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The North Face Thunder Micro Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: The North Face Thunder Micro Jacket down insulated jacket

Great for active use, use mine mostly for strenuous hikes and layering up for winter fishing. Great as a shell when not wet out, use it most cold days for everything from strenuous activity to walking the pups.


  • Warmth
  • Layering
  • Compact
  • Breathes fairly well
  • Warmth-to-weight
  • Lightweight


  • A little sensitive to moisture IMHO

This jacket is an excellent layering piece, and stands alone well in moderately cold conditions as an outer layer. The fit is pretty athletic, making it great for layering, but the arms are long and riding up is not an issue. Waist clinches pretty easily, would maybe add a neck cinch like my old MHW Compressor Jacket had.

First truly put it to the test last February while in a fly fishing tourney in which temps were around 22-27 degrees, Cap 4 base layer and basically a rain shell (now discontinued Patagonia deep wading jacket) with "dolphin cuff" cuffs over it (these cuffs keep water out and from running up/down your sleeves for the most part, a huge must-have when your hands go from in the water to above your waist in moments... If you're catching a lot of fish, that is :).

The guides on my rod froze up repeatedly, but I stayed toasty in waist-deep water all day. It's also a piece I keep with me on most hikes that could get frigid, still trying to I figure out of I like this or my Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody more... And then Thermoball from TNF came out a season after I bought this, though I've heard mixed reviews on it, regardless of its accolades in print.

It's down, so you're going to have a bit of trouble when it's wet, and I'm not sure whether I have the treated down or not (maybe have the old version?). The flash-dry pits are a great touch when active as well. I wish it shed light precipitation/wet snow a little more and shed feathers a little less (seem to always be a couple of tiny guys coming out right near the main zipper), but have been pretty surprised that the exterior hasn't ripped, was sure I would look down to find gaping holes a time or two (especially when I was doing some serious brush clearing after a recent ice storm fell several large branches/limbs in the area, our trees aren't meant to handle that where I live now) but never have.

Really love that the cuffs come down farther than most, about an inch past the elastic wrist over the hand, thought some might find this annoying opposed to the traditional elastic cuffs on similar pieces (like the nano puffs, for example) that work maybe a little better under a shell as those don't come down as far.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $270

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