Hands-on Gear Review

The North Face Chilkat III - Women's Review

Price:  $110 List | $49.48 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm, weather-proof, versatile fit, comfortable, gaiter and snowshoe compatible
Cons:  Traction is not as good as other hikers, not stylish
Bottom line:  This winter hiker will have you tackling snowy trails for miles.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measure Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft, size nine):  8.5 inches
Measured Weight (ounces, one boot, size nine):  1 lb. 8.20 ounces
Upper Material:  Waterproof Suede and PU-coated leather
Manufacturer:   The North Face

Our Verdict

If you're ready to tackle snowy sidewalks and trails this year, The North Face Chilkat III is a great winter hiking boot. Boasting 200-grams of insulation and a waterproof upper and outsole, this winter boot is ready to tackle the elements. Even though the traction pattern isn't as bomber as other winter hiking boots like the Keen Durand Polar or Columbia Bugaboot III Omni-Heat, it serves its purpose well on snowy winter hikes. It will protect up to 8.5 inches and features a Gaiter-compatible D-ring. To boot, this hiker is fleece-lined throughout the entire shaft and breathable. It provides a well insulated yet breathable experience on the trail, allowing you to just enjoy the great outdoors. Wear it while you tackle snowy mile after snowy mile.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Wednesday
February 14, 2018

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The North Face Chilkat III is warm and weatherproof. This winter hiking boot has a beefy outsole and triangular lugs that grabs snowy slopes of any grade. Take it with you on your next snowshoe adventure or winter hike.

Performance Comparison


The Chilkat III is a great winter hiking boot.
The Chilkat III is a great winter hiking boot.

Warmth


Stuffed with 200-grams of Heatkeeper insulation, this boot is nice and toasty on the trails. The uber-thick sole insulates in temperatures that dip into the negative double digits. Of all the hiking boots tested, this was the warmest, next to the Keen Durand Polar, with 400-grams of insulation. It scores seven out of ten, making it warmer than the Columbia Bugaboot III and on par with our Top Pick for Severe Weather, the Sorel Joan of Arctic.

Weather Protection


The waterproof suede and leather uppers are waterproof and snowproof earning a solid eight out of ten for weather protection. While it doesn't have a faux-fur collar to keep out blowing snow like the Keen Durand, its puddle-depth is an inch deeper than the Keen and performance is head and shoulders above the Columbia Bugaboot III (that leaked in our water tests).

That said, while the lacing system provides excellent coverage up to 8.5 inches, it won't protect against tall snow banks like the 13-inch Sorel Joan or Arctic. Nor does it have a waterproof upper like the Sorel Caribou, that earned a perfect ten in this metric. Overall, this winter hiker performed well in our weather tests, wicking away moisture and keeping out snow. It will keep you protected from the elements.

Testing the waterproofness of the Chilkat III.
Testing the waterproofness of the Chilkat III.

This boot is equipped with a Gaiter-compatible D-ring, which can enhance weather protection during super blustery days.

Comfort & Fit


With great comfort and fit features that provides a stable ride in the backcountry, we give this boot a seven out of ten. We love the fully fleece-lined interior that made slipping this boot on feel sooooo good. The exterior suede is soft to the touch, and the fit of the boot is exceptional too. Versatile for both wide and narrow feet, the toe box provides lots of volume, easily accommodating thick and thin socks. The heel doesn't slip, and the shaft is relatively flexible. Like the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat, it is true to fit but doesn't offer as much arch support as the Keen Durand Polar.

The Chilkat III features a fleece-lined interior that is super plush for all-day comfort.
The Chilkat III features a fleece-lined interior that is super plush for all-day comfort.

Ease of Use


All of our winter hiking boots take a little extra time to take on and off. The Chilkat III is no different. That said, it's a little easier to use than both the Columbia Bugaboot III and Keen Durand Polar simply because it only has one eyelet at the top of the boot. As a result, it takes less time to take on and off. The boot is stiff enough to simply slip on before tightening, and the lacing system requires just one simple pull to tighten all the laces. If you prefer a boot without laces, check out the Kamik Momentum, our only laceless boot tested.

Of all winter hiking boots  this one is the easiest to lace up and take off.
Of all winter hiking boots, this one is the easiest to lace up and take off.

Traction


While its traction is great in comparison to other Pac Boots and less technical competitors, it doesn't perform as well as other winter hiking boots. With a score of seven out of ten, it will keep you upright and safe in rough and snowy conditions. The lugs are all triangle-shaped, providing traction while going up and down snowy slopes. That said, they aren't as deep as the Keen Durand Polar or as varied as the Columbia Bugaboot III. While the outsole performed well winter hiking, we found ourselves slipping out more than the other hikers tested.

The outsole is burly enough for winter trails  but one of the least burliest tested of all winter hikers.
The outsole is burly enough for winter trails, but one of the least burliest tested of all winter hikers.

Style


While the Chilkat III looks better on then it does on the shelf, we think it's pretty ugly. While the looks aren't super techy like the Columbia Bugaboot III, it simply doesn't have cute lines, contrasting fabrics, or cute colors. As a result, we never really chose to wear it around town. It scores a four out of ten for style.

While none of the winter hiking boots did particularly well in style, our testers agreed that this was the least flattering boot of the fleet. If you prefer a cuter hiker, check out the Keen Durand (with a faux-fur collar) or the Columbia Bugaboot III (without a faux-fur collar, and slimmer design). Alternatively, if you don't seek out a winter hiking boot, check out our Top Pick for Style, the UGG Cecile.

A look at the basic style of the North Face Chilkat III.
A look at the basic style of the North Face Chilkat III.

Best Applications


Take this winter hiking boot…well….hiking! Strap on a pair of snowshoes and get out the door this winter.

Take this boot hiking in the trees!
Take this boot hiking in the trees!

Value


At just $110, this is the best valued winter hiking boot, just $20 more than our Best Buy award winner, the Kamik Momentum. A great deal!

Conclusion


The North Face Chilkat III is a great winter hiker that offers wonderful stability and support on winter trails.

Amber King

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 14, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
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