The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

The North Face Sierra Peak Hoody Review

A great blend of warmth, weight savings, and compressibility, at a great price point.
Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $279 List | $278.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Low price to warmth ratio, lightweight, packable
Cons:  Non-cinchable hem
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Adam Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 10, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Warmth - 30% 7
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5
  • Fit - 15% 7
  • Compressibility - 10% 8
  • Features - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The North Face Sierra Peak Down Hoody has a few key attributes that contribute to it earning its place in our test as Best Buy. While it may not be the least expensive in our roundup, it does pack a ton of warmth, weight savings, and compressibility into a competitively priced package. If you are looking for a packable insulation layer, and ounces matter, this coat should be on your radar. The main drawback of this jacket lies in the fact that the hem is not cinchable; this isn't an issue for most cold-weather outings, but when the blast of cold wind comes in from the north, it can be a bit drafty.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $278.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$374.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$339.00 at Feathered Friends$224.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$279.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
70
100
0
92
100
0
84
100
0
80
100
0
77
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Low price to warmth ratio, lightweight, packableGreat fit, warm, lightweight, packable, hydrophobic down900+ fill down, warm, lightweight, incredibly compressible, competitively pricedLightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratioWater resistant hydrophobic down, great DWR coating, well thought-out features
Cons Non-cinchable hemExpensiveHood a little tight to fit over a helmet, no hood adjustmentExpensive, not super durable750 fill-power down is good but not as light or lofty as others
Bottom Line A great blend of warmth, weight savings, and compressibility, at a great price point.This is our absolute favorite jacket for going fast and light when we need to be toasty at camp.A great choice for folks looking to go fast, light, and warm.An incredibly light jacket for your trips where weight matters.Excellent for wet weather because it has all the features to ensure the down stays dry.
Rating Categories Sierra Peak Hoody Summit L3 Hoody Feathered Friends Eos Arc'teryx Cerium SL Hoody Rab Microlight Alpine
Warmth (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
7
Weight (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
10
Fit (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Compressibility (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
Features (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
Specs Sierra Peak Hoody Summit L3 Hoody Feathered Friends... Arc'teryx Cerium... Rab Microlight...
Down Fill 800-fill goose down 800-fill goose down 900+ goose down 850-fill goose down 750-fill goose down
Total Weight 12.1 oz 13.8 oz 13 oz 8.4 oz 15.7 oz
Baffle Construction Sewn-through Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through Sewn-through baffles
Main Fabric WindWall (nylon ripstop) Pertex Quantum GL (10D x 10D nylon ripstop), DWR coating Pertex Quantum Arato 7 nylon Pertex Quantum
Compression Method Stows into its own pocket with clip in loop Zips into its own pocket with clip-in loop Stuff sack Included stuff sack Stuff sack
Pockets 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest
Hoodless Option? Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The North Face Sierra Peak Hoody finds itself solidly in between the ultralight style down jackets, and the thicker, high-end, bitter cold battling puffy jackets.

Performance Comparison


The TNF Sierra Peak was a great jacket for staying warm around camp in the evenings.
The TNF Sierra Peak was a great jacket for staying warm around camp in the evenings.

Warmth


If you've never slipped into a modern lightweight down puffy, you are seriously missing out. We still remember that first time. The Sierra Peak Hoody is a great example of that almost absurdly light and billowy goodness that had us sold immediately. The shell and lining have some of the more buttery soft materials and are just the icing on top to make this a soft, warm, comfortable place to be!


The WindWall exterior fabric is windproof, and windchill is mostly a non-issue when wearing this jacket. The hood has elastic around its perimeter and has a single-pull elastic closure that locks off any cold air from entering around the face. The elastic cord in the hood, however, lays right across the ears and can be super uncomfortable when pulled too tight or when worn for long periods, a problem we have seen in quite a few other jackets.

This jacket is warm for sure, but something we would have liked to have seen is tighter sealing cuffs. Unfortunately, the inset elastic cuffs were only able to seal out drafts if they were pulled up to our elbows. Your results may vary depending on the size of the jacket and your wrist size. We were also slightly put-off by the lack of cinch-cord at the hem, despite The North Face website stating that it has one. The elastic at the hem just didn't quite seal off well enough and with a lack of ability to cinch it up, left this jacket vulnerable to drafts.

Our biggest complaint of this jacket was the loose hem that lacked an adjustment  despite the TNF website stating it has one...
Our biggest complaint of this jacket was the loose hem that lacked an adjustment, despite the TNF website stating it has one...

Like the idea of the Sierra Peak Hoody, but not the Hood? Well, like most hooded jackets, this one also comes in a non-hooded version with reduced weight and bulk.

