North Face DNP Hoodie Review

22nd Aug 2014

The North Face DNP Hoodie Paul reviewed for Trek & Mountain Magazine has been well used and abused over the last few months.  Although opinion among friends and clients about the bright tangerine orange colour of his test jacket is divided (there are other colours available), it has become a firm favourite in his wardrobe.  Due to magazine space limitations it was a short review but we thought we'd share his findings incase you are looking for a high performance and extremely lightweight insulating layer for the coming cooler months......

Tech Spec

The North Face DNP Hoodie is a lightweight synthetic insulated hooded jacket that is designed for use as either an outer or mid layer.  The body and hood are constructed of lightweight ripstop nylon while stretch Apex Aerobic breathable fabric forms the side panels and 60g Primaloft One Is used for insulation.  The surface fabrics are coated in a DWR (durable water repellent) coating.  Other features include 2 hand warmer pockets, a drawcord hem, simple elasticated cuffs and a helmet compatible hood.

In Use

The DNP is marketed as a summer rock and alpine climbing jacket and it excels in this role.  It has also proved to be versatile enough for scrambling and hillwalking.  It insulates really well and the slippy outer and inner fabrics help it to slide over other layers making it equally comfortable on top of or underneath other garments.  Primaloft One offers great insulation for its weight and a good level of insulation when wet. It’s a great option for Spring or Summer but I would choose something bulkier for the colder months.  The insulation is very compressible and so the DNP is very compact and can easily be stored inside one of the pockets.  The stretch panels on the DNP are another great addition.  They offer little insulation but are highly breathable and allow a snug fit along with great freedom of movement.  

The hood fits over a climbing helmet although I’ve found it a bit of a squeeze with expanded polystryrene models (North Face do say it was designed to fit under a helmet though).  Conversely, when not wearing a helmet there is no volume adjustment or drawstring for cinching it tighter around the face and it would have been worth the weight penalty to add these.  The hand warmer pockets are placed low on the main body of the jacket and, although a good size, they are unusable when wearing a helmet or rucksack waistbelt.  Chest pockets would have made more sense on a jacket designed for climbing.

Summary

A stylish and effective insulation layer for all mountain activities but a few minor design tweeks would make it even better.

Cost

When first released the DNP cost a chunky £170 but we have noticed there are now plenty of retailers offering it at much more wallet friendly price of nearer £100.  Please shop around! 

Posted by Cal