A Super Warm Wind Warrior
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: XL
The Direct North GTX is my go-to when the winds are howling and the temps are below 20. So far I have been super stoked on the performance of this jacket. I brought it with me for my Level 1 Avy Course and I couldn't have been more grateful I did. As you may know, a good part of the class is standing around digging pits and learning about the snowpack. It happened to be dumping about 3-5 inches per hour, super windy, and around 15 degrees outside. Being able to pull the relatively packable jacket out of my pack and instantly feel warm, dry, and protected was amazing. The down and wind-stopper membrane into the hood was a fantastic bonus, keeping my neck safe from the wind and snow.
I'll go ahead and explain the Gore-Tex (GTX) Infinium wind-stopper membrane because I have seen a good amount of confusion out there regarding the functions. First, GTX infinium is a newer addition to the GTX family, bringing a stretchier, more breathable, and a softer fabric-to-skin feel to its arsenal of gear. This stretchier characteristic allows for the GTX-down combo that you rarely have seen before. It is super useful in other aspects of activity without the insulation because of its stretchiness, comfort, and breathability. . Such as Hiking, cycling, running, touring, and XC skiing. However, there is a very important difference to note between the infinium membrane and your classic Gore-Tex membrane: GTX Infinium products are WATER RESISTANT and NOT WATERPROOF. The infinium membrane is meant more for dryer snow like Utah's (best snow on earth), light rain, and windy days. There is STILL A DWR (durable water repellant) COATING, which is what makes the infinium pieces water resistant. If you notice the DWR starting to lose its water proofing powers, do not fear, your jacket IS NOT DEAD. You can simply apply more using products such as NikWax or wash it (according to the directions) to restore the DWR coating's ability.
The wind-Stopper technology is easily the my most valued benefit of this jacket. The Gore-Tex windstopper is designed and trademarked by Gore-Tex, bumping it to the top of the list of best wind proofing techs.
Sizing: I purchased the XL and it is perfect for me. It goes down to just over my butt to keep me warm on the lifts and when sitting in the snow. There are cinches as well tailor the jacket.
Pockets: Inside there are the two classic drop pockets on the left and right for your goggles, flat light lens, extra facemask, or other goodies; as well as an inside chest pocket to fit a phone or wallet. Outside there are two large side chest/rib pockets that are under the insulation and membrane to keep contents warm and a lower left pocket that seems perfect for a sandwich.
Overall, the True-North will have your back on the frigid, face biting, windy days. I would not take this this jacket on super high output activities because the down insulation does reduce it's breathability. For those looking for a lightweight, less rigid jacket to keep them warm where other jackets fail, the True North will have your back.