The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoodie – Climbing Gear Review

The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoody

Is the The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoodie up to a north face…?

Performance ****

Quality ****

Value for money ****

RRP £160.00

The North Face say: “a lightweight insulated hooded wind shell that offers versatility
in a range of climatic conditions. The North Face Men’s Super Zephyrus Hoodie
is a hooded insulated jacket that can be worn on its own or as a mid layer when
conditions turn ferocious.

The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoodie below the Eiger North Face

I have spent the majority of the last few summer and winter seasons in a clothing
system so packed with colour that it could be likened to a lump of coal, and in
some cases so dated,  that it could well have been a lump of coal. A summer trip
to the Alps with a pack heavily laden with said clothing prompted me to rethink my
wardrobe in order that I might (a) save some weight and (b) maybe one day be more than a
climber masquerading as a shadow in photos.

The Super Zephyrus Hoodie is a Primaloft insulated, hooded windshell. It has Power
Stretch side panels, hood and hem for a snug, comfortable fit. It has two alpine
zipped pockets and an internal chest pocket, all of which are alpine pack and harness
friendly. Oh, and the one I got is lime green.

In the last couple of months, I have worn the Super Zephyrus Hoodie almost non stop.
It’s been worn to the pub, at work, at the crag, skydiving, and for both alpine days and
nights. It’s super comfortable and feels almost criminal to take it off.

When using it in anger, I tend to wear a thick base layer underneath and that is all.
Wearing much more causes overheating whilst I am moving, it really is that warm.
For really cold days, another mid-layer could easily be worn underneath. It has a full
length zip which when fully done up, excludes drafts at the neck and can help regulate
temperature whilst on the move. When stopping at belays, or for a drink, it is easy to
throw a belay jacket over the top and stay warm. The Power Stretch hems with thumb
loops help to prevent any riding up of the sleeves when under a jacket, or whilst
wearing gloves. The Power Stretch panel in the hood helps to give it a more fitted feel
and it is very comfortable (and warm) when worn under a helmet.

The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoodie - the fitted hood was snug, stretchy and comfortable worn under a helmet.

Now for the science part so concentrate! The Super Zephyrus Hoodie is insulated with
40g PrimaLoft One and is covered by windproof, ripstop nylon and PowerStretch
where each is most effective. This all combines to make a lightweight (weighing in at
around 740g), warm, windproof mid layer offering light water repellence.

I used a size medium which offered a range of movement beyond my expectations,
especially whilst wearing a harness. When swinging axes above my head and using
my hands to climb mixed pitches, I was not impeded by the cut of the jacket.

The North Face Super Zephyrus Hoodie - thumb loops provide hand and wrist warmth and prevent any riding up of the sleeves when climbing.

The one downside that I found to this jacket is the durability of the materials used in
certain areas. At the end of one day I found that I had a 6 inch tear in the ripstop nylon
of one elbow and a tear in the Power Stretch of the other elbow. Fortunately due to the
nature of the insulation, I wasn’t leaking feathers everywhere and the jacket remained
warm. Because the jacket is so good at keeping you warm whilst moving, I was lured
into wearing it as an outer layer when it perhaps isn’t hardwearing enough for use
on ‘traditional’ mixed pitches.

In Conclusion
This is the best mid/ lightweight outer layer I have used. It is rapidly
becoming a staple jacket for all occasions. It is super comfortable has really good
warmth to weight ratio and looks great. The drab wardrobe need never be opened
again.

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