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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 | $148.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Warm, supremely comfortable
Cons:  Too heavy for backcountry travel
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Adam Paashaus & Matt Bento  ⋅  Nov 4, 2019
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Warmth - 20% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 10
  • Breathability - 20% 4
  • Layering Ability - 15% 5
  • Weather resistance - 10% 6
  • Weight - 10% 4
  • Style - 5% 10

Our Verdict

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.


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Price $148.95 at Backcountry
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$169.00 at Backcountry$149.00 at Backcountry
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Pros Warm, supremely comfortablePerfect fit for most active uses, ideal weight for many conditions, great hood designLightweight, long zipper, chest pocket, thumb loopsBreathable, awesome balaclava feature, great fitStretchy, lightweight, comfortable
Cons Too heavy for backcountry travelNot as stylish as some other fleeces for around town, not as warm for its weight as some high-loft modelsLess breathableExpensiveNot incredibly warm
Bottom Line This comfortable fleece is a tester favorite.A perfect layering piece that regulates body temperature so well you'll leave it on from summit to sleeping bag and everywhere in between.An incredible layer that strikes a perfect balance between warmth and breathability for active pursuits.Arc'teryx's take on the half zip has some solid advantages over the R1.This fleece is as light as some base layers, but still takes the edge off on cool days.
Rating Categories Campshire Hoodie Patagonia R1 Hoody Type 2 Fun 3/4 Zip Hoody Arc'teryx Konseal Hoody Arc'teryx Adahy Hoody
Warmth (20%)
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3
Comfort (20%)
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8
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9
Breathability (20%)
10
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4
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9
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8
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8
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8
Layering Ability (15%)
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5
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9
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10
Weather Resistance (10%)
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6
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3
Weight (10%)
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Style (5%)
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Specs Campshire Hoodie Patagonia R1 Hoody Type 2 Fun 3/4 Zip... Arc'teryx Konseal... Arc'teryx Adahy...
Type Heavyweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight
Weight 22 oz 10.8 oz 11.7 oz 13.3 oz 9.9 oz
Main Material 300-weight Sherpa fleece 6.9-oz Polartec Power Grid 93% recycled polyester 7% spandex with Polygiene permanent odor control 55% polypropylene, 45% polyester Polartec Power Dry High Warmth Torrent (84% polyester, 16% elastane)
# of Pockets 2 1 1 1 2
Unique Features Kangaroo pocket with zip top, elbow patches Balaclava style hood, thumb loops, Polygiene permanent odor control, longer length to stay tucked under a harness Helmet-compatible hood Neck Gaiter/Balaclava, Thumb Loops, Media Pocket Gusseted underarms
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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, but 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 some of the thickest fleeces in our selection, this pullover is softer, more supple, and easier to layer underneath a waterproof rain shell or wind 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 it 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 handwarmer 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 and save the Campshire for marathon campfire sessions.

Layering Ability


This fleece isn't form-fitting, and the double front pockets feel bulky underneath an outer layer.


The Campshire is softer than the other comfort pieces in this review, making it a slightly better layering piece, but if you are looking for a mid-layer fleece for layering, there are much better options that will lay more comfortably under a shell.

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.


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.

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 made to be layered under a shell.


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.

Value


This 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. Other fleeces breathe and layer better than the Campshire, but none are as comfortable, and they don't have a marsupial pocket big enough to hold an entire box of crackers.

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. 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 don this fleece.


Adam Paashaus & Matt Bento