Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Thermoballs are GO!

Northface Thermoballs Insulated Jacket

As a regular hiker but someone that feels the wind chill I need a jacket to cover all environments and this has sometimes resulted in me looking like a 6ft 4 version of the Michelin Man. Not so with the Northface Thermoball insulated hoodie which, with a waterproof shell, makes a perfect combo to combat those nasty heavy rain and strong wind combos.

I was after a jacket that was light yet thermal and suitable for #EverydayLifeOutdoors from shopping in the high street to walking the fells, mountain biking or sitting still while taking landscape photography – oh and even canoeing on the lakes when I’ve finally decided on the right canoe.  (or keeping the wife warm when she wants the heating turned up at home – yes, I’m that mean!)

The next decision was whether to go for a down or synthetic jacket. Traditional goose down is very warm though not so good at maintaining warmth when wet. Synthetic down, the scientists tell us, is just as warm as goose down but is also water resistant meaning when the down gets wet it is able to dry quicker without clumping and so maintains your body warmth better.

Thin thermal layers are important and really do work. Having many thinner layers traps more air than a couple of thick layers, but make sure each layer is breathable (or wicks). Trapped in perspiration will only become cold and make you even colder. But hey, you already knew that didn’t you?

For all those times I’m out on the fells taking photos and waiting for the right light, only to get rained on, I decided to try a synthetic down jacket. The latest tech in synthetic down is Primaloft Thermoball. It’s really light and packs down to a very small size, ideal when I’m already weighed down by lots of camera equipment, and doubly important  as I’m on crutches at the moment.

So far I’m loving it, I’ve been able to reduce the bulkiness while still keeping toasty warm, plus I don’t have to worry about the rain quite so much.  All of which means that those long sitting still moments, waiting to capture that perfect shot, are a lot more comfortable.

Techno stuff:

15D nylon ripstop with ThermoBall™ insulation
Attached fully adjustable hood
Exposed molded tooth, center front zip
Hem cinch cord
Internal elastic cuff
Secure-zip, covered hand pockets

Water Resistant: Yes
Windproof: Yes
Insulating: Yes
Hooded: Yes
Stuffable / Packable: Yes
Keeping the wife warm: Yes

600 Fill Goose Down - provides warmth equal to 600 Fill Goose Down
Packs up into it's own pocket for easy storage
Stays warm, even when wet

*apologies for the dodgy selfies!

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