The North Face Women’s Thermoball Super Hoodie- A puffy that keeps you warm without looking like the Michelin Man
Before we get into The North Face Thermoball Super Hoodie review, I think it’s important for you to know some facts about the climate it was tested in:
1. Where I live, it is COLD. And when I say cold I mean my town is ranked one of the coldest places in the country. It drops to -30 on a cold night.
2. The days are incredibly sunny warming up my little town. A warm winter day will be about ~30º.
3. It is dry. The air is dry, the snow is dry, I don’t get opportunities to test my gear in humid or wet environments.
I’ve worn The North Face’s Women’s Thermoball Super Hoodie skiing, skinning in the backcountry, to the grocery store, post office, work… you name it. It has been my go-to puffy for a couple of weeks now and I feel very confident that I have tested it in every situation (except for humid/wet).
If you’re skiing or riding the resort in above 10º temps, you’re probably going to get hot. However, if it’s a chilly storm day this is the perfect insulation layer to throw under your hardshell. It’s not bulky enough to make you feel like the Michelin Man but sits really nicely underneath your shell providing the warmth you need while the chairlift stops in the wind tunnel.
The North Face Women’s Thermoball Super Hoodie
Due to its supreme warmth, it’s too hot to tour in. You will work up a sweat in the first 500 ft of the skintrack, and because of this, it’s the perfect layer to throw in your pack. Incase sh*t hits the fan, you need to be prepared to sit in the snow for a while and this puffy can handle that with grace.
Weighing in at 25.4 oz (1.5 lbs), it’s a mid-weight jacket that’s worth carrying with you. It’s the right jacket for scraping frost off your windshield in the morning or going to take the dog out before you go to bed. The Thermoball Super Hoodie is incredibly versatile and is an obvious choice for someone looking for a one puffy quiver.
But, no product is perfect. Here are my criticisms:
It doesn’t pack down super small due to its synthetic insulation. I carry a lot of stuff in my backcountry ski pack and thus have a large backpack. But if you only carry a small pack with enough room for a snickers bar, 1. I don’t understand you and you’re silly and 2. this puffy won’t fit.
My other criticism is more of an uncertainty. The only experience I have with the DWR coating is when my snowy skis were sitting in my lap and the arm of the puffy was under the melting snow. The water-saturated the sleeve and I didn’t see any evidence of a waterproof coating. However, I would like to point out that it was sitting under melting snow, this may not have been the best chance for it to prove itself. Do what you would like with that info.
Alright, moving on. Let’s get into the coats features. The Thermoball Super Hoodie has, as the name implies, a hood. I think it could be a hair smaller for a nicer fit, but it’s a good hood and fits over a hat nicely. There is even an elastic band along the edge of the hood to ensure a good fit.
The cuffs have this same elastic band to keep the snow from going up your sleeve. There is a left breast pocket on the inside of the coat. It’s surprisingly large and could hold a phone and a snack or two well. Along the bottom of the coat is an elastic drawcord to keep the cold elements out. There are two standard sized, zippered pockets on each side at the bottom of the coat to keep your keys or cold hands in.
Now onto the details. The 25 g/ft² ThermoBall™ Eco insulation is made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester and is designed to be warm even when wet. The body is made of 15D 31 G/M² 100% recycled nylon taffeta with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish. This is just a fancy way of saying the material that you see and feel is thin, silky nylon.
The North Face has a lifetime warranty on this item. My puffy has shown no signs of wear so I have no issues with the durability so far. I think putting a hole in it is very possible, but it’s not a fragile product.
If this puffy is on your coat rack, you don’t need to bundle up like the kid from A Christmas Story. On a super cold day out in the elements, I put on a merino base layer, the Thermoball Super Hoodie and my FUTURELIGHT Purist shell (https://engearment.com/clothing/the-north-face-purist-futurelight-jacket/).
That’s it, it’s that simple. Whether you’re looking for something to snowshoe with, a coat for getting to the office or a safety net layer to always have with you, I’d recommend this Super Hoodie. I’ve found it to be very reliable and am confident saying that it can handle extreme temps.
Growing up snowboarding and hiking in the bitter cold winters and humid summers of northern Vermont, Eliza learned how to beat up gear and quickly became infatuated with new technologies. After moving to Colorado in 2015 to pursue a degree in recreation and outdoor education at Western Colorado University, her passion for the outdoors grew exponentially. Soon after, she picked up rock climbing, telemark skiing, backpacking, canyoneering, and is slowly learning to love rafting. Through these learning processes, Eliza began to understand the importance of the right gear and hopes to share her experiences and knowledge with others through Engearment.
Now working for Beacon Guidebooks as the ‘Wearer of Many Hats’ (yes, that is her official title), Eliza has learned the ins and outs of the outdoor industry. She has also worked on marketing teams, as a photographer, media coordinator, outdoor instructor and as a wrangler. She is especially excited to encourage other women in the outdoors and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion.