Proprius is an adjective that means own, individual, or special. We had to look it up. Taken in this context, The North Face Summit L2 Proprius Grid Fleece Hoodie doesn't live up to its name. It's a lightweight breathable fleece a la the Patagonia R1 or the Arc'teryx Konseal. However, it is designed specifically to be "layer 2" in the TNF Summit series layering system, a line that features some of our favorite down jackets and shells. In the words of one tester, "TNF has been killing it lately." So, if you want to go TNF all the way, we sure can't come up with a good argument against the Proprius.
The North Face Summit L2 Proprius Hoody Review
Cons: Not weather resistant
Manufacturer: The North Face
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Proprius is a lightweight and breathable fleece like the Arc'teryx Konseal and the R1 Hoody. Unlike these jackets, it has a full-length zipper, which will be a welcome addition for some and excessive for others. The Proprius has a comfy, head-hugging hood, but it doesn't provide any face coverage like the Konseal or the R1, so don't forget the buff if you're headed up the ski hill in this jacket.
Lighter weight fleece jackets aren't the warmest, and the Proprius is no exception. It breathes, but when the wind blows, it's time to layer up. Working in this jacket's favor are snug cuffs, a long hemline, and a hood that fits comfortably underneath the chin. If you desire more insulation from your fleece, take a look at The North Face Campshire Hoodie. Though not as light and sporty, the Campshire is a good fleece for hanging out in.
We slept comfortably through the night in this jacket. Most of our testers have spent some amount of their lives living in a smelly R1, so being able to sleep in their lightweight fleece is the ultimate comfort test. The latest iteration of the R1 is a little tighter around the hem than previous iterations, and many folks may prefer the slightly looser fitting Proprius.
The Proprius breathes well thanks to its lightweight grid fleece, and since it's a full zip, you can air things out even more without taking off the jacket if you need to. In terms of breathability, only the Outdoor Research Deviator has a major advantage over the Proprius. The Deviator is very thin on the back and sides, with synthetic insulation in on the front of the torso.
From the silky smooth and snug fitting cuffs to the placement of the chest pocket, this jacket is designed to integrate perfectly with the other pieces in The North Face Summit series. The Proprius has thumb loops, which add a little bit to the warmth factor and make sliding in into other layers without the sleeves riding up nice n' easy.
Fleeces are not known for their hearty weather resistant properties, especially lightweights like the Proprius. In an actual downpour, you'll get soaked to the bone faster than a sneeze through a screen door…or something. This is a layering piece, don't expect it to keep you dry. Put on a waterproof layer when weather threatens.
Tipping our independent scale at 10.1 ounces. The Proprius is very competitive weight-wise. It's slightly lighter than the venerable R1 Hoody, and almost as light as the Outdoor Research Deviator. The price of weight savings for all these lightweight jackets is less warmth.
Available in very bright red, very bright yellow, and black, you can either stand out or disappear in this jacket. It's technical for sure, but not as techy looking like the latest iteration of the Patagonia R1, and you'll look a bit less out of place around town. Middle of the road style points here, so check out the TNF Campshire Hoodie or the Patagonia Better Sweater if you're looking for better style.
$150 is the going rate for a fleece of this quality, and the Proprius is a little less expensive than similar offerings from Arc'teryx and Patagonia. For similar performance for a screaming deal, check out our Best Buy award winner, the Marmot Preon.
Early morning runs, sunset bouldering sessions, summertime scrambles…close your eyes and dream about what you want to be doing, and you'll likely want to bring along a light fleece layer like the Proprius.
Going full The North Face from head to toe? Don't skip out in this breathable midlayer, specifically crafted to integrate with some of our other favorite pieces from TNF like the Editors' Choice award-winning Summit L3 Down Hoody and the Summit L5 GTX Hardshell.
— Matt Bento