The North Face Men’s DNP Fleece Hoodie is a lightweight PrimaLoft® mid or outer layer aimed towards spring alpine climbing. It’s hybrid construction includes DWR stretch panels for improved mobility and breathability. We’ve been climbing and hiking in this jacket over the last few months to see how it faired.
Comfort & Fit
The DNP Hoodie fits well and is very comfortable, it’s low bulks means it can be worn easily underneath a shell or additional layers. The stretch panels allow really good freedom of movement whilst the elastic cuffs and adjustable hem create a precise fit that keeps the elements out.
The 15D 33 g/m² ripstop nylon is strong considering it’s weight, we have not had any significant wear or tear over the duration of the test. It’s worth baring in mind this material is on the thin side and will eventually give up when subjected to heavy abrasion.
Usually this style of garment is not very dynamic in terms of moving with the body, the DNP Hoodie has overcome this issue with a series of DWR stretch panels on the arms that run up from the cuff to the underarm. These stretch panels allow a much greater range of movement in the arms and are a really nice feature. The DNP also has hand warmer pockets (which also double up as a stuff sack) and an insulated helmet compatible hood, this hood features an elastic hem but is not adjustable.
The DNP weights in at around 300g (10.5 oz) so is very lightweight (and packable), it’s not a layer that you really notice wearing due to weight or bulk.
The stretch panels also aid with breathability, this hybrid construction allows air to circulate more freely in areas where you really need it (like under the arms!). The Apex Aerobic fabric has very good breathable properties and we found this jacket to be more breathable then it’s rivals.
The combination of the soft-shell hybrid fabric and PrimaLoft insulation make the jacket very resistant to wind. The stretch panels could be a chink in it’s armour but due to the positioning they are generally facing inwards and away from the worst of the weather.
The DNP has a DWR (durable water repellant) treatment that will keep a shower or light rain at bay. Over time this will need reproofing (with NixWax or similar). This jacket will not withstand constant heavy rain but it’s more then adequate for spring alpine conditions, where more heavy rain is expected the DNP is best used in combination with a shell.
The PrimaLoft One filling is a synthetic insulation and the companies highest performing filling. With excellent properties such as excellent compression, low weight to warmth ratio and crucially excellent insulation even when wet, the DNP Hoodie will keep you insulated in cold weather. In terms of performance in comparison to it’s rivals, many companies use this type of filling – but it’s worth baring in mind that The North Face have selected the highest performing filling for this garment.
The North Face DNP Hoodie is an excellent lightweight mid or outer layer, it’s main features we like are it’s packability, the stretch panels and increased breathability in comparison to it’s rivals. The hood is functional but lacks adjustment and may not suit everyone so it’s worth trying this jacket on with/without your helmet.