The North Face Thermoball 50/50 Jacket Review - Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Gear, Equipment, News, Reviews, Forums, Walking Routes and More at


Down and Insulated Jackets

The North Face Thermoball 50/50 Jacket Review

An eco-friendly jacket that's uses an innovative design made for 'breathable warmth'

Why we chose it: Innovative design, good eco efforts

This brand new jacket from the North Face comes with one of their newly developed technologies, one that’s designed to bring insulation along with efficient temperature regulation. In other words, it’s made to keep you warm but without making you sweat, in particular during high tempo activities. What’s more, it could be up there as one of the most sustainable products within the brand’s repertoire.

Who Is The North Face Thermoball 50/50 for?

While this would, to an extent, suit climbers, mountaineers and ski tourers, it’s hikers that this is specifically made for. The insulation design and fabrics, which we’ll get to in a bit, are all designed to retain heat but to also keep air circulating while letting moisture vapour out too. So with those qualities in mind, the Thermoball 50/50 is going to really suit those who want a jacket that they can hike with on those chillier days and evenings without having to take it on and off when the ascent and temperature varies.

OM tester James using the Thermoball 50/50 during our team’s hike along the Cumbria Way. Photos: Joe Whitmore

Eco Credentials

This jacket comes with The North Face’s ‘Exploration Without Compromise’ badge. This, the brand says, guarantees at least 75% recycled, regenerative and/or responsibly-sourced renewable materials by weight. Also, If the product has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, it must be free from non-per-fluorinated chemicals.

100% recycled nylon is used across the arms while the nylon used across the body is 89% recycled. Then there’s the Thermoball insulation which is made from 100% recycled polyester derived from post consumer content – stuff like plastic bottles and packaging.

Recent news from The North Face is that they’re developing circular systems to recycle previously owned gear and reuse the raw materials, keeping them out of waste streams. They have in fact just launched their first products intentionally designed for circularity. Sadly, this doesn’t apply to this jacket (it might do to future iterations), however, the brand says that there has been a focus on making it repairable – whether that’s at home by the owner or by the North Face repair team.

Materials and Features

This is the first instance of The North Face’s 50/50 technology being using with a synthetic fill. All previous designs used down – the L3 Hooded Down jacket for instance. The ultimate aim is the same: to create a garment that saves you from having to wear loads of layers that require stripping and replacing as you go depending on your tempo.

The baffle design and fabrics, from what we can tell, are largely unchanged too. The baffles all hang off the inside of the jacket with large spaces between them and the materials are all light, slightly stretchy and they’re air permeable while still being densely woven enough to lock all the fill fibres in securely.

“It’s perfect for those summer wild camps and autumn and spring hikes.”

The gaps between the baffles is where hot, moist air is able to escape from the jacket – the crucial component of the 50/50 technology. So, when you’re, say, pushing hard on your skis uphill, you’ve got insulation but you’re also able to stay regulated too.

Details on this jacket include stretchy cuffs that can be pulled over mountaineering gloves, a simple, non-adjustable hood that can be worn comfortably underneath a helmet, a zipped internal pocket on the chest, and there are two handwarmer pockets that contain toggles for the hem adjustment. The jacket can also be packed up into its left pocket.


I’m five foot 10, I have an average build and I normally wear a size Medium jacket. I tried this in a Medium and it fitted me perfectly. It was comfortable over the top of a light fleece and I also found I could wear a shell layer over it comfortably.

The breathability is impressive. I’d say the airflow really is noticeable when you’re working hard in this. That said, when stood still that airflow isn’t necessarily welcome, and that’s when I’ve felt I’ve needed to pair this with another layer – so it’s not going to suit anyone looking for a belay type jacket or something to keep them warm when sat on a ski lift. It’s perfect for those summer wild camps and autumn and spring hikes though.

The North Face Thermoball 50/50/h4>

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.