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The North Face Campshire Hoodie Review

This comfortable fleece is a tester favorite.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $149 List | $104.26 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm, supremely comfortable
Cons:  Too heavy for backcountry travel
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 23, 2018
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 16
  • Warmth - 20% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 10
  • Breathability - 20% 4
  • Layering Ability - 15% 5
  • Style - 5% 10
  • Weather resistance - 10% 6
  • Weight - 10% 4

The Skinny

The North Face Campshire Hoody prioritizes style and comfort, making no compromises for weight and breathability. We're not going to pack this fleece on our next ski tour, but we love wearing it around camp…and it looks cool. The Campshire hoody harkens back to a time when fleece was made from fluffy polyester toilet seat covers, we climbed with rigid stem friends, and free-heeling was the only way to get around the backcountry (not that any of our testers are old enough to remember). We love the retro stylings of the Campshire, and whenever we put it on, we were all smiles and relaxation. This fleece gets our Top Pick for Comfort.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Campshire is a less-tech-more-lifestyle entry, competing with the Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T, and the Patagonia Performance Better Sweater. While the Better Sweater includes some performance features like breathable stretch panels, the Campshire goes all in for warmth and comfort, and we appreciate a fleece that does one thing well instead of doing a few things okay. If you're hunting for a fleece for ski-touring or climbing, look elsewhere. If lounging in front of the fire or long walks on the beach are in your future, pick up a Campshire Hoody.

Performance Comparison


The Campshire is perfect for hanging around the campsite relaxing or doing a few (but not too many) chores.
The Campshire is perfect for hanging around the campsite relaxing or doing a few (but not too many) chores.

Warmth


The high pile polyester sherpa fleece feels like wearing a blanket. Though not quite as warm as The North Face Denali 2, this pullover is softer, more supple, and easier to layer underneath a waterproof layer.


The hood and collar kick the heat up a notch, resting over the chin when fully zipped. The cuffs aren't super tight, and sometimes our testers noticed a draft, but loose sleeves add to the comfort. While the thickness of this jacket makes unsuitable for high octane pursuits, it has no problem keeping us warm on chilly evenings while hanging around with our favorite people.

This pullover features a warm  high loft fleece material  perfect for lounging and pouring over guidebooks  but not ideal for heavy exertion.
This pullover features a warm, high loft fleece material, perfect for lounging and pouring over guidebooks, but not ideal for heavy exertion.

Comfort


"I feel like I'm being hugged by a bunch of koalas". "It's like I'm wearing a blanket all the time!". Our testers are vocal about their love of the Campshire and were weary to give it up.


We can't attest what it actually feels like to be in the sweet embrace of a koala, but we get the sentiment. This fleece is comfortable. There is a large hand warmer pocket in the front and a kangaroo pocket with a Velcro closure. Everything you need in camp can fit into the front pouch; headlamps, gloves, beers, even an entire box of crackers disappears into the huge pocket. The elbow pads don't add to or detract from the comfort, but they look good. The quarter length zipper is backed by a generous flap, which we hardly noticed it against a t-shirt or even bare skin. The hood is oversized, swallowing our heads in a nest of warmth. We really can't overstate the comfort of this fleece. It's like the fleece jacket equivalent of a bathrobe; if warmth and comfort are your sole priorities, the Campshire is an obvious choice, a tester favorite, and our Top Pick for Comfort.

The Campshire makes chilly mornings in camp enjoyable.
The Campshire makes chilly mornings in camp enjoyable.

Breathability


The high pile fleece is thick and fluffy, and it doesn't breathe well. We'd say that if you're working up a sweat while wearing this fleece, you're just doing it wrong.


As soon as our testers pulled on the Campshire, no one wanted to do very much of anything anyway. For heavy endurance activities, grab a breathable fleece like the Outdoor Research Deviator or the super thin Arc'teryx Adahy, and save the Campshire for marathon campfire sessions.

Layering Ability


This fleece isn't form-fitting like a Patagonia R1 or the Black Diamond Coefficient Hoody, and the double front pockets feel bulky underneath an outer layer.


The Campshire is softer than the heavy, boxier Patagonia Synchilla Snap T and The North Face Denali 2, making it a better-suited mid layer, but we recommend the R1 if you're looking for a mid layer. The hood on the R1 will also fit under a helmet, while the Campshire's hood, though very comfortable, is too big and cumbersome to fit under a helmet.

The marsupial pouch is huge! Plus you get an additional cozy handwarmer pocket.
The marsupial pouch is huge! Plus you get an additional cozy handwarmer pocket.

Weather Resistance


The Campshire's high loft and thickness offer decent wind resistance, but not as much as a hard-faced fleece like the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody or the Patagonia R1 Techface Hoody.


The high pile fleece will keep the rain off until you can run inside your tent but don't expect to stay dry in the Campshire for more than a few minutes in heavy precip. Due to its thickness, this fleece takes a long time to dry out, so in a downpour, you'll quickly go from a "cuddly bear" to a "big wet dog" situation. Again, a hard-faced fleece or a better layering fleece that fits well under a shell is a much better option when precip is in the forecast. If you're looking for a more weather resistant around-town-fleece, the wool-fleece blend of the Mountain Hardwear Hatcher resists water and dries more quickly, but can't match the comfort of the Campshire.

Weight


This fleece is a warm but heavy 22 ounces, and it's pretty bulky when we jammed it down into our packs, especially compared to svelt competitors like the Arc'tery Adahy and the Patagonia R1 Hoody.


It doesn't belong on long, human-powered backcountry expeditions, but it's right at home when it's time to tell stories about long, human-powered backcountry expeditions at the bar or in front of the fire.

This jacket gets high marks for style.
This jacket gets high marks for style.

Style


This fleece looks great, especially with aviators and a mustache.


Complete the look with a mullet and can of Miller Highlife, and you're ready to go camping! Seriously, the Campshire avoids any tech-weenie nonsense, going for a man-of-woods, super casual look. We love it. It's available in three low-key, dual color schemes, plus one Christmas sweater disaster pattern. 10 out of 10 for style.

Value


$150 isn't a steal for a fleece with so little versatility, but the material is thick and sturdy. If you're inclined to fork over the dough for the Campshire, you're likely to enjoy it for years to come. For an almost as comfy, less stylish option, check our Best Buy Award winner, the REI Co-op Flowcore. This fleece breathes and layers better than the Campshire, making it a more versatile option as well, but isn't as comfortable, and it doesn't have a marsupial pocket big enough to hold an entire box of crackers.

Best Applications


The Campshire is good for chilling hard. If you're not, you will be as soon as you put one on. We found this piece is too heavy and bulky to carry around in the backcountry. Walking around town on chilly fall days, cool evening sessions at the boulders or post surfing breakfasts on the beach are all perfect times to dawn this fleece.

We can't say enough how cozy this fleece is. Thick and warm  it easily earns a top spot in our crowded closets.
We can't say enough how cozy this fleece is. Thick and warm, it easily earns a top spot in our crowded closets.

Conclusion


The North Face Campshire is a style fleece and can't compete with the more technical fleeces in our review in terms of warmth-to-weight ratio or weather resistance. As far as comfort is concerned, this fleece is a champion. It's the kind of jacket that makes a great gift in the same way that a comfy flannel or a warm pair of slippers do. As fall weather rolls in, don't hesitate to treat yourself or someone you love. Pull on a Campshire Hoody and relax.


Matt Bento