Weight


At 12.1 ounces for a size large, this jacket falls in between the lighter "ultralight" style jackets and the warmer puffier expedition-style jackets, but we found the warmth for the weight was really good, and we would feel great about sticking this in the backpack for backcountry warmth when every ounce counts.


This uses 800 fill-power down, the baseline for quality down jackets, to fill its sewn-through baffles. Using anything less than 800 fill, and the manufacturer has put weight as less-than utmost important. The fill-power of a down garment refers to how many ounces of down will be required to fill a specific volume of space, or how fluffy the down is for its weight. A higher fill-power will use less weight to fill the same amount of space.

The jacket also saves weight by utilizing thin ripstop nylon shell and lining fabrics. We've always been blown away by how durable these thin rip stops can be, and this one is no exception. Burly would be the wrong descriptor, and we would never squirm up into a squeeze chimney in this jacket, but for normal winter use, this shell material does a great job and should last for years.

We were pleased with the quality of the DWR even after a couple of months of heavy use.
We were pleased with the quality of the DWR even after a couple of months of heavy use.

Water Resistance


The FlashDry used on the ripstop nylon shell has a good DWR (durable-water-resistance) that repels the rain, but with sewn-thru baffles and non-hydrophobic down (although all down has some level of resistance to water), we would never go out in a storm without a rain shell.


However, a quick downpour or a light misting won't hurt; the water beads right up, and rolls right off. Even after several months of use under heavy backpack straps and climbing harnesses, the DWR coating continued to be just as effective as when it was brand new.

The fit of the Sierra peak was slightly boxy but overall not bad.
The fit of the Sierra peak was slightly boxy but overall not bad.

Fit


The Sierra Peak Hoody has a slim cut; for our testers, there was plenty of room to layer it over a baselayer and light fleece, as well as under most winter shells. This allowed us to get the right degree of warmth, almost regardless of how cold it is outside.


While the hood wasn't perfect, as mentioned in the warmth metric, it fits around the face, sealing out cold drafts surprisingly well. It can also even stretch to accommodate a climbing helmet with no problem.

The hood had a pretty good fit over a climbing helmet but zipping up all the way wasn't going to happen comfortably.
The hood had a pretty good fit over a climbing helmet but zipping up all the way wasn't going to happen comfortably.

Compressibility


Thanks to the 800 fill-power down and thin nylon ripstop fabrics, the Sierra Peak Hoody stows loosely into its left handwarmer pocket, but you could easily cram it into a storage sack almost half the normal stuffed size. The stow pocket has a loop to clip it to your climbing harness for when you need to whip it out on those north-facing shady belays.


This jacket is small enough to fit into just about any small climbing or daypack. It can clip out of the way on the back of your harness or fit nicely in your pack to be a welcome companion on any backcountry outing.


Features


The feature set on this jacket is decent. Too many features on a down jacket and it becomes overkill, adding excess weight and complexities. Too few, and it fails to be a functional piece of gear. This one has a decent blend, but as mentioned above is missing a couple of nice features, most notably a cinchable hem.


Not only do we like that it has an internal zippered pocket and zippered handwarmer pockets, but we appreciate that all the zippers are a YKK reverse coil of normal size. They aren't too big, but also are not too small. Some ultralight jackets will use small zippers to save weight, which ends up sacrificing long-term durability.

The internal chest pocket was a nice feature and gave us a place to put our phone so the cold didn't kill the battery so fast. We would have traded this feature for a hem cinch  however.
The internal chest pocket was a nice feature and gave us a place to put our phone so the cold didn't kill the battery so fast. We would have traded this feature for a hem cinch, however.

We love the 800 fill-power down and that it is ethically sourced, but in the industry these days, as far as down items go, that is just the new standard and doesn't warrant any extra brownie points.

A normal reverse coil zipper will last longer than the ultra-light variety and doesn't get snagged as easily.
A normal reverse coil zipper will last longer than the ultra-light variety and doesn't get snagged as easily.

Value


This jacket is awarded a Best Buy Award, not because it's cheap, but because it has a great price for what you get. With warmth that just about competes with the highest-end down jackets in our test, but at a much lower price point, this jacket has a great value and should keep you toasty for years to come.

A great jacket overall  and for a good price. This was warmer than the Ghost Whisperer and Cerium SL but less expensive.
A great jacket overall, and for a good price. This was warmer than the Ghost Whisperer and Cerium SL but less expensive.

Conclusion


The North Face Sierra Peak is a great all-around hooded down jacket that will please all but the snobbiest of gearheads. All kidding aside, this jacket is a legit choice for almost any cold weather use. If you're on a budget and need a quality jacket to keep cold at bay, this would certainly be one of our go-to choices.

This year  some testing was done on an end-to-end thru-hike of the Long Trail of Vermont.
This year, some testing was done on an end-to-end thru-hike of the Long Trail of Vermont.


Adam Paashaus