Great all-around waterproof jacket
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: Runs large
- Size Bought: XXL
I got this coat in Feb 2019 after a lot of research and seeing one at a local store (not my size) and liking it. I really like the jacket, it is obviously very well made with quality materials (Gore Tex and Prima Loft) and the Gore Tex outer is as weather proof as advertised. I am glad I got this near end of season for 30% off, since its normal list price is quite expensive, although typical of any NF/ Gore Tex jacket. This is a great all around winter jacket that is both rain and snow proof and warmth. I live in St. Louis where winter weather can be anywhere from 50 deg to -5 F in the winter, and a lot of times wet or damp. When it is that super cold I would definitely wear another light fleece or base layer or similar under. At 50+ years old, I am not as tough as I used to be. I would not say that this coat is not optimized for skiing or boarding, but certainly could be used for it if you wanted to. The outer Gore Tex Shell is very soft, flexible and quiet, and has more of a dull, non glossy appearance (mine is black). The insulation has a nice inner lining that is sewn in a semi quilted pattern and the body and sleeve insulation has a nice puff or loft to it. It does not look as sleek or athletic as some of the pictures make it appear. I am between size XL and XXL and went with the XXL, knowing I could add multiple layers for really cold weather if needed. But for fashion or a slimmer look I could have gone down to an XL. I would say the coat is a little larger than normal sizes. The sleeves are a little long, like most NF coats, but help keep wrists warm and cover glove edges. The wrist also has an internal fabric elastic cuff (no thumb holes) that seals out cold air as well as an external Velcro strap that can be adjusted tighter or looser around gloves or wrist. Sleeve and cuff details are excellent. This brings me to the hood, perhaps my least favorite feature of the coat. The hood is removable and that is stated in the NF specs and description. I prefer a permanently attached hood for optimal warmth. This hood zips in about 6-7 inches in middle back and then snaps into lapel pockets near front zipper/ collar area. If there is going to be a removable hood, at least it is zipped in, so it will not become detached accidentally. I was looking at the Apex Flex GTX 2L Snow at a local NF store that has similar specs to this coat. I tried it on and realized it had a removable, snaps only hood. That was a deal breaker for me. In really windy conditions you can feel some wind find its way into the narrow gaps on side of neck and face. Also, the NF description and spec say the hood has the 60g/ m2 PrimaLoft insulation. But the hood feels like it is thin enough that there is no room for insulation between the outer Gore membrane and the inner lining. Maybe the Primaloft is just really thin here. The hood is warm when cinched down, which is what counts. My theory is you buy a Gore Tex or water proof coat to keep you dry during cold rain or sloppy snow conditions, and there is no reason to take the hood off for that kind of weather. Also, there are 3 string/ toggle adjustments for hood, 2 on each front side and one in rear middle. So the hood can be adjusted for a lot of head/ hat sizes and configurations. The bottom hem of the coat has an adjustable string that is accessed through the front pockets so you can pull it tight while keeping your hands warm. That is a nice feature. There are 2 zippered hand pockets on the outside, large, but not too large and lined with a soft material. The 3rd pocket is an inner chest pocket on the RH chest. I would prefer to have another outside chest pocket, but this coat does not have that. This is by far my nicest winter coat, and will keep me warm and dry in all conditions. Ideally I would have preferred a non-removable hood, but I knew about this and no stars deducted. It seems like this coat is being discontinued. Not on NF website any longer. Also, my XXL weighs 35.5 oz, less than spec.