The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 - Women's Review
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|Pros||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Stylish, good hood and neckline, no frills, inexpensive||Inexpensive, three jackets in one, warm, comfortable||Warm, resort-oriented look, quite inexpensive|
|Cons||Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Feels cheap, not many ski-specific features, lacking in weather resistance||Not very stylish, hood not helmet compatible, two layers don't work well when zipped together||No ventilation, bulky insulation, chafes chin, ineffective hem and hood adjustment|
|Bottom Line||This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||We got lots of compliments on this jacket's looks, but found it lacking in durability and full functionality on the slopes||A decent deal for two jackets that can be worn in three combinations, this is a great intro ski jacket||This inexpensive jacket was able to keep us warm and dry in most low-exertion skiing|
|Rating Categories||The North Face Ther...||Outdoor Research Ca...||Burton Jet Set||Columbia Whirlibird...||Wantdo Snowboarding...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||The North Face Ther...||Outdoor Research Ca...||Burton Jet Set||Columbia Whirlibird...||Wantdo Snowboarding...|
|Main Fabric||100% Nylon||100% Nylon||Polyester, nylon||Legacy Dobby 72% Nylon/ 28% Polyester.||150D Dull Mechanical Elastic|
|Insulation||100% Postconsumer recycled polyester||None||80g Thermolite||Thermarator||Insulating padding|
|Waterproofing||2-layer DryVent||3-layer Pertex Shield||DryRide 2L||Omni-Tech||DWR, 10k waterproof fabric|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 mesh, 1 media||Shell: 5, Liner: 3||2 zippered hand|
|Weight||2.0 lbs||1.2 lbs||1.6 lbs||2.4 lbs||2.5 lbs|
|Hood Option||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable fur|
|Powder skirt||Yes, behind insulating layer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, snap away|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 accomplishes a lot in a small space. It's a 3-in-1 jacket that couples a waterproof exterior and a well-integrated zip-in synthetic liner. We like how understated it appears and how highly functional it is. Note that most testers agree that this model runs a little slimmer than most ski jackets, so size accordingly, especially if you intend to wear thick layers underneath.
The Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate has a waterproof, breathable, seam-sealed DryVent 2.5L shell with mechanical stretch. We took it out on a misty day of freezing rain and didn't feel a drop seep through. We wore the outer shell alone, attached it to the inner insulating layer, and stayed dry both ways.
We also found that the jacket protected us in windy conditions. Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado's Front Range is notoriously windy. But, with the hood up, we felt immune to the gusts. The seams and zippers are all protective as well. The insulated layer contributes to the overall weather resistance of the jacket, but we found that when we wore the ultralight outer shell by itself, we felt only a slight bit of wind.
Comfort and Fit
We like the mechanical stretch of the jacket's shell material but found that this model fits a touch small when both layers are worn together, particularly in the shoulders. We recommend sizing up for comfort and functionality, especially if you want to layer up underneath this model. Our tester usually wears a size Medium, but she felt that a Large might have been more comfortable in this jacket. The jacket has a flattering fit that fell below our hips. The sleeves are long enough for our liking and have slightly oversized cuffs.
The insulating layer is form-fitting worn alone and makes for a nice casual layer to wear off the slopes. We took the ultralight outer shell on a short backcountry ski tour and found it was super comfortable on the skin up. We like that the shell on this 3-in-1 is so thin. Many other jackets of this style have a pretty thick external shell. Still, the relative thinness and low weight of the Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate's shell make it even more versatile. Despite how much the jacket has going on with its 3-in-1 design, it was surprisingly comfortable worn in all iterations.
It was slightly challenging to rank this jacket by our warmth metric. It's super warm when worn all together as a 3-in-1, which was great on frigid days and for riding the chairlift. However, it might be too warm for some who ski aggressively. Still, this isn't an issue, as you can simply remove the insulating layer should your body begin to get too warm. It's a great option for someone who always gets cold and would rather be too warm than chilled. It's also a good jacket for someone who doesn't like to wear multiple layers underneath. The jacket's inner insulating layer takes the place of that.
When we shed the interior insulated jacket, we found it easier to regulate our body temperatures. The outer shell has great weather resistance, so wearing the inner insulated jacket was only necessary on super cold days. The insulated jacket looked great on its own and was fun to wear out on the town after skiing.
3-in-1 style jackets, and insulated jackets in general, are not known for exceptional ventilation and breathability. The Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate did not shine in this metric. When skiing hard in all layers together, we quickly built up heat and found it difficult to dump heat. The insulating layer lacks pit vents, so the pit vents on the external shell are only minimally effective. This design is an issue with all 3-in-1 jackets we have ever tested. The lightweight DryVent outer shell breathes well when it's worn by itself.
By removing the insulating layer when the day heats up, we were able to ventilate on most days adequately, but you'll need somewhere to stash the insulating layer when you shed it. The outer shell layer has pit zips, which help a lot with ventilation. When we went for a short hike in the outer layer alone, we found that we didn't get sweaty at all.
At first glance, this jacket isn't super stylish, but its simplicity (all one color, including zippers and zip, pulls) actually makes it stand out from the crowd. It has a long, form-fitting shape that is tapered at the waist and flared over the hips. We find that it flattered multiple body types.
The jacket comes in several colors, and we love the ochre-yellow color that we tested. We also think that when you have a simpler jacket, you can go wild with the color or pattern of your ski pants. Nevertheless, some people may find this jacket too plain.
This jacket has all the features we've come to know and expect from The North Face. We are impressed and satisfied with all the pockets (and pocket placement on the outer hardshell and the inner liner). The inner pockets don't have zipper closures, but they are quite deep. There is a key lanyard in one of the front hand pockets on the outer shell.
The points of contact (zippers and snap hooks) between the insulating layer and outer shell never failed and held things together nicely. We never found that the inner liner had started to come unzipped by the end of the day. We wish the hood were roomier; it was a bit snug over our helmet, but again, we attribute that to the overall slim fit of the jacket. We'd size up to take full advantage of all the features.
Should You Buy the Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1?
This jacket surprised us with its understated good looks, ski-appropriate features, and ability to transform from shell to insulated parka; it kept us dry when it was wet and warm when it was cold. Although we got warm when skiing hard, the user can adapt the jacket to the external temperatures effectively with minimal effort. We love skiing and skinning in the outer shell, but we added the insulating layer on super cold days when riding the chair. This jacket performs well both on the slopes and off and seems durable and well-made. Given that it's three jackets in one, the Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate presents a strong value.
What Other Women's Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
Even though The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 presents an exceptional value as a convertible jacket, it still underperforms in some key areas. As far as insulated jackets go, the Orage Nina or Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 offer improved mobility for skiers who hike and ski aggressively. On the subject of uphill travel, the Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate suffers in terms of ventilation. A shell jacket like the Outdoor Research Carbide is a more valuable purchase.
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