Hands-on Gear Review

North Face Nuptse Review

North Face Nuptse
By: Chris Simrell ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 24, 2015
Price:  $220 List  |  $230.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Simple, durable, packs into own pocket, classic look
Cons:  No hood, relatively heavy, not very warm for its weight
Manufacturer:   The North Face
50
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Weight - 20% 3
  • Water Resistance - 15% 6
  • Compressibility - 15% 3
  • Style - 10% 4
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Features - 5% 8
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  • 5

Our Verdict

The Nuptse is one of the cheapest product we tested in this review. The lack of a hood and its relative heaviness make it a bit less desirable for backcountry use compared to the other parkas we tested. The Nutpse is, however, made from durable fabrics and provides 700 fill down for reasonable warmth in a classic look. We appreciated the Nuptse's simple design and durability, and use it frequently as a go-to around town down outer layer. At 24 oz. overall it is not particularly light considering the lack of a hood.

For a thick down jacket, we prefer the Arc'teryx Thorium SV which has a hood, is very warm, and very durable.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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A thicker down jacket that lacks a hood, the Nuptse is most useful as an everyday down jacket.

Performance Comparison



Warmth


The Nuptse is tried and true. A basic down jacket that is moderately warm. This is a design that The North Face has kept around for years, and for good reason — it works for many simple applications and it's relatively cheap. The North Face uses 700 fill down, but doesn't disclose the fill weight. Built with a sewn-through construction, the Nuptse also does not come with a hood, which is a serious drawback in terms of warmth. In our use we found that the Nuptse performs much better as an around town piece than as outerwear in the backcountry. Why? There is no hood on the Nuptse, meaning its warming and protective capability is limited. Additionally, the Nuptse, considering it has no hood, is not "light." There are many parkas in this review that are lighter than the Nuptse 2 despite offering better warmth and weather protection overall.

Weight and Compactness


The Nuptse is designed to be a basic, long-lasting, everyday down piece, and thus weight and/or compactness is not its primary concern. The total weight here is 24 oz, and that is without a hood (all the other parkas in this review have hoods). There are many parkas in this review that weigh less than 24 oz. that will keep you similarly warm, and also more protected from the elements. Additionally, the Feathered Friends Volant weighs only 4 oz. more than the Nuptse, and is a much warmer, much more protective down parka with an excellent hood. The North Face also uses 700 fill down and heavier, more durable, outer fabrics on the Nuptse, making it a bit less compressible than many of the other lighter parkas we reviewed. A notable feature is the ability to pack the Nuptse into its own zippered hand pocket, something we greatly appreciate in a product. With this feature the Nuptse can become a quick and easy camping pillow when you settle into your sleeping bag. Once stuffed you can also clip the Nuptse to your climbing harness to take it up a multipitch.

The Nuptse 2 packs into its own hand pocket.  An excellent feature.
The Nuptse 2 packs into its own hand pocket. An excellent feature.


Features


The most notable feature is the lack of a hood, which will limit the Nuptse's ability to keep you warm. When the Nuptse is fully zipped, the collar provides comfortable coverage up around the neck. The rest of features here are fairly simple. There are two standard zippered hand pockets and two basic cinch cords for tightening the waist which are located in the front. A nice convience feature, which we discussed above, is the ability to pack the Nuptse 2 into its own zippered pocket. The stuffed size is about a foot across and six inches tall.

Durability


The fabrics used on the body of the Nuptse are durable. The primary fabric is a 50D mini-ripstop nylon, which is then paired with double layer taffeta on the shoulders and upper back. These fabrics give the Nuptse a bit of ruggedness for everyday use.

Best Application


In our testing we found the Nutpse to perform best as a more casual, everyday piece. Weighing 24 oz. and without a hood we found that many of our other parkas worked better in the backcountry. The Nuptse however is very reasonably priced, durable, and offers a classic look and the comfort many are looking for in an everyday down parka. We often layer it over a hooded sweatshirt for our day-to-day around town use.

Value


This one of the least expensive down jackets in our test. It provides excellent warmth for the price. It offers functionality, durability, and basic warmth at a lower cost relative to many jackets.

Chris Simrell

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