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

The North Face Shelbe Raschel Hoodie Review

This highly wind resistant, comfortable, and stylish, but not meant for anything technical.
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Price:  $149 List | $149.90 at Amazon
Pros:  Warm, stylish, soft inner liner
Cons:  Heavy, ill-fitting non-adjustable hood, poor breathability, not very versatile
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 2, 2019
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50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 14
  • Weather Protection - 30% 7
  • Breathability - 30% 3
  • Mobility - 25% 6
  • Weight - 10% 3
  • Versatility - 5% 4

Our Verdict

The North Face Shelbe Raschel Hoodie is loved by many for its stylish cut, plush lining, and superior wind-resistance. Mobility is good from the decently stretchy fabric, and soft internal comfort cuffs help seal in warmth. However, the hood is small and has no adjustment system, so despite how bomber this is against the wind, there's no way to cinch down the hood to adequately protect against gusts. The Shelbe is also very heavy and, because of the thick lining, not very breathable. All in all, this is a fine layer for more urban activities, but should not be considered for technical undertakings.


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Pros Warm, stylish, soft inner linerHighly breathable, quick-drying, harness and helmet compatible, stowable hood, durableThis is a cozy insulated hybrid ideal for situations when you need a bit more warmth in a lightweight package.Very lightweight, excellent mobility, highly breathable, great fit, affordable.Full-legth side zippers, excellent fit, windproof, lined, thumbholes
Cons Heavy, ill-fitting non-adjustable hood, poor breathability, not very versatileNot very warm, only one pocketIf you need need good breathability and all-around comfort, this insulated hybrid is a great option.Not warm, only two pocketsLess breathable due to windproofing, expensive
Bottom Line This highly wind resistant, comfortable, and stylish, but not meant for anything technical.This lightweight and streamlined pullover is a fabulously durable layer that breathes like a dream and dries lightning fast.Insulated, comfortable, stretchy, lightweightThis smart and ultralight softshell is extremely easy to move in and highly breathable - an excellent pick for the movement-minded adventure seeker.This innovative hoody ups the ante with great features like full-length side zips, fantastic mobility, and excellent weather protection.
Rating Categories Shelbe Raschel Hoodie Sigma SL Anorak Pullover Proton FL Hoody Rab Borealis - Women's Ultimate V SO Hooded Jacket
Weather Protection (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
4
10
0
8
Breathability (30%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Mobility (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Weight (10%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
7
Versatility (5%)
10
0
4
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Shelbe Raschel... Sigma SL Anorak... Proton FL Hoody Rab Borealis -... Ultimate V SO...
Measured Weight - Size Medium (oz) 29.4oz 9.5oz 10.7oz (size Large) 8.3oz 13.1oz
Material 214 G/M² WindWall (90% Polyester, 10% Elastane w/ DWR finish) Aequora Airperm - 86% nylon, 14% elastane 84% nylon, 16% elastane Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR 100% polyester
Lined/Insulated? Yes No Yes No Yes
Hood Yes, not adjustable Yes, 2-way adjustable Yes, 1-way adjustable Yes, stretchy but not adjustable Yes, 1-way adjustable
Helmet Compatible? No Yes Yes, under Yes, under Yes, under
Wind Resistant? Yes, windproof Yes Yes Yes Yes, windproof
Water Resistant? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted) 2 hand 1 chest 4 (2 hand, 2 chest) 2 hand 2 hand
Adjustable Cuffs? No No No No Yes
Available Sizes XS - 3XL XS - L XS - XL XS - XL XS - XXL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Shelbe Raschel Hoodie is plush and warm with excellent wind-resistance, but it's heavy and doesn't have advanced enough features for anything too serious.

Performance Comparison


While this jacket isn't light or technical  it's cozy and warm - perfect for casual hangouts and snuggles.
While this jacket isn't light or technical, it's cozy and warm - perfect for casual hangouts and snuggles.

