You’re going to be hot, you’re going to be cold, you’re going to hike your life away and bomb down like there’s no tomorrow! The North Face understood the backcountry riding process and created outerwear with all the details needed to turn you into the most on point person of your crew when you’re knee deep in the pow.
You don’t believe us? We tested it for you!
Going on a trip backcountry is the best! Especially since we have lots of great and wild mountains here at home in Quebec! To convince us that the brand’s winter19 outerwear line really is the ultimate choice for backcountry riding, The North Face offered us to test products from their Freeride line at one of our provinces greatest backcountry mountain: Grand Fond Mountain. After hours of riding in the powder of this beautiful mountain, our conclusion was the following: The North Face is king In the backcountry!
Let us explain why.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it’s important to mention that The North Face Freeride Collection jackets and pants are part of the high end outerwear selection in our stores, especially for everything that has to do with backcountry. We know high end gear isn’t usually cheap and can already hear you say: “Yeah, they look good and they work great, but they must be expansive”… Well, that’s not really the case! In fact, the prices of these so-called high-end outerwear pieces are really interesting for gear of such good quality. Plus, they are guaranteed for life!
The Jackets & shells
Not too cold, Not too hot
The North Face jackets are known for their high level of weather resistance. They’re always on the next level of cold and water protection, more precisely. The 2019 Freeride Collection is no exception. During our experience at Mount Grand Fond, we were lucky enough to have some really wonderful conditions, but like any backcountry adventure, the heat was sometimes getting heavy as we were hiking up the hill and the winds on top were strong and cold. One of the jackets we had the chance to try was the Repko. Let us tell you that for around $300, the jacket is a machine! Even with the climate variations we had to go through, we were all good on the body temperature aspect!
Although the Repko shell is made to protect you from wind and cold, which can be a major source of discomfort in the backcountry, it’s also created to evacuate moisture from the inside your jacket while always keeping the heat outside. The North Face Freeride items are great for a smooth transition from infinite hikes under a heavy sun to gearing up on top where freezing winds are blowing. Keep in mind that the Repko, as well as many jackets in the collection are “packable”, meaning you can fold them and store them in your backpack when you get too hot. Basically, with a good layering system and a TNF jacket, nothing will ever stop you in the backcountry!
It’s no surprise when we say that The North Face jackets are waterproof. The pieces we were provided did not include any Gore-Tex and we still managed to never feel wet during our stay at Mont Grand Fond. If there is one thing that can be said after testing the TNF backcountry gear is that the pants as well as the jackets of the collection are really going to keep you dry, no matter what model you choose.
To be more specific, the DryVent two-layer membrane of TNF jackets protects you from rain, sleet and snow all day long. All without ever retaining heat, of course. A snow skirt is attached to the bottom of the jackets to keep the whirling powder from getting into your jacket, avoiding the accumulation of water inside your kit. The hood and adjustable cuffs with thumb holes also facilitate the closing of unprotected areas. Not complicated, you will feel wrapped in a protected cocoon that’s able to defeat anything that could bug you out in the backcountry weather wise.
At pants level, it’s pretty much the same as the TNF shells and jackets. They will have your back in the backcountry whatever the conditions, or must I say they will have your legs! As mentioned before, with a combination TNF new Freeride pants and jacket, you will not never have to adapt to the backcountry’s weather anymore. It is the backcountry that will have to adapt to you!
More precisely, it was with the Freedom Cargo Overall pants that we braved the thick layer of snow at Mont Grand Fond and our experience was up to our expectations. With their superior level insulation, their ability to wick away moisture while blocking wind and cold, their functionality and style. We feel really good on the mountain all day. After all, that’s the point of going on a backcountry mission … Feeling good!
One detail that is important to mention when talking about TNF pants and even jackets is that their cut is really made to facilitate your movement ability. Unlike the ski resort, the backcountry will keep you moving all day and it is important that your clothes do not prevent you from having total freedom of movements. Hence the name of the pants!
We never felt too cold, we never felt too hot, we never felt wet or damp and most of all, we shredded like there was no tomorrow without even worrying about the anything else. It’s clear that our The North Face jackets and pants helped us!
Never hesitate to go get on that mission and go for an adventure on the roads less travelled. Gear up and jump on the adventure with The North Face!