Metropolis III vs. Metropolis II
The North Face released the latest version of this jacket, the Metropolis III. The most notable change is the length: it appears that this newer version is a bit shorter, perhaps only hitting mid-thigh instead of knee-length like the Metropolis II. Other revisions include an updated baffle design, a rounded drop-tail hem in the back, and the addition of adjustable cuffs with Velcro, addressing a previous "con" we lamented regarding the lack of adjustable wrist cuffs which allowed warm air to escape from the arms of the jacket. The Metropolis III still uses 550 fill power down and retails for the same price as its predecessor.
Compare the Metropolis III (first photo) to the II we tested (second photo).
We're linking to the newest jacket above, but take note that the rest of this review refers to the Metropolis II that we tested.
Hands-On Review of the Metropolis II
Insulated with 550-fill-goose down and eight colors to choose from, The North Face Metropolis Parka II has something to offer everyone. Weighing in at about 1.8 lbs this jacket isn't heavy, despite its cozy insulation. It's water-resistant, but not waterproof, and it's intended for very wet weather.
Stay warm and look super cute in this long-length parka. Reaching all the way past our knees and insulated with cozy 550-fill down, you won't be complaining about cold temperatures with this jacket on.
The Metropolis Parka II isn't the warmest in the fleet, but it certainly made an impression on us, landing in the middle of the pack when it came to warmth. For those in milder temperatures, this model may be just what you're looking for. It's insulated with an okay amount of 550-fill-goose down, and it was warmer than the Arc'teryx Patera Parka, but not as warm as the Patagonia Down With It Parka or The North Face Arctic Parka II. We found it comparable to the North Face Gotham II Hooded Down Jacket, but the longer length of the Metropolis made all the difference in cold and windy weather. This isn't a model that we would want to be outside in below freezing weather for an extended period, which is the case with the Marmot Montreaux.
The shoulders of this jacket let cold air in and it was almost distractingly noticeable, as there was little to no down insulation on top of our shoulders. By adding just a touch more down to the shoulders, we would have been able to face colder temperatures for a tad longer. Keep in mind we did notice some feathers escaping at the seams of the jacket, which can potentially jeopardize the warmth. The knee-length made all the difference when we were outside in cold weather, especially compared to some of the jackets that we tested that only went mid-thigh, like the Columbia Heavenly and Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Jacket.
The back of the jacket has a dart-shaped pattern, which we think adds a bit more style and character. The satin finish gives the coat an elegant look, but don't be deceived: this jacket can handle itself in cold weather.
Unfortunately, there are no interior cuffs on the sleeves of the jacket. There is an elastic band, but it is so loose that it does nothing; cuffs would also add extra warmth by trapping warm air in. The exterior pockets are lined with microfleece on both sides - a toasty feature we always like to see. Compared to the thin insulation of The North Face Arctic Parka II pockets, the Metropolis Parka II pockets are much warmer and have a decent amount of down insulation in the front of them. The hood kept us warm, and it has a relatively fair amount of down inside, though it was a little too big.
The exterior nylon fabric has a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, making it water-resistant, but not waterproof. We tested the Metropolis outside in the elements, ranging from rain and snow to wind. In wet weather, water beaded up and rolled off, but after an extended period outside, it became saturated. It repelled water better than the Rab Deep Cover Parka. The Metropolis doesn't have a thick layer, and there is a lot of exterior stitching; when the wind picked up, we could feel it. If you live in an area that tends to get wet rain or snow, we like The North Face Arctic Parka II, the Fjallraven Nuuk Insulated Parka or the the versatile Patagonia Tres Down Parka. Each one of those jackets has a waterproof exterior.
For being insulated with a decent amount of 550-fill down, this coat still maintains a stylish and form-fitting look. We loved the simple look of the sewn baffles paired with the satin finish of the nylon/polyester fabric.
The Metropolis is super chic; it's form-fitting, flattering, and isn't overloaded with down. The satin finish look of the exterior nylon fabric dresses it up, even though we had no problem wearing it to run errands or go to the gym. The back has a dart shape, which adds a little more flare and it reaches just above our knee. If down isn't your style, and you don't want a jacket covered in exterior stitching, we'd recommend the Arc'teryx Patera Parka. The Patera is almost equally as warm, but it has a smooth, simple exterior appearance. If you are in the market for a jacket with an iconic classic winter parka look, check out the Kuhl Arktik Down Parka.
