The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoodie
Excellent synthetic insulated jacket, usually in my…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
Excellent synthetic insulated jacket, usually in my pack for cold weather despite its weight.
- Excellent fit
- Blocks wind
- Good insulation
- Small size
- Sleeves extend over hands
- Average weight
- "Unfashionable" with hood zipped
- Low breathability
- Thin outer layer is weak
This is by far my favorite jacket. Having grown up in upstate New York, I'd spend at least half each year wearing one, so that's not a statement I make lightly. I generally run hot and find that this jacket's good down to the mid 20 degrees or so. It's water resistant but I wouldn't rely on it in any prolonged rain. It has good middleweight insulation, cuts strong winds. The thumb holes in the stretch nylon at the end of the sleeves keep your hands warm.
This jacket makes intelligent application of multiple materials. The front and back panels are comprised of horizontal baffles with nylon outer material stuffed with Primaloft artificial insulation. The sides of the jacket and armpits use stretchy nylon material, keeping the tight cut from being restrictive. The hood is cut such that when fully zipped up it wraps around the neck under the chin forming a tight insulation around the head.
The interior is a thin layer of fleece material in the sleeves and neck area, the main torso is all nylon where you'll be wearing a shirt. The jacket's insulation while not being spectacularly light is fairly compact, and it layers well with an outer layer on top.
The jacket is not particularly adjustable, so it's important to find it in the correct fit. In the wrists and arms the material stretches somewhat, so a bit of slack won't be a major problem. Also the cut of the jacket is pretty trim, this is probably uncomfortable for people who have a bit more girth.
This jacket is decently sturdy but mine did catch and rip on a staple in a phone pole. It was minor damage that was easy to seal up. I wouldn't rely on it to resist sharp rocks, gravel, or other sharp environmental hazards. In thick brush it has no problem.
After having this about a year, I've let it replace having gloves and a hat outside over the winter except on the coldest days. It rides in my pack whenever it's cold out, despite weighing a pound the amount of insulation it provides is easily worth it.