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

North Face Khumbu - Women's Review

North Face  Khumbu  Fleece Jacket  Women's
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List
Pros:  Lots of color options! Least expensive fleece.
Cons:  Bulky, not very breathable.
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 20, 2013
  • 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
  • Style - 5% 4
  • Wind Protection - 5% 2
  • Water Resistance - 5% 2
  • Breathability - 15% 4
  • Comfort and Cozyness - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Layering Ability - 15% 8
  • Ease of Movement - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The North Face Khumbu has been discontinued.

The North Face Khumbu is the most basic and one of the least expensive women's fleece jacket in this review, so if you are in the market for something simple without a lot of extra features, this is a perfect choice. It makes a very warm mid-layer, but is not the most breathable jacket and is not meant to be wind-resistant.

It has minimal features, but is warm and functional for half the price of most other fleece jackets. If you want something that is more breathable, go for the Patagonia R2 - Women's. If you are looking for something to wear around town with a little more style and a tailored fit, check out the Marmot Flair Hoody. Or the North Face Windwall is a wind-resistant jacket in a similar price range. If you can only afford one fleece, we suggest the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody - Women's.

Our Analysis and Test Results


The Khumbu is thick and warm, has a wind flap behind the zipper, and a storm sealing drawcord hem.


It is not very breathable when hiking or running, and doesn't pack down particularly well.

Layering Ability and Ease of Movement

It does have a zip-in feature, so if you have other North Face jackets like a shell or ski jacket, the Khumbu would be handy to zip inside as a second layer.

Style and Fit

The Khumbu jacket by North Face is a standard fleece. It has a slightly more tailored cut than the Denali jacket but still has a bulky fit because of its thickness. It comes in at least 11 different color options, so it could be easy to find one you really like.

Best Application

The Khumbu is a good general outdoor use fleece. It is thick and warm and is the most basic fleece jacket option, with just the right amount of convenient features. It layers under bigger jackets and is roomy enough to be an outerlayer over a couple shirts. We wouldn't choose this as a fleece to bring into the mountains, but it would be a nice basic layer to have for other time spent outdoors.


Ringing in at $80, it is one of the least expensive fleeces we reviewed, and if price is a concern, it functions well for the cost. The only cheaper fleece is the Columbia Benton Springs Full-Zip - Women's, which costs $35. The Khumbu is a quality jacket for the cost.

McKenzie Long