The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features
Cons: Slim fit, heavy
Manufacturer: The North Face
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 accomplishes a lot in a small space (and we mean this literally - the fit is slim!). It's a 3-in-1 jacket with a nimble, waterproof exterior and a well-integrated zip-in synthetic liner. We like how understated it appears and how highly functional it actually is.
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 and attached 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 blustery, 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, too, but we found that when we wore the ultralight outer shell by itself, we felt protected from the elements.
Comfort and Fit
We like the mechanical stretch of the jacket's shell material but found that it fit small. We'd recommend sizing up for comfort and functionality. The jacket has a flattering fit that fell below our hips. The sleeves were long enough and had slightly oversized cuffs. We took the ultralight outer shell on a short tour and thought it was super comfortable on the skin up.
The insulated layer is form-fitting worn alone and makes for a nice casual layer to wear off the slopes. Despite how much the jacket has going on with its 3-in-1 design, it was surprisingly comfortable worn in all iterations. Our tester wears a size Small most of the time, but she felt that a Medium might have been more comfortable in this jacket.
At first glance, this jacket isn't super stylish, but we found that its simplicity (all one color, including zippers and zip pulls) actually made 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 found that it flattered multiple body types.
The jacket comes in several colors, and we loved the deep blue indigo 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 will find this jacket too plain.
It was slightly challenging to rank this jacket by our warmth metric. When worn all together as a 3-in-1, it's super warm, which was great on frigid days and for riding the chairlift. However, we got too hot while actually skiing and found the variance in body temperature tricky to regulate during a long day at the resort. 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 that it was 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 looks great on its own and was fun to wear out on the town after skiing.
3-in-1 style jackets are not known for their breathability. The Thermoball Eco Snow did not shine in this category simply because we got too hot while skiing hard. Worn alone, the ultralight DryVent outer shell breathes well, and we found that shedding the inner lining on warmer days made the jacket more functional. The outer shell layer has pit zips, which actually 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.
This jacket had all the features we've come to know and expect from The North Face. We were really impressed with all the pockets (and pocket placement on both 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 insulated layer and outer liner 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 was 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 be able to take full advantage of all the features.
Given that it's three jackets in one, we felt that the Thermoball Eco had great value. It's good looking, performs well both on the slopes and off, and seems durable and well-made. It kept us dry when it was wet and warm when it was cold. We wished it had a bigger hood and a more generous fit but feel that, by sizing up, we wouldn't have many complaints. We also felt that the jacket had a timeless look and design that would never get outdated - and something that can be worn year after year has great value in our book!
The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 surprised us with its understated good looks, ski-appropriate features, and ability to transform from shell to insulated parka, which is why we gave it a Top Pick Award. Although we got warm when skiing really hard, we think this jacket would be great for a more mellow skier, or we'd recommend using it as two separate jackets. We loved skiing and skinning in just the outer shell, but added the insulated layer when riding the chair or on super cold days. That made it fit a little more snugly, so we did think that sizing up would help with freer movement and also temperature regulation. It would also contribute to a comfier fit and better use of features like the hood and inner pockets. Overall, though, we felt the jacket has great value and ski functionality.
— Betsy Welch