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The North Face Thermoball Jacket Review


If you’re looking for a light, high-performance synthetic insulation jacket, the Thermoball Jacket will be right up your alley. It’s an excellent choice for hiking, skiing, or alpine climbing, and it also looks good enough to wear around town.

Instead of continuous yarn filaments, Thermoball uses little clusters of insulation that trap air and hold heat like down does. This helps it retain loft even when wet, essential for dry-weather insulation.


Thermoball is a new form of synthetic insulation co-developed by The North Face and Primaloft, and it mimics down’s ability to trap heat in air pockets. Instead of using continuous filaments like traditional synthetic insulation, Thermoball uses small round PrimaLoft artificial fiber clusters that closely mimic down’s clusters of tiny cotton-like balls.

Unlike conventional synthetic insulations, Thermoball retains its loft and warmth even when wet. This is a hugely helpful feature in jackets designed for high-tempo activities, such as backcountry skiing or skate-skiing, where damp conditions are expected.

ThermoBall has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and is much less expensive than goose-down. It also dries quickly and is water resistant so that it can be worn as an outer layer or mid-layer in cold weather.


When you’re out for an adventure in cold weather, you must have a durable, robust jacket that will last. The North Face’s Thermoball jacket delivers all the essentials, providing insulation that will keep you warm and dry while keeping your weight down.

It features PrimaLoft ThermoBall synthetic insulation, which consists of small, round fiber clusters that trap heat in air pockets and mimic the warmth and compressibility of 600-fill power-down feathers. Unlike down, which clumps and absorbs water when it gets wet, the ThermoBall stays lofted and insulates even when it’s soaked.

The outer shell is made from ripstop nylon with a durable, water-repellent (DWR) coating that sheds light rain or snowfall without losing its insulating properties. It also has two zippered hand pockets, a hem adjustment, and a waist cinch cord system, making storing it in a pack easy.


If you want a jacket that’s tough enough to take a beating and versatile enough for all outdoor activities, then the Thermoball is worth considering. It’s an excellent choice for winter hiking, climbing, camping, and general training and is surprisingly lightweight when packed down.

It’s not quite as insulative as a down jacket, but the Thermoball Eco is still a good option. It reflects a clear focus on sustainability, made with 100 percent recycled materials and insulation.

The North Face is renowned for excellent build quality, and this jacket does not disappoint. A reverse coil center zip prevents cold air from entering the jacket, and a hem elastic cuff allows for a custom fit.

Weather protection is also impressive, with a durable water-repellent coating that keeps light rain from seeping through the shell fabric. This is a good choice for moderate-weather activities but should be paired with a waterproof shell.


Thermoball jackets provide a comfortable and soft feel against the skin. This softness is due to the unique insulator that mimics down without the bulk.

Developed in partnership with PrimaLoft, ThermoBall uses synthetic fiber clusters to mimic the loft of down, trapping heat in small air pockets. This synthetic insulation also handles moisture better than down and is highly compressible.

It provides excellent warmth for its weight and is a good choice for hiking or backpacking trips, especially in colder temperatures. It doesn’t have as much wind protection as down, so it works best paired with a windbreaker or waterproof shell.

The jacket has a relaxed fit that allows for plenty of movement. This makes it a good option for alpine climbing or bouldering and is particularly well suited to women, as it fits comfortably without restricting movement.