Reviews You Can Rely On

The North Face Winter Warm Insulated Pullover - Women's Review

A warm running pullover that is only functional in certain weather conditions since it lacks weather-resistance
The North Face Winter Warm Insulated Pullover - Women's
Photo: The North Face
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $99 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Warm, flattering fit, affordable, includes thumb holes
Cons:  Not very weatherproof, no hood, less breathable than others
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Ally Meller ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 25, 2021
  • 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
54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 11
  • Breathability - 30% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 5
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 7
  • Portability - 15% 4
  • Features - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The North Face Winter Warm Insulated Pullover is an aptly named winter layer that keeps you nice and toasty. This jacket isn't our first choice as an all-around running jacket, but it is a smart-looking layer that wears well once the temperatures drop. Its polyester and elastane body makes for a thickly insulated layer to help keep your core warm on the chilliest of morning runs. This jacket lacks the weather resistance to be an ideal daily running jacket, but if you want to layer up for sub-zero temps, the Winter Warm will make a great option.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $99 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$129.00 at Amazon$129.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
54
75
73
73
70
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Warm, flattering fit, affordable, includes thumb holesBreathable, comfortable, great featuresIncredibly lightweight, breathableSuper comfortable, breathableLightweight, comfortable, flattering, breathable, semi water-resistant
Cons Not very weatherproof, no hood, less breathable than othersNot the warmestFew features, no hoodLess weather protection, no pocketsNot very warm
Bottom Line A warm running pullover that is only functional in certain weather conditions since it lacks weather-resistanceA comfortable, breathable jacket that is well-equipped with great features for any runnerAn incredibly light and breathable jacket ideal for fast and light alpine missionsThis is a wildly comfortable and breathable jacket that's simple and effectiveAn affordable and surprisingly functional running jacket that is loaded with unexpected features
Rating Categories Winter Warm Insulat... Merino Sport Ultra... Arc'teryx Cita SL -... Airshed Pro Pullover Agile Full-Zip Hoodie
Breathability (30%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Comfort And Mobility (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
Portability (15%)
4.0
7.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
Features (15%)
6.0
7.0
4.0
4.0
6.0
Specs Winter Warm Insulat... Merino Sport Ultra... Arc'teryx Cita SL -... Airshed Pro Pullover Agile Full-Zip Hoodie
Measured Weight (ounces, size Small) 8.9 oz 5.1 oz 2.3 oz 4.1 oz 5.2 oz
Number of Pockets 2 2 1 0 2
Main Material 90% recycled polyester/10% elastane Main body: 100% recycled nylon
Trim/lining: 54% Merino Wool, 46% Polyester
50% nylon, 50% polyester Capilene Cool polyester in sleeves and hood, nylon stretch taffeta shell 88% polyester, 12% elastane, DWR finish
Unique Features Kangaroo pocket Merino wool panels, reflective material, media port Two materials, sturdy collar Two-way zipper Lightweight
Vent Type None Back and underarms Back and underarms Under arms None
Reflective Material? Yes Yes No No Yes
Hood? No Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Winter Warm jacket from The North Face is great for chilly morning runs but lacks the breathability and weather resistance to be one of our top choices for overall performance.

Performance Comparison


A snuggly and cozy layer for the chilliest of days.
A snuggly and cozy layer for the chilliest of days.
Photo: Ally Meller

Breathability


As far as thicker jackets go, this one is pretty breathable. However, the North Face Winter Warm pullover is not as breathable as most of the running jackets we tested, though it is far warmer. As we have mentioned time and time again, breathability often comes at the cost of warmth and weather protection, as we found to partially be in the case here.

The underarm mesh paneling provides some breathability, but not...
The underarm mesh paneling provides some breathability, but not quite enough.
Photo: Ally Meller

The Winter Warm pullover is much thicker than most other jackets we've tested in this review and includes insulated torso panels. This insulation makes it good for running on colder days or when there is a bit of snow in the forecast. There are mesh panels sewn into the underarm area of this jacket that provide some much-needed ventilation, and there is a half-zip option, so you can add a bit more airflow as needed. Besides these two features, however, this jacket does not offer much breathability. The insulated core panels ultimately make for a warm and steamy run.

The core panels of the Winter Warm pullover are insulated, which...
The core panels of the Winter Warm pullover are insulated, which adds extra warmth, but limits the overall breathability.
Photo: Ally Meller

Weather Resistance


Unfortunately, the North Face Winter Warm Insulated Pullover left us wanting a bit more in terms of weather resistance. The core panels are slightly water repellent, but that is all. The sleeves absorb even the lightest sprinkle, which can ultimately make this already heavy layer even heavier. Not only that, there is not a hood, so if you happen to get caught in wet weather, you won't have any head protection. Furthermore, cold winds cut right through the sleeves of this jacket, securing its position as a less-than-stellar windbreaker.

