Why We Chose It: Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, innovative construction
There’s nothing as certain in this world as death, taxes… and The North Face pushing the envelope of technical outdoor clothing design each year. The example for 2021 is this: the North Dace Summit L6 Down Belay Parka, one of the big winners at the ISPO Awards last winter. It’s certainly one scorching belay jacket.
Who Is The North Face Summit L6 Down Belay Parka For?
Just by taking a quick look at some of the stats of this down jacket, you’ll soon realise that it’s not been designed for the mass market. 780g, 800 fill power, an intricate baffle design and strategically placed Futurelight protection; this jacket is designed to be worn explicitly in cold climates, whether that’s standing around on frozen belay ledges in Rjuken, battling jet-stream fuelled storms in the Scottish Highlands, or bagging airy alpine summits.
The North Face Summit L6 has a lot going on in the materials department. First of all, let’s talk about the insulation that gives it it’s furnace-like warmth. You’ll find premium 800 fill power goose down towards the body, while 700 fill power has been used in the arms for compression resistance.
The North Face makes use of their welded baffle construction to fuse each seam of the baffles that hold the down together. This, compared to stitching the individual baffles together, eliminates the risk of heat escaping through gaps and prevents the down from leaking out too.
“This jacket is designed to be worn explicitly in cold climates.”
As the name suggests, the fill is wrapped up in The North Face’s waterproof and breathable Futurelight material. It’s not throughout the whole jacket but in places where the weather protection of a membrane will be of most benefit, namely the arms and shoulders. The North Face has made use of Pertex Quantum Pro fabric throughout the rest of the jacket, bringing lightweight and packable protection with a bit of durability and water resistance.
Both of these fabrics have been treated with a DWR to boost the water repellency.