TESTED BY SOPHIE
Undeniably best suited to mountaineers looking for a do-it-all layer, The North Face Summit Series L3 50/50 Down Jacket also works really well for those wild winter ski tours when you need a warm yet breathable jacket for the descent.
Built for heart pumping activities in the coldest of environments, the innovative new 50/50 construction takes toasty 800 fill power hydrophobic down and stuffs it into separate tubes which are then stitched individually to the interior. The idea is that the gap between these baffles allows heat and moisture to escape through the air-permeable nylon face fabric to offer maximum warmth and breathability.
I’ve tested it on numerous character-building backcountry adventures in the north west Highlands where it definitely impressed.
As soon as you pull it on you feel warm yet it’s surprisingly light for such a big cosy jacket, packing down easily into the integrated stuff sack to the size of a Nalgene.
While mega warm outer layers are always appreciated on bone-chilling summits they can rapidly become superfluous to requirements as you make your way further down the mountain into more benign conditions.
This is where the 50/50’s funky construction does a great job of keeping you warm yet it genuinely does allows the heat out.
Features of note include the insulated helmet-compatible hood that’s easily cinched in.