Water beads up on the double-layered paneling, but soaks right into...
Water beads up on the double-layered paneling, but soaks right into the sleeve fabrics.
Photo: Ally Meller

There are a few lovable qualities about the Winter Warm jacket, though. Because it is so warm, it makes a great middle layer on cold days. It might not be the most weather resistant, but its sleek fit makes it a great option to wear under a waterproof shell. The thumbhole feature also helps keep the sleeves in place so the wintery air can stay out.

We do love the thumbholes that help seal out cold air.
We do love the thumbholes that help seal out cold air.
Photo: Ally Meller

Comfort and Mobility


The Winter Warm jacket is soft and cozy to the touch. Its polyester and elastane, single jersey knit with FlashDry technology feel comfortable to the touch and on your body. We never have any trouble with comfort or chafing while running in this jacket. The addition of elastane in running jackets has opening up a whole new world of mobility for runners. We used to think we had to run in baggy clothes to have full ranges of motion. But thanks to elastane, nearly every running jacket offers good mobility and a comfortable fit.

The Winter Warm is comfortable and doesn't inhibit movement while you run. However, this pullover runs a bit small through the shoulders, so we recommend sizing up if you don't like a svelte fit. Out narrow-shouldered tester had to peel this layer off inside out to remove it comfortably. This is by no means a deal-breaker but something to keep in mind as you shop. If you have wider shoulders, we definitely recommend sizing up. Aside from the shoulders, the rest of the fit is standard and true to size. We like that it doesn't have any elastic cuffing around the base. Because of its weight, it doesn't ride up like some of the lightweight options we've tested.

The different fabric types are comfortable to the touch and do a...
The different fabric types are comfortable to the touch and do a great job blending a snug performance fit with plenty of mobility.
Photo: Ally Meller

Portability


The Winter Warm absolutely left us hanging in the portability metric. This jacket doesn't have many options for efficient packing, minus stuffing it into its own kangaroo pocket. Since it is a kangaroo pocket, though, the bundle does not get very compact. In addition to its lack of packability, it weighs in at a whopping 8.9 ounces for a women's size small, which is quadruple some of the lightest running jackets available today. If you are headed out and don't plan to remove any layers, the Winter Warm jacket will work well. But if you want a layer to neatly and compactly stash on the go, this one isn't going to be it.

The North Face Winter Warm Pullover (left) doesn't stash very well...
The North Face Winter Warm Pullover (left) doesn't stash very well compared to most other jackets.
Photo: Ally Meller

Features


The North Face added quite a few thoughtful features when engineering the Winter Warm jacket. We like to look at every nitty-gritty detail, and in this metric, this pullover totally impressed us. Our favorite feature of this jacket is its thumb holes. We love having thumb holes to secure the sleeves in place and aid in keeping our wrists warm. We once heard that if your wrists and ankles are warm, the rest of your body will be too. We don't know if that is true, but there is something so cozy about being able to snuggle your thumbs into their own little spaces that warms us from the inside out.

The Winter Warm has mild amounts of added reflectivity. While these properties aren't as obvious as on other jackets, we love that this safety feature is becoming standard on running jackets. There is a long, reflective logo running vertically down the back of the jacket and a reflective heat transfer logo on the front left breast panel. If you are running in lowlight environments, we recommend adding some visibility of your own accord. However, the addition of these two reflective logos will help keep you visible in a pinch.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


This cozy pullover is one of the least expensive in our test group. Because of this, we think it is a good value. It definitely isn't going to be your daily running jacket, as weather conditions change constantly. But if you are looking for a well-fitted middle layer to insulate your core as you tackle chilly outdoor adventures, the Winter Warm is a great choice.

The kangaroo pocket is a great place to warm your hands. It isn't a...
The kangaroo pocket is a great place to warm your hands. It isn't a super effective pocket for stashing gear while running though.
Photo: Ally Meller

Conclusion


Though the Winter Warm Insulated Pullover is unlike most of the jackets in our review, we think there is a time and a place for wearing it. It is best used beneath a light, weatherproof layer for insulation on frigid runs. It won't protect you from the elements, but it will keep you toasty while allowing other layers to do the dirty work. If you are in the market for a do-it-all style jacket, this one by The North Face will leave you wanting more. But if you want a sleek layer that is warm and attractive, this jacket is a great choice.

It may not be our favorite running jacket, but if a cozy layer is...
It may not be our favorite running jacket, but if a cozy layer is what you're after, the Winter Warm will do the trick.
Photo: Ally Meller

Ally Meller