Weather Protection


This is the category where the Shelbe performs the best. Plush lining provides a lot of warmth, and the air permeability of the highly wind-resistant WindWall material is rated at less than 10 CFM (cu ft/min). Typically this isn't a desirable feature in a softshell because it means breathability is very poor, which is, no surprise, exactly what we see with this jacket. If you won't be working up a sweat, and just want to stay warm on windy or snowy days, then this could be a fine choice. However, if you need your body to breathe or you think you might get caught in the rain, not so much. It repels water for a time but, eventually, moisture will come through, and, when it does, the fuzzy lining holds it in, making for a cold and miserable experience. Additionally, the hood on the Shelbe is shallow and has no adjustment system so, if gusts of winds catch you by surprise, the hood won't protect you much and may fly off completely.

It's a shame that this highly wind-resistant jacket doesn't come with a hood that can adjust and cinch down. When serious wind come calling  don't expect it to stay in place.
It's a shame that this highly wind-resistant jacket doesn't come with a hood that can adjust and cinch down. When serious wind come calling, don't expect it to stay in place.

Breathability


This jacket provides very little breathability. The main selling point is the fact that it's windproof with very little permeability, so it's no wonder it didn't score well in this category. If you're walking to work or taking the dog to the park for an easy stroll in wind or light snow, this will be fine. But if you're planning to engage in anything even remotely aerobic, this isn't the right softshell to consider.

Casual hiking in cool weather is fine for a time  but don't get too active or you'll feel stifled by the  albeit cozy  lining.
Casual hiking in cool weather is fine for a time, but don't get too active or you'll feel stifled by the, albeit cozy, lining.

Mobility


The Shelbe is so-so in this category. For how thick and heavy it is, it's decent, even through the shoulders and arms. The hips run a bit narrow, though, and the hood is not particularly deep or spacious, especially if you have a long neck or larger head.

Mobility on this hoody is decent  though it's noticeably much heavier and less stretchy than many of the other models in our review.
Mobility on this hoody is decent, though it's noticeably much heavier and less stretchy than many of the other models in our review.

Weight


A medium Shelbe Raschel will weigh you down a whopping 29.4 ounces. It's the current heaviest contender in our review by a full 8 ounces. If you're commuting via your car or the subway to work or school, it won't matter, and the heft may be seen as a good thing because it's a cozy and warm jacket. But if space or weight are at all at a premium, steer clear.

No way around it  at almost 30 ounces  this is a heavy jacket.
No way around it, at almost 30 ounces, this is a heavy jacket.

Versatility


We also can't award high marks here. Other than the plush interior lining, windproof fabric, and the "comfort cuffs" at the wrists, the Shelbe Raschel doesn't offer a lot. There are only two hand pockets (zippered), and the hood doesn't adjust or cinch tight, so gusts of wind are prone to blow it off the head and allow cold to enter at the sides. This is a simple jacket for simple outings.

The "comfort cuffs" on the Shelbe are a nice touch  though if they get wet they feel clammy and cold.
The "comfort cuffs" on the Shelbe are a nice touch, though if they get wet they feel clammy and cold.

Value


This is an entry-level jacket at an entry-level price. It's not feature-rich or technical, but it is warm, comfortable, and good looking. If you need something simple for chilly weather and don't want to spend a ton, this is a fine choice, particularly if you can find it on sale.

Even the pockets are soft and cozy on this hoody.
Even the pockets are soft and cozy on this hoody.

Conclusion


The Shelbe Raschel Hoodie isn't a bad jacket; it's just simplistic and heavy with an unfortunate hood. The material is decently moveable and highly wind-resistant, and mobility is okay, but don't expect to take on anything too aerobic or that would require properly sealing out the elements — you won't be happy. Stick to simple strolls close to home, and all should be well.

Keeping cozy is what this jacket does best. It's not a technical piece by any means  but if your needs are simple and you don't want to feel the wind on your torso  this jacket fits the bill.
Keeping cozy is what this jacket does best. It's not a technical piece by any means, but if your needs are simple and you don't want to feel the wind on your torso, this jacket fits the bill.


Penney Garrett