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This is the North Face jacket I’d buy this winter (if I had to pick just one)

Stay warm with our favorite North Face

The North Face Nuptse Jacket on a plain background
The North Face

Over a decade ago, when I worked in an outdoor store, one standout company lined the walls. The North Face has a long-standing tradition of making some of the best jackets on the market, and of all the North Face jackets you can get your hands on, there’s one that stands out above the rest.

Nuptse. The name means different things to different people — as does the jacket — but as part of the triple crown alongside Lhotse and Mount Everest, this jacket would always have to deliver to even begin to live up to its name. Nowadays, the Nuptse jacket’s reach goes well beyond the mountains where it made it home. This jacket is equally at home on the runway as on the belay. So why is this North Face jacket the best out there?

The North Face Nuptse jacket on a plain background
The North Face

Well, it might not be. Seriously, there are better North Face jackets for some situations. Want a ski jacket? The North Face has some of the best ski jackets out there. Add to that a whole range of Gore-Tex mountain jackets, synthetic insulated jackets, and jackets of every shape and size, and there’s a good chance that this might not be the best jacket for you. But if I were eyeing up one North Face jacket to add to my winter wardrobe, I would struggle to look past this icon, as this stalwart in the North Face collection has stood the test of time since 1996.

The North Face labels this jacket as “rooted in the unforgiving nature of the mountains and immortalized on the city streets,” and it couldn’t be more on the money. Sure, throw on any late ’90s/early 2000s high-alpine climbing video, and a Nuptse jacket will appear at some point — you might have to squint to make out the logo, but give those guys a break; they weren’t precisely hauling your modern pocket action cameras back then — but then again, it was worn by the likes of Jennifer Anniston, Biggie, and Drake.

Who is the North Face Nuptse jacket for?

Everyone, that’s why I love it and why I would add it to my wardrobe.

This jacket boasts a healthy 700-fill of down. This might not be relatively as high as some mid-layer style jackets, but this is designed to loft. The Nuptse is not a jacket to squeeze underneath your shell but a jacket that needs space to breathe, and by going for a more mid-fill, the down has space to trap loads more warmth while remaining incredibly lightweight.

While this may be a retro-feel jacket, the Nuptse has been updated with ripstop, taffeta-coated face fabric with a PCF-free DWR coating. We aren’t suggesting for a second that this jacket is waterproof — it’s not a rain jacket, it’s not supposed to be — but it does mean that if you get caught out, your coat will withstand the odd shower without long-term damage.

But do you want to know my favorite thing about the Nuptse jacket? It’s this. This jacket is like a hug. If you’ve never worn one, you may not know what the hype is about. Try it; you’ll love it. And you can complete the setup with the Nuptse vest and even a pair of Nuptse slippers — a hug for your feet.

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Tom Kilpatrick
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