The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile
Cons: Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn
Manufacturer: The North Face
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$337.50 at Backcountry
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|Pros||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile||Warm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fit||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Stylish, good hood and neckline, no frills, inexpensive||Inexpensive, three jackets in one, warm, comfortable|
|Cons||Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn||Lackluster ventilation||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Feels cheap, not many ski-specific features, lacking in weather resistance||Not very stylish, hood not helmet compatible, two layers don't work well when zipped together|
|Bottom Line||This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price||A super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who tends a little colder||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||We got lots of compliments on this jacket's looks, but found it lacking in durability and full functionality on the slopes||A decent deal for two jackets that can be worn in three combinations, this is a great intro ski jacket|
|Rating Categories||The North Face Ther...||Helly Hansen Powder...||Outdoor Research Ca...||Burton Jet Set||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort And Fit (20%)|
|Specs||The North Face Ther...||Helly Hansen Powder...||Outdoor Research Ca...||Burton Jet Set||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Insulation||100% Postconsumer recycled polyester||Body: 60g PrimaLoft Sleeves: 40g PrimaLoft||None||80g Thermolite||Thermarator|
|Waterproofing||2-layer DryVent||PFC free DWR||3-layer Pertex Shield||DryRide 2L||Omni-Tech|
|Weight (in pounds)||2.0 lbs||2.2 lbs||1.2 lbs||1.6 lbs||2.4 lbs|
|# of Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 2 internal drop-in||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 mesh, 1 media||Shell: 5, Liner: 3|
|Main Fabric||100% Nylon||70% nylon, 30% polyester||100% Nylon||Polyester, nylon||Legacy Dobby 72% Nylon/ 28% Polyester.|
|Cuff construction||Velcro||Velcro with wrist gaiters||Velcro||Velcro||Velcro|
|Powder skirt?||Yes, behind insulating layer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 accomplishes a lot in a small space (and we mean this literally—the fit is slim!). It's a 3-in-1 jacket with a nimble, waterproof exterior and a well-integrated zip-in synthetic liner. We like how understated it appears and how highly functional it is.
The Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate has a waterproof, breathable, seam-sealed DryVent 2.5L shell with mechanical stretch. We took it out on a misty day of freezing rain and didn't feel a drop seep through. We wore the outer shell alone as well as attached to the inner insulating layer and stayed dry both ways.
We also found that the jacket protected us in windy conditions. Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado's Front Range is notoriously blustery, but, with the hood up, we felt immune to the gusts. The seams and zippers are all protective, as well. The insulated layer contributes to the overall weather resistance of the jacket, too, but we found that when we wore the ultralight outer shell by itself, we felt only a slight bit of wind.
Comfort and Fit
We like the mechanical stretch of the jacket's shell material but found that this model fits a touch small when both layers are worn together, particularly in the shoulders. We recommend sizing up for comfort and functionality, especially if you want to layer up underneath this model. Our tester wears a size Medium most of the time, but she felt that a Large might have been more comfortable in this jacket. The jacket has a flattering fit that fell below our hips. The sleeves are plenty long enough for our liking and have slightly oversized cuffs.
The insulated layer is form-fitting worn alone and makes for a nice casual layer to wear off the slopes. We took the ultralight outer shell on a short backcountry ski tour and found it was super comfortable on the skin up. We like that the shell on this 3-in-1 is so thin. Many other jackets of this style have a pretty thick external shell, but the relative thinness and low weight of the Thermoball's shell make it even more versatile. Despite how much the jacket has going on with its 3-in-1 design, it was surprisingly comfortable worn in all iterations.
It was slightly challenging to rank this jacket by our warmth metric. When worn all together as a 3-in-1, it's super warm, which was great on frigid days and for riding the chairlift. However, it might be too warm for some who ski aggressively. Still, this isn't an issue, as you can simply remove the insulating layer should your body begin to get too warm. It's a great option for someone who always gets cold and would rather be too warm than chilled. It's also a good jacket for someone who doesn't like to wear multiple layers underneath. The jacket's inner insulating layer takes the place of that.
When we shed the interior insulated jacket, we found that it was easier to regulate our body temperatures. The outer shell has great weather resistance, so wearing the inner insulated jacket was only necessary on super cold days. The insulated jacket looks great on its own and was fun to wear out on the town after skiing.
3-in-1 style jackets, and insulated jackets in general, are not known for exceptional ventilation and breathability. The Thermoball Eco Snow did not shine in this category. When skiing hard in all layers together, we quickly built up heat and found it difficult to dump heat. The insulating layer lacks pit vents, so the pit vents on the external shell are only minimally effective. This is an inssue with all 3-in-1 jackets we have ever tested. Worn alone, the lightweight DryVent outer shell breathes well. By removing the insulating layer when the day heats up, we were able to adequately ventilate on most days, but you'll need somewhere to stash the insulating layer when you shed it.
The outer shell layer has pit zips, which actually help a lot with ventilation. When we went for a short hike in the outer layer alone, we found that we didn't get sweaty at all.
At first glance, this jacket isn't super stylish, but its simplicity (all one color, including zippers and zip pulls) actually makes it stand out from the crowd. It has a long, form-fitting shape that is tapered at the waist and flared over the hips. We find that it flattered multiple body types.
The jacket comes in several colors, and we love the ochre-yellow color that we tested. We also think that when you have a simpler jacket, you can go wild with the color or pattern of your ski pants. Nevertheless, some people may find this jacket too plain.
This jacket has all the features we've come to know and expect from The North Face. We are impressed and satisfied with all the pockets (and pocket placement on both the outer hardshell and the inner liner). The inner pockets don't have zipper closures, but they are quite deep. There is a key lanyard in one of the front hand pockets on the outer shell.
The points of contact (zippers and snap hooks) between the insulated layer and outer shell never failed and held things together nicely. We never found that the inner liner had started to come unzipped by the end of the day. We wish the hood was roomier; it was a bit snug over our helmet, but again, we attribute that to the overall slim fit of the jacket. We'd size up to be able to take full advantage of all the features.
Given that it's three jackets in one, we feel that the Thermoball Eco has strong value. It's good looking, performs well both on the slopes and off, and seems durable and well-made. It kept us dry when it was wet and warm when it was cold. We also felt that the jacket had a timeless look and design that would never get outdated, and something that can be worn year after year has great value in our book.
The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 surprised us with its understated good looks, ski-appropriate features, and ability to transform from shell to insulated parka, which is why we recommend it for ladies seeking an insulated ski jacket that doesn't cost a bomb. Although we got warm when skiing really hard, with minimal effort, the user can adapt the jacket to the external temperatures effectively. We love skiing and skinning in just the outer shell, but added the insulated layer when riding the chair or on super cold days. That made it fit a little more snugly, so we did think that sizing up would help with freer movement and also temperature regulation. It would also contribute to a comfier fit and better use of features like the hood and inner pockets. Overall, though, we felt the jacket has great value and ski functionality.
— Jacqueline Kearney
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