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The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 - Women's Review

This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill
The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 - Women's
Photo: Backcountry
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $360 List | $244.26 at Backcountry
Pros:  Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features
Cons:  Slim fit, heavy
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Betsy Welch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2019
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 20% 8
  • Ventilation - 20% 4
  • Style - 10% 8
  • Features - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 packs a lot of punch into a small package, so we've given it our Top Pick Award. Our biggest complaint is that it was too warm; this might be because of its 3-in-1 design and also its slim fit. Nevertheless, The North Face left no stone unturned in terms of form and function. The contact points between the insulated liner and outer shell are durable and well-constructed. We liked the two zippered hand pockets for stashing snacks and chapstick. The jacket held up well under a light mist when we left for the ski area and didn't sacrifice any protection as the rain turned to snow (then back to rain) up at the ski hill. We shed the hardshell layer while having beers at the bar for apres, and the insulating layer is simple and cute. If you're a skier who likes to get after it but tends to be cold all day no matter how much you move, this is the jacket for you.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $244.26 at Backcountry$399.00 at Amazon
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$251.15 at AmazonCheck Price at REI
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Check Price at REI
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Pros Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful featuresBreathable, versatile, comfortable, strong value, classic lookInexpensive, stylish, warm, stretchy and comfortableStylish, good hood and neckline, no frills, inexpensiveInexpensive, three jackets in one, warm, comfortable
Cons Slim fit, heavyNo insulationNot the most water resistant, runs a little small, not very breathableFeels cheap, not many ski-specific features, lacking in weather resistanceNot very stylish, hood not helmet compatible, two layers don't work well when zipped together
Bottom Line This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hillA sleek and technical backcountry shell with enough stretch, space, and breathability to be extremely versatile at a fair priceAn inexpensive, synthetically insulated shell to keep you warm, dry, and stylish without breaking the bankWe got lots of compliments on this jacket's looks, but found it lacking in durability and full functionality on the slopesA decent deal for two jackets that can be worn in three combinations, this is a great intro ski jacket
Rating Categories Thermoball Eco Snow... Black Diamond Recon... Columbia Wild Card... Burton Jet Set Whirlibird IV Inter...
Weather Resistance (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort And Fit (20%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Warmth (20%)
8.0
4.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Ventilation (20%)
4.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
Style (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Features (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Thermoball Eco Snow... Black Diamond Recon... Columbia Wild Card... Burton Jet Set Whirlibird IV Inter...
Insulation PrimaLoft ThermoBall Eco None 60g Omni-Heat 80g Thermolite Thermarator
Waterproofing DryVent 2L BD.dry Omni-Tech DryRide 2L Omni-Tech
Weight (in pounds) 2.3 lbs 1.5 lbs 2.1 lbs 1.6 lbs 2.4 lbs
# of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve (goggle-wipe), 1 internal goggle, [liner] 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered pass, 1 zippered chest, 2 internal mesh 2 zippered hand, 2 zippered chest, 1 zippered pass, one internal mesh, 1 zippered internal 2 zippered hand, 1 mesh, 1 media Shell: 5, Liner: 3
Main Fabric 100% recycled polyester, DWR treatment 84% nylon, 16% elastane Omni-Tech Lux Stretch 94% Polyester/ 6% Elastane Polyester, nylon Legacy Dobby 72% Nylon/ 28% Polyester.
Unique Features 3 jackets in 1, zippered hand pockets, outer layer has "mechanical stretch", side-zip venting removable powder skirt, 4-way stretch shell mesh lined pit zips, headphone port, built-in spandex wrist gaiters Mesh-lined vents, mesh dump pocket, snag-free neckline 3-in-1, internal goggle pocket
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pit Zips? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuff construction Velcro Velcro Velcro with wrist gaiters Velcro Velcro
Ski features Powder skirt, helmet compatible hood, goggle pocket Powder skirt, hem cinch, pass pocket, helmet compatible hood Powder skirt, hem cinch, pass pocket, helmet compatible hood Powder skirt, hem sinch, goggle pocket Powder skirt, pass and goggle pocket

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.

Performance Comparison


It's easier to have fun when your jacket fits well!
It's easier to have fun when your jacket fits well!

Weather Resistance


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.

No type of weather was a problem for the North Face Thermoball Eco...
No type of weather was a problem for the North Face Thermoball Eco Triclimate.

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.

We loved the toasty hand pockets on the Thermoball Eco Snow...
We loved the toasty hand pockets on the Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate.

Warmth


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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

And, it's easy to transform the jacket back into a 3-in-1.
And, it's easy to transform the jacket back into a 3-in-1.

Ventilation


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.


Style


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.

The Thermoball Snow Triclimate finds style in its simplicity.
The Thermoball Snow Triclimate finds style in its simplicity.

Features


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.

The zipper articulation between the two layers is easy to use, even...
The zipper articulation between the two layers is easy to use, even with gloves on.

Value


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!

Conclusion


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.

The Thermoball Snow Triclimate performed well on the slopes and...
The Thermoball Snow Triclimate performed well on the slopes and provides versatility that few other models do.

Betsy Welch