James Parkinson takes The North Face Storm Shadow Jacket to test out it’s versatility as a top notch base/mid layer…
Overall Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Heavy weight base layer or light weight mid layer, the Storm Shadow will be a go to fleece for many activities all year round. The Pontetorto grid fleece can be worn next to the skin or over a base layer and feels very comfortable. It is very stretchy and moves well with the body which is helpful as the jacket is cut very athletically, you might even say tightly. The body is quite long, which will help cover the lower back if making high reaches or when cycling and keep it tucked into trousers.
I found the sleeves to be very long, easily covering my hands and I don’t have short arms. A lack of thumb loops was slightly odd if the sleeves had such length and I did find some bunching around my wrists.
There are three pockets – two hip and one chest – which might be overkill for a base layer but come in handy if wearing the jacket as an outer layer for high output activities such as running or for climbing on still days. The pockets have a mesh back that can be used for venting but as the fabric is so air-permeable, I didn’t find this necessary. Under a shell, the Storm Shadow is surprisingly warm and will do for me as a mid layer for most activities. For those extra cold winter days, it could be used as a base layer with a thicker fleece or insulating jacket over it.
The neck comes up to a good height on my throat and is quite snug and cosy. The zip is covered by a fleece tab and full length baffle to avoid snagging on the beards everyone seems to be sporting these days. There are no adjusters on the hem or wrists but as the jacket is so close fitting and stretchy they are not really needed.
The jacket I had was in a rather jazzy Tree Frog Green but it is also available in other colours. With an RRP of £85, the Storm Shadow compares well with its closest competitor and old CGR favourite the Patagonia R1 and in my opinion it is a more versatile owing to the extra pocket. For all year round use for a variety of activities, the Storm Shadow jacket is a great choice.
- RRP: £85
- Find out more and buy one at the TNF website.