The North Face is flipping their entire, high-end ski clothing lineup, the Steep Series, upside down for Fall, 2017. Working closely with their pro athletes, TNF gave each a Base Camp duffel and told them to fill the bags with the ideal mission kit. No restrictions, no price point – just ultimate function. The result is the 2017 Brigandine and Purist lines. Each is a full system from base to shell, working together in perfect harmony. More on the integration, below.
Each series is designed with a skier’s body position in mind. North Face understood that layers that fit while the wearer is standing up straight will bunch and bind when in the skiing position. So, they took inspiration from moto leathers and cut the jackets and bibs to work with the curves the skier makes. When you’re standing straight up, the front zipper will curve away from your body. But it will fit like a glove when you bend your knees and start railing.
The new Brigandine jacket has some great, ski-specific features. External pockets have bellows so they expand out instead of pressing against your body when full. There is an area in the jacket collar for clipping a radio mic. You can have easy access without moving the mic while the main radio body stays protected in a pocket. Bib pockets remain accessible through the outer shell, so you can actually use them without having to take off your jacket.
The Unlimited mid layer uses 800-fill down for the main baffles. The baffles themselves are woven using TNF’s Fuseform tech, so no seams and no spots for down to escape. The lower portion of the torso, hood, and sleeves are all filled with Primaloft to make sure areas that tend to get wet stay warm.
TNF’s new base layer wraps merino wool around a dissolvable synthetic fiber. When the fiber dissolves, it leaves the merino behind in a tight spiral, making for a stretchy garment without any elastane.
If you’re more of an ultralighter and less of a bash-against-rocks-type-skier, check out the Purist shell. It uses 70d stretch Gore and features a Tri-climate, zip-in vest with 80g of insulation on the front, 60g on the rear.
Our apologies for the dark photos – we took them at a breakfast meeting with North Face at SIA. Lighting wasn’t great. But, there are more specs in the pics.