Open main menu

The North Face Nuptse Jacket

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: The North Face Nuptse Jacket down insulated jacket

This used to be a good jacket... not any more. After researching I THOUGHT that this was one of the best jackets out there. They have changed things. Unfortunately, after ordering it, I found out that they have changed the quality of materials they use.

For instance, they now use cheap-ass black painted zippers instead of the smooth running zinc-plated zippers before. The zipper is wavy and gets caught on the surrounding fabric...clearly a low quality zipper. They also now use generic plastic snaps on the cuffs instead of their usual high quality metal logo snaps. The weight is also actually heavier than their specs...Plus they majorly underfill the channels with down. There is not enough down in it to loft up to any reasonable amount. Even though it's 700 fill power, that doesn't mean you can use significantly less down in the jacket thinking it will make up for itself.

Compared to a lesser priced competitors jacket I own, the Nuptse was very poor at lofting up even though its fill power was greater. I believe that The North Face figures it can get away with using cheaper materials because they know that many of their customers only care about a big fancy name brand.

Not all customers use them for style alone. In fact their whole spirit has emphasized exploring and extreme activities, and many people, like myself use their products for extended outdoor use, relying on good materials and workmanship. If those aren't there, why pay more? They may be trying to sell it at the same price, but in order to do that year after year they have to use less expensive materials. Or they could be just getting cheap on us and have decided to use crummier materials and still sell it at an exorbitant price so they can cash in.

Even so, this jacket does not meet even the most basic standards I have come to expect from TNF. I am very disappointed at their change for the worse. However, if you would still like to get this product, make sure you get an older model or one still containing high quality materials. It's not worth paying twice as much for something with less than great materials. Be a smart consumer, don't be fooled by a fancy label and a fancy price tag, those don't always mean a good product.

Fabric: Ripstop Nylon
Fill: 700 fill power goose down
Price Paid: $190

Solid winter jacket.


  • Warm
  • Compressable
  • Good fit


  • A bit bulky
  • No baffled hood

I have used mine hard for 7 years and it is still going strong. I have had NONE of the zipper problems other reviewers have mentioned. 

I have used it as an ice climbing jacket in very cold conditions, often using it as a belay jacket. In addition, I have been very comfortable using it and some fleece pants as a sleeping system when going ultralight. I am careful to keep it dry, and have not had the odor problems other folks have had. 

TNF seemed to go through a quality control issue a few years back, so I would check one out before I bought it, but I have had such a good experience that I would get another one if I ever need to replace the one I have now. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99

Version reviewed: long

There's just nothing like down! The Nuptse parka is probably the most comfortable winter parka I have ever owned. Down acts almost like it has some sort of natural thermostat. You always just feel comfortable, no matter how warm or cold it is out. It's way different than any synthetic.

I also own a Patagonia Guide parka which is stuffed to the gills with Quallofil. Its a mighty warm jacket, but MUCH heavier and I sweat like a pig whenever I'm in any weather other than freezing cold. With the Nuptse though, I'm always comfortable no matter what the temperature outside is. And, it's light as a feather and almost as comfy as my Marmot Couloir bag, and that's saying a lot since my Marmot is second only to good sex!

Construction of this parka is excellent, and is MUCH BETTER than I have experienced recently with THF down bags. Not a feather, not a ONE, has found its way out. Way to go North Face!

Fabric: 50D ripstop nylon
Fill: 700+ goose down
Price Paid:

Is this a real Nuptse or a knock-off?? That's the question a lot of buyers are facing. One writer gave this explanation:

Many cheaper Nuptses are knock-offs. Here is what happens. The overseas factory finishes its shift, after producing a few thousand jackets. Some personnel stay late and make a run of 'bogus' Nuptse Jackets using much the same materials on the same machinery as the real ones. Same nylon, same labels, same down, same thread. Maybe the quality control is not as high, maybe the down is not as dense, but the jackets are almost the real thing - only sold on the black market at half price.

Are they just as good as the genuine Nuptse? Not quite. But are they worth $100 rather than the usual $200?
In my opinion... yes.

But if you get a Nuptse with hardly any down in the baffles, send it back for a new one.

Buyers beware.

Fabric: nylon
Fill: 700 down
Price Paid: $110

Currently on my fourth one in about nine years. Great jacket, especially during cold weather, but not at all waterproof. Outer nylon fabric is a little thin and tends to tear easily, although I am very hard on my jackets. So long as the tear is fixed quickly, you don't lose too much of the down filling.

My last one got left outside with some shed junk for what must be nearly two and a half years. The down filling has gone lumpy and has probably started to rot. The nylon shell has faded but doesn't seem to have rotted in any way even though it's so thin.

In all, a great warm jacket that compacts so well. Not waterproof and a thin shell that may tear with a lot of use.

Fabric: nylon
Fill: down
Price Paid: $184

This is the best jacket I have ever had. I was out in -30 temperatures and it was -65 with wind chill I was very warm but then I can wear the jacket in my car or in my house and not get too hot because the down is very good. People say that The North Face products are too high priced. I got this fine jacket for $79.99, you just have to look around. I zipped the jacket in a Talkeetna Shell Jacket for all-around wind, water, rain, and snow protection. I would recommend this jacket to anyone.

Fabric: Down-Proof Nylon
Fill: 700 fill down
Price Paid: $79.99

I got the jacket last week so haven't had the opportunity to try it out in cold weather. It looks like a good jacket and had to look hard to find it for $165 (not a discontinued or unpopular color).

