Why We Chose The North Face Eco Thermoball Packable Jacket: Versatile, packable, eco-friendly
More info: thenorthface.co.uk
If you’re after a lightweight and warm layer that is technical enough to take into the mountains yet stylish enough to wear to work, then The North Face Eco Thermoball Jacket is definitely worth a look.
As its name suggests, the jacket is filled with Thermoball insulation, The North Face’s synthetic alternative to down that was developed a couple of seasons ago in partnership with Primaloft. It makes use of small, round fibre clusters that trap heat within small air pockets to retain warmth. It’s been a big success, as it is warm, highly compressible and continues to insulate even if it gets wet.
With the new ThermoBall Eco collection, the fill is now made from 100% recycled polyester, which according to The North Face, has given the equivalent of 3.6 million plastic bottles a second life this year. To further strengthen the jacket’s green credentials, the nylon, polyester and taffeta face fabrics and linings are also made from 100% recycled fibres.
The one drawback of Thermoball that we can see is that the down-like construction requires lots of baffles to keep the insulation in place. This results in an insulated jacket with lots of stitching, so you need to be careful to prevent snagging. The stitch-through construction can also result in cold spots.
On the flip side, it still offers plenty of warmth in most situations, even in damp weather. To aid moisture resistance, the face fabric has been treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. Moreover, thanks to that compressible insulation, the jacket packs away neatly into its own pocket, so it is easy to stash in a rucksack. Weighing in at a little less than 500g, it is lightweight too, making it an ideal layer to throw on at rest stops and provide a welcome boost of warmth.