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The North Face Gotham Jacket II - Women's Review

This jacket is short, simple, and will keep you warm and cozy all winter
The North Face Gotham Jacket II - Women's
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $230 List | $137.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stylish, form-fitting, warm, fun colors, faux fur ruff, down and synthetic insulation
Cons:  Not waterproof, runs small, lost some feathers, finicky zipper, non-removable hood
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Liz Williamson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 12, 2018
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Warmth - 30% 2
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 3
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Style - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

Resting just below the waist and insulated with the perfect amount of 550 fill goose down, the North Face Gotham II Hooded Down Jacket is an excellent option for someone looking to stay warm, yet stylish this winter. Unlike the classic knee-length winter parkas we tested, the Gotham II's shorter length offers better mobility and practicality for an on-the-go lifestyle. The outer shell is water-resistant, not waterproof, and isn't the best option if you live in a wet climate. With a soft, removable faux fur ruff around the hood, this jacket has a sporty, yet classic winter parka vibe. It's a fun and functional option for less than severe winter weather at a reasonable price. Don't forget to size up though. It runs small.

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Pros Stylish, form-fitting, warm, fun colors, faux fur ruff, down and synthetic insulationComfortable, durable fabric, awesome pockets, weather-proof and breathableAthletic fit, comfortable, stylish, temperature regulating, waterproofFlattering, waterproof, durable, three jackets in one, recycled down and polyesterWindproof, warm, super comfortable, lightweight, packs into a pillow
Cons Not waterproof, runs small, lost some feathers, finicky zipper, non-removable hoodOn the bulky side, face fabric holds onto waterSleeves and hem are less insulated, tricky hood tightened, expensiveUninsulated hood, tight shoulders, no two-way zipper on down jacket, tricky pocketsNot waterproof, hood doesn’t detach, finicky zipper
Bottom Line Resting just below our waist, this jacket keeps us warm and looking great all winter longDurable and waterproof, this jacket is a great option for cold or wet weatherStylish and functional, this jacket will keep you dry and warm when moving around in the winter monthsThis parka is a versatile option that shines in wet winter conditionsThis parka is windproof and warm
Rating Categories Gotham Jacket II Fjallraven Nuuk - Women's Arc'teryx Patera Parka Tres 3-in-1 Parka Canada Goose Camp Hooded
Warmth (30%)
2
9
6
7
8
Weather Resistance (25%)
3
7
9
9
6
Comfort (25%)
9
9
9
7
9
Style (10%)
8
7
8
9
8
Durability (10%)
5
9
9
7
7
Specs Gotham Jacket II Fjallraven Nuuk -... Arc'teryx Patera... Tres 3-in-1 Parka Canada Goose Camp...
Insulation and Fill Power 550 fill goose down, Heatseeker 160g Supreme microloft (100% polyester) 750 fill down 700 fill recycled duck and goose down 750 fill hutterite white duck down
Fill Weight Unavailable 250 g 59 g Down, 100 g Coreloft 150 g Unavailable
Hood Adjustable with removable faux fur trim Insulated with detachable faux fur trim Insulated hood Uninsulated, removable 2-way adjustable tunnel hood
Pockets 1 internal, 2 external 2 internal, 2 bellows, 2 hand, 1 sleeve, 2 chest 2 handwarmer, 1 internal chest pocket 2 zippered handwarmer in shell, 2 zippered handwarmer and 1 internal chest in down liner jacket 2 external, 1 internal, 1 internal stretch mesh pocket
Weight (size small) 1.2 lbs 3.7 lbs 2.0 lbs 2.9 lbs 1.3 lbs
2-way zipper No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather Resistant Features Water-resistant, wind-resistant Waterproof, windproof Waterproof, windproof, and breathable barrier, DWR finish Waterproof, windproof, and breathable barrier, DWR finish Windproof, DWR treatment
Sizes Available XS to 3XL XXS to XXL XS to XXL XS to XXL 2XS to 2XL
Social or Environmental Certifications Responsible Down Standard Fluorocarbon-free impregnation Some materials meet bluesign criteria
Responsible Down Standard
100% recycled down, 50% recycled polyester shell, 100% recycled polyester jacket, Fair Trade Certified sewn

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Warm, form-fitting, and lightweight, this jacket was one of our...
Warm, form-fitting, and lightweight, this jacket was one of our favorites to test.
Photo: Aimee Doran

Warmth


This jacket is insulated with 550 fill goose down and 160G Heatseeker technology, and we were impressed by how warm we stayed when temperatures dropped to freezing. We did notice that some feathers escaped over the course of several months while we tested the jacket. It wasn't enough to damage the integrity of the jacket's warmth, but it's something to keep in mind.

We loved the faux fur ruff around the hood. It was soft, lofty and...
We loved the faux fur ruff around the hood. It was soft, lofty and removable. Removable fur ruffs allow us to tailor the look of the jacket, allowing it to be more practical for different situations.
Photo: Sarinah Davy Jones

The removable hood with its faux fur ruff added extra protection and warmth when the temperatures started to drop. The hood is nice and roomy, leaving plenty of room to wear a beanie underneath if you'd like. The two exterior pockets have a fleece lining, but only on one side. We prefer it on both sides of the pockets. This isn't a big problem, and it's better than having no fleece lining at all. Unfortunately, there are no interior cuffs in the sleeves. We find that jackets with cuffs, whether they are nylon or fleece, do a great job trapping warm air.