One problem that I noticed is that the zipper gets caught on the nylon material that comprised the little flap behind the zipper that keeps the cold out. This happens a lot up in the neck area where the zipper isn't straight (curves with the neck).

I've thought of a couple of options to fix it.

Fabric: Nylon
Fill: Goose Down
Price Paid: $165

Excellent, I have owned my Nuptse for two years. I don't mind the down migration as it means the shell is single and not double and hence lighter to carry. I feel that the down is not really 700 more like 600 by UK standards, but it is instantly warm and wearable both round town and on the hill. I have found the materials to be much more durable than previously stated in other reviews. Love it!

Fabric: Nylon
Fill: 700 US
Price Paid: 150 ukl

Great jacket. It is very light and is so warm. However, I got a rip in mine and feather keep on flying out. Someone accidentally washed mine and so the jacket has very few feathers left in it. But I am going to have to probably buy a new one. It is great and the fact that it can kep you warm in the winter is a reason to buy it.

Fill: 700

Very warm jacket. Looks good and performs well. Try not to get the bugga wet though, the down smells and will decompose after a while. The really anoying thing is the the feathers come out, so you have to constantly pull them back through the outer layer if you want to keep them. It's a wonder that The North Face has not solved this problem. But, worth the money.

Fill: Down
Price Paid: �$129.99

This jacket is excellent against the cold. I was sweating in it while hiking at between -1 and 10 degrees in Barrow, Alaska, and this was with 20-25 mph winds.

However, the down stinks almost intolerably when you sweat or get it wet. I was about to tell my hiking partner that he needed a shower when I realized that it was my jacket!

Price Paid: $199

It looks good and it's warm but...

The zippers get stuck continuously (especially pockets) and it drives you mad, and worse still it's completely unwashable. Follow the instructions and it ends up lumpy and unusable - it's a disposable coat!

Basically don't use the pockets and never wash it and it's OK. There are better coats at this price range for sure.

Price Paid: 200 euro

Lightest down sweater I've found. Be mindful of the fact that down is useless when wet and that this jacket is not made of a dryloft shell. Go with a synthetic or dryloft shelled insulating layer, unless you aren't anticipating any wet weather use. Still, it's the warmest jacket I've ever owned and great as a general winter jacket here in VT....

Fabric: ripstop
Fill: 700 fill down
Price Paid: $190

This is a great jacket. It is extremely warm. It is also a very attractive jacket. The Nuptse Jacket packs really well, it takes up little room in my pack and weighs only about 1lb and 5oz. This jacket zips into most jackets which is nice. If you decide to get this jacket it will be worth every penny.

Fabric: Ripstop nylon
Fill: 700 goose down
Price Paid: $192

I bought this jacket on Campmor's web site for $99.95. It works great in the cold Alaska winters. I wear it everywhere. And for the price I paid it makes it even better. I highly recommend it. It also fits into just about any parka that has double zips and compacts well into its stuff sack.

Fabric: Nylon Ripstop
Fill: 700+ Goose Down
Price Paid: $99.95

My main complaint about this jacket is that the zippers are cheap and maddening. The pocket zippers are hard to shut and get caught often. The main zipper also jams up frequently. Not up to the quality of the zipper on the NF Denali fleece, for example.

Otherwise ok. Plenty of down.

Price Paid: $130

Very lofty at 700fp. Keeps me warm throughout cold winters in Tahoe. I paid $140 for it, which is a great price for a popular color (black/black). I wouldn't pay $200 for this jacket though, so make sure you shop around.

Fabric: Ripstop nylon
Fill: 700 fill power down
Price Paid: $140

This is a superb lightweight jacket! Warm as a toaster! The only problem is that the feathers come out every other usage, so be prepared to master the art of feather replacement. Other than that a wonderful coat.

Fabric: ripstop nylon
Fill: 700+ fill down
Price Paid: $190

This really is a warm coat but at times it can feel a bit bulky. I've owned mine for 3 years and it's still going strong. It is expensive but i don't regret buying it.

Fill: down
Price Paid: $300

Remarkably warm jacket. Since puchase it has performed well in all manner of extreme conditions. It's robust and durable manufacture has made it a quality jacket for all seasons and their outdoor pursuits.

Fabric: Ripstop Nylon
Fill: 700+ fill down
Price Paid: 135 pounds

I followed the label's instructions for machine washing and result - jacket was flattened + holed. Totally ruined. I am very angry + disappointed and won't be buying any North Face products again.

Fill: 700 down
Price Paid: $149.99

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price Current Retail: $223.93
Historic Range: $59.00-$239.73
Reviewers Paid: $79.99-$300.00
Price MSRP: $199.00
Historic Range: $28.63-$199.95
Reviewers Paid: $184.00
Weight 24.7 oz / 700 g
Body Fabric 50D 64 g / sq m (1.9 oz / sq yd) Miniripstop Weave Nylon
Abrasion Fabric 50D 64 g / sq m (1.9 oz / sq yd) Plain-Weave Nylon, DWR Finish
Insulation 700 Fill Goose Down
Price MSRP: $79.00
Historic Range: $14.43-$160.00
Body Fabric 100% Polyester, DWR Finish
Lining Fabric 100% Recycled Polyester Taffeta
Insulation 550 Down Fill