The North Face Khumbu 2 Jacket is their classic and most basic fleece. It is much lighter than the The North Face Denali Jacket and feels almost as warm. It is also quite comfortable for leisurely activities such as doing things around town, walking the dogs, and sitting next to the fire on cool autumn days. However, our testers did not find that this fleece worked well doing more aerobic or technical activities. With an inexpensive price tag, this fleece is best used as a second "beater" fleece around camp or town so that your more expensive technical fleeces live longer.
The North Face Khumbu 2 Jacket Review
Cons: Bulky, not breathable.
Manufacturer: The North Face
Our Analysis and Test Results
The North Face Khumbu 2 Jacket is the most basic fleece we tested this year. It is made with 100% classic polyester fleece with a 27 inch center back measurement. It sports a square relaxed fit, two zippered hand warmer pockets, and a hem cinch cord. The zipper is also compatible with select outer layers by The North Face. It weighs 18.3 ounces and comes in Asphalt Grey, Climbing Ivy Green, TNF Black, Shady Blue, Coffee Bean Brown, and Cardinal Red (shown above in main photo).
This fleece is quite warm and works well during those crisp spring, fall, and winter days when a long sleeve shirt just isn't enough. We wore this fleece is multiple environments and found it was best suited for cooler times of year. If you're looking for something cheap and warm to wear around the house or town, this fleece may be just what you are looking for.
The North Face Khumbu 2 Jacket was a really comfortable fleece to wear around town and at home during those chilly times of year. When we took it out climbing, our backpack straps annoyingly pressed down on the shoulders where the seam is placed. Its wide, relaxed fit also becomes bunchy and rode up a bit while wearing a backpack.
The thick 300-weight classic fleece design of the Khumbu 2 is not very breathable. You can control the air flow through the jacket by moving the zipper up and down, and the cuffs are loose fitting which also allows for air flow. Overall, though, this is not the layer to wear while hiking or climbing. If you need a layer that keeps you warm and vents your perspiration, check out our Top Pick for Breathability, the Patagonia R1 Hoody.
TNF has created a system that allows different layers to zip into one another. This fleece fits right into that system. There are even snaps on the sleeves that work on a variety of TNF shells to avoid bunching in the sleeves. This jacket has a fairly boxy cut though, and it didn't always fit well under the different puffy and shell layers we tried it with.
Ease of Movement
The relaxed fit of this fleece allows for easy, casual movement when doing low energy activities. When our testers put on a backpack, the fleece bunched up a bit and the sleeves would also pull up the arms some. Bending down to touch our caused the jacket to ride up and reveal our lower back, or even more.
Wind Protection & Water Resistance
This jacket doesn't repel water well, but since it is a thicker fleece it takes a fairly heavy rain to penetrate through it. It does not keep the wind at bay nearly as well as the Denali jacket, but it does a pretty good job compared to the thinner more breathable fleeces that we tested; however, the loose hem and cuffs allow a strong wind to flow on through.
This mid-weight fleece weighs 18.3 ounces. This is about the same as our Editors' Choice winning Patagonia R3 Hoody, but The North Face Khumbu 2 Jacket just doesn't have the same amount of features and technical abilities as the R3.
Walking the dogs and chilling by the backyard fire were our favorite uses for this jacket. It seemed to work well doing most low energy activities. Think in terms of going to a sporting event, dinner on the patio, or just heading to the grocery store.
At only $89, this is the least expensive fleece we tested this year. While the price is right, for a few dollars more you can purchase our Best Buy award winner, the Marmot Reactor, which scored much higher in our tests than this one.
If you are looking for an inexpensive fleece for casual use then you may want to check out The North Face Khumbu 2 Jacket. It is great for doing things around town or just relaxing at home by the fire. You may even want it for a second beater fleece. That way your more technical fleeces are saved for what they were made to do. The relaxed cut fits an array of body types, but basic is the name of the game for this jacket so keep that in mind when considering this fleece.
— Kenny Barker