Insulated with a perfect amount of 550 fill down, we had no problem...
Insulated with a perfect amount of 550 fill down, we had no problem wearing this jacket on crisp mornings or even in a light snowfall. However, though the outer shell is water-resistant, it's not waterproof, so this jacket isn't intended for super wet weather.
Photo: Aimee Doran

Weather Resistance


When we tested this jacket in the rain and snow, water beaded up and rolled off at first. But, shortly thereafter, the coat began to saturate. This isn't a jacket that you want to get stuck wearing in the pouring rain, or even in a bad snowstorm. It's a great option for around town, running errands, and walking the dog, but be careful venturing too far afield if it might storm. If the down insulation gets saturated, it compromises the jacket's warmth.

From all angles this jacket was form-fitting, comfortable, and kept...
From all angles this jacket was form-fitting, comfortable, and kept us warm when temperatures started to drop below freezing.
Photo: Aimee doran

Comfort


The Gotham II is one of the more comfortable jackets we tested. Weighing in at 1.2 lbs this jacket is seriously lightweight! It felt like we were barely wearing a jacket. Keep in mind that this jacket does run small, so you may want to consider ordering a size up. Unlike all the other jackets that we tested in a size small, we had to order up to a medium.

The exterior pockets are warm and cozy with fleece lining on just one side. The pockets are just deep enough for a cell phone. There are no interior cuffs in the sleeves, which cuts back on coziness and warmth. Interior cuffs are a great feature for comfort when temperatures get brutally cold and the wind picks up.

The exterior of the jacket has a classic "puffy" jacket appearance...
The exterior of the jacket has a classic "puffy" jacket appearance, while the inside is smooth. We actually liked the camouflage print in the inside of the jacket and the hood.
Photo: Sarinah Davy Jones

Style


We like the sporty, athletic look and feel of this jacket. The faux fur ruff around the hood adds a bit of a classic mountain parka style as well. Compared to some of the other jackets that reached all the way to our knee, the Gotham II Hooded Down Jacket offers a different style. Resting just below our waist, we found this jacket to be very practical and stylish. There is an elastic thread on the waist to add a bit more definition and shaping.

We experienced some feathers escaping at the seams, but it wasn't...
We experienced some feathers escaping at the seams, but it wasn't happening at an alarming rate. We don't see this affecting the warmth and durability of the jacket too much.
Photo: Sarinah Davy Jones

Durability


This jacket is not meant for wet, sloppy weather, but it's a great choice for mildly cold to freezing temperatures. We did notice after wearing this jacket for a couple of months that the down insulation was losing some feathers, but it wasn't happening at an alarming rate.

What did concern us was the finicky main zipper since that is a pain to get fixed. It has to be lined up exactly for it to work properly. We didn't have problems with the zippers on any of the pockets. The quality of the faux fur ruff is great, but we could see it becoming wirier and not as soft if it was to get wet for a long period of time.

The exterior fabric is made up of mainly polyester and is very thin. Over a couple of months we tested it, we had no problems with tears or snags, but there is a good amount of exterior stitching, and we could see the potential for a possible snag.

What's missing from this photo? A double-sided zipper! We actually...
What's missing from this photo? A double-sided zipper! We actually didn't find this to be too big of a problem since the jacket sits just below our waist. If the jacket reached all the way to our knees, we would be more concerned about the lack of a double-sided zipper.
Photo: Sarinah Davy Jones

Features


This isn't a feature-heavy jacket, but if you're in the market for a simple winter jacket that delivers warmth without any bells or whistles, this is the jacket for you. One unique feature of this jacket is that its insulation is both down and synthetic. To be honest, we couldn't really tell the difference between this and a fully down jacket.

This jacket doesn't offer too many features, but one we appreciated...
This jacket doesn't offer too many features, but one we appreciated was the interior media pocket, great for keys or a phone.
Photo: Sarinah Davy Jones

The hood isn't removable, but it does have a removable faux fur ruff. There are two exterior pockets with zippers and fleece lining on one side. It also has an interior media pocket big enough to fit a cell phone or keys.

The main zipper is temperamental and isn't double-sided, which we didn't really mind since this jacket only goes just below the waist. We find double zippers more useful and necessary on jackets that extended mid-thigh or just above the knee.

Even when we weren't wearing the hood it rested perfectly on our...
Even when we weren't wearing the hood it rested perfectly on our back and didn't disrupt the style of the jacket. The hood isn't detachable, but the faux fur ruff is.
Photo: Sarinah Davy Jones

Value


The Gotham II falls right in the middle of the pack in terms of price. The construction quality is subpar compared to previous models of this coat. Online reviews back up this statement, and we did lose some feathers.

Conclusion


Overall, this is a solid, warm winter jacket with a sporty and stylish look that won't break the bank. Resting just below the waist and insulated with 550 fill goose down, we found this jacket easier to move around in when we were running errands and walking the dog. The shorter length does compromise the warmth, but for someone looking for extra mobility and practicality, this is a good choice.

Liz Williamson