditions encountered in hostile environments, but a winter in London and a couple of weeks in snow-covered Northern Ireland last year proved that this is not the case — this jacket just can’t handle it and isn’t up to the job! If it can't perform in a UK winter what's it good for?!
This is the first North Face jacket I have ever bought, and it is also the last. If I hadn’t bought it personally from a North Face shop I’d have thought it was a counterfeit/fake/poor quality copy, but no, it’s a genuine North Face jacket, which is even more worrying.
If you are thinking of buying this jacket, DON’T! Keep your money and spend it on something which DOES work, like a Berghaus.