The North Face DNP hoodie review

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The DNP hoodie jacket from the North Face is a lightweight, windproof and insulated synthetic mid-layer or outer jacket to accompany you in your mountain adventures. Using Primaloft One as an insulation, this jacket warms you even when it’s wet. There was no better place to put this jacket to test than in the Dolomites this summer.

Technical details:

  • Insulation: 60g prima Loft One
  • Body: 15D 33 g/m² 100% nylon ripstop with DWR
  • Underarms: 125 g/m² TNF™ Apex Aerobic
  • hoodie
  • windproof
  • 300  g
  • compressable
  • 2 zipper outer pockets
  • Hidden hem cinch-cord at centre front zip

 

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What can the DNP do?

The first thing that comes to mind when you put the DNP hoodie on is how unbelievably light the jacket is. It weighs 308g in size M on the weighing scale. Its so soft you hardly feel you have a layer on you. The soft 15D Nylon Lining makes it  comfortable on bare skin. It comes with 2 outer pockets, big enough to keep important accessories be it a giant size 6″ Smartphone or a bulky beanie. The jacket can be compressed into one of the zip up pockets and sizes into a ~ 24 x 14 cm package.  The hoodie has no adjustable pull cords that keeps the hood in place, instead the rim of the hoodie is elastic. Its big enough to fit over a helmet without much fumbling. The simple body zipper goes right up to the chin . 2 pull cords at the bottom hem of the jacket can be used to regulate the temperature and keeps the cold wind out.

The stretchy Apex panels on each side of the jacket makes it extremely breatheable especially when aerobic movements take place. The cuffs have a combination of 85% Polyester and 15%Elastan, making it stretchy and easy to slip in.

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DNP on the road

The DNP Hoodie went on hikes and climbs this summer. There were plenty of opportunities to try the jacket in wet, damp, freezing cold and windy alpine conditions. Conditions which you don’t usually hope for when you’re out, but face in higher regions. During the day, the jacket acted as a shield to icy cold winds from the torso, and was even comfortable enough to wear it while climbing. You could push the stretchy hand cuffs to the back to optimize your movements while climbing. With all the minimized features for the jacket, it felt more comfortable than a fleece jacket, offering more protection. For uncomfortable situations in the evening when we had to eat out at 2°C, it was then combined together with a down layer to increase the insulation experience.  It went in well compressed in the backpack (without having to stow it to a package) and took up little space.

60g of Prima Loft One, the synthetic down, is used in this jacket to give adequate insulation on the go. While this is a great alternativ to using real traditional down products, a synthetic down works great while you are on the move. While standing still or having long periods of belay in a cold icy environment, it was better to throw an extra piece of insulation either below or above the DNP Hoodie to increase the insulation. The stretch panels at the side of the jacket looses heat while your generator is put off to rest mode.

The jacket is constructed to be a lose fit. The hem of the jacket can be tightened or loosened to adjust the breatheability and keep cold winds out. Quite used to the old fashion pull cords which you would usually find visible outside a jacket, it took us a while to find out that to loosen the cord (which is found in the pockets) you should push the cinch-button at it’s widest / flattest. Since this button was hidden behind the material, it took a bit of searching and feeling before it worked well.
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What I liked

  • striking colour! Everyone knows where you are. (There are other colours available on the market too)
  • wind proof.
  • sufficient insulation on the move
  • light, packable

What could be better

  • missed the pull cords at the hoodie. When strong wind blows, you ll be more busy keeping the hoodie on your head. While we are aware that adding a pull cord adds more weight to the jacket, it should be adjustable to fit either a head or a helmet.The elastic band was just not elastic enough at the rim.
  • no zip chin protection. A nice to have
  • Bigger zipper for the body. Not very friendly for big finger users …

The verdict

The jacket has almost everything you would wish for in a lightweight insulated synthetic down jacket. The DNP Hoodie is marketed as a summer insulation for rock climbing and alpine activities. However, with the winter standing just right at the doorstep, it will definately be a jacket that works well on active sports like backcountry ski activities, or snow shoe hikes up the mountain. It is windproof, it insulates well, it’s breatheable and if you’ve forgotten your beanie, there’s a hoodie to keep your head warm.

The jacket costs LP 200€ and is available in 5 colours, from sizes S to XL.

http://www.thenorthface.eu/

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[Disclosure: I have received product samples for my time and efforts in reviewing this product and creating this article, thanks to The North Face. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ]

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