The North Face Cipher Windstopper Jacket
The Cipher Windstopper Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best soft shell jackets for 2023.
"Gear of the Year"...that says it all.
This is a great jacket. Whether it be a sunny day with a bit of wind or a run in just-below-freezing weather, this jacket does the trick. It's stretchy and athletic-fitting which helps keep you comfortable and dry through a wide range of temperatures. I've also worn this jacket running in moderate rainfall and the jacket shed the rain and kept me dry underneath.
I really can't say much more than Outside Magazine said about this jacket. This is the jacket that will take you through 90% of your 3-season outdoor activities.
Update: April 27, 2008
I really don't know what to say about this jacket. I own about a dozen jackets, and...when in doubt, I grab this one.
I live in northern Japan where the sun will be shining one minute and a half hour later, a sea fog will roll in and make it pretty chilly. Being a long distance runner, I need a jacket that will keep me warm in mildly-cold weather but not be too much when the sun pops out from behind the clouds. I've worn this jacket on days just below freezing up to 60 degrees and it remains comfortable. I've worn it in medium rain and light snow and stayed dry.
I don't take this jacket backpacking as it will never fully replace a lightweight hardshell and I have other layer options which offer better weight-to-function value when considered as a package (i.e. a fleece top for insulation + a hardshell). But, if I wanted to take a chance with one jacket on a fast-and-light shred down a trail, this would be my choice.
Price Paid: $120
The North Face Cipher Windstopper jacket is awesome. I purchased a Mammut Ultimate Hooded Jacket and the Cipher surpasses the Mammut jacket on many levels.
Economically, the Cipher jacket is at least $110 less than the Mammut. The quality of the North Face Cipher is just as good if not better than the Mammut Hooded Jacket. The North Face jacket is thicker but breathes exceptionally well.
I was standing awaiting my X-Country runners to finish a race. I was standing in low 50 degree weather with a Patagonia Capaline pullover under the Mammut. I was chilled standing there waiting for my runners. I returned the Mammut Ultimate and purchased the North Face Cipher and I'm glad.
I snowshoe in the Adirondacks of New York with a base-layer, the Patagonia Nano Puff pullover and the North Face Cipher. I'm never cold. After a couple of miles in the woods I'm taking the Nano off and putting it in my backpack.
I love the long zippers on the North Face Cipher if one needs to vent from overheating. This jacket is worth every 'penny' you pay for this great piece. The North Face Cipher can be utilized in all seasons while engaged in outdoor activity. I'll even have mine in my backpack in the summer months in case cold winds blow into the Adirondack Mountains. I'll even use it on kayaking overnights on chilly evenings in northern Maine of in the Adirondacks.
Great jacket, folks. Try one one. Save some $$$ and disregard the overrated Mammut Ultimate Hooded Jacket and purchase a North Face Cipher for a least (if not on sale) $100 less than the Mammut.
Price Paid: $99
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