The Metropolis Parka II is more form-fitting than the Arctic Parka II and the Columbia Heavenly. Unlike the Canada Goose Kensington Parka, which has an adjustable cinched waist, the Metropolis has contoured quilting at the waist for an improved fit and more definition.
The hood is a bit large, but comfortable. We had no issue fitting a beanie underneath it, and it is detachable and also adjustable for a tighter fit in stormy weather.
The Metropolis Parka II is insulated with just the right amount of down, which makes it quite comfy. There's not too much, or too little down - except in the shoulders. We noticed ourselves reaching for often, whether we were walking the dog or running errands. Insulated with less down than the Marmot Montreaux, we had an easy time moving around in it, but we weren't as warm.
The shoulders and the arms of the Metropolis are a bit tight and restricting. We recommend using the size chart when ordering or going to an actual store to try it on. Keep in mind that the shoulders of this jacket lack down; if you want to wear extra layers underneath, consider ordering a size up.
Both sides of the exterior pockets are lined with microfleece and are very deep, as well as warm and comfortable. There is also microfleece at the chin of the collar which allowed for optimal comfort when the jacket is zipped up and the hood on. We noticed a difference when we didn't have anything soft on our the chin on the collar, and let's just say we prefer microfleece over cold, rubbing polyester or nylon.
A comfy feature that we always enjoy seeing on a winter jacket: microfleece-lined pockets. We'd always rather put our hands into a soft warm pocket than a nylon one. Warm pockets help maintain our body heat, allowing us to stay outside for longer.
No bells or whistles here, this is your basic winter jacket. It's not intended for wearing in super cold temperatures or stormy weather, as it lacks the features to protect you. The small, but noticeable features we do like are the deep exterior pockets, which are lined with microfleece on each side. The interior media pocket is perfect for a cell phone or keys.
This jacket doesn't have many features, but there is an interior media pocket with a zipper. We found this pocket useful for keys or a wallet. It was almost a bit too small for a smartphone, but this will depend on how large your phone is.
The 550-fill-goose down is incredibly light and not bulky, especially for reaching all the way to above our knees. The hood is cozy, warm, and detachable via snaps. There is also an adjustable cord around the brim of the hood, which comes in handy in windy weather. The main full zipper on the jacket is double-sided for access from both ends and allows for better mobility.
This jacket has some serious length to it! Reaching all the way past our knee, we felt like we were wearing a sleeping bag. Despite the long length we never felt constricted in this jacket. The full zipper is double sided allowing for access from both ends as well as more mobility if needed.
Over the two months that we tested this jacket we didn't have any issues with the nylon snagging or the stitching coming undone; that doesn't mean that it can't happen. The exterior of the Canada Goose Kensington Parka, Canada Goose Shelburne Parka, and Fjallraven Nuuk Insulated Parka offer extra durability and toughness. We did notice a minimal amount of feathers escaping at the seams and stitching, which in the long run, could jeopardize the overall warmth and loftiness (but we did not experience any issues with this).
The Metropolis is a warm, but lightweight jacket that is perfect for commuting to work, running errands, taking the dog for a walk, and daily life. Despite reaching just above our knee, we were impressed with the mobility that this jacket offered.
It wasn't the cheapest or the most expensive jacket we tested, but for $289 it landed right about in the middle; the price is fitting for what the jacket offers. It's warm, stylish, and delivers a flattering look. If you are looking for more protection from the elements and don't want to spend a ton of money, we like either of our Best Buys, the Marmot Montreaux or the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Jacket. Not on a tight budget? The our Editor's Choice award winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka is warm, stylish, and loaded with features. It's also highly water-resistant, thanks to the durable outer shell.
The North Face Metropolis Parka II delivers a good amount of warmth and a style. We wouldn't recommend wearing this contender in wet weather. But, for commuting to work or running errands, we had no problems staying toasty.