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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > The North Face Summit L3 down hoodie > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

THE NORTH FACE SUMMIT
L3 50/50 DOWN HOODIE

BY KATHLEEN WATERS
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April 20, 2021

OWNER REVIEW

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 70
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 118 lb (53.50 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: The North Face
Year Acquired: 2020
Manufacturer's Website: http://thenorthface.com
MSRP: US $475.00
Listed Weight: 14.82 oz (420 g)
Measured Weight: 15 oz (425 g)
Colors Available: TNF Black/TNF Black & Flare/TNF Black
Color Reviewed: Flare/TNF Black
Sizes Available: XS - XL Women's
Size Reviewed: Women's Medium

Other details:
* Body: 20D X 24D 48 G/M˛ 100% Nylon with Durable Water-Repellent (DWR) Finish
* Insulation: 800 Fill ProDown™ With Water Repellency; Certified to The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) By Control Union
* Complete with stuff sack
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Image Courtesy TNF

FIELD USE, CONDITIONS AND PERFORMANCE

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On a dirt 2-track in Fremont County, CO
When I received The North Face Summit L3 50/50 Down Hoodie (hereafter simply called "jacket" or "hoodie"), in late October, it wasn't quite winter yet. And initially, it was exceptionally mild for the next couple of months. Rarely were daytime temperatures lower than 50 F (10 C) and there were more than a few days of 70+ F (21+ C). Nighttime temperatures have ranged anywhere from low 50s (teens C) to 24 F (-4.4 C). But boy, did that change in late January! We've had double digit negative temps at night with single-digit daytime temps as well as the usual right-at-freezing readings. And here it is mid-April and last night we had 3 in (7.6 cm) of snow!

In addition, it has been an exceptionally windy few months. On many days the blowing has been near constant with gusts over 40-50 mph (64 km/h - 80 km/h).

In my neck of the woods/desert, humidity is generally very low and that was the case this fall/winter. This made for very pleasant day hikes.

While we have had several snowfalls, the accumulation was always slight - barely enough to cover the toes of my boots and usually the snow has melted by noon.

I've worn the Summit hoodie on over two dozen occasions, all on hikes around Canon City, Colorado, on dirt trails and roads. And also, several days while shopping, visiting and walking downtown Canon City, Denver and Colorado Springs.

Mileage for the hikes ranged from 3 to 7 miles (4.8 km to 11 km). Casual wear were 4-5 hours in duration.

When engaging in outdoor activities I wore the Summit with a variety of wool base layers and on several treks or when the wind was kicking up, I wore a lightweight down vest.

It's been an up and down winter season and I have been so happy to have had The North Face Down Summit Hoodie! It's definitely become my favorite jacket!

Starting with the unique baffle design; the concept of which was hard to understand until I actually had the jacket in hand and wore it. The almost free-floating horizontal baffles allow me to keep nice and cozy warm, but at the same time, seem to allow me to not overheat. The baffles remind me of down-stuffed roman window shades! (see image below) It's so hard to describe but the design is very effective. I was never cold.
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TNF Down Hoodie
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Interior Baffling

Mostly I wore a wool base layer and sometimes, a very lightweight down vest under the jacket. At the upper range of temperatures, just the base layer was sufficient. While there is plenty of room for a midweight mid-layer, the hoodie never makes me look like the Michelin Man (or Woman!). It presents a nice silhouette.

The hood is roomy enough for a helmet for skiing but surprisingly (to me) can't be cinched more tightly to fit. However, I rarely use a hood even though this winter in the wind, there were times I would pull it up over my head to keep the back of my neck warm! It was adequately sized to stay on my head while having the zipper fully engaged which when it was a-blowing, I did! Oh, and I need to mention that the baffling system is the same in the hood as the body of the jacket.
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Hood Baffles

That brings me to the collar. It's perfect for "turtling" when needed and will lie down a bit when it's not needed. The front of my neck can be totally protected. While the fabric is not uncomfortable - it's the same as the rest of the jacket - I would have loved to have had the interior of the collar be lined with a nice soft fleece. When not wearing the hood and not needing the stand-up collar, the collar folds down neatly.

I like the soft stretchy cuffs on this hoodie a lot! They are not too long and are tight enough to keep out any drafts, yet they aren't the usual elastic bands that most of my other jackets sport. I can easily pull the sleeves over my thin-to-midweight gloves but when putting any heavy glove or mitten that doesn't work as well. The cuffs are too tight for that. Even putting gloves on AFTER putting the jacket on is a task (though that can be said about most of my other jackets as well).

Four pockets - two interior "drop" pockets and two exterior zip pockets - give me more storage than I'll ever need! The interior pockets are great for my cell phone and digital camera. Plenty of room and having those electronics next to my body help prolong the battery life. Having zippers on the outer pocket means I won't lose my keys/wallet/etc.
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Interior Pocket
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Exterior Pocket

Wear and tear on the jacket have been non-existent. Even though I'm a total klutz and have banged into rough terrain, grabby junipers, and have had happy puppies leap onto me, the fabric has not torn or even snagged. None of the baffle stitching has pulled or come loose. There is no wear or wrinkling from backpack shoulder straps or waist belts. And the down in the baffles has not clumped up or flattened.

I have not had to wash the jacket as of yet. I tend to not wash my down every season unless it gets exceptionally dirty or stinky. This jacket has not shown any dirt or stains and still passes my delicate nose test. No special care has been given to the jacket other than to hang it up on a wooden hanger in a cool, dark closet. I did move it to my gear storage closet last week thinking "hey, it's spring!" However, with last night's snowfall and plummeting temperatures, I'll be taking it out and wearing it for my afternoon walk today!

STARRING ATTRACTIONS

1.) Super lightweight yet warm.
2.) Unique baffling system keeps me from overheating.
3.) Great fit.
4.) Very attractive.

MINOR DISTRACTIONS

1.) Rather pricey - but worth it!

SUMMARY

I have several jackets that I wear over the winter months. This is my first The North Face though. I'm very particular about how a jacket should fit, perform and wear and the Summit certainly check all the boxes in a very good way. It's warm. It's comfortable and it looks very chic!

Thank you to The North Face for the opportunity to wear this wonderful jacket. I heartily recommend The North Face Summit L3 50/50/ Down Hoodie! It is definitely my go-to jacket for all my winter outdoor activities. Bring on the snow!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Co-Owner and Contributing Writer
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This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.

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