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The North Face Sentinel WindStopper Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: The North Face Sentinel WindStopper Jacket fleece jacket

After four years with a generic windproof fleece and a North Face Denali (Polartec 300), I was looking for something that combined the benefits of both jackets. The Denali, being very comfortable, wasn't lightweight nor was it wind resistant. Simply put, it wasn't a versatile jacket that my activities (lots of biking, some hiking, and frequent travel) require.

I compared the Sentinel Jacket to the Apex Bionic, also from TNF, before I made my purchase. While both are great jackets, I opted for the Sentinel because of its style and longer (torso) cut, which I find particularly useful when I'm crouched on my road bike. Besides this, I don't think you can go wrong with either jacket for general use.

Compared to the TNF Denali Jacket, the Sentinel is lighter and doesn't seem quite as warm. However, when used in windy conditions, this jacket actually keeps you warmer than the Denali! The only drawback I could identify was that the Denali has two exterior pockets for storing doodads (maps, keys, etc.) The Sentinel has a more refined exterior look, but I don't think it will take abuse as nicely as a "regular" fleece like the Denali.

Overall, I am very happy with this jacket. It's a great light jacket to wear on shorter day excursions and can serve as a somewhat more refined outer layer (versus the Denali, which screams "outdoor-type") for evenings when you're travelling. I feel as comfortable wearing this while lounging around the city (SF) as I would walking down the streets of Paris.

Price Paid: $100

I received this jacket from my wife as a gift nearly a year ago and absolutely love it. As the other reviews have indicated the jacket is great in nearly all conditions. Perfect for fall and spring and will get the job done most days during Indiana's winter. People ask me all the time when I am going to switch to my winter jacket; I need to wear a patch that says, "it really is warmer than it looks!" Full endorsement, great product.

Price Paid: Gift

i've had this jacket for about four years now and i thought i'd contribute to the gear reviews after having read other peoples' reviews on the same jacket.

generally i'm not that impressed with it. when i'm out doing highly aerobic activities it is usually sufficient - but not what i really wanted. when i am active, i use it in conjunction with a midweight base layer and a shell (depending on the likelihood of precip). once the activity stops - i usually have to throw something else overtop.

it is not the type of fleece that you bring backpacking/touring and throw on when the evening chill sets in.

there are some good things about the jacket though:

the windstopper IS effective even though the fleece is not thick enough.

also, it does compress into a smaller bundle than "normal" fleece. (although by no means as small as a lightweight primaloft/down/polarguard jacket)


this was not the jacket for me. i thought that the sentinel was going to be similar to the patagonia retro-x jacket (extremely warm windstopper WITH pit zips) but it was only a light microfleece with windstopper. its reasonable effective when i'm working hard - but then i start to wish for pit zips...

hope this helps.

final trivial note:

so many TNF jackets and fleece have zippers that work WITH gravity (zipper down means pocket closed) however for some reason the sentinel's works in the opposite way.

Fabric: gore windstopper fleece

Very good but not perfect.


  • Windproof
  • Core venting


  • Not enough pockets

The windstopper fabric is thin but does a great job keeping the wind off. The fabric is fairly thin so it isn't great when the temp gets below freezing, but it is a perfect fall coat or layering piece.

The downside is there aren't enough pockets. It could really use an interior pocket. I am 5'11" and 180lbs and a large fits good.

As a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Gore for product testing of Gore-tex products for the purpose of product review and recommendation. I do receive items from Gore for these purposes.

Disclosure: The reviewer received a sample of this product from the brand or its representatives in exchange for a review.

Source: bought it new

The author of this review is affiliated with Gore for product testing and review.

Never thought I'd pay 160 bucks for fleece (even on sale from $200), but I'm a gear hound and wanted to try out the windstopper.

Anyway, I love the jacket - I bought it one and a half years ago at xmas and pretty much have worn it every day since, if it was cooler than 15 Celsius. It has completely replaced my other fleece jackets which now collect dust in my closet.

It feels as warm as my 300 wt fleece, and is lighter. I've worn it winter mountaineering numerous times, with just a goretex shell, and was comfortable when moving around (even at -20 C) - although on comes the down jacket when I stop for any length of time.

Fabric: windstopper n fleece
Price Paid: $160 Cdn ($100 US)

I use this as my top layer for hiking and training with my pack. I think its a great jacket for 25-50F other then that it's not waterproof. It's a relatively light wind jacket. I would have never bought it for the retail price. I got it as a pro deal, but otherwise I think for the price I paid its a great fall-spring jacket. Not really a winter wear though.

Price Paid: $80

To pay $200 or even $140 as I did seems nuts for a lightweight jacket, or so I thought. Was I wrong. This is a great jacket. When my jacket is lost, stolen, destroyed or just worn out I will within the hour own another one. Great for skiing, wear a T-shirt, this jacket and a good shell and stay warm. Let the wind blow, who cares. This jacket rocks.

Fabric: Gore Windstopper
Price Paid: $195

Great jacket. I got caught in a rain storm on my motorcycle wearing a T-shirt, Sentinel and a jean jacket. It worked great! By no means is it waterproof. I couldn't have been wetter if I had jumped in a lake. Regardless I was comfortable. It was night and about 50 deg. Yet I wasn't cold. Great stuff.

Fabric: Gore Windstopper
Price Paid: $140/Sale

Version reviewed: 1996

This fleece is the best money can buy. As soon as I got it I was impressed. It is so light, remarkably thin but so functional. It zips right into my 1993 Mountain Jacket.

Fabric: gore windstopper
Price Paid: $190

First and foremost, excellent versatile jacket, keeps you warm, looks sleek and sophisticated urban kat meets mountaineer.

Highly recommend this jacket, lightweight, very warm and functional. Go out and get one.

Price Paid: $229

Luckily I found this fleece on sale, but I would pay full price for it. The quality is excellent, and the Gore WindStopper is wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Price Paid: $130

This jacket is beautiful. The WindStopper is worth its weight in gold, but not that heavy. Wouldn't trade this jacket for anything, but pit zips would be nice.

Fabric: Fleece, with Windstopper membrain
Price Paid: $199

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Price Historic Range: $76.73-$229.00
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