The North Face St. Elias Jacket
My old Pumori fleece was getting old and thin, and…
Fabric: new bipolar 200 series fleece
Price Paid: $180
My old Pumori fleece was getting old and thin, and so I sent it back to TNF, with a note asking them to sew some reinforcement patches onto the elbows. Instead, they sent me this new fleece! Needless to say, I was very happy. This kind of customer service more than justifies TNF's high prices.
This jacket uses a new type of fleece which uses a higher pile on the inside, and a thinner type on the outside. The idea is great, however the inner pile has compressed in places quite quickly. The inner pile needs to be higher density to resist compression. Some good points about the new fleece are that it is slightly more wind and water resistant.
Further strong points about the jacket are that ALL zippers are backed by a flap, and that the collar is high and stiffened with nylon (the collar on my old Pumori flopped around too much). At $180, the dollar is quite pricey, but if you consider that you should be able to return it to TNF when it wears out it's a decent deal.